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    • #3154749


      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Jimi Hendrix is one of the top three, But among the living I really like Carlos Santana. Eric has his rightful place, but is more of a writer I feel, than a performer.

    • #3154741

      My top 5

      by mjwx ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Dave Grohl – Foo Fighters. The best guitarist still touring.

      Slash – GNR.

      Kirk Hammet – Metalica.

      Kirt Cobain – Nirvana.

      Robbie Krieger – The Doors.

      Really hard to limit myself to five. I’m younger than the average poster (I’m guessing) at 23 these are the guitarists I grew up listening too. the people who inspired me to (at the age of 23) to buy a guitar and learn how to play.

      Listening to “Everlong” “November Rain” “Fade to Black” “Heart Shaped Box” and “People are Strange”

      • #2538319


        by mimi_toma_sweety ·

        In reply to My top 5

        ok, Dave Grohl sucks big time…he has a terrible voice, his guitar is so ordinary, the only thing he’s good at is drums. slash rulz, he’s number one, kirk is ok, but not number 3, kurt is ok, but not worthy of a top 5….maybe the best composer or one of the best singers…as for robbie, i haven’t hurd his work so I’ll shut up

    • #3154703

      Clapton was once asked. . . . . .

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      ….quite some time ago, who he would like to always have as a session gutarist. His answer might surprise you. Chet Atkins. The guy was amazing.

    • #3154686

      I have to go with

      by maecuff ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Johnson (who reportedly sold his soul to the devil for his talents)

    • #3154684

      Satriani ?

      by critch ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      How about Joe Satriani ?

      • #3113148

        John Petrucci

        by sallitt ·

        In reply to Satriani ?

        satch is great… but I’d also go for John Petrucci

    • #3268778

      My top 5

      by tryten ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Just about any blue player can be listed in my top 5, But these 5 are listed as my number 1
      1. Muddy Waters
      T-Bone Walker
      Magic Sam
      Blind Willie Johnson
      Billy Gibbons
      2. Stevie Ray Vaughan
      3. Lance Abbott (Dimebag Darrell)
      4. Jeff Hanneman
      5. Zakk Wylde

      • #3270186

        Billy Gibbons and…

        by omnifice ·

        In reply to My top 5

        Glad someone remembered Billy Gibbons (my favorite)…and Muddy Waters. Add to that Mark Knopfler. Joe Satriani is great too.


        • #3112544

          And he’s one COOL dude too!

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Billy Gibbons and…

          Out of all the bands I’ve met, many dozens, of all the shows I’ve seen or worked, again many dozens, Billy Gibbons (and Dusty Rosde)are by far the absolute coolest guys I have ever had teh sheer pleasure of hanging with. These guys are one class act, they are the most interesting men you have ever met but they would rather talk about what you like and about collecting art than about music.

          They really are two of the coolest guys in the biz.

      • #3112630

        Have you heard…

        by jean.poole ·

        In reply to My top 5

        Guitar Shorty — blues musician par excellent and brother-in-law to Jimi Hendrix. In fact, he taught Jimi much of what Jimi played.

      • #2619732

        My top 3 iof heavy metal

        by alex_g ·

        In reply to My top 5

        I have to agree with Tryten,
        1. Dimebag Darrell
        2. Zakk Wylde
        3. Randy Rhodes

        Oddly enough, Ozzy Ozbourne has had the luck, or sence to hire a number of great axemen.

    • #3268751

      i may be out of step..

      by obviator ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      But my top 5 are:
      Leo Kottke – Got booted from their “bests” by Guitar Player magazine in about ’75 for winning too many times
      Doc Watson – Who ever heard of playing fiddle tunes on a guitar?
      Tony Rice – quick, clean, and inventive
      Django Reinhardt – A two fingered master!
      Stevie Ray – What else needs be said?
      i started listening to almost all acoustic music in the mid-70’s after realizing that some of these guys were as good as any electric guy and all that was between them and the mic was air, no fancy foot pedals, etc.

      • #3164172

        I agree-amazed how many only know rockers!

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to i may be out of step..

        1. Leo Kottke is just amazing.
        2. Nobody has ever been as smooth or exciting as Django Reinhardt.
        3. My personal favorite of all time? John McLaughlin. Knocked my socks off when I first heard his early East-Indian influenced electric jazz on the album “Birds of Fire” in 1973. His later acoustic work shows how truly great he is. I like Santana when he slows down, but on the album “Love, Devotion, & Surrender” with McLaughlin, while reaching for those high notes at a frantic pace, Carlos just didn’t have a chance.
        4. Okay, a rocker. Johny Winter. If you want to hear REAL Texas blues rock, this is it.
        5. The best for last – Andre Segovia, the ultimate classical Spanish guitar vituoso.

    • #3268732

      Well I have my druthers…

      by x-marcap ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      For classical Guitar plying, Phil Keagy is amazing. He is as good as the “Legend of Guitar” 90 year old pickers with his amputated finger.
      I didn’t bother to read the first post as my younger days were spent playing Guitar and trombone when I wasn’t flying something. I finally got curious to look at the lists that were made up. Phil Keagy is a master on the guitar, but he was not given the level of exposure the others on the list were given. The reason he had limited exposure is that he was a Christian artist. He did make only one of the lists at 16, and that proved to me that the people who put the information together weren’t pickers…

      For Rock & Roll Jimi Hendrix, and I really like Ted Nugent.

      For County Chet Atkins & Roy Clark tie. Clark is also the best I’ve heard on a banjo.

      For Bass Guitar Stanley Clark has no peers.

      I have and play a Les Paul Blond that looks like the one Roy Clark played in the early ’70s. In 20 years a guy named George Dean may be up there…

      If you want to hear the best Guitar Christmas music get Merry Axemas.

      • #3142015

        Did you know

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Well I have my druthers…

        there is a follow up CD to the Axemas?

        I have and love the first, but haven’t had a chance to get the second yet.

        Anyone got a review on it they would like to give?

        • #3142011

          Same Question….basically

          by btljooz ·

          In reply to Did you know

          What’s the name of the album and who is it by?

        • #3141997

          Who was it by? EVERYONE!

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Same Question….basically

          Compilation CD. So much cool Christmas music by so many cool guitarists. Let Christmas Rock. I do! 😀

        • #3141930

          I got it, and I love it, don’t know the name of #2…

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Did you know

          I’ll dig through my collection of Christmas music, if I don’t find it I’ll ask Jr…

          I don’t know names of Mannheim Steamroller CDs either, and love them too.

        • #3270194

          Two of the ‘Rollers I have

          by ontheropes ·

          In reply to I got it, and I love it, don’t know the name of #2…

          are “Fresh Aire” and “Christmas Live” which has traditional Christmas music with Steamroller style.

        • #3112674


          by blueknight ·

          In reply to Did you know

          Try “Ho Ho Hoey” if you’re into a rockin’ Christmas.

          Great list of guitarists in this string. As mentioned, it all boils down to one’s musical preference as to who’s the best. I haven’t read the entire string yet, but haven’t seen Earl Klugh mentioned for jazz guitar. I thinks he’s tops.

        • #3112611

          Joe Beck

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Christmas?

          If you like jazz guitar, you won’t be disappointed.

        • #3110939

          Joe Beck, John Tropea, Steve Khan

          by sonicbridge ·

          In reply to Joe Beck

          New York studio cats were hot, hot, hot! But you would have to be listening to Jazz/Fusion in the 70’s to know who these guys are (unless your Dad shared his record collection with you).

        • #3112013

          Was actually my aunt

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Joe Beck, John Tropea, Steve Khan

          who is a personal friend of Joe’s. Matter of fact, my uncle wrote the intro in the “friends” cd.

          She got me started, and I have picked up several of his since then.

          [b]Trivia, DMP was the first US lable to go strictly CD and dump vinyl.[/b]

          The one thing that would make this discussion better was if there were a separate breakaway for each genre. I know there is much about Jazz that I don’t know, that I would like to.

      • #3142013

        Question: “Merry Axemas” by ___________?

        by btljooz ·

        In reply to Well I have my druthers…

        Just wondered.

        • #3141949

          It is a composite album.

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Question: “Merry Axemas” by ___________?

          You need to look for it by title.

          FYE has the CD.

        • #3141855

          or just look at my other post

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to It is a composite album.

        • #3269706

          Thanks for stepping up, JD

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to or just look at my other post

          I am always too busy to do anything that resembles organization…


        • #3270256

          I met Phil Keaggy once.

          by vanessaj ·

          In reply to Thanks for stepping up, JD

          (years ago.) And since it is accepted as common knowledge that when Hendrix was asked who he considered the greatest guitarist ever he named Keaggy – I got to ask him if that were true. He said that everyone always asked him that, but that he didn’t know. He was a really humble, cool guy, for someone with so much amazing talent. And it was a meeting I will always remember.

        • #3164119

          Phil & Paul

          by twtrout ·

          In reply to I met Phil Keaggy once.

          Phil Keaggy is a pretty amazing guitarist. I have been trying to find a picture that I have seen before of Phil and Paul McCartney together taken some time back in the ’90s.

          Found the picture. It was taken after the wedding of Paul’s sister-in-law (Linda McCartney’s sister). Phil played guitar and sang at the wedding. The photo shows two mirror image custom Olson guitars.

        • #3112250

          twtrout…AWESOME PIC

          by vanessaj ·

          In reply to I met Phil Keaggy once.

          Thanks for sharing this photo. It’s weird, but I like it more because it shows that he has accomplished so much with the guitar with a 4-fingered hand. I think that says a lot! And it’s also nice that McCartney is in the pic, too.


      • #3270274

        I’m suprised

        by wildanimal4u9 ·

        In reply to Well I have my druthers…

        no one has mentioned lenny breau, yes lenny breau,
        one cool dude and a heck of a player.

    • #3268647

      Top 5…

      by sitizn wille ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I would have to say…

      1. SRV
      2. Dimebag Darrel
      3. Jimmy Hendrix
      4.John 5, This guy is amazing, a wide range of talents from hard rock to bluegrass style, all mixed togather.
      5.Stevie Via

      Hard to pick just 5….

    • #3268644

      How about …

      by thefrown ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
      Michael Schenker (UFO – Strangers in the Night is still the best live album ever cut)
      Rory Gallagher

      Ooooh I could go on; think I’ll have to break out “Machine Head” when I get home …

      • #3142884

        Frank Zappa

        by bsimpson ·

        In reply to How about …

        Frank has gotta be one of the least understood but best guitarists of all times.

    • #3268634

      In no order

      by ben “iron” damper ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Zakk Wylde
      Eddie Van Halen
      Randy Rhoades (can’t believe he wasn’t mentioned already)
      Eric Clapton

      • #3110932

        Where’s Yngwie Malmsteen?

        by badams ·

        In reply to In no order

        I realize some people won’t/can’t appreciate Yngwie’s speed, but the dude deserves some respect. As do John Petrucci of “Dream Theater”, and Tony MacAlpine.

    • #3268592


      by dmambo ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I’m no musician, but for sheer listening enjoyment, John Entwistle is my hands-down favorite. I absolutely can not believe that anyone could move his fingers so fast and stil make it music and not noise. RIP.

      • #3142017

        Try Stewart Ham on for size

        by btljooz ·

        In reply to Bass

        He’s GREAT! 🙂

        • #3142005

          Hamm on the Bass

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Try Stewart Ham on for size

          yes, HAMM is killer.

          But if we start talking Bass, no one can DARE not include Billy Sheehan in the top ten.

          When he and Vai did the solo for the Eat em and smile tour….. goose bumps!

          To get both go here

          There was the G3 tour, now there is the Bx3 tour! Sweet!

        • #3112542


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Hamm on the Bass

          Yes he’s a top ten guy, but there are many far better.

          I think he lost his knack in the 90’s, especially with his emnbarrassing stint with Mr. Big, GAWD what a trainwreck that was right out of the gate!

        • #3112514


          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Sheehan

          you can still find some of the old talas around.

          Ya, top ten, but hard to pick the number one.

        • #2507206

          New Music

          by boogity33 ·

          In reply to Try Stewart Ham on for size

          Hey, Does anyone know if STew has anything new out. WE are going to see him at the end Of Feb. and want to be familar with what he will be playing…..thanks Lisa

      • #3112543

        Steve Harris

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Bass

        Steve Harris or Geddy Lee, they are so hard to choose between but are that most incredible bassists I’ve ever seen

    • #3142049

      Glaring omission

      by leee ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – no one mentioned Pete Townshend.

      I also love Robbie Robertson.

      • #3141998


        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Glaring omission

        Mark Knofler….

        I’ve seen Dire Straits and the Who live a few times. Been to 2 separate Who farewell tour events.

        There are so many.

        Personally many of the greatest players were session musicians, see “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”.

        Terry Kath from Chicago. (Listen to 25 or 6 to 4)

        Buddy Guy or BB King?


        • #3141993

          And (I will reply to myself)

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to or

          There is Jeff Healy.

          Of course thats a personal one, I’ve met him, he was a friend of my wife’s. I don’t know many people with the cajones to cover Clapton, but he pulls it off.


      • #3141942

        Not Townsend.

        by x-marcap ·

        In reply to Glaring omission

        Townsend really wasn’t quick, and not clean. His fingerings are sloppy…

        If you can’t read & play music, and I don’t mean chord charts, then you are an idiot savant, not a guitar player… You make noise creatively, but aren’t worth mentioning with more serious artists.

        • #3112585

          Yes, Pete Townshend!

          by allen halsey ·

          In reply to Not Townsend.

          In a way, you are right — Townshend probably wouldn’t win a Gold Medal if Guitar Virtuouso was an olymplic event; there are other guitarists that can play faster and with better technique. (Assuming leaping and windmilling is not considered by the judges.)

          But, for me, no other guitarist captures the Rock ethos as Pete Townshend. The emotion he expresses through his guitar playing really resonates with me.

          You might call it “messy,” but, that’s the kind of Rock I like — the unchained chaotic energy kind.

          No antiseptic guitar virtuousos for me — I find them lacking in emotional energy.

          Ultimately, I believe, musicians must be judged on their ability to convey emotional impact — not on the athleticism of how fast they can play. In this regard, Pete Townshend comes out ahead.

        • #3112556

          Pete on acoustic

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Yes, Pete Townshend!

          I’ve got an album of Pete playing acoustic and I recently saw the Classic Albums TV doc on Who’s next.

          I would suggest that when I saw Pete play acoustic, his technique shows a little better.

          Some of his precision I think gets distorted by the volume and by the effects pedals.

          As for the suggestion about his musicality, he wrote the music for virtually every Who song(John Entwhistle did one an album or so), as well as a number of solo projects. He has written a lot of great songs, pioneered Rock Opera and was one of the first users of synths in Rock.


        • #3112296

          Not to mention the songs

          by dmambo ·

          In reply to Yes, Pete Townshend!

          I’m 45 and when I listen to Quadrophenia, it still speaks to me like it did when I was 15.

          It’s cool to see my 12-year old son crank up Who Are You or Baba O’Rielly.

        • #3112075

          Mambo..doncha love that??

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Not to mention the songs

          It took my son longer. He used to make fun of the music I listened to, but now (he’ll be 19 next month) he says “Mom, can you burn a copy of London Calling for me?” Or, “What Pixies albums do you have?” He’s also been into Rush, The Stones, Pink Floyd..never thought I’d see the day.

          On the other hand, I have ALWAYS dismissed Rap music. Hated it. But I’ve been listening to some of Zach’s (my son) music and have to admit that it ain’t ALL bad. Mostly bad, but I like some of it..

        • #3112069

          Makes it tough

          by dmambo ·

          In reply to Mambo..doncha love that??

          When mom tells him to “turn that damn music down”, I usually tell her to at least wait until the song is over. 😀

        • #3112043

          I have the opposite problem

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Makes it tough

          When I was a kid, my parents told me to turn the music down, now as an adult, the older kids b*tch at us for having it up too loud.

          I’d say we have to wait for them to all get out of the house, but since there’s a grandkid on the way, we may never get a break. At least the 8 year old likes loud music..

          My older son gets migraines, so it’s understandable coming from him. The 20 year old girl though, sheesh..there’s no hope for her. She told me recently that she heard this old song and it was so great. I asked her what it was, she says.. The Pina Colada Song. I don’t know how she ever got into our family.

        • #3112071

          No way,townsend

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Not Townsend.

          If he can’t be sober enough to play any of the concerts, he isn’t all that good, and if he was sober, he can’t play as well as my son…

          George Dean has actually doubled him for studio sessions so Townsend could learn the music…

          Once he has it memorized it isn’t music, but memory.

        • #3112067

          I’ve seen him play sober….

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to No way,townsend

          At one of the Toronto concerts, Joe Jackson opened for him, and someone beaned him with a beer bottle. Joe walked off stage disgusted.

          I don’t understand your George dean comment – Townsend wrote the music, how would Dean know it better. Yes Townsend had a problem – so have many great guitarists.


        • #3111764

          Townsend Can’t read music for squat …

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to No way,townsend

          He had to have someone else play it for him to learn others written music. He can create, but he needs someone else to write it down. If someone else wrote it he can pick it out, but is not a music reader for the times I have been around him. I used to be the California Dude, Long hair,Gibson (Ripper or Les Paul) over my shoulder and a trombone in my hand. I’d been all over the Christian and secular music scene.

          I play trombone and have been in on some studio sessions with Townsend, Stonehill, Keaggy, and some other really good players. Townsend had someone read and play it so he could practice it and learn it. Monkey see Monkey do style. He never did play as well as Dean, On Dean’s worst day drunk or sober. (Some of us are cursed with such good looks we can curdle milk with a glance.) That is a reason that studio musicians tend to be great, but ugly…

          You like Townsend. I like musicians who can and do read music and play it as the music was written.

        • #3113359

          Cool for you

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Townsend Can’t read music for squat …

          Tell me what you think of Paul McCartney as a song writer and musician – he can’t read a note and he composed a symphony.

          Personally, I’ve also been recorded but not as often as you. And in a totally different genre.

          I come from the classical music side of life where reading music is fundamental. When eighty voices sing in 8 parts on a piece that is 20 minutes long, you can’t memorize it all. Ok, I did memorize Handel’s Messiah once, but that was after three years in a row of rehersing and performing it for the Christmas season – about 8 reherals per performance times 3 years.

          But for the most part reading is fundamental in classical – when you audition you always get a piece to read cold, and often you get about 30 seconds to scan it before you get to sing it. And while you get a pianist to accompany you, they don’t play your part… have to pick it out.

          So I can see where not reading hinders Townsend playing others work. But I’m sure he doesn’t have to read his own songs to play them well. On the other hand I expect studio musicians to be great readers given the nature of their work. I loved “standing in the shadows of Motown” as it really highlighted the unsung heroes and showed how their virtuousity created that great sound. Too bad Barry Gordie didn’t recognize that.

          Perhaps I am favouring Townsend because I like what he writes, but it does kind of blur into the same thing.


        • #3113285

          I still play trombone all the time.

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Cool for you

          I sat in the symphony between my teacher 1st seat, and his teacher (80 years old, I’d guess) and one of the best Jazz players within a thousand miles was my first trombone student. (He is far,far better than I am at Jazz. I love it but can’t play it unless I can hear it. 1,3,5 ,augmented etc.) My son sits 4th seat. 200+ years of trombone playing experience.

          I used to be in California and augment my Marine Corps salary by playing in swing bands all over the west coast. I love Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, etc. The best Bone player living is
          Christian Limberg for any Genre. The next best may well be Josh DeVore ex-Vegas player.

          I have liked some of what Townsend has written, too. It is interesting to be in studio having to chart the music in those situations.

          Now I only do Big Band charts from the old masters. I have trouble writing for non-C instruments, So I have a program that transposes any chart into any key I want. Simple and workable…

        • #3113037

          My trombone experience

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to I still play trombone all the time.

          I began my singing career in church at the age of 5.

          At nine my parents enrolled me in a music school – my older brother was already there.

          I wanted to play drums but i have a little deformaty – I only have a pinky and thumb on my left hand and they thought that meant I couldn’t have my first pick. So they gave me a baritone/euhphonium to learn. I did play it, and after a while I convinced them to let me do drums as well – I didn’t have a problem with it. I didn’t play a set – being a formal orchestra like band – I played everything in percussion from tympani to xylophone to snare and bass.

          When I went to high school we had two academic streams – general and advanced(University track). I was an advanced student but the rules were flexible enough, so I actually took drums on one track and euphonium in the other. We had three bands in the school – junior, intermediate and senior – and I played in the upper two.

          I had an inspiration one time and decided I wanted to play in all three bands for the Christmas Concert. So I asked the conductor of the junior band if I could sit in on the trombone – same scale and range as the trombone, and most importantly – same mouthpiece.

          So I was a bit of a ringer, because I learned the positions in a few days, and I’d been playing baritone for 7 years, when many of these students had been playing for a few months. I kinda mentored the trombone section. They sounded great! But at the end of the year I couldn’t do it anymore (the sound of inexperienced woodwinds will drive anyone insane).

          My recent recording experience is this:

          This was the group we played with.

          Its a unique recording – Requiem for a Charred skul is an acquired taste. On the other hand, Reconciliation is an amazing piece and since the choir is all male for that number, you might actually hear me. The flugelhorn on piece that is amazing.

          I’m very partial to Who’s Next and Quadrophenia and most of Tommy. The later stuff lacks the energy.


        • #3113352

          Neither could…

          by leee ·

          In reply to Townsend Can’t read music for squat …

          Hendrix. Nor Stevie Ray Vaughn. Jimmy Page and Paul McCartney still can’t. Not terribly uncommon with guitarists.

        • #3113314

          I know that the nature of Studio work is thankless.

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Neither could…

          Hendrix for his lack of reading had a nearly photographic memory. He only needed to hear it once to memorize and a second time to start his improvisation. Hendrix at least understood the concept of a dotted note and syncopation. As I am sure did the others mentioned.

          BTW, Paul McCartney does read music, after all these years. He can sit down and play the music on a Piano. I have seen him do it. He is not Chopin ready, or reading like a Billy Joel (Piano player thread begging here), but he played some Irish songs from books on TV. He isn’t great, but he can at least do right hand reading (treble clef) very well.

          If he doesn’t read on a guitar or bass, that would be practice. I can’t sing and play at the same time even now (After 10 seconds of my singing people scream to listen to Rod Steward). I can do it, but people wish I’d stick to playing trombone when they heard me sing and play at the same time.

          Writing music from a piano score to charting parts is not that far from improvising from a chord chart. In studio, at that time Townsend was unable to tell a half note from a whole note, 8ths from 16ths, dotted notes, etc, and not knowing what a triplicate was. Poor George beating the rythem out is a whole different ballgame. Sorry to vent, but he is liked, but I find him not in my top 50. I would put Esteban ahead of Townsend. Charo, and even Tom Scott, Placido Domingo is absolutely amazing… I am not hammering on just his lack of reading music, but his knowledge displayed in the studio several times.

      • #2519298

        Not that glaring

        by john_gibson083 ·

        In reply to Glaring omission

        They don’t rate as great guitarists in my opinion. The Who have done a lot of good stuff and Robbie Robertson and The Band have (in my opinion) written some of the best songs ever – sheer craftsmanship. But that doesn’t make Robbie one of he best guitarists (by the way, I think he’s a good actor too).

    • #3142024

      Steve Vai

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      A man that is not accused of sounding like anyone else.

      A man that is VERY creative and not afraid to do something in different directions. His “Flexible” CD he put out himself because most of the work is way out there and big lables didn’t want to touch it “as is”.

      Have seen him several times live, both touring on his own and a few times for the G3 tour. He is always graceful to the other musicians on stage and often takes a back stage to them to give everyone a chance to shine. His most memerable quote was “The best thing about being Steve Vai is I get to jam with great musicians like these!”

      He plays a wide range of music, from his early days of being listed as “Strat abuse” for Frank Zappa, playing with David Lee Roth when he first went solo, the time with White Snake, his solo work (which I have all of) and even playing Blues in the movie “CrossRoads”.

      He can play things that are very beautiful, and others that just make your jaw drop.

      He can stand beside ANY guitar great, from any time.

      • #3142018

        jdclyde, you forgot

        by btljooz ·

        In reply to Steve Vai

        that Steve Vai was also a student of Joe Satrianni 😉

        • #3142009

          Didn’t forget

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to jdclyde, you forgot

          Just didn’t think it was the most relevent parts to add, as people don’t want the entire life story.

          Who the teacher is does not make you who you are, but as far as teachers do go, he couldn’t have chosen better.

          Hammet was also a student.

          Does anyone remember Vai playing the star spangle banner for the “rock and jock” softball game back in the late 80’s? Can you say OMG?

        • #3142001


          by btljooz ·

          In reply to Didn’t forget

          has had a LOT of students. He’s a GREAT innovator, but not quuuuuite like Hendrix. When we lost him we lost all that could have come NEXT!!! Just imagine what Hendrix could have continued… it’s UN-imaginable!!!:)

        • #3141975

          Hendrix’s secret

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Satch

          was that he was so wasted all the time, that he wasn’t aware that humans can’t do what he was doing.

          It was like in a Road Runner cartoon. One day he looked down….

          Satriani is a GREAT player. I don’t give him as high of marks on the originality/creativity scale as Vai. I will still go see either any/every time they come in the area, and I take my twin boys with me and they LOVE it.

          Thing One went with me to one, and it was his favorite concert yet. Dream Theater, Satriani, Kings X. my boys (age 12 at the time) was hanging on ever note played. Took them both to the G3 tour with Yngwie. A good time had by all.
          (Thing One and Thing Two are my twin boys) B-)

        • #3141970

          Hendrix’s secret

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Hendrix’s secret

          was freakishly long fingers.

        • #3270204

          Ahh but!!!

          by wyzard ·

          In reply to jdclyde, you forgot

          Joe Satriani said in an interview one that Steve Vai was the best guitarist he’s ever seen and that even though Satriani was his teacher, he said that Vai has surpassed him and can go places he can’t reach. Course, these guys are all pretty humble when talking about eachother. 🙂
          On that note, i’ll toss out my faves. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Etic Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen…man, there are so many but these go well with my musical tastes. There are so many more styles.

        • #3112613

          Did you catch the first G3 tour?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Ahh but!!!

          First leg started out with Satriani, Vai, Johnson. I missed it and caught the second leg, but Kenny Wayne Shepard had taken Johnsons place. Booooo.

          Malmsteen was on the last tour, but far from humble. Over a decade ago when Satriani was first starting to get real popular, Malmsteen said in an interview that Satriani sucked. Sour grapes all the way.

          Also, while Malmsteen has GREAT skill, he doesn’t have the attitude to be listed in the real greats. Everything he does is too much “in your face, see how grand I am?” and gives the impression of trying too hard to be great instead of just being great.

          The difference between someone that is great and someone that thinks they are great, is the great ones have people telling them, instead of them telling people. I still love Black star.

        • #3112614

          Did you catch the first G3 tour?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Ahh but!!!

          First leg started out with Satriani, Vai, Johnson. I missed it and caught the second leg, but Kenny Wayne Shepard had taken Johnsons place. Booooo.

          Malmsteen was on the last tour, but far from humble. Over a decade ago when Satriani was first starting to get real popular, Malmsteen said in an interview that Satriani sucked. Sour grapes all the way.

          Also, while Malmsteen has GREAT skill, he doesn’t have the attitude to be listed in the real greats. Everything he does is too much “in your face, see how grand I am?” and gives the impression of trying too hard to be great instead of just being great.

          The difference between someone that is great and someone that thinks they are great, is the great ones have people telling them, instead of them telling people.

    • #3141973

      Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

      by mickster269 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I have a CD of his made in 1990. It’s called “Still got the Blues”.

      I haven’t seen anything since then from him here in the States. Anyone in Europe hear of him?

      • #3269654


        by thefrown ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        Used to be in Thin Lizzy. Whilst on the subject, the best bass player for total charisma and presence on stage has to be the late great Phil Lynott.

        • #3110962

          I’m Shocked…Jimmy Page??!!!!!!!!!

          by zemi ·

          In reply to Absolutely

          No one has mentioned Jimmy Page. He is the baddest guitarist ever. You can take that to the bank. You’re all rookies. Page pwnz!!!

      • #3269591


        by leee ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        I remember that one song – came out when I was in college. Oddly enough, one station in that town still plays it.

      • #3142972

        Gary Moore (Irish – once with Thin Lizzy)

        by kiwilinz ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        has a huge collection of albums available, some very recent, some compilations and “Best Of” releases.
        Visit for info and availability on around 60 albums in total, plus singles and videos.

        “Ballads & Blues” 1982-1994 is one I have and is a superb album. Since this discussion started I have been playing it in my car and the range of guitar work including some beautiful acoustic playing is outstanding.

        And the guy has a great voice as well with styles ranging from ballad to soul to blues. A real “all-rounder”.

      • #3142951

        Yes, we heard him …

        by kaspencer ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        We heard Gary Moore a few years ago (maybe 4 …) in a Guitar Festival. I agree, fantastic. And, wasn’t he on the Strat for the Fender 50th anniversary of the Strat concert in 2004 ? I saw that on video, and it was an amazing performance.


      • #3163889

        Gary Moore … of course!!

        by daveslash ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        I’ve been listening to Gary Moore for over 20 years, and I’ve heard MANY other professional guitar players espouse his abilities.

        He’s done jazz-fusion (the “Grinding Stone” lp), hard rock (the Thin Lizzy Years, “Corridors of Power”, “Dirty Fingers”, etc), straightforward rock ‘n roll (“Run for Cover” and others), and blues (most of the recent stuff).

        He combines great technique, an intuitive knowledge for his instrument, and a great “feel” in his playing.

        — DaveSlash

      • #2519304


        by john_gibson083 ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        I’m from Scotland. I’m going to see him in May. I’m listening to him right now (the loner (live)). I have been into rock music for over 30 years. I’ve heard most of the tracks that are in most of these polls on whose the best guitarist. To give my opinion on Gary Moore (he’s from Northern Ireland by the way), I have been asked by friends etc yes but can he play like such and such (naming names that appear in these polls). Yes I say … but only if you break his fingers first. He’s a great singer, a great songwriter, and, in my humble opinion – the best guitarist ever (so far at least). Still in Love With You – the studio version not the one from the Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous album is just such an awsome track. Released 33 years ago. I just can’t believe (and I mean that literally) how some of the guitarists got into these polls. They appear in many many of these polls (no names – no pack drills). Gary Moore could play most of this stuff blindfolded and drunk (and again I mean that literally).

      • #2480061

        Gary Moore: “The Old Red House” on the Strat Pack CD … amazing!

        by kaspencer ·

        In reply to Has anyone (besides me) heard of Gary Moore?

        Having heard Gary Moore on stage some time ago, I recently camne across his perfomance of “The Old Red House” on the “Strat Pack” CD. It’s a performance worth hearing …


    • #3141948


      by jellimonsta ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I have so many favorites, and they are all amazing. But I think I may have to go with the late Randy Rhodes who played with Ozzy.
      That dude could shred!!! 😀

    • #3141908

      Robert Fripp?

      by puppybreath ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      No one mentioned Robert Fripp. His technique is outstanding.

      My 5 would be:

      Jimmy Page
      Robert Fripp
      Van Halen
      Ritchie Blackmore

      • #3141856

        emotions throw off the scale

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Robert Fripp?

        there is no way Page is ahead of Van Halen. Live, he is soooo sloppy even when sobber.

        That is the problem with really old guys like Page. He gets more credit than due compared to people that have had just as much if not more success.

        What has Page done of value in the last 30 years? Nothing but try to trade on his name, and it never worked.

    • #3141898

      I have to go for some oldies…

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      My philosophy in all art is “less is more” so Metal is out.

      I have to go for blues and like styles – Peter Green of the original Fleetwood Mac in the ’60s and ’70s, Paul Kossoff of Free, sadly another drug casualty and “Slow Hands” Clapton – obviously.

      Anyone who plays good blues is up there for me.

      On another tack, Hendrix – how not? Another one cut short before we’d seen his best?

      Finally, Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Never put a note out of place. I must have seen them play live around a dozen times.

      I don’t really know why – probably just the excitement – but I also [b]love[/b] Flamenco so a vote for Vicente Amigo and two – Ok, 47 – for Paco de Lucia. Now [b]that’s[/b] a man who can play a bit!

    • #3269639

      Why should it matter as long as you’re enjoying what you are listening to.

      by sleepin’dawg ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I’m more into jazz than most other genres, so my favourites, not all jazz, in no particular order:

      Joe Pass

      Eric Clapton – surprisingly excellent jazz player, heard him jamming, unpluged in the bar of the Meridan Hotel at the Montreal Jazz Festival while he was there as a tourist. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Clapton, Guy and Healey in the same room together, just throwing it back and forth. Great stuff.

      Pat Metheney

      Stevie Ray Vaughn – Clapton said he was better than he is.

      Buddie Guy

      Django Reinhardt – dead but if you can find a remastered CD……

      Jimi Hendrix – saw him at Woodstock in 79(?) c/w rain and mud and never saw him again. Have some transparencies of that somewhere.

      Les Paul – good enough for Gibson to name a line of guitars after

      Liona Boyd – a lady no less, classical and still hot, even if she is getting on.

      Jeff Healey – blind – Canadian

      Don Felder – Eagles – the guitar lead in to Hotel California

      Joe Walsh – Eagles – Same

      And many others that I enjoy listening to but those are the ones that stand out at the moment.

      [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

    • #3269463

      Classical Gas

      by mickster269 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Mason Williams played ‘Classical Gas’.

      He first perfromed it on ‘The Smothers Brothers” show (#125)
      He was joined by:
      1. Don Lineberger
      2. John Hartford
      3. Glen Campbell
      4. Roni Stoneman
      5. Steve Martin

      Now, who besides me saw the show the night it was broadcast?

      • #3270259

        Good call!

        by tr ·

        In reply to Classical Gas

        Williams was pretty damn good, I don’t know of any modern players that good, apart (of course) from John Williams who is in a class of his own. Of all the dead guitarists there’s no way to tell who was the best, 99% of them died before music could be recorded. Of the ones that did survive to modern times, Segovia is probably the best with maybe Manitas de Plata as a distant second.

      • #3112670

        Good call

        by blueknight ·

        In reply to Classical Gas

        I’ve never heard anyone play Classical Gas as well as Mason Williams. I have a friend who can play it on a 12 string, but he still needs a lot of work.

        And yes, I saw that show.

    • #3270272

      I’m suprised

      by wildanimal4u9 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      no one has mentioned lenny breau, yes lenny breau,
      one cool dude and one heck of a player.

    • #3270269

      Just a thought

      by glennaaa1 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Best Ever – Jimi Hendrix (obviously), Stevie Ray Vaughn, Al Di Meola (have you heard of him?), Gary Moore, Eric Clapton.

    • #3270248

      Na! You are living in the past

      by wgstokes ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I do not dispute that these guys are all great guitarists but based on the criteria you have set how can you go past Steve Vai, who incidently has been acknowledged for the last ten years as the world’s best guitarist.

      I am a huge Hendrix fan but like any discipline the art of guitar improves over time. Athletes are faster, programmers are producting more sophisticated software than they were ten years ago and guitarists play faster with more precision and greater sound quality than what they did ten years ago.

      Check out some of the guys who came to prominence in the nineties, Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Andy Timmons and Paul Gilbert.

      • #3270240

        Na! We’re just living

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to Na! You are living in the past

        Perhaps we have different choices to yours because “speed, precision and sound quality” are not highest in our criteria for judgement.

        Speaking for myself, I value most the effective emotional content and then the intellectual and physical means by which that is attained. That does take in precision and quality but “fast”? Fast is meaningless without the rest of the package. I’m not a guitarist so Vai’s technical virtuosity only comes to me via third partiy recommendation. Judged by my rules – “do I like to listen to him?”, “well, not much really”, Vai is well down my list.

        To judge a guitarist just because he’s “fast” is pretty shallow.

        • #3270225

          And to Judge a guitarist …..

          by wgstokes ·

          In reply to Na! We’re just living

          when your not a guitarist is pretty stupid!

          Besides you miss my point…. I don’t judge guitarists on speed alone. I think Dave Gilmour is one of the greatest guitarists of all time and he doesn’t play fast. Speed alone does not a great guitarist make. But speed with precision and feel is an immense quality for any guitarist. The emphasis on feel. You can’t judge the quality of musicianship on the basis of whether or not you like the music ….. that’s just nuts. I liked the sex pistols but they were not good musicians. I don’t like Stanly Clarke’s music but he is one of the greatest bass players of all time.

        • #3143013


          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to And to Judge a guitarist …..

          I can’t judge a guitarist without being one myself? How very strange. This means that you believe that one cannot judge anything unless one is an expert in that field. Judgement of paintings, sculpture, all musical and theatrical forms are barred to me because I cannot paint, sculpt, act or play an instrument to any standard?

          All art is subjective.

          You started by arrogantly labelling the posts to date as “living in the past”. You went on to state “guitarists play faster with more precision and greater sound quality than what they did ten years ago.” And this makes…what? Better musicians – arguably but I don’t think so. Better music? Not to me. And I’m all that matters to me. I simply don’t like over-elaborate guitar playing. It’s not a crime.

          Let’s just agree to differ and go our separate ways.

        • #3142968

          Just one more thing

          by wgstokes ·

          In reply to So,

          The question is not on taste here. Its who is the best guitarist. You have the right to your opinion as I do. You have the right to listen to anything you want.

          I don’t know much about art(painting) I know what I like as I am sure you do as I am also sure the same applies with your music. But I would not rate or judge an artist because I don’t know anything about painting.

          I can accept your opinion that is your right. I hope you can accept mine.

          By the way I didn’t say you had to be an expert guitarist to judge another. But I feel to make a valued judgement on a guitarist you have to have some understanding of the intricacy of the art.

    • #3270244

      How about Jose Feliciano (flamenco style)

      by kiwilinz ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      along with electric guitar players, Brian May (Queen), Gary Moore (for sure), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Clapton (almost God), Dave (The Edge) Evans (U2), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Doobies and others), Carlos Santana (another almost God), George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, then going back a bit there was Hank B Marvin (The Shadows, Cliff Richards backing group in the 60’s & 70’s … oh well, guess you had to be there), Glen Campbell and of course Les Paul (father of the modern electric sound) while Chet Atkins is right up there. So many great and talented guitarists, how about the Top 55!!

    • #3270227

      Steve Vai

      by johncee53 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Just listen to “For the love of God” and you’ll know why.

      • #3112617

        Good to see

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Steve Vai

        I am not the only one!

        As I listed earlier, for over all creativity, he takes it. For technical skill, he takes it. Most versital, he takes it.

      • #3215602

        Steve Vai

        by bluesyman ·

        In reply to Steve Vai

        AMEN!! “For The Love Of God” is such a “hot” song!!

        Also Gary Moore’s
        “Still Got The Blues” and “Parisenne Walkways”

        Listen to Eddie Hazel’s (Funkadelic) “Maggot Brain” or to Frank Zappa’s “Zoot Allures”

        Have to add these great guitarists

        Joe Bonamassa
        Vernon Reid (Living Color)
        Larry Carlton

    • #3270221

      All good picks but. . .

      by 123speedy ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Tough choice but I’d have to say Stevie Ray Vaughn Hands down. That dude was a musical conduit. The Mozart of our time.

    • #3270219

      the best guitarist

      by fneily ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      The question presented is “Who is (was) the best guitarist”
      Andre Segovia. Anyone out there have any class??

      • #3142787

        and a close second

        by jcdshs ·

        In reply to the best guitarist

        to John Williams – the guitarist not the writer of sounddtracks

    • #3270218


      by spin2nz ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I agree with all of the above, though there are two or three I’ve never heard of…..but I am shocked that no one has mentioned Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The first time I saw him play he was still just 19 years old. He can definitely rival any of the afore mentioned axe slingers.

      • #3142964

        Good Point

        by wgstokes ·

        In reply to Shocked!!!

        Kenny Wayne Sheppard is one of the best blues guitarists around now and probably ever. I guess if we were just rating blues guitarists he’d be right up there.

    • #3270217

      Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      by lloydpc ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Yes, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix are valid picks although for pure feel I would be more inclined to go with Jimmy Page.

    • #3270199

      Best guitarist most have not heard of

      by mboling ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      One of the finest acoustic OR electric players in the world today is Phil Keaggy.
      There’s a classic urban legend about him that states that Jimi Hendrix was asked how it felt to be the best guitar player and his answer was,”I don’t know, you’d have to ask Phil Keaggy.” Never happened, but the legend has been around since the 70’s. even has it on file.

    • #3270188

      Who is/was the best guitarist

      by fordice ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      My God!—–the only one to consider is Les Paul—he started it all!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #3270185

      One has to define…

      by rmazzeo ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      …the style of music being discussed & also the type of guitar, such as rhythm, lead, bass. It seems that most replies refer to rock guitarists, most of whom were greatly influenced by the great blues guitarists of the past. Certainly one of the best has to be the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan, & one cannot mention him without mentioning B. B. King. I don’t know of many more blues guitarists except by name, since I am not a blues afficionado, but I do have a small list of the greatest rock guitarists, IMHO. I’ll start with the usual suspects, including Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, & of course Clapton, Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, Robin Trower. While I’m sure that I’ve left out a few, I will add Yngwie (sp.?) Malmsteen to that mix. But let’s not leave out one of the MOST underrated guitarists of all time – Alex Lifeson of Rush. I have never seen anyone play so many styles so exceptionaly well as he has. Not to mention that his life (or talent) has not been messed up with drugs & alcohol, as so many others have. No one knows what Hendrix could’ve done had he not killed himself. Even if you are not a fan of Rush’s music, listening to Alex Lifeson jump from an intricate classical “jam” into the hard rock theatrics from one moment to the next is absolutely incredible (of course I am talking about live performance, not studio stuff). So my vote for all time best, most versatile guitarist, both in terms of solo performance & in terms of performance with other musicians, has to go to Alex Lifeson of Rush. Lastly, if we discuss bass guitar, Geddy Lee has to be mentioned as one of the absolute best as well. When we get to a discussion about drummers, lemme know, I’ll vote for one of the best pure percussionists I’ve ever heard – Neil Peart – past, present or future…

      Just my $.02…

      • #3164163

        Just when I was about to give up…

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to One has to define…

        Thank you. FINALLY someone mentions Jeff Beck. Of the 3 original Yardbird guitarists, Jimmy Page was the rowdiest, Clapton the fastest, although limiting himself to only playing blues (and he is a TERRIBLE singer, although he has written some nice melancholy songs), but Jeff Beck shows the most true talent & style.
        Why has nobody mentioned Harvey Mandel?
        Or Michael Bloomfield?
        Clapton’s best work? with ‘Cream’ with bassist Jack Bruce & drummer Ginger Baker (1966-1970?)
        A personal favorite: Robin Trower – especially his latest work “Go My Way” – absolutely hypnotizing. He’s been great since the Procol Harem days.
        Best 12-string guitarist EVER? (you’ll all flame me for this one) Glen Campbell.
        Best ‘heavy’ (no pun intended) guitarist? Leslie West of ‘Mountain’.
        And as always, Peter Green (disappeared after LSD overloading knocked him off track – he’s now picking up where he left off-with great guitar playing). He wrote Santana’s first/biggest hit ‘Black Magic Woman’
        (Off track) Drummer? Mitch Mitchell-drummer for the Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Experience’ band – unreal.

        • #3164120

          Don’t give up …

          by kaspencer ·

          In reply to Just when I was about to give up…

          Dont give up – see my reply post under “The world’s greatest guitarist has to be …”, and then “Don’t forget Gary Moore”.

          Have you seen Jeff Beck recently ? We saw him in Bristol last year. He is as extreme in his playing as ever, but no doubt a true technical wizard. Quite like Gary Moore in many ways.

          See you


      • #3167937

        I take it

        by thefrown ·

        In reply to One has to define…

        You’re a Rush fan then?

        (Me too, still regularly listen to 2112 30 years on … now how many of today’s so-called “stars” will be able to say that about their music in 30 years’ time?)

    • #3143102

      Good choice

      by lensdoc ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I would have also added John Maclaughlin, but I guess that is another kind of music. Agree with you

      • #3142896

        As yet unmentioned.

        by morlock77 ·

        In reply to Good choice

        I was wondering if John Maclaughlin would be remembered here. Alan Holdsworth, Adrian Belew, Rick Derringer, Steve Howe, Roy Buchanan, Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser, Larry Coryell and Andres Segovia could also be considdered fuel for this bonfire.

    • #3143088

      Its all Relative!!

      by dlogan ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I have watched this debate rage on for 40 years.
      Its an adolescent argument. Its like asking whats the Best Food? Music preferences are completely subjective. There is no single ‘Best’ guitarist, musician,Auto mechanic, computer tech, Person race,country,opinion.etc. There is no right answer to this question.
      However..MY opinion IS the BEST!!

    • #3143085

      Alex Lifeson from RUSH

      by excogitator ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Alex Lifeson from Rush is my choice for the greatest guitar player ever. His work on La Villa Strangiato (Hemispheres) is awsome. The album Permanent Waves has some of the best riffs and solos that have ever been done.

      They also have my vote of the best drummer in the world as well with Neal Peart as well.

      Geddy Lee is right up there with the Bass too.

      You do not hear much from bands in Canada, let alone individual performers. Most do not get the recognition that they deserve.

      Check them out, you will be very pleased with their work. For a (Canadian) band to last as long as them, Over 20 albums, says alot.

    • #3143032


      by ashby ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      …that there is so much commonality among TechRepublic members – perhaps we have more in common than we think!

      My selection:
      George Harrison
      Mark knofler
      Eric Clapton
      Muddy Waters
      Jack Falk
      and the best guitar tuner, if not player – Keith Richard

      Your mileage will vary.

    • #3143031


      by tnt93 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Without a doubt my friend, Clapton is the man.
      Tarry, (Also a guitarist)

    • #3143019

      kudos to the masters

      by mullinsj ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I saw Clapton play in Milwaukee several years ago. When someone asked me how it was I replied ‘it was an honor and privilege’. But I’ll date myself…and a bit of a story for the person who weighed in from Manitowoc, Wisc – my hometown. I was sitting in a coffee house in 1968 next to a guy named Jim Krueger. He was a friend who had a local band and was a pretty good guitar player himself…blues licks made me cry. While sitting with Jim someone put a JEFF BECK record on the stereo and Jim just sat there grinning. He said, ‘he’s the best and one day I’m going to play with him!’…like Jim, I’ve always loved Beck and do count him among ‘the best’. Jim made it to L.A. and played with Dave Mason for several years…Jim wrote the song, ‘We Just Disagree’…I was always sorry he moved away from blues to tunes that would maybe chart. Don’t know if he ever did play with Beck…he moved back to ‘Manty’ in the mid 1980s and passed away quite suddenly in 1993. post script …for the person who mentioned Pat Methany…his mom’s from Manitowoc…must be the water

    • #3143010

      best guitarist in the world

      by lsd.fraser ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      based on originality craftmanship and technical prowess on his instrument, foe me hands down bar none David Gilmor from Pink Floyd

    • #3142974

      there is one guitarist that shines above all.

      by bluron ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      if you have ever had the oportunity to watch and listen to the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn, you would agree that no one could play like him. He had a 3 pce band, drummer, keyboard and himself. if you closed your eyes you would swear there were at least 2 rythm guitars as well as his lead playing. open your eyes and there was only Stevie. He credits Hendricks as one of his inspirations but I know he far out performs him. His is a talent that will be sorely missed as he died at the begining of his peak. I can only imagine that greatness that he would have done had he lived.

    • #3142965

      They’re all different

      by wgstokes ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      It is almost impossible to say who the greatest guitarist is because there are many styles. It would be more appropriate to rate guitarists within their genre.

      Rock: Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Joe Satriani and others

      Jazz: Al DiMielo, Robert Fripp

      Blues: Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan,
      Gary Moore

      Heavy Metal: Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse

      Slide: Johnny Winter, Dave Gilmour, Pete Wells (Rose Tattoo)

      Originality (no classification): Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Steve Vai

      It would also be easier to rate the greatest female guitarist, there’s only one Bonnie Raitt.

    • #3142953

      The world’s greatest guitarist has to be …

      by kaspencer ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      … Jeff Beck. A highly technically gifted guitarist, individual and quirky. Maybe a difficult bloke to get on with though.

      And wasn’t it amazing that Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimi Page all lived and worked in Surrey, played for the same band (although not exactly all at the aame time).

      Also Eric Roche was an excellent guitarist and a truly “nice” chap. A great loss to the guitar scene.

      And. finally, didn’t Jimi Hendrix actually entitle his composition “Voodoo Chile” rather than “Voodoo Child” ?

      My guitars are at but I haven’t yet added my recent 60th anniversary Fender American Strat to the site – will do soon.


      • #3142952

        And yes, Gary Moore …

        by kaspencer ·

        In reply to The world’s greatest guitarist has to be …

        I should have given Gary Moore a mention. He is truly a “blow-you-away-every-performance type of guitarist.

        So what’s the secret, how do you rustle up the energy and inclination to play brilliantly every time ?


    • #3142894

      My personal favs, great fun post!

      by southbound ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      1-Frank Zappa (who else has double CDs of just guitar solos? BTW- He hired Steve Vai right out of Julliard and Eddie Van Halen would hang out in Franks recording studio.
      2- Duane Allman – Dreams,Layla, Mountain Jam…….enough said.
      (Freebird was written about him).
      3- Jimi – Timeless, turn him up!

    • #3142810

      best guitarist

      by jackm25 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Chet Atkins

    • #3142798

      My top 5 (and one overrated)

      by jgaskell ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Obviously this is a very subjective topic, but I’ll throw my bit in.

      My Top 5:

      1. Mark Knopfler
      2. David Gilmour
      3. Eric Clapton
      4. Jeff Beck
      5. Slash

      A great guitarist is determined as much by what they leave out as by what they put in.

      And then there is the most overrated guitarist of all time – Carlos Santana. Seriously, if you have heard one Santana solo you have heard them all. He wasn’t bad in his early days, but these days he is pretty much a caricature of himself.

      • #3164072


        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to My top 5 (and one overrated)

        was just cool. Good listening.

        Now he is just padding his retirement fund, like some other washed up losers, The Rolling Stones. Tell me they have done anything creative in the last three decades.

        Both are still trading off of their names from the 70’s. Sad actually, but at least Santana is making new music again. Not great music, but good music.

      • #3112546

        My top 5 (and one overrated)

        by tr ·

        In reply to My top 5 (and one overrated)

        I think you are the only poster to this thread that mentions Mark Knopfler, and I agree he’s certainly one of the best currently playing. He’s technically very proficient but gets extra points for developing his own style (I wish he had enough confidence in his own ability to recognise that.)

        Most of the others mentioned in the thread, and pretty much every rock axeman since Woodstock, are Santana wannabees. Unfortunately, Santana is now one too. But he also gets points for being the first to use that style. Or perhaps Peter Green should get those points instead.

        Thinking back I’d say Segovia, Rheinhardt, Fahey, Santana, Knopfler and maybe Tounkara are the only 20th century guitarists that could be candidates for best ever. I’m not sure about Tounkara, he’s certainly different but only by Western standards, his music takes a lot from traditional kora styles.

    • #3142797

      There is no such person as the “Greatest”

      by agieryic ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      As an experienced guitarist, I can not claim one greater then the other. I personally believe the three guitarists mentioned above are some of the best. There are guitarists such as Eric Johnson, Chet Atkins and Stevie Ray Vaughn who have their own styles that will just blow your mind. I even recall seeing great guitarists in small pubs who never received deserved recognition. There is an amazing number of great guitarists who the best for their particular styles.

    • #3142785

      There can be only one

      by paul.stanley ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Your nominees are without question great guitarists, easily top 10, arguably top 5, but there can be only one “best”. I used to think that the greatest guitarist I had ever seen or heard was Mark Knopfler. Then I moved to Texas, grew my appreciation for country music, and ran across Knopfler’s own idol – Vince Gill.

      • #3112618

        And here I though

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to There can be only one

        after reading your TR Alias that you were going to say “Ace”. 😀

    • #3142770

      My picks for best guitarist….

      by jasper_jay ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I have been a guitar player fanatic since I was 12 yrs old. Although music (especially guitar playing) has evolved thru the years, my personal favorites are still staying true to their musical roots of rock n roll.

      – John Petrucci(Dream Theatre)
      – Paul Gilbert(Mr. Big)
      – Yngwie Malmsteen
      – Joe Satriani
      – Steve Vai
      – Vito Bratta(White Lion)
      – Van Halen
      – Vinnie Moore

    • #3164191

      You cant go past….

      by andrew_ockrim ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      You must include some of the more technical guitar gods in order for it to be a complete list.

      Some of the people who have inspired most of the guys i know in bands to are:
      Yngwie Malmsteen
      Eddie Van Halen
      Jimmy Page
      Zack Wyld
      and if for entertinament and quality of performance on stage Steve Vai..

      Then theres Hank Marvin from The Shadows (back in the 60’s), BB King/Ry Cooder for Blues and lets not forget Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)..

      Does that get some minds ticking over?

    • #3164188

      Billy Gibbons

      by mikeups ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      according to hendrix anyway

    • #3164183

      Joe Satriani

      by oisleach9 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      HAve you ever listened to “surfing with an alien”, “Crystal Planet”, or “Eight Steps” ?
      Eric I have never liked
      Andre’ Segovia I like Joe Satriani I like Eric I just don’t like his music.

    • #3164167

      Dave Gilmour

      by desmodeus ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I have yet to hear anyone play anything on a guitar that comes within light years of the second solo from Comfortably Numb (particularly the live version from Delicate Sound of Thunder). I’m also a big Ritchie Blackmore fan (the live version of Highway Star from Made in Japan is positively unbelievable) although I recently saw Deep Purple live sans Ritchie and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of Steve Morse’s guitar work in his stead.

      • #3164061

        Gilmore interview

        by dmambo ·

        In reply to Dave Gilmour

        I heard David Gilmore interviewed for his new solo album. He said that he developed his style because he just could not move his fingers fast, so he knew he could not be the typical rock and roll axeman. He called his style long and lazy.

        I agree with you on “Comfortably Numb”. The Wall is such a schitzo disc. Half Waters, half Gilmore. Perfect for the story it conveys.

        • #3163960

          Best guitarist

          by phoenix1999 ·

          In reply to Gilmore interview

          I have read about half of the responses to this question and have been pleased with everyone’s views on who and what makes a great guitarist. Influencal bands and the music they produce is something that will live forever and damn that people who say rock and roll is dead. But anyway my favorite guitarist of all time are as follows:

          1. Jimi Hendrix
          2. David Gilmour
          3. Eric Clapton
          4. Jimmy Page (I have not seen this yet)
          5. Kirk Hammet
          6. Stevie Ray Vahgn
          7. Dave Matthews (has some of the most ingenus music i’ve ever heard)
          8. Eddie Van Halen
          9. Mike Endzinger
          10. Tim Mahonny

          Now there is no way there could be any one greatest guitar player, but these are the guitar players that have inspired me to be one and filled my life with the things I love best about music.

    • #3164050

      Come on people

      by jeanmarc1 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      If you KNOW anything about guitar, if you have any MUSICAL sense, it has to be:

      1. Django Reinhardt
      (see or

      His influence even today is huge:
      – Chet Atkins was once asked to name the ten greatest guitarists of the 20th century. He placed Django at #1 on the list (he placed himself at fifth position).
      – Reinhardt is the idol of the fictional 1930’s guitarist, Emmet Ray(Sean Penn),who passes out upon meeting Django in the Woody Allen film Sweet and Lowdown (1999).
      – Jimi Hendrix, is said to have named one of his bands the Band of Gypsies because of Django’s music.
      – The Allman Brothers Band song Jessica was written by guitarist Dickey Betts in tribute to Reinhardt. He wanted to write a song that could be played using only two fingers.
      – A song titled “Django,” composed by John Lewis, has become a jazz standard.
      – Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was inspired by Reinhardt to keep playing guitar after a factory accident that cost him two fingertips.
      – Former Slade singer Noddy Holder named his son Django.
      – Country music singer and guitar player Jerry Jeff Walker named his son Django (who is also a singer and guitar player).
      – Former Libertines guitarist, Carl Barat, has expressed on plenty of occasions his admiration for Django as well as his influence in his solo guitar technique.
      – British guitarist Diz Disley was strongly influenced by Django Reinhart and collaborated on numerous projects with St?phane Grappelli.
      and also
      – Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Jerry Garcia, Toni Iommi of Black Sabbath, Trey Anastasio formerly of Phish, Willie Nelson, Les Paul, Carlos B?rat formerly of The Libertines, Bob Wills, Charlie Christian, Miles Davis, David Crosby, Duane Allman, Julian Bream, Tom Morello formerly of Rage against the Machine, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Diz Disley, Egberto Gismonti

      2. Bireli Lagrene
      (see and more…)

    • #3164049

      best guitarist in my opinion is Phil Keaggy

      by nccfrank ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Phil Keaggy has been playing since the late 60’s. His unique style of what he calls the “Glass Harp sound” came when he was playing with a group he started called Glass Harp. Many rumors have stated that he has played, taught or even been taught with the legendary Hendrix. A statement was made about Phil, since he has been playing Christian music since the 70’s “that if he wasn’t playing for “The Cause” that he would be the greatest rocker of all time.”

    • #3164023

      Dimebag and my list

      by wow > work ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Meh, I might get blasted for this one, but Diamond “Dimebag” Darrell (Pantera) was amazing, always voted best guitarist year after year in Guitar Magazines. Not the over all best, but one of the best. That man could shred a mean guitar.

      As for best guitarists, I’ll list whom I think are the best, plus they also influenced me when I started playing:

      Dimebag Darrell
      David Gilmour
      Eddie Van Halen
      Jimi Hendrix
      Kerry King
      Randy Rhodes
      Steve Vai
      Stevie Ray Vaughn

      • #3163952

        Question WoW

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Dimebag and my list

        Was there a reason for alphabetical order? Couldn’t bring yourself to put one at the top and another at the bottom?

        As far as blasted, when it is a topic based on opinion, how can you be wrong?

        You just won’t see many of the old timers agreeing on Darrell based on not listening to that style of music. And yes, for someone that was blasted off his a$$ everytime he took the stage, he was right on.

        A strange thing to hear would be music influinced by Darrell and Vaughn at the same time….. :p Talk about different ends of the spectrum.

        • #3163930

          My Variety

          by wow > work ·

          In reply to Question WoW

          Yea, I listen to a lot of different music, my iPod list is a little odd, from Aerosmith to Led Zeppelin to Megadeth to Pink Floyd to Tool (Note: no Linkin Park.)

          To me, a good guitarist isn’t measured by the genre of music he/she plays in; it’s whether or not he/she can make people drop their jaws at how they play. Even if it isn’t fast finger work (like Gilmour,) even songs without solos, some times it’s the sound they can create.

          Oh, I forgot an obscure guitarist: Herman Li from Dragonforce. Youtube search for him, the guy is amazing. Lightning fast finger work.

          Also, for those who love playing air guitar while listening to Stairway To Heaven, if you have a PS2 I *highly* recommend getting Guitar Hero. You can Youtube that as well to see what it’s like.

        • #3112685

          My pet peeve about genre

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to My Variety

          It annoys me to no end, dumb kids that will say “that sucks” about something like classical music.

          There is a big difference between you liking something or not, and if it is great music or not. One is opinion, the other isn’t.

          I have stressed this to my boys, and it has helped them better see what is out there. They can listen to something for the music content instead of the entertainment content and get something out of it.

          That being said, from an analytical point of view I will say that “RAP” is just noise. A way for people with no musical skills to make a buck.

          Country? MOSTLY simple music for simple people. 😀 My idea of “country music” is Metalica while on a back road! (note: opion)

      • #3111964

        I like the list except for

        by tryten ·

        In reply to Dimebag and my list

        Kerry King… He is a good guitarist, but damn near ALL of Slayers best riffs were created my Jeff Hanneman. Guitarwise, Hanneman created 90% the really good riffs, or the more popular ones like War Ensamble.

        Jeff and Kerry have very simiar styles but Hanneman is by far the better of the two. He just doesnt like cameras or interviews. I dont see how Kerry does it though. Nearly all of his interviews and “how to” sessions are either questions about songs that were musically written by Hanneman or showing how to play songs that were written by Hanneman. You can even find scales and such created and published by Jeff.

        Kerry has the look, but Hanneman has the skills.

    • #3163957

      Two more no one has mentioned

      by jon.guth ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      First of all, I will agree with the posters who say there is no one best guitarist. Style, genre, and time differentiate.

      A couple more to add to the mix:
      Michael Hedges was an acoustic phenomenon. If you havent’ heard it, get it. If you haven’t seen him, too late.

      And possibly the best guitarist you never heard of is Scottie Anderson.

      • #3163946

        My genre is showing…Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Vince Gill, Willie, Waylon

        by rclark2 ·

        In reply to Two more no one has mentioned

        in that order. While they all have their best songs, as pure craftsmen, they have no equal in the acid rock genre.

        I do know that there are some great musicians in the rock genre, but you have to first be able to classify what they produce as music…….(I don’t) ….

    • #3163942

      One of the greats – writer, producer, lead guitarist …

      by klee ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      … Jimmy Page.

      He’s gotta be up there somewhere.

    • #3163933

      My nominations

      by golovko99 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I would like to nominate the following:
      1. Mark Knofler
      2. Eric Clapton
      3. Jimi Hendrix
      4. Django Rheinhart
      5. Bonnie Raitt

      I could happily listen to any of these people for long periods of time.

    • #3163903

      My eclectic list …

      by rpcoopman ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I’m not going to argue who is/was the best, variety is the spice of life. I tend to listen to guys “off the beaten path”. I was really fortunate to see Hendrix several times, but each of these guys is just as creative and exciting in their own way. Check them out if you’re looking for some new stuff:

      Michael Hedges – totally transformed acoustic playing. Died too young …
      Billy McLaughlin – picked up where Michael left off. Watching him play is like poetry in motion. Then due to a debilitating disease reinvented his playing left handed!
      Phil Keaggy – my favorite. He can play anything and he’s incredibly creative.
      John Jorgenson – Hands down the most exciting performer I’ve ever seen – any gendre. New hier to Django Reinhardt style playing
      Roland Dyens – Classical guitarist, but not afraid to throw in some Zappa compositions. An amazing composer … I’m reminded of Chopin …
      Danny Gatton – not my favorite style of music (rockabilly?) – but he transcended musical boundaries and his solos went to the outer limits of comprehension. He died way too young …
      Pat Methany – his solos can take you anywhere you can imagine … still fresh after touring for 25+ years …
      Tony McManus – if you like Celtic … he’s the MAN!
      David Grier – flatpicking? He turns bluegrass inside-out
      Jerry Garcia – ok, lots of people think his playing was boring and his singing sucked … but, having seen the “Dead” at least 30 times (even before they were the Dead), when he was on … he was ON. I never saw anyone who could play so tuned in (telepathic?) with his other band members. I always liked the tinge of jazz in his playing
      Don Ross – zany “four handed” fingerstyle monster …

      Try to see any of these guys live (the ones who are living) if at all possible. They are better than the CD … ;’)

      • #3112720


        by ken lillemo ·

        In reply to My eclectic list …

        Five guitarists is too short a list to cover the various ways guitarists have excelled at their craft.
        On several occaisions I have shared the venue with an audience of 200 see Muddy Waters, Pat Metheny, James Cotton, Pat Fahey, Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Jim Hall, Bill Frisell, Albert King, Duke Tomato, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks. I enjoyed all of them except for Muddy Waters; granted he was in poor health at the time so my experience is tainted.
        I am still wowed by Frampton even though I have not experienced him live.
        Metheny was amazing. Surrounded by a tower of electronics and the cracked case on a Syncalvier he did not let the media become the message. He closed the show quietly, alone, with an accoustic gutiar and “Hear Comes The Sun.”

    • #3163901

      Never thought much of Jimmi

      by wildbear63 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I always loved the guitar work of Ted Nugent. I haven’t heard anyone else who could literally play the feedback.

    • #3112694

      Phil Keaggy

      by bbarnes3 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      You feel that way just because you haven’t heard Phill Keaggy (, or Doyle Dykes ( that matter. Listen to either of these artists and you’ll see what I mean.

      If you want an older artist, Mark Knopfler was better than many of his contemporaries. Eric Clapton – give me a break!

      • #3112669


        by nabilmish ·

        In reply to Phil Keaggy

        I’ve always thought that Keaggy was incredible – crisp, fast fingering, and great vocals, including “scat”…

        • #3112244

          Did you see the pic

          by vanessaj ·

          In reply to Keaggy!

          of Keaggy with McCartney at McCartney’s wedding that twtrout posted earlier in this blog? I didn’t know that Keaggy played for Paul’s wedding, and it’s a great pic – check it out.

    • #3112678

      My top

      by 3xp3rt ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      1. Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple ? Childe in time
      2. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd – Shine on you crazy diamond
      3. Carlos Santana – Europe
      4. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin – Stairway to haven
      5. Jimi Hendrix ? Hey Joe

    • #3112668

      Many greats

      by thedoresmedley ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      there are many great guitarist living and dead Rogers Nelson aka prince is another example

    • #3112609

      Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      by hennoman ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Only one answer to this – Joe Satriani

    • #3112591

      Forgotten Heroes

      by tehuti_44 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      If I missed their names being mentioned my apologies, but since I didn’t see them I have to add:

      Roy Buchanan
      Freddie King
      Michael Bloomfield

      Obviously many people would list Stevie Ray (as would I). But if you’re going to acknowledge Stevie you HAVE to also consider Albert King, who was his inspiration.

    • #3112576

      Brian May of Queen

      by allen halsey ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Although I am a big fan of Pete Townshend, I would have to say the best guitar solo ever is by Brian May in Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

      I also like the guitar work by AC/DC e.g. Back in Black.

      I never understood why Eric Clapton is heralded as such a great guitarist. The only solo by him that I like is on The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

      Jimi Hendrix is definitely impressive. My favorite of solo of his is his Woodstock rendition of Star Spangled Banner.

      Eddie Van Halen, while innovative and technically awesome, often doesn’t carry much of an emotional impact, which I believe is the ultimate criteria for any musician. However, I do very-much like his solo in “Unchained”. Another problem with Eddie is the songs themselves are pretty bad. I prefer groups with a social consious, like The Who and U2. I really lost a lot of respect for Eddie when his group did “Hot for Teacher.”

      • #3112480


        by jgaskell ·

        In reply to Brian May of Queen

        If you want to hear some great Clapton solos, check out the Roger Waters album, “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking”. I think Clapton was really able to shine on that album through not being the centre of attention. He was able to just concentrate on his part.

        • #3110941

          Clapton’s Best?

          by sonicbridge ·

          In reply to Clapton

          I still think his work on John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers is what got him respect amongst other guitarists.

        • #3111786

          Of course

          by jgaskell ·

          In reply to Clapton’s Best?

          I was just pointing out some of his better work that people may not be familiar with.

    • #3112547

      Good but the BEST??

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Eddie VanHalen, was a pioneer at working with new sounds, a la hammer-ons. He was far from a GREAT guitarist though, any 15 year old kid can dupe his work effortlessly. It was unique but not the best.

      Eric Clapton, an excellent guitarist and top rank writer, but not any more talented than howlin wolf and some of the other old blues players. Again, I wouldn’t say he’s the BEST guitarist, or even the top 3.

      Jimi Hendrix, good acid, need i say more. Yes he was a great guitarist, a legend in fact, but was he really one of the best guitarists? For the same style, I would throw Stevie Ray Vaughn on top.

      So there are zillions of great guitarists, all very unique and very talented, just as there are vocalists, drummers, bassists etc. We have had similar discusisons MANY times here, and there is no real answer. Just like all teh top 10 and top 1000 lists, we would always accept some and reject some, music is purely based on taste.

      Now you mustn’t forget guitar teams, KK Downing and Glen Tipton (Judas Priest), phenominal!! Together simply uneqalled even in todays saturated scene (though GUitar bads are few and far between these days); independantly, well they are both good but no unstoppable talent.

      Angus Young, an absolute maniac able to play virtually any style he chooses. What makes him unique? He is a string bender that guitarists just can’t keep up to anymore, by far one of the best R&R and BLues Guitarists around today.

      As a band manager, I can say most guitarists place Alex Leifsen (RUSH) at the top of their list, as do most mags and industry charts.

      And, believe it or not, one of the most respected guitarists (even in teh heavy metal world) is Prince (or the Artist formerly known as Prince), he’s absolutely incredible.

      So while the mainstream and most new guitarits think VanHalen, Clapton and Hendrix rule the world, and they are very unique talents (well Clapton is a bit of a hack with his constant cloning of sounds) there are so many that are as good if not better that creating such a list is really not possible.

      • #3112474

        While not the “best”

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Good but the BEST??

        I really enjoy listening to Chris DeGarmo. Cool writer, and good musician.

      • #3111983

        He is just Prince now

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Good but the BEST??

        The artist formerly known as….came out of a dispute with the record company who were trying to restrict his musical style and content, so he swore he would never record for them again. They in turn suggested that he would be breaking his contract if he recorded for anyone else. Hence he record and toured under….the artist formerly known as.

        But I believe a settlement has been worked out since, so he is back to his old name.

        He lives part of the year in Toronto, a few doors down from a co-worker of mine. Local paper interviewed him last year and he seems a little uncomfortable with some of his earlier rauchier work as he doesn’t like to expose his kids to that content.

        I’ve only ever owned “Purple Rain” but its a pretty amazing album and Prince is a great player.

        Alex Liefson is pretty incredible too.


        • #3111776

          Yes, he won.

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to He is just Prince now

          Prince was actually owned by teh label, he couldn’t record under that name without teh label’s control. He removed all traces of his name and used a symbol, his name was made up by the media as they didn’t know what to call him.

          His contract came to term so he left and started as Prince again.

    • #3112536

      Without a doubt – Dorothy (Dot) Wiggins of The Shaggs. . . . .

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      …was the absolute best. Frank Zappa even called that group better than the Beatles. That must mean, by default, that Zappa must have also thought Dot was better than George Harrison. And who can argue with a guy who named his kids Dweezil and Moon Unit?

      There ya’ go. End of argument!

      Want a sample?

    • #3112508

      Guitar Heroes

      by gptech ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Rory Gallagher, Bill Nelson (of Be-Bop Deluxe) ….

      Gallagher for his ‘understanding’ of what the guitar could/needed to do…. and Nelson for breaking new ground and not caring who he upset along the way

    • #3112495

      Well if we are just randomly naming guitarists

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I am shocked that nobody seems to have mentioned one of the most noted guitar virtuoso’s, Randy Rhodes.

      At his young age he was one of the first guitarists to REALLY mix classical stylings with hard rock/heavy metal. Which we also see from Yngwie. But Rhandy wasn’t playing classical on electric as Ymgwie does but more the fingering and styling to create clear, listenable solos and incredible harmonies when mized with Ozzy’s high-keyed vocals (remember when mot music actually had a guitar solo?).

      R.I.P. Randy Rhodes: December 6 1956 – March 19, 1982

      Now we can’t mention Randy Rhodes without mentioning another amazing talent, voted MVP for three years in a row by Guitar World Magazine, 2005’s ‘Best Metal Guitarist’, ‘Number 1 Shredder’ and recipient of the ‘Metal Hammer’, ‘Riff Lord’ and ‘Golden God’ awards. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. ZAKK WYLDE!!!!!

      The man who can play the US national anthem on guitar EVEN WYLDER than Hendrix, has played with almost ANY and EVERY notable guitarist r band you can imagine. His silver screen appearance with the band Steel Dragon (also featuring DIO’s, Jeff Pilson and Jason Bonham ((Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham’s son)) in Rock Star was VERY similar to his onstage performance with Ozzy. He is a master to watch and a sound that the most discerning ears will enjoy . Mr. Wylde I must hand the runner up to you for being so cool last summer, having such a great positive attitude and for keeping the solos alive.

      • #3112475


        by jellimonsta ·

        In reply to Well if we are just randomly naming guitarists

        Randy already got my vote last week.

      • #3112472

        And after that

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Well if we are just randomly naming guitarists

        not even an honorable mention to Jake E. Lee?

        • #3112315

          BLACK SABBATH??

          by dvavassi ·

          In reply to And after that

          ok guys, Hendrix,R.Roads,Eddie V.Hallen etc
          are all excellent.But come on…
          Black Sabbath teached alot of bands how to rock!
          Nobody mentioned the great Tony Iommi(!!!)

        • #3112240

          the power cords

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to BLACK SABBATH??

          While it started a new sound, there is very little in his actual playing that would have you writting home to mom about.

          Good, yes. Great? No.

          Now if you want to carve out a special nitch award for innovative sounds, he would make a top 10 list. Creativity, versitility, and over all skills, if you get emotional he might be listed in a top 100, but not if you are objective about it.

          After all that is said and done, can an opinon on something like this be wrong? If you state YOUR FAVORITE is, then no. If you state that he is just the best, then we have many technical points to amend your opinion with.

    • #3112232

      Spanish guitar, need some ideas

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      This gets me back to something I wanted to do about a month ago. I enjoy instrumental CD’s, and about 1/3 of my collection is just that. Some Jazz, but mostly rock guitar.

      I would be VERY interested in spanish guitar INSTUMENTALS. don’t WANT the singing to go with it.

      What do you suggest?

    • #3112192

      My favorites

      by bubba69 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      In no particular order…
      Jimmy Page – Led Zepplin
      B B King
      Carlos Santana
      Mark Knoppler – Dire Straits
      Jimi Hendrix
      Stevie Ray Vaughn

    • #3112102

      Tom Morello

      by mindilator9 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      nobody is more innovative with style and effects than tom. he uses several “broken” guitars and pedals that have unique quirks from damage to make some of the sounds he makes. and his record-scratch-string-sliding technique on Bulls on Parade? the rage against the machine albums have some of the best guitar work ever recorded.

    • #3110991

      Stevie Ray Vaughn…… Sober or not!!!!

      by robert.manning.ctr ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Was one of the strongest and best guitarist’s ever. Saw him play non-stop (sober) for just over three hours and at t he end of the 3hrs, he sounded like he just walked on stage. SRV was extremely talented and paved the way for others like Johnny Lang. He was also true to his music and never deviated and always kept his sound, unlike others.

    • #3110945

      Before, Hendrix, Paige, Clapton —– Jeff Beck, Anyone?

      by sonicbridge ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Have we forgotten who leashed/unleashed feedback on the masses. Always ahead of the curve.

      • #3110790

        Re: Jeff Beck …

        by kaspencer ·

        In reply to Before, Hendrix, Paige, Clapton —– Jeff Beck, Anyone?

        yes I agree – see my earlier post(s) on this topic. I wish I had put his name in the title of the post now …


        • #3110757

          Clapton & a new name

          by golovko99 ·

          In reply to Re: Jeff Beck …

          On my way home last night I put on the “live” CD of Wheels of Fire by Cream. Eric Clapton sounded pretty darn good.

          I would like to add a name to this discussion that I don’t think I have seen up to now. What about Chuck Berry ?

        • #3113358

          Chuck Berry: better than me, yes. But the best ? Martin Taylor? Dom Miller?

          by kaspencer ·

          In reply to Clapton & a new name

          Chuck Berry – yes pretty good, no doubt about that. But better than Beck, Clapton, Van Halen, Satriani – not sure about that.

          To add two more into the debate:
          1. Martin Taylor – and excellent jazz guitarist whgo makes his guitar sounds as polyphonal as a piano;
          2. Dominic Miller – Sting’s sidekick – good as a rocker and a jazz-man.

          Kenneth Spencer

    • #3111808


      by ibanezoo ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      The answer is simple and quite obvious. *I* am the greatest guitarist hands down and without question.

      Now stop your arguing and get back to work.

    • #3111698

      My 2 Frozen Cents

      by cuteelf ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Stevie Ray Vaughn
      Eric Clapton
      and Hendrix

      in that order.

      Cute Tan Elf 😛

      I have a job. Now let’s sing da blues …
      I got da bills
      I got da bills
      I get such ache and chills
      writin fat checks
      for your damn fat bills..

      • #3113412

        Hey, Cute! Good to hear from you

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to My 2 Frozen Cents

        Is it a good job? I know that you were getting a bit stressed. Your fans want to know that things are on the up-and-up for you in the frozen “slightly further north and a long, long way west”.

        Neil 😀

    • #3113128

      David Gilmour

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Everybody always forgets that it doesn’t matter how fast you play, but how you play.

      Although I have to include:
      Clapton, Hendrix, Kim Thayil, and BB King

    • #3167939

      No mentions of Steve Morse & Eric Johnson?

      by ryk ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I couldn’t read every reply, but I read a bunch and I didn’t see a single mention of Steve Morse or Eric Johnson.

      C’mon — Morse was voted Best All Around Guitarist 5 years in a row in Guitar Player mag (almost 20 years ago) and so was retired to the “Gallery of the Greats”. If you haven’t checked out his solo stuff, or his work with the Dixie Dregs, you owe it to yourself to do so.

      And Eric Johnson is just otherworldly. He channels an energy & spirit I’ve seen nowhere else. He’s hands-down better than just about anyone else I’ve ever heard.

      Also, if you’ve never heard of David Lindley, check him out — he’s basically a master of any picked string instrument. Phenomenal musician.

      I love ’em all — Hendrix, Van Halen, Satriani, Vai, Gatton, but the three I mention above have all literally brought me to tears during their live shows. I can’t say that about any other artist.

    • #3110660

      How about this guy?

      by mickster269 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

    • #3276049

      Page and Hendrix

      by diddle ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      I am kind of shocked that at first glance I didn’t see Jimmy Page posted under anyone’s listing. That’s rediculous! Okay Hendrix was the best I’ll give you that but Page was a close second! And if anyone says different you probably haven’t seen his live Stairway to Heaven from Madison Square Garden in the 70’s or your head just needs an examination!
      Check it out on then just sit back and concede that you were wrong! Zeppelin was the overall best pure rock band ever and that was mostly due to Page’s playing and writing ability. So just end the debate because there really isn’t one to begin with. #1 Jimmy Hendrix #2 Jimmy Page!

      • #2484759

        Page and only Page

        by nealandonna ·

        In reply to Page and Hendrix

        I believe that if there can be only one best guitarist ever then it can only be Jimmy Page. All others, however great they may be, and there are many great ones to be considered, fall short to the great Page. Before Zeppelin, with Zeppelin and after Zeppelin, Page continues to be the greatest. Nothing more needs to be said on this topic of discussion.

        • #2484741

          First does not equal best

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Page and only Page

          It doesn’t matter which type of music you listen to, there clearly are many that have far outshone Page. Clapton in the same era and beyond, is one such example.

          Modern guitar, just try to match up against Steve Vai for skill, creativity, and originality, as well as longevity.

    • #3223001

      For me it’s Chris Fairclough he is better than the Edge & better than me.

      by robert_page ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Has anyone heard the guitarist in the almost funk band (being hailed as the new U2) in Dublin.
      Chris Fairclough is undeniably better then the edge. However this was to be expected as his twin sisters are actress; appearing in the critically acclaimed Commitments.

      Robert Page

    • #2480065

      Jeff Beck technically better than Clapton ….

      by kaspencer ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton were born within a few miles and a few months of each other, and both played in the Yardbirds. But who is the best guitarist of the two? Well technically is has to be Beck surely. And as you vote also for Van Halen, I think that you must favour technical wizardy.

      However, there are others: the late Eric Roche? and dozens and dozens of “extreme” guitarists following the Satriani tradition?

      And does the Classical Guitar idiom count in the debate? I was fortunate enough to hear Andres Segovia in about ’66 or ’67 in London – no amplifier, just a small Spanish guitar!

      Thanks for reading!


      • #2642803

        Dave Gilmour

        by dymac30 ·

        In reply to Jeff Beck technically better than Clapton ….

        I think the best album and albums after that is a good marker for one of, or the best.Dark side of the moon is probly the best album,that leaves dave gilmour for his tasteful and technical playing is my pick

    • #2666266

      Prince, Jimi Page, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Roy Clark

      by mayja77 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Prince is one of the most underrated guitarists around. If you listen to his earlier work from albums like “Prince” which is his 2nd album coming out in 1979. The song “Bambi” or from his 1st album “For You” the song “I’m Your’s” he is kickin’ butt on guitar. As a matter of fact he’s kickin’ butt on all the instruments. I know most of you would not agree because you’ve only heard his “Pop-Era” music. The rest of my choices speak for themselves. Jeff Healey, Stanley Jordan & George Benson are great too. It all depends on the listner’s ear. There are too many to post in one comment.

    • #3022345

      Poll for Worlds Greatest Living Guitarist

      by dbtwang ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      The years roll on but the debate never changes! Would welcome your votes for our poll – 97 names suggested by our readers and you can vote for 3:


    • #2439470

      Tommy Emmanuel

      by landauzus ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      Many rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix have been cited. True, they may have been legends, they may have played their instruments proficiently…. But… There is Tommy Emmanuel, and then there are the rest, way way below him.

    • #2439457

      In my opinion

      by sepehrjafari1366 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      1.Jimi Hendrix
      2.Eric Clapton
      3.Jimi Page
      4.Mark Knopfler
      5.Jeff Beck
      6.Chuck Berry
      7.Eddie Van Halen
      8.David Gilmour
      9. Scotty Moore
      10.Ritchie Blackmore

    • #2439456


      by sepehrjafari1366 ·

      In reply to Who is (was) the best guitarist ?

      99.Kirk Hammet
      100.Kirt Cobain

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