Who is the craziest guitarist ever

Best guitarists in the world

Last edited on May 7th, 2021 at 4:13 pm by Robert Junker

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Which guitarist is the best guitarist ever?

There are many best guitarists out there, as every music lover has his own subjective favorite. But when a few amateur musicians sit down and vote on who belongs to the most influential and talented guitarists of all time, the result is a list like ours. We have deliberately avoided a ranking of “best guitarists from 1 to 100” - as the Rolling Stone magazine does.

Our subjectively made selection including the bands, the genre and the guitar models with which the best guitarists have become world famous can be found in alphabetical order.

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Best guitarists
any times
*/†BandsSpecial talentgenreGood to hear inPlayed up
Allman, Duane1946-1971 Allman Brothers BandDuane Allman was a great master on the slide guitar, combining rock music with jazz and gospel elements. With bandmate Dickey Betts he played the famous twin guitar runs. He died far too early in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24.Blues, rockLes Paul Standard Goldtop (1957), Les Paul Tobacco Sunburst (1958)
Baez, Joan (USA)1941 SoloistOne of the best female guitarists of all time. She amplified her acoustic guitar with bass and electric guitar and has been playing folk with rock elements ever since. Baez writes and meditates in a tree house and has had short-term relationships with Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs.FolkMartin
Folk guitar
Barrett, Syd (GB)1946-2006Pink Floyd and SoloistExpressive guitarist and pioneer of psychedelic and space rock. Syd Barrett was one of the first musicians to combine their music with visual effects and multimedia shows.Psychedelic rock
Beck, Jeff (GB)1944 The Yardbirds and SoloistJeff Beck was one of the first electric guitarists to speak of “electronic fuzz distortion and “noise experimented. He also combined jazz rock with fusion rock.skirtFender Stratocaster
Berry, Chuck (USA)1926-2017 soloistChuck Berry is considered the father of rock guitar, the initiator of beat music and the inventor of the duck walk (typical duck walk of guitarists on stage). He was imprisoned for robbery from 1944-47 and for violating the Mann Act from 1961-63.Rock'n rollGibson ES-350T, Gibson ES-355
Ritchie (GB)
1945 Deep purple, rainbowRitchie Blackmore brought the classical guitar to hard rock music. Due to his outstanding technical playing style and virtuosity, he is still a great role model for many bands and guitarists today.Hard rockFender Stratocaster
Buckingham, Lindsey (USA)1949Fleetwood MacCharacteristic is his fingerpicking style and playing without a pick. He is still revered today as a great visionary in rock history.Rock, popRick Turner Model 1, Rick Turner Renaissance
Clapton, Eric (GB)1945 CreamOne of the most famous blues rock guitarists of all time. His playing had a simple, clear, melodic but ingenious sound.Blues rockFender Stratocaster (1956, "Brownie" and "Blackie"), Gibson SG (1964, "The Fool").
Cobain, Kurt (USA)1967-1994 NirvanaKurt Cobain shaped the grunge style with his characteristic playing and his memorable, “suffering” vocals. He suffered from stomach problems and depression - and shot himself at the age of 27.GrungeFender Jaguar, Fender Mustang
Collins, Allen (USA)1952-1990Lynyrd SkynyrdAllen Collins is one of the most influential and best guitarists in the world. After the devastating plane crash in 1977 (in which some members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd died) the doctor wanted to remove his injured arm, but his father knew how to prevent this. Fortunately, the Allen Collins fought their way back to life and kept playing.Rock, blues, country (from 6:30)Gibson Firebird, Gibson Explorer, Fender Stratocaster
de Lucia, Paco (E)1947-2014 soloistPaco de Lucia was a true virtuoso on the Spanish guitar and a flamenco musician who is looking for his equal. His tour with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin (The Guitar Trio) is legendary and can be heard well on the album Friday night in San FranciscoFlamenco, classical, jazzFlamenco guitar, Classical (Spanish) guitar
Diddley, Bo (USA)1928-2008 soloistBo Diddley created incredibly good rock riffs ("The mother of all riffs") and is considered a pioneer of rock'n roll.Rock'n rollCustom Rectangular Gretsch ("Big B", 1958)
Di Meola, Al (USA)1954 soloistThe Italian-American virtuoso is a real master and quick player on the jazz guitar. He once said of his game: "I pray when I play! Music is a religion!“ Fusion, jazzLes Paul, PRS guitar
Edge, The
alias David H. Evans (GB)
1961 U2The Edge often plays and composes with many delay and echo effects and thus developed the unmistakable sound of the music group U2.Rock, popFender Stratocaster, Gibson Explorer (1976)
ford, Lita (GB)1958 The RunawaysAs the lead guitarist, she gave alongside Joan Jett (* 1958) set the tone in the women's punk band "The Runaways".Hard rock, punk
Fripp, Robert (GB)1946King Crimson and SoloistGuitarist keen to experiment, who developed his own artificial sound generation using his Frippertronics (a kind of echo device with loop technology), which he later replaced with guitar synthesizers.Progressive rock
Frusciante, John (USA)1970Red Hot Chilli Peppers and SoloistAs a classic rock guitarist, he has been developing his own experimental style with electronic sounds (synthesizers) since 1997.skirt
Gibbons, Billy (USA)1949 ZZ topBig, popular blues-rock guitarist who shaped the sound of ZZ Top significantly.Blues, rockGibson 1959 Les Paul, Korina Gibson Flying V (1958), Fender Telecaster, Gibson Explorer
Gilmour, David (GB)1946 Pink Floyd

David Gilmour is known for his spherical solos. He often uses reverb and other electronic effects in his playing.

Progressive rock

Fender Stratocaster

Green, Peter (GB)1946 Fleetwood MacGifted progressive blues guitarist and role model e.g. for Eric Clapton.Blues rockLes Paul Standard, Fender Stratocaster (1959).
Guy, Boddy (USA)1936 soloistAssociation rock and blues and played with a lot of distortion. He was a great role model for Prince, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and other guitar gods. 7-time Grammy winner.bluesFender Stratocaster
Hammet, Kirk (USA)1062 Exodus, MetallicaKirk Hammet wrote the well-known Enter Sandman riff and rocks the heavy metal guitar like no other.Trash metal, heavy metalFender Stratocaster, Gibson Flying V (1974).
Hendrix, Jimmy1942-1970 The Jimmy Hendrix ExperienceThe shy and nice Jimmy is considered the most important and most innovative electric guitarist of all time (according to Rolling Stone magazine at number 1 the best guitarist in the world). He shaped and played psychedelic rock like no other - even with his tongue. Occasionally he would light his guitar on stage.Blues rockFender Stratocaster (1968)
Holly, Buddy (USA)1936-1959 soloistWith today's typical line-up of two guitars, a bass and a drum kit, Buddy Holly developed the classic rock band.Rock'n rollFender Stratocaster
Iommi, Tony (GB)1948 Black SabbathTony Iommi lost the fingertips of his grasping hand in an accident at work, so he had to "tune down" his guitar and thus (more or less by chance) developed the heavy metal sound.Heavy metalGibson 1965 SG Special ("Monkey"), Jaydee Custom SG Copy ("Old Boy").
Johnson, Robert (USA)1911-1938 soloistGreatest blues musician of all time. He combined slide and rhythm in dialogue.bluesGibson L.
King, Albert (USA)1923-1992 soloistAlbert King played a right-handed Gibson as a left-handed guitarist and always wore a Colt .45 in his waistband.blues Gibson Flying V (1959)
King, B. B. (USA)1925-2015 soloistOne of the greatest, most soulful blues musicians of all time, awarded 15 Grammys. B.B. (Initials for B.syphilis B.oy) rescued his first guitar from a burning parlor that caught fire due to an argument over a woman (named Lucille). He gave this guitar its name "Lucille".Blues, jazzGibson ES-355 ("Lucille"), Gibson Little Lucille
King, Freddie (USA)1934-1976 soloistFreddie is also one of the "three kings of the electric blues".bluesGibson ES-345, Gibson ES-355.
Knopfler, Mark (SCOT)1949 Dire StraitsMark Knopfler did not use a plectrum at all and only played with his fingers.Rock, popFender Stratocaster, National Style O
warrior, Robby (USA)1946 The DoorsRobby Krieger is trained in jazz and flamenco and plays the electric guitar without a pick.Jazz, rockGibson SG Standard, Gibson Les Paul
Malmsteen, Yingwie (SWE)1963 Steeler, Alcatrazz and SoloistHe uses elements from classical serious music for heavy metal and hard rock pieces.Heavy metal, hard rock
May, Brian (GB)1947 QueenVersatile rock guitarist, string virtuoso and doctor of astrophysics, who built his first guitar as a teenager (together with his father).skirtThe "Red Special" aka "Old Lady"
McLaughlin, John (GB)1942 soloistVirtuoso on the jazz and rock guitar. Unbelievable what John McLaughlin can get out of a jazz guitar.Jazz, rock
Morello, Tom (USA)1964 Rage Against The MachineTom Morello developed extraordinary effects and scratch sounds (that sound like a DJ) and thus created the new rap metal style.Rap metalMongrel Custom
Moors, Gary (Northern IRL)1952-2011 Gary MooreGary Moore started out with hard rock but then switched to blues and blues rock. With the album "Still Got the Blues" he made his breakthrough as a blues guitarist.Blues, blues-rock, hard rock
Panagaris (AUS)
1985 SoloistOne of the best guitarists in the world and of all time. She plays (e) virtuoso on her electric guitar with singers Prince, Santana, ZZ Top and Alice Cooper, among others.Hard rock
page, Jimmy (GB)1944 Led Zeppelin, The YardbirdsMost important developer and guitar heroes of hard rock music. His style still has influences from rock'n roll, folk and rhythm and blues. Jimmy Page is very versatile and plays the acoustic as well as the electric guitar.Hard rockGibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson Double Neck, Fender Telecaster, Danelectro
Paul, Les (USA)1915-2009 soloistGreat guitarist and guitar maker. He designed and built the world's most famous guitar "Les Paul".Country, rockGibson Les Paul
Petrucci, John (USA)1967 Dream theaterJohn Petrucci combines progressive rock with heavy metal and plays with the utmost precision, including many changes in rhythm and tempo.Progressive
Metal, hard rock
6- and 7-string Music Man, Ibanez
Prince (UNITED STATES)1958-2016 soloistPrince was a versatile musical genius. He played more than 11 instruments, most of them to perfection.Rock, popHohner HG490, Custom Solid-Body ("The Cloud")
Ramones, Johnny (USA)1948-2004 The RamonesFather of the punk rock guitar and initiator of modern metal. He played almost without exception with barre chords and limited himself to the tee when playing chords(„Downstroke“)Punk, rockMosrite Ventures Model
Reinhardt, Django (F)1910-1953soloistFounder and father of European jazz. Combined New Orleans Jazz with Gypsy Swing. Django Reinhardt played with Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington, among others.jazzSelmer, Gibson ES-300
Richards, Keith (GB)1943 The Rolling StonesKeith Richards is a real role model for all rock guitarists. He plays very soulfully, without technique on the rhythm and lead guitar.skirtFender Telecaster ("Micawber", 1953).
Rhoads, Randy (USA)1956-1982 Quiet Riot, Ozzy OsborneUnited the classical guitar with the metal guitar and is still considered one of the most influential neo-classical metal guitarists to this day.Heavy metal, rockGibson Les Paul (1974)
Santana, Carlos (MEX / USA)1947 SantanaCarlos Santana invented and developed a new genre of music: Latin rock.Latin rockGibson LG, Yamaha SG 2000, Yamaha PF 3000, Santana PRS
Satriani, Joe (USA)1956 ChickenfootJo Satriani is a gifted rock guitarist who also composes instrumental music. Virtuoso also in the use of tapping. Currently one of the best guitarists in the world.skirt
Segovia, Andrés (E)1893-1987 soloistHe had a great influence on the classical guitar and went on tour through Germany at the old age of 89.Classical guitarClassical guitars (Ramirez, Hauser I, Ferrer and others)
Slash alias Saul Hudson (GB)1965 Guns N ‘Roses, soloistThe virtuoso had made the hard rock guitar modern again at the end of the 80s. On stage, Slash always plays with sunglasses and a hat.Hard rockGibson Les Paul
Vai, Steve (USA)1960Frank Zappa Band, soloSteve Vai was named by Frank Zappa for his virtuosity and willingness to experiment as “