vote on everything
Music
3.9k voters

The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time

Updated August 13, 2020 90.9k votes 3.9k voters 49.9k views639 items

List RulesVote up the lead guitarist with the best solos and riffs in the history of music. Lead guitar players ONLY

The lead guitarist typically has a crucial role to play and their performance both live and on tape can make or break a band.  With names like David Gilmour and B.B. King it's hard to say who belongs in the top spot. Everyone has their favorite guitar player, but which one is the most skilled? 

...more
  • 1
    Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Van Halen

    More Eddie Van Halen 

    12 Awesome Stories About Eddie Van Halen That Sound Made Up - But Aren'tTributes Are Pouring In From The Rock World For Guitar Legend Eddie Van Halen

  • 2
    Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,321
    887

    More Jimi Hendrix 

    Wild Stories From The Guitar-Shredding Life Of Jimi HendrixThe Best Jimi Hendrix Songs of All Time

  • 3
    Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,357
    921
    Band Name: Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, The Firm, Black Crowes
  • 4
    Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time

    More Stevie Ray Vaughan 

    The Best Stevie Ray Vaughan Songs of All Time#79 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists

  • 5
    David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Pink Floyd
  • 6
    Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,084
    745
    Band Name: Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne
  • 7
    Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,235
    858
    Band Name: The Yardbirds, Cream
    spotify buy button

    More Eric Clapton 

    All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's LaylaThe Best Eric Clapton Albums of All Time

  • 8
    Brian May is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,208
    868
    Band Name: Queen

    More Brian May 

    #242 of 892 List of Famous Bands from Australia#160 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • 9
    Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,097
    787
    Band Name: Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash's Snakepit

    More Slash 

    The Best Slash Guitar Solos Of All Time#147 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

  • 10
    Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Black Sabbath
  • 11
    Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    807
    570
  • 12
    Angus Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,028
    741
    Band Name: AC/DC
  • 13
    Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Santana

    More Carlos Santana 

    The Best Carlos Santana Albums of All Time#68 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 14
    B. B. King is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time

    More B.B. King 

    The Best B.B. King Albums of All Time#55 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 15
    Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    1,131
    838
    Band Name: Rush

    More Alex Lifeson 

    #874 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time#24 of 210 The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

  • 16
    Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Dire Straits
  • 17
    Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    650
    477
  • 18
    Joe Walsh is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    625
    475
    Band Name: James Gang, The Eagles

    More Joe Walsh 

    The Best Joe Walsh Albums of All TimeThe Best James Gang Albums of All Time

  • 19
    “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    638
    487

    “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott

    Band Name: Pantera, Damageplan, Rebel Meets Rebel
  • 20
    Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
  • 21
    Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore's Night

    More Ritchie Blackmore 

    #20 of 542 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time#579 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • 22
    Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: ZZ Top
  • 23
    Duane Allman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    Band Name: The Allman Brothers Band, Derek and the Dominoes

    More Duane Allman 

    #23 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely#441 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • 24
    Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
    625
    502
    Band Name: The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group, Beck, Bogert & Appice

    More Jeff Beck 

    The Best Jeff Beck Albums of All Time#168 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • 25
    Chuck Berry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time
Bands/MusiciansMusictop 100