brown and white acoustic guitars

The Best Guitarists of All Time

No matter if you love shredding or simply curious to know who the top guitarists of all time are, this list provides a handy resource. Ranging from classic rock and metal musicians, here are the most prominent guitarists ever.

No one puts more emotion into their guitar playing than Angus Young. His abilities include slow, expressive blues leads as well as thunderous riffs.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards is one of the world’s most celebrated and influential guitarists. Best known as a founding member of The Rolling Stones, and having released several solo albums. Additionally he is known for his wild lifestyle which often involved drug abuse issues in his personal life. Being part of rock music for over 60 years he has had a lasting effect on new generations of musicians.

The Stones’ sound can be traced directly back to Richards and his signature guitar playing style. Richards can take any blues guitar style – like that of Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed – and make them his own, creating distinctive riffs and melodies integral to their sound; furthermore, his improvisational skills are unrivaled within rock music.

Richards’ guitar playing style does not rely on technical wizardry but on creating a riff that fits with each song and building rhythmic arrangements, adding emotion and soulful sounds that keep listeners coming back for more. Additionally, Richards is an extraordinary songwriter with the ability to write catchy melodies that draw people in.

Richards has struggled throughout his career with substance abuse and alcoholism. Having gone in and out of rehab multiple times, but never giving up his musical career; Richards was instrumental in driving their success as one of its driving forces, contributing numerous hits that include some he himself wrote himself.

In 1980, his long-term relationship with Anita Pallenberg ended, and he married American model Patti Hansen. They remained together until her passing in 2001; during which time, Richards continued touring and recording with the band.

At his live performances, Richards utilizes two acoustic guitars. Micawber, his 1953 blonde Fender Telecaster with five modified strings kept in standard tuning with Bigsby vibrato unit is his primary instrument; Dwight, his 1964 Gibson ES-345 called with five modified strings is his secondary guitar.

David Gilmour

David Gilmour has become one of the most acclaimed guitarists ever. Known for his instinctive yet distinct sound, David’s work with Pink Floyd stands the test of time as well.

Gilmour has had an enormous effect on modern rock music. His teachings of guitar as more than just an instrument teach how to make its voice heard – from standard riffs that every player employs with expressive string bending and slides to his signature sound; not to mention being an accomplished keyboardist and drummer as well. Over his long career he has collaborated with artists like Roy Harper (for whom he founded), Kate Bush – whom he founded), Bryan Ferry Berlin John Martyn Elton John among many others.

Gilmour attended Perse School alongside future bandmate Syd Barrett where they both learned guitar. Later, he joined his first band – blues rock outfit Jokers Wild which proved unsuccessful – before drummer Nick Mason suggested that Gilmour join his psychedelic outfit, Pink Floyd as lead guitarist – initially reluctantly, yet ultimately agreeing and becoming their lead guitarist.

Pink Floyd enjoyed international acclaim and made significant musical impacts worldwide. They pioneered concept albums with 1973’s groundbreaking The Dark Side of the Moon release and were among the first bands to use an effects pedal, giving their music more of a psychedelic ambiance.

One of the greatest achievements by Gilmour in his band was the song Pigs (Three Different Ones) that I highly enjoy playing online slot games on websites listed over the This hard rock song boasts an outstanding and complex guitar solo from him that showcases his range, from spine-tingling blues licks to heavy vibrato distorted melodies and beyond.

Echoes from Meddle is another testament to his versatility and range, featuring as it does an epic 23-minute track which explores uncharted depths through soundscape and melody reminiscent of sonar pings from nuclear submarines before taking an unpredictable, adventurous path that would please Mars, Roman god of war.

Steve Vai

Steve Vai is a triple Grammy award-winning musician whose music taps into human emotions with profound poignancy. Crafted with love from deep passion for music and expert knowledge of guitar and sound engineering, his soulful music brings emotions alive in your ears while his ability to craft unique sounds from rock to classical genres allows him to evoke strong human responses. Steve has performed with multiple orchestras.

Vai, born to Italian immigrants, first took up playing guitar at age 11 under his high school music teacher Joe Satriani. His parents supported his musical ambition and even sold their life insurance policy so he could attend Berklee. Soon thereafter he found himself touring and recording sessions for artists like Alice Cooper and Public Image Ltd – earning himself the nickname of “the God of Guitar.”

After leaving Zappa’s band, Vai joined David Lee Roth’s to record Eat ‘Em and Smile and Skyscraper, leaving after only one tour to pursue solo work. His debut solo album Flex-Able became an immediate commercial hit; its follow up, Passion and Warfare followed one year later – both albums demonstrated how far Vai had come since joining Zappa and established his signature style.

Vai has earned recognition as an esteemed producer and audio engineer, producing and engineering many of his own recordings through Favored Nations Entertainment label as well as working with legendary musicians including Tommy Emmanuel and Steve Lukather.

Vai has continuously challenged himself musically, whether performing challenging atonal music with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony or creating unique compositions for 32 countries around the globe as part of his orchestral project, Story of Light.

Vai’s most recent work is Stillness in Motion: Live in L.A., released in 2015. This double disc live album showcases Roman Miroshnichenko and the 80-piece Russian Philharmonic Orchestra performing live at Los Angeles’ Sony Centre during an intimate concert performance, recorded live. Additionally, The Space Between the Notes documentary by Vai chronicling rehearsal and show moments from their tour is included as an extra DVD bonus feature.

John Mayer

John Mayer has become one of the most acclaimed guitarists of our time over a 20 year career spanning multiple genres. A Grammy Award-winner, Mayer has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and been recognized with multiple critical acclaim and wide recognition for his unique blend of blues and pop music, receiving wide praise both critical and public alike for songwriting skills and impressive guitar abilities. His success as an influencer has cemented him a place among our culture.

Mayer draws his style of music from legendary blues icons like Eric Clapton and B.B. King, and is inspired by their work. A gifted singer-songwriter himself, Mayer has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music – an impressive list which includes Eric Clapton himself! Mayer has an uncanny ability to connect with audiences through both his music and stage presence; with a distinct guitar sound and deep love of music behind him; both talents combined have enabled him to achieve extraordinary success within the music industry.

Mayer has garnered recognition as an acoustic guitarist through his ability to perform stripped-back versions of his hits with just an acoustic guitar and harmonica, giving them a raw yet intimate performance style that has earned praise from music critics as a “master acoustic guitarist”.

Mayer not only boasts exceptional guitar skills, but his incredible voice can express a wide array of emotions. His soulful tones and emotive lyrics have cemented him as a popular singer-songwriter. At solo concerts he boasts an energetic stage presence which charms audiences. These performances have garnered numerous awards and honors.

As well as possessing outstanding musical talents, Mayer also possesses a passion for vintage instruments. He owns an extensive collection of vintage guitars that he uses for playing his music and appreciates their rich history and evolution; often paying homage to legendary musicians in tribute performances. Mayer has collaborated with other guitarists due to this love, even performing alongside some of music history’s most beloved artists!