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Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Top 15 Greatest and Most Famous Guitarists Of All Time

The guitar requires no introduction because it is one of the most popular musical instruments among music lovers, listeners, and musicians alike. It exists in its own world, capable of producing acoustic melodies ranging from soothing rhythms to hand-banging rock anthems.

The following are without a doubt the greatest guitarists to ever pick up a guitar. We also include a few runners-up who are very close to taking the top spot and whom you may already be considering. And, of course, we give honorable mentions to the other greats at the end (plus some shoutouts).

Surprisingly, only one of these outstanding musicians is among the world's wealthiest guitarists. That tells you how much the general public values skill. Without further ado, here are the top 15 best guitarists of all time, ranked by KnowInsiders.com.


1. Jimi Hendrix

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970) was an African-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is considered a master electric guitarist, and one of the most influential people in the history of music. Therefore, he is honored as the best guitarist in the world. In 1967, with her debut single "Are You Experienced", "Hey Joe" became a UK chart hit, followed by hits like "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries" Mary” made Hendrix really famous.

But the Monterrey Pop Festival event at the same time was the highlight that brought him to the pinnacle of musical talent. He burned his heart out with the performance of burning the Strat - the guitar he loved so much. Jimi Hendrix plays music with love, improvisation and creativity. Music listeners can recognize Jimi in his own tunes. In 1968, the band "The Jimi Hendrix Experienced" founded by Jimi Hendrix himself released two albums in a row and their chart results are considered one of the greatest achievements in rock history.

However, Experienced's glory days were short-lived. In 1969, this band disbanded and a year later Hendrix also died less than 30 years old. Hendrix won many prestigious music awards while he was alive. Even after his death, he was still awarded other noble awards such as being inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

2. Brian May

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Brian May

Brian May is a founding member of the legendary rock band Queen. He is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential and well-known guitarists, songwriters, and performers. May is currently performing in the rock world with Adam Lambert and drummer Roger Taylor.

In addition to his guitar skills, he has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and has founded several animal rights organizations.

When Brian May put his astrophysicist dreams on hold and customized his guitar, affectionately known as the Red Special, the sky was the limit. May's mix of hard-rock power chords and classicist fretwork as Queen's lead guitarist fuelled Freddie Mercury's delightfully outlandish rock operas (Bohemian Rhapsody), as well as solos that launched themselves like projectile missiles at football terraces (We Will Rock You).

3. Jimmy Page

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page (born 1944) is an English guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He began his career playing freelance guitar at several venues in London, before becoming a member of the band The Yardbirds. In 1968, he left the group and formed the band Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page received a lot of admiration from audiences and music experts. They consider him one of the greatest musicians and guitarists in the history of rock music.

Referring to guitarist Jimmy Page, people immediately remember his top-notch guitar playing technique with captivating riffs and creative play that perhaps no artist has ever tried before. In 2007, Page ranked 4th on Classic Rock magazine's "100 Wildest Guitarists" list. In 2010, he ranked 2nd in the ranking of "50 guitarists of all time" voted by the world famous guitar brand Gibson. With 2 times named in the Rock and Roll Hall, Jimmy Page deserves to be one of the best guitarists in the world.

Read More: Top 10 Best and Famous Guitar Brands in The World

4. Django Reinhardt

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Django Reinhardt

Guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910 - 19530) was from the Sinti Roma minority and was forced to flee Paris in 1943 during the Nazi occupation. He is the brightest pioneer of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing, known worldwide for its mellow melodies and fast play.

Django Reinhardt is considered one of the best guitarists in the world with over 100 songs. His early style became a musical tradition in the French Gypsy culture. He is famous for his ability to play guitar solo with only 2 fingers (due to a fire accident). His contributions to the development of world music in general and jazz music in particular are worthy of recognition.

5. Steve Vai

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Steve Vai

On June 6, 1960, I was born. He is a well-known American rock guitarist, composer, and producer who has sold over 15 million albums worldwide.

Steve Vai is known for his perfect pitch, acute ear, and extensive knowledge of music theory. It's worth noting that his playing style is often described as unusual and "slanted." This is why he is regarded as having a truly unique musical illustration.

In recent years, he has received three Grammy awards and nine Grammy nominations. He was also named the Best Rock Guitarist and appeared on the cover of Guitar Player magazine. Steve Vai's most well-known works include For the Love of God and Lotus Feet.

6. Eric Clapton

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is regarded as one of the most decorated and influential guitarists of all time. Eric has performed with some of the greatest musicians of all time, including The Beatles. He also held his own while performing at all-day festivals alongside legends such as BB King and Jimi Hendrix.

Eric Clapton is regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in rock and roll history. He has 18 Grammy Awards, has been inducted into 14 different Rock Halls of Fames, and has been named three times to Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarist" list. He was also named the fourth best guitarist in history by Gibson.

7. David Gilmour

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
David Gilmour

Picking up on Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett's psychedelic sonic touchstones, David Gilmour and his iconic "Black Strat" created a guitar sound like no other. From his rip-roaring bluesy explosion on Money to the soaring riffs that scaled the heavenly heights of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Gilmour's free-form feel for soul-stirring improvisation helped turn Pink Floyd into a progressive-rock powerhouse.

His epic solo on Comfortably Numb is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar performances of all time, providing listeners with a perfect distillation of his ability to elicit emotion with every note played. David Gilmour's innovative work with Pink Floyd rightly distinguishes him as one of the best guitarists to ever grace the stage by bridging the swamplands of psychedelia with the new terrain of jazz-rock.

8. Allan Holdsworth

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Allan Holdsworth

Allan Holdsworth was well-known for his work in British jazz fusion and progressive rock, where he applied his advanced music theory skills, primarily centered on scales and chords. Most guitar greats cite him as an influence, and most agree he's the most interesting player ever. The majority of his solo work was instrumental, emphasizing his talent.

Holdsworth resisted acoustic guitar as he developed his legato style of playing on the guitar to mimic the saxophone. His signature sounds include fingerpicked chords washed out with delay, chorus, and reverb, as well as intriguing phrasing and advanced scale use.

9. Keith Richards

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Keith Richards

Keith Richards was born in 1943 in England and is one of the best guitarists in the world. He is the founder of the equally famous Rock band: the Rolling Stones. Although he is no longer at the peak of his career, his name is still mentioned as a legend with his creative play in the wonderful guitar riffs. Rolling Stones magazine called him "the best guitar player" and ranked him 4th on its list of "100 Greatest Guitarists". Up to 14 songs that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger wrote for The Stones are on the list of "500 Greatest Songs".

10. B.B. King

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
B.B. King

He is an artist who, when introduced to the stage, people do not immediately say his name, but always introduce solemnly: "The king of blues". In 2011, Rolling Stones magazine ranked him at number 6 on the list of "50 guitarists of all time" of the world famous guitar brand Gibson.

B.B. King has a very distinct style of guitar playing, full of sophistication, combining string solo playing and fanciful vibrato, influencing all nearby Blues guitarists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The world's best guitarist is also known for touring non-stop throughout his career with about 200-330 shows per year.

11. Eddie Van Halen

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen, the group's lead songwriter and guitarist, is a co-founder of the popular rock band Van Halen. He was born in the Netherlands, but his family quickly relocated to Pasadena, California, where he and his brother studied music. They quickly abandoned the classics in favor of the rock genre.

The Van Halen brothers formed the band in 1974, and they remained popular and released albums with their ensemble hard rock sound well into the 2000s and 2010s.

Eddie Van Halen's earth-rocking success came from popularizing guitar tapping. As seen during his instrumental solo on "Eruption," he uses both hands on the fretboard. He even patented a guitar support that allowed him to tap with the instrument facing upward.

12. Joe Satriani

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Joe Satriani

On July 15th, 1956, I was born. Joseph "Joe" Satriani is his real name. He is an American-Italian instrumental rock guitarist who also performs on harmonica, banjo, harp, and keyboards.

Joe Satriani, of course, specializes in guitar. He is regarded as one of the world's best guitarists. Not without cause.

Because of his exceptional talent, he has received 14 Grammy nominations, making him the second most Grammy nominated artist. He has sold 10 million albums worldwide. Summer Song, Flying in a Blue Dream, and Surfing with the Alien are among his most popular compositions.

13. Chuck Berry

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry's pioneering ideas contributed significantly to the evolution of rock'n'roll. Berry threw down the gauntlet for countless guitarists to follow with his famous chicken strut and rockabilly-inspired solos. As the unmistakable voice of 1950s youth, he sparked a revolution by soundtracking the exploits of hot-rodding teenagers (Maybellene) and championing the excitement of the roving guitarist (Johnny B Goode).

Berry is responsible for inspiring a whole generation of rock'n'rollers to pick up a guitar and throw all their dreams into a gunny sack, from his unique approach to guitar intros to his undeniably fleet-fingered solos. You'd be hard pressed to find a guitarist from the 1960s who wasn't influenced by him. "If you tried to call rock and roll something else," John Lennon said, "you might call it 'Chuck Berry.'"

14. George Benson

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
George Benson

George Benson is a top-tier guitarist known for his rest-stroke picking style, which was popularized by Django Reinhardt and other gypsy jazz musicians. Breezin', his first solo album released in 1976, went triple-platinum and won two Grammys, thanks to contributions from songwriters such as Bobby Womack and Leon Russell.

Other guitarists admire Benson's ability to master the blues while layering it over complex jazz structures. It results in a one-of-a-kind and rich composition. His vulnerable and smooth vocals also made him appear very personable. You cannot argue with the masses!

15. Mark Knopfler

Top 15 Greatest and Famous Guitarists Of All Time
Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler (born 1949) is an English musician, film composer, guitarist and music producer. He is widely known as the guitarist and lead vocalist and composer for the rock band Dire Straits, which he founded in 1977. What sets him apart is his impeccable songwriting ability. Well, Mark has found a suitable path for himself and really made his mark in the rock music industry which is full of talent.

People can sometimes confuse The Doors and The Who, The Beatles and Rolling Stone, Deep Purple and Led Zepplin, but when Mark Knopfler speaks or his electric guitar hums, everyone recognizes it. is the stylish Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. After the group disbanded in 1995, he turned to recording and producing 7 solo albums and many hit songs. He is considered one of the most respected finger-style guitarists of his generation. He is ranked in the list of the best guitarists in the world.


Creating such a list is not easy. After reading this article, surely the beloved readers of KnowInsiders.com can't help but admire the talent of the best guitar players in the world, right? They truly deserve to be recognized and honored.

In addition to natural talent, they also have tireless efforts, creativity and artistic spirit. That's what each of us needs to learn in this life.

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