The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

Who are the greatest guitarists of all time?

You know Jimi Hendrix is going to be at the top of the list, but that’s probably the only position you’re going to get people to agree on.

Here’s Rolling Stone’s take on the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. There aren’t a lot of surprises in the top 10, including Hendrix, Duane Allman, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards.  Further down the list, though, there are a few that may surprise you.

Check it out and let us know what you think of this take on the world’s greatest guitarists.

The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

1 Jimi Hendrix
2 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band
3 B.B. King
4 Eric Clapton
5 Robert Johnson
6 Chuck Berry
7 Stevie Ray Vaughan
8 Ry Cooder
9 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
10 Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
11Kirk Hammett of Metallica
12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
13 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
14 Jeff Beck
15 Carlos Santana
16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones
17 Jack White of the White Stripes
18 John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
19 Richard Thompson
20 James Burton
21 George Harrison
22 Mike Bloomfield
23 Warren Haynes
24 The Edge of U2
25 Freddy King
26 Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
27 Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
28 Stephen Stills
29 Ron Asheton of the Stooges
30 Buddy Guy
31 Dick Dale
32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service
33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
35 John Fahey
36 Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s
37 Bo Diddley
38 Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac
39 Brian May of Qeen
40 John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
41 Clarence White of the Byrds
42 Robert Fripp of King Crimson
43 Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic
44 Scotty Moore
45 Frank Zappa
46 Les Paul
47 T-Bone Walker
48 Joe Perry of Aerosmith
49 John McLaughlin
50 Pete Townshend
51 Paul Kossoff of Free
52 Lou Reed
53 Mickey Baker
54 Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane
55 Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
56 Tom Verlaine of Television
57 Roy Buchanan
58 Dickey Betts
59 & 60 Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien of Radiohead
61 Ike Turner
62 Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band
63 Danny Gatton
64 Mick Ronson
65 Hubert Sumlin
66 Vernon Reid of Living Colour
67 Link Wray
68 Jerry Miller of Moby Grape
69 Steve Howe of Yes
70 Eddie Van Halen
71 Lightnin’ Hopkins
72 Joni Mitchell
73 Trey Anastasio of Phish
74 Johnny Winter
75 Adam Jones of Tool
76 Ali Farka Toure
77 Henry Vestine of Canned Heat
78 Robbie Robertson of the Band
79 Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps
80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids
81 Derek Trucks
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
83 Neil Young
84 Eddie Cochran
85 Randy Rhoads
86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
87 Joan Jett
88 Dave Davies of the Kinks
89 D. Boon of the Minutemen
90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper
91 Robby Krieger of the Doors
92 & 93 Fred “Sonic” Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5
94 Bert Jansch
95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine
96 Angus Young of AC/DC
97 Robert Randolph
98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag
100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

8 comments to The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

  • Caligulart

    Seems way to heavily weighted towards rockers.

  • Merlin

    There are some new additions. Some new really fast guitar slingers, but for sheer musicality i just can’t seem to get over the style of Mr. Jimi Hendrix. He is so different. So fluid, he never seems to stop amazing after all these years. I have tried to snub him in favor of some other amazing talents, but i still end up being amazed by his short lived accomplishments. George Benson and Yngwie Malmsteen are also on my list admiration list of about 50 or so, but Hendrix takes the prize. for sheer originality and beauty of sound.

  • Billy Andrew

    who was the mullet head that wrote this list? you failed to mention great guitarists like legendary BB KING, GARY RITCHRATH of reo speedwagon..”BUCK DARMA”DONLD ROESIER of blue oyster cult….and how about Ron Wood.from the picked several front men that would not consider themselves great guitarist,or may they do.looks like apolitical popularity pole.”I say” It takes a musician to truely appreciate a musician..once again the journalist left skid marks on the pole…….

  • Honestly any “best guitarist list” just needs to make sure Jimi Hendrex is #1. It is debatable for acoustic guitar, but if you are talking electric guitar for rock and roll, no case can be made for anyone other than Jimi. He was able to display such an incredible range when he played, he really was one of a kind.
    Only other thought is that I think Edge should be higher than #22, but it isn’t outrageous that he is listed there.

  • B i p !

    Heard about Brain Setzer ?

    Google him 😉

  • B i p !

    Heard about Brian Setzer ?

    Google him 😉

  • B i p !

    Sorry – meant BRIAN not BRAIN


  • Noel

    Any such list is subjective, and usually favours a particular style. All the above 100 are fine, but does’nt the ommission of players like Michael Hedges, Segovia, Paco Pena, Django Rheinhart, Rory Gallagher,Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel,Davy Graham,John Williams,et. etc. etc. point to the author of the list lacking an appreciation of the many genres and fine players we have been blessed to hear?

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