Musicians The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

Ranker Music
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3.7k votes 576 voters 10.1k views 131 items

List Rules Vote up all of your favorite jazz guitarists and add any that you don't see on here.

The guitar is one of the most popular and diverse musical instruments in the world. It's permeated through dozens of genres of music, lending itself to help create some of the most moving and emotional pieces of music in history. The people on this list are masters of the guitar and are considered giants in the musical world.  

Whether you recognize these musicians or not, they've all carved a place out for themselves in the music world and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry. If you love geeking out on music, we definitely recommend finding some of their music. 

This list is votable and rerankable, so take a look through and vote up your favorite jazz guitarists. If you don't see someone on here who should be, feel free to add them, but this list is for living musicians only.
list ordered by

1
132 42
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
106 36
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
73 16
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

4
119 56
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

5
86 31
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
64 24
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

7
81 37
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

8
58 23
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

9
58 25
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

10
68 50
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

11
53 21
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

12
54 35
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

13
32 11
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

14
42 31
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

15
33 20
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

16
43 29
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

17
43 25
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

18
32 27
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
25 9
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

20
23 9
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

21
15 7
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

22
23 10
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

23
27 22
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

24
19 8
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

25
19 8
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop