Ten Greatest Rock Guitarists Ever

Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat
Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat

Man, these cats can blaze on that fingerboard!


All of these guys have paid their dues, if you will, and had careers lasting at least 10 years (except for one). Their lists of accolades are long as well, and you can find them on various “best lists.” You may not agree with my choices, of course, but the virtuosity of each is beyond question to most rock ‘n’ roll purists, I dare say. And if you don’t like this list, or don’t think its contemporary enough, fine, then produce your own and we’ll compare notes. Cool? So please check out the Ten Greatest Rock Guitarists Ever:

10. Chuck Berry practically invented rock ‘n’ roll lead guitar and, in the process, influenced countless guitarists in the 1950s, ‘60s and beyond. In fact, he may be the most influential rock guitarist of all time. He played his most famous riffs on the immortal tune, “Johnny B. Goode,” of which well over a hundred recorded versions exist. Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards may have learned more from Chuck Berry than any other artist. Yes, Berry could “play his guitar like ringin’ a bell.” Furthermore, if the so-called King of Rock ‘n’ Roll came from the 1950s, then it would surely be either Elvis Presley, Little Richard or Chuck Berry. Which illustrious cat would you pick?

9. Eddie Van Halen, trained as a classical pianist in his native Holland, developed a wild, finger tapping, whammy bar-accentuated guitar style that became the rage of the hard rock genre in the late 1970s; and throughout the 1980s and ‘90s he continued to astonish fans and fellow guitar players with his scatterbrained wizardry on the fretboard. Eddie’s solo work on the tune “Eruption” is considered a heavy metal classic. Perhaps one of the fastest rock guitarists ever, Eddie also has a keen melodic sense that all great guitarists seem to possess.

8. Joe Bonamassa is a true prodigy. He started playing guitar at five and, by the age of 13, could play blues guitar like a virtuoso. Perhaps this is understandable since Joe is a fourth-generation musician, so his familial influence goes way back. Anyway, Joe cut his teeth while plucking Hendrix’s devilish blues licks, and by 12 he opened for the legendary B.B. King, who called his talent “one of a kind.” But Joe says his greatest guitar influence comes from the British blues hybridization of the 1960s, as exemplified by the work of artists such as Jeff Beck, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Peter Green and Jimmy Page. Joe says, “You know, my heroes were the English guys.” Since 2000 Joe has churned out a hit album just about every year and, these days, few people, if any, can play the guitar better.

7. Eric Clapton has played with just about everybody, and in every place, except Woodstock, somehow (but don’t forget Live Aid). Starting as a blues guitarist, as many rock guitarists have, Clapton was so ass-kickingly good by the time he was 22 that some rockers began referring to him as “god.” In 1966, Clapton formed the quintessential power trio, Cream, and then moved heavily into acid rock. Perhaps his best rock tunes over the years are “I’m so Glad,” “I Feel Free,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Layla” and “Cocaine.” Like Stephen Stills, Clapton can blast away or play poignantly slow, such as in the self-penned song, “Tears in Heaven.”

6. Stevie Ray Vaughan was an Albert King-inspired blues guitarist who also played rock, having a particular fondness for Hendrix numbers, recording versions of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” “Little Wing,” and “Third Stone from the Sun.” Other than the masterful use of the wah-wah pedal, Vaughan was another guitar slinger who didn’t use lots of effects. He simply attacked his ’59 Fender Strat – or overwhelmed it could be a better way of describing it - astonishing everyone within earshot. Perhaps his best albums were two concert cuts: Live at Carnegie Hall and Live Alive, which features, among others, a rousing version of “Say What!”

Joe Satriani (at left)
Joe Satriani (at left)

5. Joe Satriani, like Steve Vai and Jeff Beck, has been a solo act for most of his career. Able to read and write music, and working as a renowned teacher of guitar since the 1970s, Satriani doesn’t seem to need much help working as an instrumental guitarist in the hard rock or progressive rock categories. Moreover, Satriani is another one of those guys who’s played with just about everybody, particularly when involved with his G3 Jam Concerts. In concert, Satriani shows technical virtuosity and dash, and if there’s a faster lead guitarist around, who in the heck would that be? Satriani’s first hit album was Surfing with the Alien, released in 1987, and perhaps his greatest album to date is The Extremist, released in 1992.

Jimmy Page (stage right)
Jimmy Page (stage right)

4. Jimmy Page, along with Clapton and Beck, emerged from the Yardbirds - the “yardstick” of rock, if you will, in the middle 1960s, and then formed Led Zeppelin, considered one of the top hard rock bands in history. The Zep, an enduring bunch, kept the same personnel for 12 years and influenced multitudes of rock guitar enthusiasts. Page played lead, of course, showing his artistry for blues, rock, classical and Celtic folk. Perhaps his best riffs were on “You Shook Me,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Black Dog,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.” After the Zep’s demise, Page pretty much went on hiatus, though he plays as a sideman from time to time, essentially resting on his laurels, it appears.

3. Jimi Hendrix died way too young to be higher on this list, but his guitar swagger and electrifying technique are without equal. Borne from the R&B bands of the early 1960s, Hendrix formed his power trio in 1966 and then took the rock world by storm, and within a year or two was considered just about the best around. (Hear the feedback, stuttering wang bar and outrageous distortion?) But he didn’t go around and tell everybody how great he was! Hendrix’s most creative work can be found on the double-album set, Electric Ladyland, released in 1968, and perhaps the greatest rock album of the 1960s, though that would be very hard to prove.

2. Jeff Beck made his own guitar from scratch as a kid, and he’s been amazing people with what he plucks from guitars ever since, using few if any special effects as well. One of three amazing axemen to play in the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck formed the Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s, producing such classic albums as Truth, Beck-Ola and Rough and Ready. Then he developed his own jazz-fusion style in the middle 1970s, creating the incomparable album, Blow by Blow, including the dreamy, ethereal masterpiece, “Diamond Dust,”and then a notable follow-up disk, Wired, with Jan Hammer on keyboards. Since those days Beck has been a lone wolf, working as a soloist, sideman or studio musician. Beck continued the artistry in 1989 with Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop, including the frenetic and incendiary number, “Big Block,” and many other albums in the 1990s and beyond.

1. Steve Vai is as good as he is because he took lessons from Joe Satriani. He’s also surpassingly good because he has the balls to play a “triple-neck” guitar! Schooled in the avant-garde irreverence of Frank Zappa’s Mothers, with whom he played in the early 1980s and also transposed some of Zappa’s music, Vai impressed at an early age, with Zappa referring to him as his “little Italian virtuoso.” Vai played with various artists and bands throughout the 1980s, including David Lee Roth, Alcatrazz, Ozzie Ozbourne and Whitesnake, until going solo in 1989. His second solo album was the critically acclaimed Passion and Warfare, which includes one of his best guitar solos on the tune, “For the Love of God.” In 1996, Vai produced Fire Garden, an album including 18 cuts (wow!), and perhaps the best one was “Dyin’ Day.” In 2002, Vai played with a 100-piece orchestra in Tokyo. He’s also played on numerous sound tracks, video games and acted in several movies. In short, in the world of contemporary rock guitar, Vai has been there, done that.

Well, that’s it. Many other artists could be on this list. How about the mind-boggling Al DiMeola? Unfortunately, I don’t quite know how to classify his music. Could it be called a classical-rock hybrid? Put him on your list if you like, all right?

Please click on the link below to listen to the Ten Greatest Rock Guitarists Ever:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7052FB5ADAA99FD3

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Comments 67 comments

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 3 months ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, Boomer Music Man! Yes, Clapton and Berry are two of the all-time great rock guitarists, no doubt. Later!


Boomer Music Man profile image

Boomer Music Man 3 months ago

Chuck Berry is one of the best and so are the others. Eric Clapton is also a legend.


Andrea Troiano 17 months ago

*******. TOMMY BOLIN ******


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 20 months ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, guitarpedals. I've heard of Reinhardt but I doubt he's top ten material. At any rate, it's very hard to pick the ten best. Later!


guitarpedals profile image

guitarpedals 20 months ago from Washington, DC

What about Django Reinhardt? A totally different style (gypsy jazz), but damn that guy could play! And his fretting hand was all messed up from getting burned in a fire!


Sense2k 4 years ago

To me, a lot of guitarist have total mastery of the instrument but few can play music that really influences and affects the listener on a deeper level than just "wow, he plays fast" etc.

Case in point, the late Gary Moore. I know no one that can make you feel like he rips every note from the bottom of his soul.

too bad he's gone


Didierrrr 4 years ago

Gotta say I think The Satch should be #1. Make Vai a number 5 instead. I believe that would be fair.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Hey, Dave, this list is only for rock guitarists - no players of classical, jazz or country. Kewl? Later!


Dave 4 years ago

Lists are fun, I suppose....but there is no such thing as 'the best'. Too subjective, but also, what about guys such as David Russell, John Williams, Christopher Parkening, Berta Rojas....fantastic classical guitarists who, let's be honest people, have a command of their instrument that the people in your list could only dream of.


randy 4 years ago

JIMMY PAGE IS THE BEST.PERIOD!!! stephen stills?????

Vai? Come on man! Get Real!


TDubs profile image

TDubs 4 years ago

Nice to see Stephen Stills on this list. He never seems to get the credit he deserves. A great all-around player, from acoustic to blues to rock. Nice job!


arizonataylor profile image

arizonataylor 4 years ago from Arizona

Well, I've seen Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steven Stills, Joe Satriani, Niel Young, and even Chuck Berry. Steve Howe even played some Townshend on the night I saw him. NONE of them compare to Townshend, NONE. All were great, but none could compete in rhythm.

In the 911 concert, nobody played more than two songs, except the Who. There's a reason. They stole the show. Townshend is the man.

I play a little guitar and can play a bits and pieces from each of these people, bits and pieces. Townshend's playing is different. The timing, rhythm, and style are unique. For this and so many other reasons, I believe he is at least the best rhythm guitarist.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 4 years ago from California Author

Hey, Arizonataylor, Pete Townshend is definitely one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. (Yes, I remember the great, "Live at Leeds.") I suppose he could be on this list rather than Stephen Stills - talk about a guy who can play rhythm! - but I guess it becomes a battle of favorites at some point. Later!


arizonataylor profile image

arizonataylor 4 years ago from Arizona

Pete Townshend. If you see him live, you know why. Nobody can play rhythm guitar like he does, nobody. He's seldom mentioned, and that's truly unfair to him.

Look at who largely used distortion for the first time, intentionally. Look at power chords. Who largely invented them? Watch Live at Leeds sometime. It's considered the best live album for a reason.

Pete Townshend may not be the best lead guitarist, but he is certainly among the best. He is, however, the best rhythm guitarist. Studio albums do not do him justice. You have to see him live. If you do, you'll probably agree with me.


theotherguy 4 years ago

Haha,,,really, vai as no 1?? haha...wait, seriously?


ssss 5 years ago

VAi in number 1 , it's a joke !


mario cuellar 5 years ago

You definitely need a bigger list Mike Bloomfield Duane Allman Steve Cropper do i need to go on?any of us that grew up in the sixties knows that


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 5 years ago from California Author

Hey, terretwo, it takes years to become great. As for some of the under forty crowd, check out my hub entitled "Ten Great Young Rock Guitarists," a link to which can be found above. Later!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America

You should do one with newer guitarists from the 90s & 2000s, think along the lines of John Frusciante, Jack White, Adam Jones, etc.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 5 years ago from California Author

Yes, lots of rockers like Pete Townshend, who could certainly appear on many such lists. Later!


arizonataylor profile image

arizonataylor 5 years ago from Arizona

This is a great list, but I think Pete Townshend should be on the list too.


james lad 5 years ago

no slash or angus young


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 5 years ago from California Author

Yeah, Steve Vai is tough to beat, ya know? Later!


Alternative Prime profile image

Alternative Prime 5 years ago from > California

Extraordinary list of extremely talented "Guitar Maestros".....

All are Virtuosos in their own unique way however I think if one "Blazing Fretboard Animal had to be singled out for the universally held crown my vote would have been cast for Mr. Steve Vai as well.

Great List


murray 5 years ago

Murray's top ten list of rock guitarists based on technical skill, artistry and "edge":

1) Ritchie Blackmore

2) Jimmy Page

3) Jeff Beck

4) Steve Morse

5) Vivian Campbell

6) Mick Box

7) Rudolf Schenker

8) Rory Gallagher

9) Tony Iommi

10) Glenn Tipton / K.K. Downing (tie)


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Murray, thanks for turning me onto Koichi Hayakawa. Man, that cat is scary fast, and he also seems to have a melodic and artistic sense. On YouTube, they show Hayakawa vs. guitarists such as Satriani and Van Halen. So who's better? Satriani and Van Halen have the legend, but we'll have to wait and see how Hayakawa turns out. At any rate, he certainly seems spectacular. Of course, there are many very good guitarists shown on YouTube, many of whom are known only to locals. Thanks for the helpful comment. Later!


Murray 6 years ago

Hey Cosmo, I would be interested to get your take on Koichi Hayakawa - and where he fits into the whole "best rock guitarist" debate. I really don't know much about him - but having come across him the other day while looking at "best guitarists" debates on the internet, the guy clearly has mad skill. I am conflicted though as to how he (or a myriad of other such little known - but incredibly skilled - axe-men) truly stack up against such iconic guitar greats as Page, Hendrix, Blackmore, Beck, Van Halen, etc. - all of whom are far more famous than Hayakawa. Check out the array of "Hayakawa versus (insert name of guitar great here)" downloads on the internet. The guy sounds scary good. ...That said, not sure where (if indeed at all) he fits into the whole "best guitarist" debate.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Well written comment, Murray, much of what makes a guitarist great is artistic in interpretation. The great ones had soul too. Malmsteen is a virtuoso, but he has no soul, man, ya know? Anyway, back in the 1970s just about every hard rocker liked Blackmore, and I'm sure he is the favorite of many as well. Later!


Murray 6 years ago

Hi Kosmo, disagree as I may with you, I fully respect your opinion that there are guitarists on this list who are as good or better than Blackmore. The beauty of the whole "best guitarist" debate is that it allows for a wide divergence of reasonable and credible opinion. This is of course because guitar playing is as much an art form as it is a technical skill - and as the old adage goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Cheers from London, Ontario, Canada - rock on!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, Murray. "Child in Time" is definitely one of Deep Purple's greatest hits, and Blackmore's solo certainly kicks ass, but I think every guitarist on this list plays just as well or better. Blackmore's replacement, Tommy Bolin, could blaze away with the best of them too. Later!


Murray 6 years ago

Check out Ritchie Blackmore's solo on "Child in Time" on Deep Purple's "Nobody's Perfect" live album. I would be interested in comments from all. ...To me, it is the best hard rock guitar solo ever. It also shows just why Blackmore is (by a freakin' long shot) the best hard rock guitarits ever - musically and technically (and for those who care about such things, "speed-wise"). I mean, come on people, open your eyes - and your ears!


jabberwock 6 years ago

IMHO Steve Vai shouldn't even be on the list, not to mention #1. Yes he is a good player but the "greatest" guitar players must play music people want to hear. Steve Vai is a guitarist's guitarist. He is loved by fans of technical skill but he really hasn't written anything that's captured the public imagination. Compare him to guys like EVH or Jimmy page who are listen to daily on radio stations everywhere and he falls way short of the mark.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the links, Terminus! Roy Buchanan is certainly a masterful guitarist. I particularly enjoyed him playing Hendrix tunes. For more blasts from the past, check out my hubs: "Ten Forgotten Rock Guitarists" and "Ten Classic Rock Guitarists." Later!


Terminus profile image

Terminus 6 years ago

Here's a few links of memorable Roy Buchanan tunage. I think he is the best Telecaster player ever and Les Paul/ Jeff Beck would wholeheartedly agree. His story is tragic... Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMcjPZgK9GM&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On5372UztI0&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOptDDU3rOo&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc6ePrq-7Ts&feature...


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Here's another tome provided by TERMINUS!!! Thanks for the benefit of your rock acumen, sir. I think our lists coincide greatly. Every one of those guys paid their dues, if you will, and had a tremendous influence on the history of rock and roll. Roy Buchanan, eh? I'll have to go to YouTube and check him out. Later!


Terminus profile image

Terminus 6 years ago

They are listed in no particular order. Again, it's really tough to list just 10.

1.Steve Howe - This man is just amazing. If you have any questions, just listen to 'Awaken'.

2.Jimi Hendrix - The God of all guitarists.

3.Jimmy Page - Innovative and experiemental to his own detriment.

4.Jeff Beck - Talented beyond description.

5.Eric Clapton - Good 'ol 'Slowhand' - One word: Spectacular.

6.Eddie Van Halen - Incredible technical prowess, not so great musically. In fact Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen or Joe Satraini are far more talented. That said, EVH has influenced many more guitarists than the more talented afermentioned.

7.Stevie Ray Vaughan - A man born to do it and a tragic death to equal Hendrix's.

8.David Gilmour - His ability to re-create studio work live and improve upon original concepts solidly lands him on my list.

9.Chuck Berry - To omit the Father of Rock N Roll would be sacrilege.

10.Duane Allman - The most gifted natural guitarist ever. Sometimes, Steve Morse reminds me of him.

Very painful for me to omit so many that rightfully belong on this list. Especially Stephen Stills who is just as talented as any guitarist in the list.

I will say this: Had he lived and got together with some of the other guys, there is no question that Randy Rhoads would have made this list. The recordings do not even begin to give justice to his ability to play and innovate live onstage. He would blow EVH, Slash, or Young right off the stage. I will also state that many, many guitarists owe a debt to Robert Fripp. I love Santana but sometimes he drank or smoked too much pot to be anything but sloppy on stage. Honorable mention: Jeff Healy because his blues/rock knowledge rivals SRV's and his live shows are louder than Molly Hatchet's or Motorhead's which suck in comparison. One more name... He is always forgotten... Roy Buchanan


michael k 6 years ago

rory gallagher belongs in the top #10.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

I remember reading about Page supposedly stealing a song from somebody. It was "Dazed and Confused"? Well, stuff happens. If you're gonna steal, make sure it's good!!! Later, dude!


WeLoveMusic profile image

WeLoveMusic 6 years ago

Well, I actually meant stealing, not cover songs, the latest being less than a week old. Led Zeppelin was sued for Dazed and Confused, it turns out that Page stole the song from a singer named Holmes while he was with The Yardbirds. The fact is that it wasn't the only one Zeppelin got sued for and lost, well they still haven't lost, but I heard the original song on YouTube, it's the same song. They didn't even bother to change the name :)

Anyway, great point you made with the last comment. Lists are supposed to be fun, I somehow managed to suck the fun out of it for a moment! And I agree, there aren't many people who can give a valuable opinion which will count for all of us! Keep the hubs interesting and motivating as this one, and I'll keep coming back for more :)


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Of course Page did some cover songs. Doesn't everybody? As for the experts, they can be just as subjective as anybody else, though I would certainly value the opinion of somebody who has seen just about everybody play it live, which is where the true artists really shine. But how many people have seen all those talents, including the "old bands" from the 60s and 70s? Anyway, lists are just supposed to be fun, as well as a way to stimulate lively debate, as this article certainly has. Later!


WeLoveMusic profile image

WeLoveMusic 6 years ago

Well, the fact is I would never dare to do such a thing as a top ten list, so it's childish to dare me. I don't presume I would write anything but my taste. So, when I think about it, I'm not qualified to write such a thing, neither are you, nor anyone else. That is why we have experts, that dedicate their lives to following bands and music happenings. Leave that to them.

I'm not going to comment the put down, as it wasn't intended as one. The fact is that, although inventive, the skills that he showed compared to other named guitar players is not even close. I just said that putting him before them is ridiculous, I didn't say he doesn't deserve to be in top ten. Plus, I never heard of them stealing a song and putting it as their own, which he did on several occasions!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Regarding your put-down of Jimmy Page, he played better rock than SRV and, Satriani, though very fast and inventive, can't match Page's melodic sense. Incidentally, I've played the guitar for a long time as well, though I don't consider myself to be very good. Back in the 90s I was better, but that was a long time ago. Thanks for the comment. Let's see your top ten list. I warn you, it won't be easy to produce. Later!


WeLoveMusic profile image

WeLoveMusic 6 years ago

What about Yngwie Malmsteen and Zack Wylde? Also not my type of a list, I can only agree with half, and I play the guitar for almost 20 years. Some of them were popular for other things, not their guitar skills!

I love Led Zeppelin but putting Jimmy Page in front of Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughan is ridiculous!


Doire60 profile image

Doire60 6 years ago from Cleator Moor

Hi Kosmo great list and certainly could buy into most. Of course it's all subjective, but no-one will deny the right of any of those guys to be on a top ?? list. I'm intrigued by the Phil Keaggy comment, it's one of those urban mythes, isn't it. Apparently someone asked Jimi Hendrix the same question and he replied don't know ask Rory Gallagher. Look forward to your forgotten guitarists list!!


Paul_Steads 6 years ago

I enjoyed reading this. I think you've chosen a good ten. I'm glad Edward van Halen is there. It's a shame you couldn't have exchanged one of them with Randy Rhoads.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

LOL...I have been asked that question quite a few times...He's been around since dirt...unknown dirt but dirt.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Thanks for the comment, Tom Cornett. Who in the hell is Phil Keaggy?!... There always seem to be some asskicking guitarist that nobody knows about. I've seen some of those guys on YouTube, I'll bet. Ha! I really have. Later!


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

Good list...I would have chosen most of these too. A reporter once asked Eric Clapton,"How does it feel to be the greatest guitar player in the world?" Eric replied,"I don't know...you should be asking Phil Keaggy."


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, the kids tend to forget Chuck Berry and all he's done for rock 'n' roll; in fact, he could be called the King of Rock and Roll. Thanks for the insightful comment. Later!


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Kosmo thanks for remembering Chuck Berry. People seem to forget that when it came to the rock guitar Chuck Berry was first ! None of the other artist are on this list without Chuck Berry ! Good job.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California Author

Yeah, I kinda like top twenties too. Maybe I should expand the list. At any rate, I have other lists for the best rock guitarists. Check 'em out. Later!


mkott profile image

mkott 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

It is hard to settle on 10. For metal buffs I would put Dimebag, and would throw in Keith Richards, the Edge, Slash, Zakk Wylde and a few others. Maybe you should have done the top 20 :) It is hard to please everyone.


KT 6 years ago

lolz... its rubbish.

Where are Slash & Yngywe?

Your list will never be completed with this 2 guys.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan

I'm surprised that Slash from Guns and Roses wasn't on this list. Also CC Devile from Poison. I think he's better than Van Halen. But, I did see a show where all of these guys when in the top ten at one point. Eric Clapton always seems to be at the top of the list.

The show I saw had Clapton at number 1, Van halen second, CC Deville at number 3, followed by Hendrix, and a few others. Couldn't tell you who the rest were. It has been a while since I saw that program.


Murray 6 years ago

I think Ritchie Blackmore should be on this list. Check out his solo on Child in Time on the Made in Japan live album - 'nuff said.

Cheers,

Murray (London, Ontario, Canada)


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California Author

I certainly like Gallagher and Trower, but they're not Top Ten guys. However, Gallagher is on my list of Ten Forgotten Rock Guitarists. Check it out. Later!


Krystal Paige profile image

Krystal Paige 7 years ago from Midwest, America

Rory Gallagher and Robin Trower are better than all of those guitaristS! :) Well except Jimmy and Jimi!


Cher Anne profile image

Cher Anne 7 years ago from Earth

Carlos Santana


nate 7 years ago

are you kidding me eddie van hallen is deff number two behind jimmy hendrix


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California Author

Keep in mind, this list is only for rock guitarists. If it weren't, there are some jazz guitarists I'd put here! Ever heard of George Benson and Joe Pass? Later!


Jim 7 years ago

Great List and couldn't have wrote it better myself! The only change I would make is adding Al Dimeola to the list and that's because I dont care what style of music you like, if your a guitarist, you can appreciate Al. Theres also a few others I would add such as Chet Atkins, even perhaps Roy Clark as they are masters of the chicken picken. There are so many other guitarists that deserve to be here and I like most of them with equall enthusiasim, but as you said you cant list everyone. I love Steve Vai and he is a mind blowing guitarist, but in the 30 years I have been playing and listening to guitar, I have never heard anyone as gifted and musicaly intelligent as that of Joe Satriani, for that I would have switched places with Vai! I quite often hear that Joe plays music without much soul or feeling and for that I have to laugh. His music brings tears to my eyes!


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California Author

What can I say? Everybody can't be on this list!


vinny 7 years ago

ok lets see here..ur right with evh, stevie ray vaughn and vai..but wheres slash, randy rhoads, zakk wylde, and angus..one of thems at least gotta be up there


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California Author

Frank Zappa was very good. He certainly had his own quirky, frenetic style. But he's not Top Ten material, as far as I'm concerned.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

One of my personal favorites is David Gilmour but I do not expect him to make any "best" lists because tasty playing is not going to attract the attention of flash and speed. Neal Schon ain't bad either. I am surprised, though, at the omission of Frank Zappa.


marmmoo 7 years ago from MEQUON, WI.

Right on, The guitarists you mentioned, completely kick major butt, the problem is there are so many, and from different types and styles of music, it's hard to pick just 10, for me at least. Rock On!


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

You pretty much got em all covered ! And you obviously know your guitar . Because I do not think alot of people know who Al Dimeola Is . Really good guitarist .

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