The Top 10 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

    best guitarists that ever lived

    Picking the ten greatest guitarists of all time is an impossible task. There are so many greats that limiting it down to ten makes it inevitable that someone will be left out.

    So, without further ado, in no particular order, here is the list of the top ten all-time greatest guitar players.

    Table of Contents


    Jimi Hendrix

    Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer. He's cited as one of the greatest guitarists ever to live. All of Hendrix's albums were successful. No one merged the blues, rock, and psychedelia with as much ease or wielded a guitar with as much charisma.

    Notable Works: Purple Haze | The Star-Spangled Banner | Hey Joe | Foxy Lady


    Jimmy Page

    James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Page's guitar sounds like six guitars, and the heaviness of his right hand is key to the instant recognizability of Led Zeppelin's sound. 

    Notable Works: Dazed and Confused | Babe I'm Gonna Leave You| Whole Lotta Love | Kashmir | Heartbreaker


    Eddie Van Halen

    Eddie Van Halen was of the most skilled and innovative guitarists ever. Some even say he had the fastest right hand in the business. He was known for his tapping guitar technique and quick arpeggio chords played with two hands on the fret.

    Notable Works: Eruption | Hot for Teacher | Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love






    Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best referred to as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    Notable Works: Eruption | Hot for Teacher | Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love


    Eric Clapton

    Fluent in every blues style, Clapton is probably best known as the King of the Tulsa Sound. He's also among the most melodic of guitarists, using his solos to move a song along instead of stopping it cold.

    Notable Works: Crossroads | White Room | Bell Bottom Blues


    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitar players in the history of music and one of the most prominent figures in the revival of blues in the 1980s.

    Notable Works: Cold Shot | Look at Little Sister | Love Struck Baby



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    David Gilmour

    David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He obtained worldwide stardom through the band Pink Floyd. In 2007, Guitar World readers voted David Gilmour's guitar solos in "Time""Comfortably Numb", "Time" and "Money" among the top 100 greatest guitar solos.

    Notable Works: Shine on You Crazy Diamond | Comfortably Numb


    Angus Young 

    Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter, and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC.

    Notable Works: Bad Boy Boogie | Highway to Hell | T.N.T. | Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


    B.B. King

    B.B. King was one of the most influential blues players that ever lived. He introduced a style of guitar soloing established on fluid string bending, staccato string picking, and shimmering vibrato that influenced a whole new wave of electric guitarists. While playing at a bar in Arkansas, two men caused a fire after fighting over a woman, Lucille. King stupidly ran back into the fire to save his guitar. As a reminder not to fight over women or run into any more burning buildings, King named all of his guitars Lucille.

    Notable Works: The Thrill Is Gone | Sweet Little Angel | 3 O’Clock Blues


    Keith Richards

    The most notable of Chuck Berry's many disciples is also the creator of more memorable riffs than anyone else in Rock' n Roll. Just to name a few, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Start Me Up are legendary songs of The Rolling Stones. Richards says his primary focus is on chords and rhythms, and he abstains from flashy guitar licks, trying not to be the fastest fingers.

    Notable Works: Gimme Shelter | (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction | Jumpin' Jack Flash



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    Chuck Berry

    The father of rock-'n'-roll guitar, his staccato influence is still heard in most songs today.

     Notable Works: Roll Over Beethoven | Johnny B. Goode | Maybellene



    Most people knew Prince for his vocals, but Prince also played a mean lead guitar. His solos on "Purple Rain" and "Let's Go Crazy" are frequently cited examples of his frenetic style. Many other famous artists credit Prince as being one of the greatest ever. 

    Notable Works: When Doves Cry | Purple Rain | Kiss




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