Music

Famous Guitarists from California

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Updated April 3, 2020 3.6k views 243 items

List of famous guitarists born who were born in California, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Many of these guitar players from California are legends in the music world, each with their own innovative styles of play. If you play guitar, whether acoustic or electric, then these famous California guitar players should be people you look up to. These are some of the best guitarists that have ever picked up the instrument, and whether they play rock, blues, metal or folk, these men and women are considered legends.

Examples of items on this list include Katy Perry and Courtney Love.

This list answers the questions, "What guitar players are from California?" and "Who are famous California guitarists?"
1
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Dec. at 26 (1956-1982)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California

Randall William Rhoads (December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982) was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. A devoted student of classical guitar, Rhoads ...more

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2
Katy Perry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 35

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. After singing in church during her childhood, she ...more

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Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Katy Perry #177 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #9 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

3
Cliff Burton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Dec. at 24 (1962-1986)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Castro Valley, California, United States of America

Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician and songwriter, best known as the bass guitarist for the American band Metallica from December 1982 until ...more

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4
Jerry Garcia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Dec. at 53 (1942-1995)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the ...more

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5
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 58

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: La Mesa, California, United States of America

David Scott Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter ...more

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#249 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #846 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #59 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

6
Bonnie Raitt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Burbank, USA, California

Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and activist. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums that incorporated ...more

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The Best Bonnie Raitt Albums of All Time #74 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #67 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

7
James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 56

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Downey, California, United States of America

James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963) is an American musician and songwriter best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy ...more

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#100 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #80 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalistslisted on Straight Edge Celebrities

8
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 57

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Francisco Peninsula, Northern California, California, Contiguous United States, San Francisco Bay Area, + more

Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining ...more

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#69 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #21 of 636 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #156 of 204 The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

9
Zacky Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 38

Nationality: Italy, United States of America, Germany

Birthplace: Olympia, USA, Washington

Avenged Sevenfold (sometimes abbreviated as A7X) is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's current lineup consists of lead vocalist M. ...more
10
Merle Haggard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 82

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Oildale, California, United States of America

Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) was an American country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Haggard was born in Oildale, California, during the Great Depression. His ...more

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The Best Merle Haggard Albums of All Time #369 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #584 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

11
Courtney Love is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 55

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: California, United States of America

Courtney Michelle Love (born Courtney Michelle Harrison; July 9, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. A figure in the punk and grunge scenes of the 1990s, Love's career has ...more

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12
Danny Elfman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 66

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California

Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Elfman first became known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the band Oingo ...more

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13
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 49

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Beck Hansen (born July 8, 1970), known mononymously as Beck, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his experimental and lo-fi ...more

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The Best Beck Albums of All-Time #61 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #267 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

14
Albert Hammond, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 39

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Albert Hammond Jr. (né Hammond III; born April 9, 1980) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and music producer. He is most famous for his role as rhythm and lead guitarist, as ...more
15
John Fogerty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 74

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States of America

John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence ...more

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The Best John Fogerty Albums of All Time #82 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #42 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

16
Jerry Horton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 44

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Dixon, California

Jerry Allan Horton is the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of Californian alternative rock band Papa Roach
17
Allison Robertson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 40

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Allison Rae Robertson (born August 26, 1979) is an American musician and the guitarist for rock bands The Donnas and Chelsea Girls.
18
Ed King is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Glendale, California, United States of America

Edward Calhoun King (September 14, 1949 – August 22, 2018) was an American musician. He was a guitarist for the psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock and guitarist and bassist for the ...more

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#270 of 636 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #434 of 527 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #10 of 37 Musicians Who Died in 2018

19
Synyster Gates is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 38

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Huntington Beach, USA, California

Brian Elwin Haner Jr. (born July 7, 1981), better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of ...more

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#361 of 639 The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time #132 of 636 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time #65 of 229 The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

20
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Pomona, USA, California

Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. His music is characterized by his distinctive deep, gravelly voice and lyrics focusing ...more

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The Best Tom Waits Albums of All Time #15 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #220 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists

21
Robert Trujillo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 55

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: USA, California, Santa Monica

Robert Trujillo ( troo-HEE-yoh, Spanish: [roˈβeɾto tɾuˈxiʝo]; born October 23, 1964), is an American musician and songwriter. He has been the bassist of the American heavy metal band Metallica ...more

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#32 of 185 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists #254 of 452 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

22
Adam Levine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 40

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Adam Noah Levine (born March 18, 1979) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He is the lead singer for the pop rock band Maroon 5. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Levine ...more

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The Best Songs Feat. Adam Levine #601 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #861 of 2,044 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

23
Tommy Castro is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 64

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States of America

Tommy Castro (born April 15, 1955, San Jose, California, United States) is an American blues, R&B, and rock guitarist and singer. He has been recording since the mid-1990s. His music has ...more

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#193 of 252 The Best Blues Artists of All Time #90 of 114 The Best Chicago Blues Bands/Artists

24
Aly Michalka is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 30

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Torrance, California, United States of America

Alyson Renae Michalka (born March 25, 1989) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and musician. She gained fame for playing the role of Keely Teslow in the Disney Channel series Phil of the ...more

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25
Lindsey Buckingham is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Guitarists from California
Age: 70

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States of America

Lindsey Adams Buckingham (born October 3, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the music group Fleetwood Mac ...more

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#6 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #78 of 668 The Best Rock Vocalists #496 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time