Top 10 Guitarists of All Time (REDUX)

The guitar is their weapon of choice. In this video, WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 guitarists of all time (REDUX). For this list, we’ve chosen guitarists based on a combination of their talent, songwriting skills, technical and creative merits, and their lasting influence. If you want to learn more about great axe men, or if you were expecting to see Brian May or Carlos Santana on the list, be sure to check out our videos on the Top 10 Solo Guitarists and Top 10 Band Guitarists. And for even more guitar gods, check out our Instrumental Series Special thanks to our users Jimmy Washington, John Joseph, Arnas952, Jack Morris, Bornoblivion123, Josh Kidd, Luke Alvarado, Martin Talsnes, hamamedo and many others for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Guitarists of All Time (REDUX)


The guitar is their weapon of choice. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 guitarists of all time.

For this list, we’ve chosen guitarists based on a combination of their talent, songwriting skills, technical and creative merits, and their lasting influence. If you want to learn more about great axe men, or if you were expecting to see Brian May or Carlos Santana on the list, be sure to check out our videos on the Top 10 Solo Guitarists and Top 10 Band Guitarists. And for even more guitar gods, check out our Instrumental Series.

#10: Randy Rhoads

Rhoads exploded into the heavy metal universe after giving Ozzy Osbourne’s music a new lease on life. Though Randy Rhoads’ time with the Prince of Darkness and Quiet Riot before that was brief, the classical guitar devotee left a legacy that is unparalleled to this day. Despite his short twenty-five year life, he’ll always be remembered for his ability to make a whole lotta noise with just a few guitars and special effects.

#9: David Gilmour

Though the multi-talented musician played several different roles in Pink Floyd, he proved to be at his best when playing the guitar. David Gilmour’s blues-inspired style and evocative notes have produced some of the greatest guitar solos in history. Simply watch a live performance of Gilmour’s guitar work on “Comfortably Numb” and you’re sure to be a convert.

#8: Stevie Ray Vaughan

With his passionate and expressive playing style, SRV brought life back into blues rock. He differentiated himself from those before him by blending blues, rock and jazz into his sound. A fatal helicopter crash may have taken his life, but the critically acclaimed guitarist’s music will continue to live on thanks to his work with Double Trouble and the impact he’s had on future generations of artists.

#7: B.B. King

The King of Blues did not only perfect the method of using the guitar as a voice, but he also demonstrated this feat on numerous occasions with his own guitar, Lucille. And thanks to his soloing style and exceptional vibrato, B.B. King has become the ultimate inspiration to many of the biggest electric and blues rock guitarists after him.

#6: Chuck Berry

We have Chuck Berry’s thrilling sound and remarkable playing style to thank for rock and roll’s growth and subsequent explosion. By bringing R&B and guitar solos to the genre, he became a huge influence on rock music. Meanwhile, his stage bravado and accompanying dance moves similarly shaped rock performances for the better.

#5: Robert Johnson

He must have really traded his soul to the devil for his talents, because his guitar-playing style was so complex that few can match it to this day. In addition to his impressive technical capacities, Robert Johnson could express a wide range of emotions through his voice and this made him an all-around musical legend. Despite his early death at age 27, there’s no denying that the king of Mississippi Delta country blues had a major impact on rock and roll.

#4: Eric Clapton

Slowhand developed an unmatchable style that he’s used both as a solo artist and as a member of bands like Cream and The Yardbirds. Eric Clapton even coined a signature guitar sound known as the woman tone. Plus, his ear for melody is untouchable. On top of that, Clapton is one half of the team behind one of rock’s greatest love songs, and he played its memorable riff with another one of the most innovative guitarists in history: Duane Allman.

#3: Eddie Van Halen

He burst onto the music scene with his drumming brother Alex and co-founded one of the biggest hard rock acts in American history. Eddie Van Halen revolutionized guitar-playing with his tapping technique and hard rock style. While he continues to play with Van Halen, his originality and talent have already inspired many and will certainly inspire scores more.

#2: Jimmy Page

Both as co-founder of the biggest band of the ‘70s and as a musician in his own right, Jimmy Page permanently altered the sound of music by fusing blues, rock and folk. He may very well be the greatest guitarist rock has ever seen, as aptly displayed in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Though he was influenced by Robert Johnson, the riff king himself has left an immeasurable and all-encompassing influence on later artists that won’t soon be forgotten.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Joe Satriani
- Dimebag Darrell
- Jeff Beck
- Angus Young
- Tony Iommi

#1: Jimi Hendrix

As the original Seattle rocker, Jimi Hendrix was a musical innovator whose avant-garde musical ideas and incomparable guitar skills revolutionized music. The left-handed guitarist left us way too early at age 27, but in that short time, he gave us some of the greatest guitar solos in history. Let’s not forget the fact that he could also play a mean electric guitar – WITH HIS TEETH.

Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite guitarist of all time? Don’t forget to check out our videos on the Top 10 Solo Guitarists, Top 10 Band Guitarists and our Top 10 Instrumentals series for more of your favorite axe men, and be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more top 10s published every day.
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