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200 Greatest Rock Guitar Players in Rock History

Top 200 Rock Guitarists in Rock History

200 Greatest Rock Guitar Players in Rock History
Image Source - By Andreas Lawen, Fotandi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42408352
Certain guitarists have taken guitar playing to a new level. The space below is a tribute to the best guitar players in rock history.

The different playing styles and techniques guitarists exhibit is exemplary. While every guitarist aims to bring about uniqueness and identity with their creative approach towards the instrument, not all succeed. What sets apart guitar players from the rest is their ability to comprehend different guitar styles and guitar techniques, and the ability to phrase musical knowledge creatively to create brand new identity in a musical context.

Guitar Players in Rock History: Signature Technique and Style

Along with technique, its feel and phrasing that puts certain guitar players in a league of their own. Rock guitarists with the ability to convey a range of emotions with their guitar solos and rhythm playing connect with a wide audience. Since early days in rock, it’s guitar players with unique guitar sensibilities that have mesmerized with their music.

Over the years, the styles and techniques that have emerged in the realms of rock are unbelievable. A fascinating fact about guitarists is the musical roles they play with a band/s and/or on their solo albums.

Music history reveals guitarists engage in a wider exploration of ideas and experimental concepts on their solo albums than on albums with their band. The creativity and free-flow ideas of guitarists are often curbed in accordance with lyrical structure of a song while playing with bands. However, on solo instrument rock albums guitar players are able to express their musical ideas and convey them precisely.

The musical choices and preferences in terms of gear vary drastically among guitar players. When we listen to iconic guitarists in rock history we realize every guitarist has a signature style that gives unique identity to their guitar work. Another aspect guitarists are particular about is tone. Every guitar player likes to have a unique identity with their guitar tone. The warmth in guitar tone results from different aspects associated with guitar playing and studio techniques, amp-setup and string attack in particular. A number of rock guitar players use different types of fingerstyle and plectrum plucking patterns for variation and warmth in tone production.  

Every decade in rock music has had guitar gods that have mesmerized the world with their approach towards the guitar. While guitarists that incorporate technicality in their guitar playing are often taken to the whipping post by music critics citing lack of feel in their music, it’s a known fact that technique-oriented guitar players showcase guitar playing abilities that may not be understood by the general public, other than the guitar playing community.

Few guitar players have displayed sheer class by combining poetic feel along with technical aspects in guitar playing. The right hand technique and left had techniques of rock guitar players have been often discussed by communities on various online forums. Technique and feel when combined gives aesthetic sensibilities to guitar playing. Rock guitarists employ a variety of picking techniques and picking styles in their music. Mentioned below are popular techniques incorporated by rock guitar players.

Picking Styles and Techniques Rock Guitar Players Employ

  • Flatpicking
  • Alternate Picking
  • Gypsy Picking
  • Harmonics
  • Hammer-ons and Pull-offs
  • Sweep Picking
  • Artificial Harmonics
  • Left-Hand Muting
  • Dive Bomb
  • String Skipping
  • Pinch Harmonics
  • Arpeggios
  • Legato
  • String Bending
  • Pick Tapping
  • Economy Picking
  • Tapping
  • Palm Muting

The lines below showcase a list of diverse rock guitarists from a wide range of rock genres who have taken guitar playing to new levels. The list is not a ranking, but a celebration of incredible guitar players.

200 Greatest Guitar Players in Rock History

  1. Allan Holdsworth
  2. Jimi Hendrix
  3. Frank Zappa
  4. Jeff Beck
  5. Guthrie Govan
  6. Al Di Meola
  7. Carlos Santana
  8. Jimmy Page
  9. Robben Ford
  10. David Gilmour
  11. Greg Howe
  12. Joe Walsh
  13. Blues Saraceno
  14. Steve Morse
  15. Tony Iommi
  16. Steve Vai
  17. Ritchie Blackmore
  18. Paul Gilbert
  19. Eric Clapton
  20. Dick Dale
  21. Billy Gibbons
  22. Yngwie Malmsteen
  23. Duane Eddy
  24. John Petrucci
  25. Andy Summers
  26. Brian May
  27. Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter
  28. Gary Moore
  29. Steve Miller
  30. John McLaughlin
  31. Marty Friedman
  32. Robby Krieger
  33. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  34. Robin Trower
  35. Jake E. Lee
  36. Shawn Lane
  37. Eric Johnson
  38. Michael Lee Firkins
  39. Danny Gatton
  40. Jan Akkerman
  41. Jason Becker
  42. Steve Hackett
  43. Joe Satriani
  44. Gary Rossington
  45. Vinnie Moore
  46. Alvin Lee
  47. Dimebag Darrell
  48. Tony MacAlpine
  49. Dickey Betts
  50. Richie Kotzen
  51. Duane Allman
  52. Mick Ralphs
  53. Steve Howe
  54. Eddie Van Halen
  55. Slash
  56. Jerry Garcia
  57. Rory Gallagher
  58. John Frusciante
  59. Uli Jon Roth
  60. Michael Schenker
  61. Scott Gorham
  62. Brett Garsed
  63. Jeff Healy
  64. Mattias IA Eklundh
  65. Keith Richards
  66. Alex Lifeson
  67. Joey Tafolla
  68. Michael Romeo
  69. Jennifer Batten
  70. Alex Skolnick
  71. Neal Schon
  72. Tak Matsumoto
  73. Glen Tipton
  74. Steve Lynch
  75. Jorma Kaukonen
  76. Scott Henderson
  77. Randy Rhodes
  78. Mark Knopfler
  79. Paul Kossoff
  80. Mike Bloomfield
  81. Zakk Wylde
  82. Joe Stump
  83. Reb Beach
  84. Neil Zaza
  85. Ted Nugent
  86. Chris Broderick
  87. Kee Marcelo
  88. Dan Huff
  89. Randy Bachman
  90. Tosin Abasi
  91. David Torn
  92. Kirk Hammett
  93. Rik Emmett
  94. Akira Takasaki
  95. Jan Cyrka
  96. Ron Jarzombek
  97. Frank Gambale
  98. Shaun Baxter
  99. Rick Nielsen
  100. Synyster Gates
  101. Ty Tabor
  102. Chris Impellitteri
  103. John Sykes
  104. Michael Angelo Batio
  105. George Kooymans
  106. Pete Townshend
  107. Todd Grubbs
  108. Francesco Fareri
  109. Tom Scholz
  110. David Chastian
  111. Vito Bratta
  112. Tom Morello
  113. Carl Verheyen
  114. Steve Lukather
  115. Christophe Godin
  116. Keith Richards
  117. Orianthi
  118. Joe Perry
  119. Lars Eric Mattsson
  120. Nuno Bettencourt
  121. Alex Masi
  122. “Fast” Eddie Clarke
  123. James Murphy
  124. Dweezil Zappa
  125. Ronnie Earl
  126. Timo Tolkki
  127. Doug Aldrich
  128. Jack Thammarat
  129. Gary Hoey
  130. Wayne Krantz
  131. Rob Marcello
  132. Harvey Mandel
  133. Joe Bonamassa
  134. Dave Uhrich
  135. Mick Taylor
  136. George Bellas
  137. Leslie West
  138. T.J. Helmerich
  139. Warren DeMartini
  140. Peter Green
  141. Keith Scott
  142. Stephan Forte
  143. Warren Haynes
  144. Alexi Laiho
  145. Steve Khan
  146. Marc Bonilla
  147. Robert Fripp
  148. Brad Gillis
  149. Edu Ardanuy
  150. Vernon Reid
  151. Andy McCoy
  152. Mick Ronson
  153. Jeff Kollman
  154. Mick Barr
  155. George Lynch
  156. Hedras Ramos
  157. Paul Hanson
  158. Jeff Loomis
  159. Luca Turilli
  160. Ioannis Anastassakis
  161. Alex Hutchings
  162. Marcel Coenen
  163. Kiko Loureiro
  164. DC Slater
  165. Lori Linstruth
  166. Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal
  167. Vivian Campbell
  168. Syu
  169. Herman Li
  170. Gus G
  171. Mike Campese
  172. Damjan Pejcinoski
  173. Steve Stevens
  174. Dave Sharman
  175. Roine Stolt
  176. Tom Hess
  177. Angus Young
  178. Frank Marino
  179. Chris Poland
  180. Patrick Rondat
  181. Rex Carroll
  182. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  183. Gentaro Satomura
  184. Jani Liimatainen
  185. Borislav Mitic
  186. Theodore Ziras
  187. John 5
  188. Andy Timmons
  189. Buckethead
  190. Fredrik Thordendal
  191. Ethan Brosh
  192. Dave Martone
  193. Frank Hannon
  194. Mike Orlando
  195. Darren Householder
  196. Matias Kupiainen
  197. Andy James
  198. Dave Meniketti
  199. Marc Rizzo
  200. Takayoshi Ohmura

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Post Your Comment

Rock music has a long and rich history filled with extremely talented people. They are great success stories that span thirty or more years of hits. Unfortunately there are just as many tragedies that have taken these talented people from us. Enjoy rock and your favorite bands while you have them.

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