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Greatest Guitarists of All Times

135 items ranked


Rated 104 points - posted 8 years ago by arollison in category Music.
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1.

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Allan Holdsworth Report Abuse
Allan Holdsworth (born 6 August 1946) is an English guitarist and composer. He has released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played many different styles of music over a period of four decades, but first drew attention for his work in jazz fusion. A player noted for his advanced knowledge of the fretboard and innovative playing, he is cited as an influence by such renowned rock and instrumental guitarists as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Shawn Lane, Richie Kotzen and John Petrucci. Frank Zappa once called Holdsworth "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet". (from wikipedia)
754 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

2.

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Jimi Hendrix Report Abuse
Jimi made the art of playing guitar beautiful.
687 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 1 comment
Comments:
It is a complete traveshamockery (travesty-sham-mockery) that Hendrix isn't in the top 5.
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3.

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Eric Johnson Report Abuse
Appeared on the first G3 Tour, and won the won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "Cliffs Of Dover".
679 points - added 6 years ago by Bassmunkey -

4.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan Report Abuse
658 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
at the time of this posting Malmsteen is 6 places ahead of Stevie here and Dave Mustaine, I have not seen him yet. Mustaine once said, and I wholeheartedly agree "David Gilmour can say more in one note than Yngwie Malmsteen can say in a thousand""
Added 6 years ago by guest, 2 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking

5.

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Wes Montgomery Report Abuse
The best jazz guitarist ever. There were 89 names already on this list by the time I added him (including 2 guitarists from the band Sonic Youth). Words can't describe how disappointing that is. Go listen to Wes Montgomery NOW!
595 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

6.

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Pat Metheny Report Abuse
After Wes Montgomery and possibly Alan Holdsworth, Metheny is probably the best jazz guitarist ever. His technique, tone, and interesting lines/phrasing are all exceptional. I'm not a big fan of his World Music type stuff but check out his straight jazz recordings.
574 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

7.

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John McLaughlin Report Abuse
513 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
John McLaughlin is easily a top 10 guitarist. The man was (and is) a monster.
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8.

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George Benson Report Abuse
One of the best jazz, bebop, r&b guitarists ever. He was blazing with his bluesy and interesting lines.
476 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

9.

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Joe Pass Report Abuse
Great jazz guitarist. Brilliant melodicism and unrivaled at solo jazz guitar.
470 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

10.

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Mike Stern Report Abuse
Another great jazz/fusion guitarist. He got his start with Miles Davis. But don't expect a quiet, timid sound. He cranks up the distortion and rips his solos.
466 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

11.

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Al Di Meola Report Abuse
453 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

12.

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Pat Martino Report Abuse
Great jazz guitarist. Super fast and tasteful.
447 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

13.

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Eddie van halen Report Abuse
one awsome guitarist with unbeliveable solo like eruption the most eye catching guitar ever the frankenstrat
441 points - added 7 years ago by knight - 2 comments
Comments:
Eddie, another guitar god.
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Eruption is amazing. Love it
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14.

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John Scofield Report Abuse
Wonderful jazz/fusion guitarist. He has a quirky sound and approach but once you acquire a taste for it, you can clearly see his brilliance.
435 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

15.

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Django Reinhardt Report Abuse
(Quintette du Hot Club de France) Wrote many songs now seen as Jazz Standards, possibly the most influential musician on any list.
431 points - added 6 years ago by Bassmunkey -

16.

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Jeff Beck Report Abuse
427 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Jeff Beck's style is so stunning. No one sounds like him.
Added 1 year ago by larryco_, 2 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking

17.

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Andres Segovia Report Abuse
Arguably the greatest classical guitarist ever, a style that is woefully underrepresented on this list so far.
425 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

18.

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Scott Henderson Report Abuse
Great jazz/fusion guitarist. Almost as good as Alan Holdsworth but not quite. And that's not meant as a dig. I would love for someone to say that about me!
421 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

19.

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Lenny Breau Report Abuse
Brilliant guitarist whose style crossed many boundaries (jazz, country, classical, flamenco).
420 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

20.

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Frank Gambale Report Abuse
This Aussie is one of the best jazz/fusion guitarists ever. He's best know for his work with the Chick Corea Elektric Band. He improvises sweep arpeggios like nobody else on this planet.
412 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

21.

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Guthrie Govan Report Abuse
Easily one of the top few guitarists to emerge in the last 20 years. Guthrie can play anything ... I mean ANYTHING!
400 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

22.

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Steve Vai Report Abuse
his giutar is so epic he doesnt even need vocals... nuff said
397 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

23.

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Shawn Lane Report Abuse
Rock/jazz fusion guitarist. His technique was other-worldly.
379 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

24.

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Alex Skolnick Report Abuse
Originally a thrash metal lead guitarist for the band Testament. He infused many of his solos with ideas he got from studying jazz. He left Testament for a while to pursue pure jazz music. He's back with Testament now but still plays with his jazz trio part-time. His technique, originality, tone, phrasing, and (most of all) versatility are all top-notch.
377 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

25.

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Marty Friedman Report Abuse
Along with Alex Skolnick, Friedman is one of the best metal lead guitarists ever. He infused his solos with an Eastern quality. His style is truly original.
375 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

26.

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Chet Atkins Report Abuse
360 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Chester Burton Atkins (June 20, 1924), better known as Chet Atkins, was an American guitarist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well. Atkins received 14 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, nine Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year awards, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
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27.

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Steve Lukather (TOTO) Report Abuse
Steve "Luke" Lukather (born October 21, 1957, San Fernando Valley, California) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, and record producer best known for his work with the rock band TOTO. Lukather has played with many artists, released several solo albums, and worked as a composer, arranger, and session guitarist on more than 1,500 albums.
357 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

28.

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Larry Carlton Report Abuse
Larry Carlton (born March 2, 1948, Torrance, California) is an American jazz, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, pop, and rock guitarist and singer. He has divided his recording time between solo recordings and session appearances with various well-known bands. Over his career, Carlton has won four Grammy Awards for his performances and compositions, including performing on the theme song for the hit television series, Hill Street Blues (1981).
356 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

29.

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Jimmy Page Report Abuse
355 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 2 comments
Comments:
i can tell this list was made by someone who either doesnt play or just jams. page was an inspired, brilliant, influential guitarist. maybe a genius. but in terms of skill, all creativity aside, he doesnt desreve to be anywhere near this spot.
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greatest ever
Added 6 years ago by guest, 7 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking

30.

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David Gilmour Report Abuse
353 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Only 19?? Ever heard "Comfortably Numb"???
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31.

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Julian Bream Report Abuse
A wonderful classical guitarist.
350 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

32.

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Chuck Berry Report Abuse
Known for putting the "twang" in music with his guitar. He was the father of that revolution.
348 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

33.

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joe satriani Report Abuse
EPIC, huge influence on so many great guitarists
344 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

34.

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Lee Ritenour Report Abuse
smooth one
343 points - added 6 years ago by dodysaurus -

35.

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Yngwie malmsteen Report Abuse
Yngwie malmsteen is one of the fastest guitarists ever putting classical with heavy metal it's just outstaning he is ten times better than slash or hendrix
326 points - added 7 years ago by knight - 1 comment
Comments:
Dude, being fast is not a great thing... there are a tonne of amature guitarists who can play very fast( just check on youtube) but what matters is how does it sound..... mate, you know what they say, "if it sounds good play it else play it fast" Yngwie malmsteen is a nice guitarist but you cant compare him with any one, every one has a different style..
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36.

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Glen Campbell Report Abuse
Glen Travis Campbell (born April 22, 1936) is an American country music singer, guitarist, television host and occasional actor. He is best known for a series of hits in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as for hosting a variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television. Campbell has released more than 70 albums. He has sold 45 million records and racked up 12 RIAA Gold albums, 4 Platinum albums and 1 Double-Platinum album. Of his 74 trips up the country charts, 27 landed in the Top 10. Campbell's hits include John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind", Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston", Larry Weiss's "Rhinestone Cowboy" and Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights". (from wikipedia)
309 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

37.

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Tommy Emmanuel Report Abuse
William Thomas "Tommy" Emmanuel AM (born 31 May 1955) is an Australian guitarist, best known for his complex fingerpicking style, energetic performances and the use of percussive effects on the guitar. In the May 2008 and 2010 issues of Guitar Player Magazine, he was named as "Best Acoustic Guitarist" in their readers' poll. In June 2010 Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
305 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

38.

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Eric Clapton Report Abuse
Wow, what an amazing player. He created many of his own songs which meant he would have probably also created the music. He had such a way with making you come into tune with his playing of the guitar.
301 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

39.

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Les Paul Report Abuse
287 points - added 6 years ago by Bassmunkey -

40.

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John Williams Report Abuse
Classical guitarist extraordinaire
266 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

41.

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Tony Iommi Report Abuse
Guitarist of Black Sabbath
243 points - added 5 years ago by Samuil Svinin -

42.

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Gary Moore Report Abuse
240 points - added 5 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Robert William Gary Moore (4 April 1952), better known simply as Gary Moore, was an Irish musician from Belfast, best recognised as a blues rock guitarist and singer.
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43.

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Brian Setzer (The Stray Cats) Report Abuse
Brian Setzer (born April 10, 1959) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He first found widespread success in the early 1980s with the 1950s-style rockabilly revival group The Stray Cats, and revitalized his career in the late 1990s with a jazz-oriented big band.
237 points - added 5 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
I can only assume his entire big band orchestra voted on here multiple times. There's no other explanation for Setzer being ranked #12 ahead of Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Al De Meola, and Steve Vai.
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44.

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Steve Morse Report Abuse
225 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

45.

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Jim Hall Report Abuse
Great jazz guitarist.
222 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

46.

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Paul Gilbert Report Abuse
Metal guitarist known for work with Racer X, Mr. Big, and his many solo albums. He's also known for his instructional videos and for being a member of the faculty at the Guitar Institute for Technology. Gilbert has spectacular technique, particularly his alternate picking.
216 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

47.

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Randy Rhoads Report Abuse
211 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
An absolute legend, another tragically taken before his time, could easily have bridged the gap into any genre he tried. Long live the memory of Randy and the Mr. Crowley solo.
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48.

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Richie Kotzen Report Abuse
205 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

49.

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Wayne Krantz Report Abuse
204 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

50.

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Albert Lee Report Abuse
201 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

51.

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Andy Timmons Report Abuse
190 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

52.

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John Petrucci Report Abuse
190 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

53.

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Jason Becker Report Abuse
Phenomenal metal guitarist whose playing career was cut short by Lou Gehrig's Disease. In 1996, Becker eventually lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. Despite his disability, he continues composing by using a computer and has since released Collection, a "best of" album of his favorite songs and three new songs. Jason Becker is one of the most inspirational people you'll ever learn about.
188 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

54.

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Charlie Christrian Report Abuse
Great early jazz/blues guitarist
173 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

55.

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Kurt Rosenwinkle Report Abuse
172 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

56.

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George Van Epps Report Abuse
Jazz
160 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

57.

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Mick Goodrick Report Abuse
160 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

58.

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Kenny Burrell Report Abuse
Jazz
159 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

59.

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Tal Farlow Report Abuse
Jazz guitarist
159 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

60.

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Robben Ford Report Abuse
154 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

61.

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Nuno Bettencourt Report Abuse
Impressive guitarist for the band Extreme.
154 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

62.

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Mark Knopfler Report Abuse
146 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

63.

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Brian May Report Abuse
142 points - added 7 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
the original BROWN SOUND
Added 6 years ago by guest, 0 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking
brian may was the first gutarist to opened me up to the guitar and he is the best ever
Added 7 years ago by knight, 0 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking

64.

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Brett Garsed Report Abuse
Rock/jazz fusion guitarist, Musicians Institute guitar instructor, and legato and hybrid picking master.
141 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

65.

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Chris Broderick Report Abuse
Lead guitarist for Megadeth (2008-present).
135 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

66.

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Grant Green Report Abuse
Great jazz/bop guitarist from the 60s.
131 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

67.

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Kevin Eubanks Report Abuse
Best known for being the Tonight Show band leader. But Eubanks is an amazing jazz acoustic guitarist.
127 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

68.

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B.B. King Report Abuse
B.B. King, the ambassador of blues, knew how to work the guitar on stage.
126 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

69.

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Billy Gibbons Report Abuse
Hendrix once said he is one of the best young guitarists in America - Hendrix can't be wrong.
122 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

70.

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Duane Allman Report Abuse
119 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 1 comment
Comments:
Should be top 5.
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71.

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George Harrison Report Abuse
105 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

72.

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Keith Richards Report Abuse
99 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 1 comment
Comments:
Come on, Keith Richards in the top 30? He belongs outside the top 100. There are so many great guitarist from all styles (rock, blues, jazz, classical, funk) who belong ahead of him.
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73.

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Steve Howe Report Abuse
98 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

74.

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Allen Colins Report Abuse
LYNYRD SKYNYRD
92 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

75.

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Joe Perry (Aerosmith) Report Abuse
he has amazing song writing ability and solos that cant be matched by any other guitarists
88 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

76.

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Prince Report Abuse
Can play 37 instruments- By ear!!!!
88 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

77.

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Angus Young Report Abuse
The best!!!
87 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

78.

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Carlos Santana Report Abuse
80 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 2 comments
Comments:
Amazing guitarist. Listen to Europa
Added 1 year ago by larryco_, 0 points Vote + to improve this comment's ranking Vote - to decrease this comment's ranking
Nervous vibrato, mediocre technique, and uninspiring note choices. Banish him to outside the top 100, please.
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79.

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ted nugent Report Abuse
one of the best of all time
79 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

80.

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Alex Lifeson Report Abuse
RUSH
70 points - added 4 months ago by redbarron80 -

81.

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Robin Trower Report Abuse
Listen to "Bridge of sighs" album
70 points - added 4 months ago by redbarron80 -

82.

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Ritchie Blackmore Report Abuse
69 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

83.

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Dimebag Darrell Report Abuse
58 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

84.

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Pete Townshend Report Abuse
57 points - added 5 years ago by guest -

85.

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Frank Zappa Report Abuse
56 points - added 6 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
played any kind of music any of these other guitarists on this page could play.
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86.

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John Frusciante Report Abuse
(Red Hot Chili Peppers)
47 points - added 6 years ago by Bassmunkey - 1 comment
Comments:
when it comes to technicality, many people would not view frusciante as the most proficient. however, when you think of someone who puts their entire being into their guitar playing, john frusciante should come to mind. his style is similar to jimi's but i'd even go as far as saying that frusciante had more emotion in his playing than hendrix. he's an innovator who's mind is always onto something new. people who know his name mostly just think of his work with the chili peppers but he has plenty of solo work and he's on albums with other bands as well. in my opinion, he belongs in the top 20 but i think on a more realistic platform, he should definitely be in the top 50.
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87.

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Dick Dale Report Abuse
46 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

88.

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Neil Young Report Abuse
45 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

89.

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Paco de Lucia Report Abuse
43 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

90.

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slash Report Abuse
42 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

91.

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Martin Barre Report Abuse
38 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

92.

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Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) Report Abuse
36 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

93.

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Randy California Report Abuse
34 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

94.

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Adrian Belew Report Abuse
33 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

95.

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Kirk Hammett Report Abuse
30 points - added 8 years ago by arollison - 1 comment
Comments:
should be #1 people cmon? have you ever listened to fade to black???
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96.

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Robert Fripp Report Abuse
28 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

97.

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Jerry Garcia Report Abuse
28 points - added 8 years ago by arollison -

98.

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Dave Mustaine Report Abuse
Very precise rythm and gret soloing all while singing at the same time. A metal legend.
27 points - added 6 years ago by guest -

99.

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Larry Coryell Report Abuse
rock/jazz/eastern music fusion
26 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

100.

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Bo Diddley Report Abuse
25 points - added 6 years ago by Bassmunkey -
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