Greatest Guitar Players Of All Times

We all are fans of famous rock bands from all times likes The Beatles or Ramones but, who are the people behind those instruments? Guitarist players, for example. Some of them are known from their solo moments or because they were a huge deal back then, but we usually do not know how they got into music for the first time in their lives, or what their inspiration is when they are writing music

We used the Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest guitarists of all times from 2003 as an inspiration to write about them. Sadly, there are no women on this list, but the list was reissued a few times, and those included several known and incredible ladies. Enjoy!



Jimi Hendrix


He is considered by one of the most innovative electric guitarists of all time. He was the lead singer of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and became famous in the United States at the 1967's Monterey Pop Festival, where he destroyed The Who's instruments by setting them on fire!

Eric Clapton


Eric Clapton is an English musician known to find prosperity not only as a solo artist, but also as a member of several bands. His rank of played genres goes from blues to psychedelic and pop.

Jimmy Page


Jimmy Page, is the guitarist and one of the founder members of the rock bands such as The Yardbirds or the legendary Led Zeppelin. His music is still considered as one of the most influential and the "most mysterious guitar hero"

Keith Richards


Keith Richards is one of the founding members of The Rolling Stones, which is probably the most popular rock band from all times, after The Beatles. His style is mostly a classical blues and rock, with a quick twist. Of course, despite his age, he still parties like nobody else.

Jeff Beck


Geoffrey "Jeff" Beck, is one of the members of The Yardbirds, with a career of more than 50 years and several records of jazz, soul and heavy metal, and electronica. On the not-so-brighter side, he is known for having problems working with other musicians.

B.B. King


Riley B. "B.B." King was not only a guitarist, but also a producer, singer and a record producer. His style was intricate and avant-garde, with a magnificent vibrato that is still considered an influence by many current artists.

Chuck Berry


Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was a singer and a guitarist player known for several hits during the fifties. Of course, due to the racism at that time, he wasn't considered the King of Rock and Roll, but he deserved it.

Eddie Van Halen


Eddie Van Halen was part of the Van Galen brother, with Eddie on the guitar and backing vocals. He was considered a hyperactive and powerful musician, with mindblowing solo hits during a moment in music history where disco was still dominant.

Duane Allman


Duane Allman was part of the Allman Brothers Band and is considered one of the founding father of the southern rock music. They started in 1969 in Jacksonville until Duane was tragically killed in an accident.

Pete Townshend


Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend is a singer, songwriter and the lead guitarist of the infamous rock band The Who, considered one of the most influential bands from the entire century. Peter wrote the rock opera and work of art Quadrophenia

George Harrison


George Harrison probably does not need any kind of introduction, but if you live under a rock, he was the lead guitarist from The Beatles, the legendary band. He wrote several songs and introduced new sounds from instruments like the sitar.

Stevie Ray Vaughan


Stephen Ray Vaughan was a multi-faceted artist (he was a musician, songwriter, singer and a producer) and he still is considered a huge influence of blues, despite having a short career back in the 80s

Albert King


Albert Nelson, known as Albert King, was considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (alongside B.B. King and Freddie King). His voice was smooth and velvety, which probably made him get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 2013.

David Gilmour


David Jon Gilmour, was the longtime member of the famous rock band Pink Floyd, where he took part after the departure of the founder member Syd Barrett. Gilmour became the leader of the band after the departure of Roger Waters in 1985

Freddy King


Freddie King was a guitarist and blues singer in the 60s. His voice was distinctive because it was full of soul and power. He made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Derek Trucks


Derek Trucks is an American guitar player and one of the founding members of The Derek Trucks Band, also a former member of The Allman Brothers Band in 1999, where he plays with his uncle, Butch Trucks.

Neil Young


Neil Percival Young, and he managed to write and perform several hits for over 30 years, from the 60s until the 90s, when he made his major comeback. He is not only considered a really huge influence in rock, he is sometimes called the Grandfather of Grunge.

Les Paul


If you are a guitar player, you must know this name. Les Paul was not only a great a musician; he is the designer of the solid-body guitar in 1941, considered back new a brand new form of instrument.

James Burton


James Edward Burton is an American singer and guitarist, and is considered one of the "finest guitar pickers from the country and rock'n'roll world". He became part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001

Carlos Santana


Carlos Augusto Alves Santana is the only Latin-American guitarist from this list. He became famous in the seventies, where he introduced a new fusion of music between rock, salsa, and jazz.

Chet Atkins


Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins was known as the "Country Gentleman", mostly famous for being a guitarist and a producer, he created the "Nashville Sound" which is mostly country music being heard by adult pop music fans.

Frank Zappa


Frank Vincent Zappa was a famous guitarist, singer, producer and activist. He had more than 70 albums recorded where he played hits from almost every genre of music, such as rock or even classical music

Buddy Guy


Buddy Guy is not only a guitar player, he was an inventor. When Buddy was young, he learned how to play the guitar using a two-string diddley bow he made. Eventually he got an acoustic guitar, which now belongs to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Angus Young


Angus Young is the founding member of the incredible and amazing band called AC/DC, with his brother Malcolm Young, back in 1973. He used at the beginning of their public appearances several costumes, like a parody of Superman, called Super-Ang.

Tommy Iommi


Frank Anthony "Tony" Iommi is a guitarist and a writer. He is one of the founding members of the famous heavy metal band, called Black Sabbath, where he continues to perform, since almost 50 years.

Brian May


Brian Harold May is a guitarist player, and the lead guitarist from Queen, where Freddie Mercury was also part. May wrote several of their popular songs, like "We will rock you". He also is an animal welfare activist and has a PhD in astrophysics

Bo Diddley


Ellas McDaniel Otha Bates was an African American blues singer and guitar player, who was very popular back in the fifties. People called him "the Originator", because he was one of the first people to ever start playing Rock'n'Roll.

Johnny Ramone


John William Cummings was an American guitar player and one of the founding members from the Rock and Roll band called "The Ramones". His first instrument was a Mosrite Ventures II, and he paid it only $54

Scotty Moore


Scotty Moore was an American guitar player. He stated that all that he learned from his family and friends at the age of eight was how to play the guitar. He was the guitarist and then the manager of Elvis Presley

Elmore James


Elmore Brooks was born under a poor family in the United States, where he started to make music at the age of 12, using jitterbug and a shack wall. He stated that most of his influences regarding music come from Robert Johnson, and Tampa Red

Ry Cooder


Ryland Peter "Ry" Cooder is an American songwriter and guitar player. He played several instruments as well, but his fame came from how well he played the guitar, and his collaborations with some other foreign musicians.

Billy Gibbons


William Frederick Gibbons is an American singer, actor and the guitarist from the rock band called ZZ Top. He started his musical career by opening several nights for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.



Prince Rogers Nelson was simply known as Prince, and considered probably the most famous artist from Minnesota since Bob Dylan. He played several instruments, like keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, bass, and drums.

Curtis Mayfield


Curtis Mayfield was a singer, songwriter, and guitar player. His career is mostly within the soul/funk genre, with a few drops of social pleas regarding racial progress. He wrote and played the soundtrack to Super Fly.

John Lee Hooker


John Lee Hooker was a blues singer, writer and guitar player. He used to play an electric adaptation of Delta Blues with several elements like country blues and the nowadays called " the boogie-woogie."

Randy Rhoads


Randall William Rhoads was a heavy metal guitar player. He started as a student of classical guitar, but then he played alongside with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot, which is quite a turn, right?

Mick Taylor


Michael Kevin "Mick" Taylor was The Rolling Stones' lead guitarist for almost five years. He is probably the strongest and most popular within the band's history. He also played in the Bluesbreakers for several years.

John Lennon


John Winston Ono Lennon, was an English musician and activist, and of course, one of the founding members of "The Beatles", which is the most popular rock'n'roll band from all times.

Steve Cropper


Steve Cropper was a guitarist and part of the Royal Spades, also known as the Mar-Keys. He lived in Los Angeles for almost 13 years and then moved to Nashville in 1988 to continue with his career.

Tom Morello


Thomas Baptiste Morello is an American singer, guitar player and political activist. He was part of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage. With Rage Against the Machine together, he became one of the most influential and popular rock band from the 90s

Mick Ronson


Mick Ronson was part of the band called The Hype, where he made his debut on BBC Radio alongside David Bowie. For the performance, they dressed up as superheroes (Rainbowman, Hypeman, Gangsterman, and Cowboyman)

Mike Bloomfield


Michael Bernard Bloomfield was a songwriter and a guitar player. He firstly became famous because his songs were mainly instrumental. Mike is part of the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Hubert Sumlin


Hubert Charles Sumlin was a blues guitar player and singer, and part of the Howlin' Wolf's band. He started playing guitar at the age of eight, and continued performing until just before his death.

Mark Knopfler


Mark Freuder Knopfler, is a British singer, writer and guitar player. He was the lead guitarist, singer and writer from the famous rock'n'roll band called Dire Straits. He founded it alongside his younger brother, David Knopfler back in the seventies.

Link Wray


Fred Lincoln "Link" Wray was a guitarist, writer, and vocalist who was quite popular back in the fifties. He is known for popularizing "the power chord" which is considered nowadays as the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists

Jerry Garcia


Jerome John Garcia was a singer, guitarist, and the lead vocalist from the Grateful Dead, back in the sixties. He played within the band for almost thirty years, and was part of several side projects, like the Jerry Garcia Band

Stephen Stills


Stephen Arthur Stills is an American singer, writer, and guitar player. He worked alongside Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He also played bass and keyboards quite well.

Jonny Greenwood


Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood is the lead guitarist of the alternative rock'n'roll band called Radiohead. He also plays the bass guitar, piano, viola, and drums. In Radiohead he also is the arranger, where he converts demos into full songs.

Muddy Waters


McKinley Morganfield is one of the most famous icons from blues. His music was not sad, but sexy, raw and full passion. He was one of the first artists within the genre to use electric guitars.

Ritchie Blackmore


Richard Hugh Blackmore is a guitar player and one of the founding members from Deep Purple. His style goes from guitar riffs to organ sounds. Blackmore became part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016