The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time according to rolling stone

YYZ2112RUSHYYZ2112RUSH Unsigned
edited May 2011 in History of Rock
1Jimi 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 Queen
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 (1997)
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

i have to disagree with a lot of them but mostly where eddie van halen is placed 70th


  • SurferDSurferD Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Was it general guitarists or just rock? Some of the guys mentioned wouldn't know a scale from a ruler. What are the guys at Rolling Stone smoking?
  • Xerosnake90Xerosnake90 Road Warrior
    edited December 2007
    Worst list I've ever seen in my life. Jimmy hendrix as greatest guitarist? Are we talking about most skill, song writing, influetnal? You've got to be kidding me. Eddie van halen at 70. Wow, seriously, this is a horrible list. TOM MORELLO at 26..... *shakes head* ~.~;
  • Leni PockyLeni Pocky Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    How did the guitarist from Tool get on there but not Dimebag? WTF.
  • WingsOfSteelWingsOfSteel Headliner
    edited December 2007

    Hey guys, these are the guitarists of 100 randomly selected popular bands, arranged in no particular order!
  • WiseOldUnicornWiseOldUnicorn Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    It's Rolling Stone, what do you expect? :p
  • BearFan51BearFan51 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Quick question.
    In what year, was Rolling Stone last relevant to music? either.:D (and I'm 37)
  • polishdog90polishdog90 Road Warrior
    edited December 2007
    I agree with some but not a lot of it.

    Stuff I dissagree strongly with:

    Ranked Too High:
    12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana he was good, but not that good. Partially why Nirvana was so good was because of the lyrics which don't make him a better guitarist. Most Nirvana songs can be learned by someone who has played guitar for like 1 month.

    16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones Kind of the same thing as Kurt. He might have been in the birth of a certain style of music, but his playing really wasnt that innovative. I would say Iommi popularized powerchords, and thats all Johnny Ramone ever really played.

    17 Jack White of the White Stripes I dont even know how to respond to this. This is just wtf for me.

    Rated Too Low:

    85 Randy Rhoads Honestly Randy Rhoads was a guitar god. He wrote both of his albums with ozzy in 1980 and they were amazing albums. If he were to have lived longer he could easily be the greatest guitarist ever.

    86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath The man invented metal. He popularized power chords. He was an amazing guitarist despite the fact that he lost fingers in an accident. People today still take his riffs because he was just plain amazing.

    82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd His solos are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard. He was also an amazing song writer and great with effects. He has been playing since the 60s and been making great material every decade since then.
  • Nazo64Nazo64 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Where. Is. SLASH?!
  • smash88smash88 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    I agree where the hell is Slash?? some of his solos are ridiculous... I agree also that Kurt Cobain shouldn't be that high and maybe not even on the list ( i'm a big nirvana fan.. but i cam play most of the songs on guitar and i don't play!) but Jack White definitely deserves to be on the list maybe not that high but he comes up with some pretty interesting stuff...
  • thedeathballthedeathball Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    I don't care for their lists ever since they came out with their 500 Greatest songs list came out. The only reason why "Like a Rolling Stone" was number 1 is caz their name is Rolling Stones. (But they did have "Smells like Teen Spirit" at 9)
  • Caspar0Caspar0 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    No Robert Cray = Broken list
  • JixzerJixzer Hillbilly Deluxe
    edited December 2007
    This is why I don't read Rolling Stone Magazine. They are far too narrow minded. Maybe I'm a bit partial, but Guitarists like Chet Atkins, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley deserve to be on that list. Those three would smoke nearly 80% of that list.
  • SurferDSurferD Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Jixzer wrote: »
    This is why I don't read Rolling Stone Magazine. They are far too narrow minded. Maybe I'm a bit partial, but Guitarists like Chet Atkins, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley deserve to be on that list. Those three would smoke nearly 80% of that list.

    I totally agree. If you take all the genres of music there are some smokin players in country and jazz that aren't even mentioned. Really some of the guys listed don't deserve to be there. I think it's a popularity contest with the usual gods thrown it to legitimize it.
  • Julio_Strikes_BackJulio_Strikes_Back Headliner
    edited December 2007
    Whoever participated in making that list should be lit on fire then pissed on. Kurt Cobain is not better than Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, or Dick Dale. Neither is Jack White.
  • tombradytombrady Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    I don't think even Adam Jones would put himself on that list, especially above Iommi lmao.
  • RamblinmanRamblinman Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Well I agree with some of them, #2 if you note my name. and others. I don't think there can ever be a perfect list of best guitarists seeing as how people like different things.
  • Chr1sKChr1sK Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Jixzer wrote: »
    This is why I don't read Rolling Stone Magazine. They are far too narrow minded. Maybe I'm a bit partial, but Guitarists like Chet Atkins, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley deserve to be on that list. Those three would smoke nearly 80% of that list.

    ditto... not to mention... Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton, Rev. Gary Davis (Mentor of Bob Dylan) aren't even on the list... pfff
  • ArabburnvictiMArabburnvictiM Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Where are Zakk Wylde, Eric Johnson, and Andrew W.K. (more of an all-around good muscian). Glad to see John Frusciante made it in the top 20 though :D
  • eddieopuseddieopus Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Ok my turn to pile on. Popular does not equal great. No list of great guitarists would be compleate without Mike Batio.

    just my 2cents
  • SlitN33_B33rZSlitN33_B33rZ Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    When did Rolling Stone become relevant?

    They've been self serving pigs in a trough for more that 20 years now. Their opinion USED to matter. Then they went out and changed their previous ratings from some of the Rock Gods and caved in. The used to give Led Zeppelin's Zoso release its highest rating with 4 stars now their "Bible" has most of them with 5. LOL!

    The day when they cut out the advertising and write real rock articles...I MIGHT be inticed to buy it. Until they go back to decent reviews and the days of Yesteryear I'm not interested. That goes for lists like this too. If they really cared they would've taken the time to get it right.
  • Julio_Strikes_BackJulio_Strikes_Back Headliner
    edited December 2007
    Rock critics in general suck. Black Sabbath's debut album was blasted by critics like Rolling Stone, and so was Zeppelin because of their uncredited sampling.
  • GoodApolloGoodApollo Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Rolling Stone Lists are crap. Firstly, Kirk Hammet should not be that high up, he is so overrated. And why is Robert Fripp at 42? He should be in top 20 atleast. Thirdly, They don't have the greatest guitarist ever on there, Steve Hacket. And the Edge?!?!?!?!? - actually scratch that i like U2
  • viru30viru30 Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    WTF. No Steve Vai? Honestly man, wtf?
  • JIrish780JIrish780 Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    There are so many things wrong with this list, I scarcely know where to begin. Slash, Steve Vai, Joe Walsh, Ernie Isley are all missing. Guys placed too high like Kurt Cobain (better songwriter than a guitarist), Jack White (waaaaay too early in his career to rank him this high). Others are ranked far too low, like the aforementioned Tony Iommi, and especially glaring to me is Pete Townsend at #50!!

    I'm really amazed these guys even know who Eddie Hazel is!!

    Still, things like this are subjective... but even so, what a weird list.
  • CreekStud09CreekStud09 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Ya, Slash should definitely be up there

    And also, the legendary but really underrated, Buckethead!

    Have you seen him play?!

    It's insane!
  • ParodygmParodygm Road Warrior
    edited December 2007
    This list is, as they say, bollocks.
  • goldsoundzgoldsoundz Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Kevin Shields = #1

    Technically he may not be the best guitarist, but seriously, who else has produced the sounds this man has with a guitar, and who ever will?
  • FrshChees91FrshChees91 Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    COBAIN?!? JACK WHITE?!? Kurt is a good lyricist. But the guitar would not be his strong side. Jack White is just...I don kno. No way Cobain should be aboce Santana, Beck, or Perry.
  • Rockbandfan23467Rockbandfan23467 Headliner
    edited December 2007
    The Digital Dream Door list is better, as Cobain, White, and Ramone are only Honnorable Mentions.

    1. Jimi Hendrix* - Jimi Hendrix Experience
    2. Eric Clapton - Yardbirds, Cream, Derek & The Dominos, Solo
    3. Jimmy Page - Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Firm
    4. Jeff Beck - Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group, Solo
    5. Eddie Van Halen - Van Halen
    6. Stevie Ray Vaughan* - Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
    7. Joe Satriani - Solo
    8. Ritchie Blackmore - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmores Night
    9. Steve Vai - David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Solo
    10. David Gilmour - Pink Floyd, Solo
    11. John Petrucci - Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment
    12. Randy Rhoads* - Quiet Riot, Ozzy
    13. Allan Holdsworth - Solo
    14. Paul Gilbert - Mr. Big, Racer X, Solo
    15. Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force, Solo
    16. Phil Keaggy - Glass Harp, Solo
    17. Jason Becker - Cacophony, David Lee Roth Band, Solo
    18. John Mclaughlin- Mahavishnu Orchestra
    19. Duane Allman* - Allman Brothers Band, Derek & the Dominos
    20. Chuck Berry - Solo
    21. Eric Johnson - Solo
    22. Steve Howe - Yes, Solo
    23. Neal Schon - Santana, Journey, Solo
    24. Brian May - Queen
    25. Gary Moore - Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, Skid Row, Solo
    26. Bo Diddley - Solo
    27. Steve Morse - Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band, Solo
    28. Carlos Santana - Santana
    29. Tony Iommi - Black Sabbath
    30. Buckethead - Solo, Praxis, Thanatopsis, The Deli Creeps, Cornbugs, GNR
    31. Mark Knopfler - Dire Straits, Solo
    32. Marty Friedman - Cacophony, Megadeth, Solo
    33. Nuno Bettencourt - Extreme, Mourning Widows
    34. Shawn Lane* - Black Oak Arkansas, Willy, Solo
    35. Kirk Hammett - Metallica
    36. Uli Jon Roth - Scorpions, Solo
    37. Terry Kath* - Chicago Transit Authority
    38. Alex Lifeson - Rush
    39. Frank Zappa* - Mothers of Invention, Solo
    40. Rory Gallagher* - Solo
    41. Dimebag Darrell* - Pantera
    42. Peter Green - Fleetwood Mac, Solo
    43. Robin Trower - Procal Harum, Solo
    44. Slash - Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver
    45. Mick Taylor - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Rolling Stones
    46. Robert Fripp - King Crimson
    47. Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave
    48. Michael Schenker - Scorpions, UFO, MSG, Contraband
    49. Ry Cooder - Solo
    50. Angus Young - AC/DC
    51. Keith Richards - Rolling Stones, Solo
    52. Michael Angelo Batio - Nitro, Solo
    53. John Squire - Stone Roses
    54. Pete Townshend - The Who
    55. Steve Hackett - Genisis
    56. Zakk Wylde - Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society
    57. George Harrison* - Beatles, Traveling Wilberys, Solo
    58. Alvin Lee - Ten Years After
    59. Dave Davies - Kinks
    60. Jerry Cantrell - Alice In Chains, Solo
    61. Steve Stevens - Billy Idol
    62. Johnny Winter - Solo
    63. Dickie Betts - Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts & Great Southern
    64. John Cipollina* - Quicksilver Messenger Service
    65. Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
    66. Steve Cropper - Booker T. & MG's/Stax sessions
    67. Adrian Belew - King Crimson
    68. Joe Bonamassa - Solo
    69. Steve Lukather - Toto, Solo
    70. Jerry Garcia* - Grateful Dead
    71. Joe Perry - Aerosmith
    72. Prince - Prince & The Revolution
    73. Kim Mitchell - Max Webster, Solo
    74. Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden
    75. Dave Murray - Iron Maiden
    76. Neil Young - Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, Solo
    77. Billy Gibbons - ZZ Top
    78. Tony MacAlpine - Solo
    79. Mike McCready - Pearl Jam
    80. Adam Jones - Tool
    81. Gary Hoey - Solo
    82. Leslie West - Mountain, Solo
    83. Peter Frampton - Humble Pie, Frampton's Camel, Solo
    84. Dick Dale - Del-Tones
    85. Vito Bratta - White Lion
    86. Mickey "Guitar" Baker - 50's sessions/ Mickey & Sylvia
    87. John Frusciante - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    88. Ronnie Montrose - Montrose, Edgar Winter Group
    89. Mick Ronson* - David Bowie, Solo
    90. Roy Buchanan* - Solo
    91. Warren Haynes - Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule
    92. Vinnie Moore - Alice Cooper, Solo
    93. Robbie Krieger - Doors, Solo
    94. Chris DeGarmo - Queensryche
    95. Jake E. Lee - RATT, Cutting Crew, Ozzy, Badlands, Solo
    96. Glen Tipton - Judas Priest
    97. Joe Walsh - James Gang, Eagles, Solo
    98. K.K. Downing - Judas Priest
    99. Eddie Hazel* - Funkadelic
    100. Alex Skolnick - Testament

    Note that this is of Rock only. they have an all-genre one too.
  • GianthogweedGianthogweed Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    Here's my top 10

    1. Trey Anastasio - Just love his style. No one else sounds like him. Listening to his solos just fills me with extreme guitar bliss.
    2. Steve Hackett - Definitely the most versatile guitarist I've ever heard. Innovator of finger tapping. And don't judge him only by the stuff he did in Genesis. His solo albums show his true skill and versatility.
    3. Steve Howe - Almost tied with Hackett because he is almost as versatile. And I do think he composes better guitar solos than Hackett. He also has a very original and distinctive sound, like Anastasio.
    4. Jan Akkerman - This guy's playing is just sick. He really shreds **** up. Listen to any live version of Focus's Hocus Pocus on Youtube. It's never the same, but always awesome.
    5. David Gilmour - Kind of the opposite of Jan. His playing is slower and simpler, but with more feeling than I've heard in any other guitarist.
    6. Jimi Hendrix - Wasn't sure whether to include him, as his guitar playing technique never really impressed me as much as his showmanship with the guitar. Pete Townshend also deserves a mention for this, but didn't feel it necessary to include him on the list.
    7. Duane Allman - Included him mainly for his slide guitar skill, but also for the way he and Dickey Betts harmonized their solos. In fact, I would have included Betts as well simply for Jessica and Ramblin' Man, but felt it would have been redundant.
    8. Frank Zappa - Again, like Hendrix, this is more for showmanship than technique, but I really dig his playing on Apostrophe. I almost didn't add him until I realised how much I tried to play like him sometimes.
    9. Robert Fripp - I never used to like his style, but couldn't deny his talent. But as I improved my guitar playing, I found myself drawing more influence from him than I thought, more in his approach towards guitar playing rather than his actual technique.
    10. Maury Muelheisen - I had to include this underrated classical guitarist who helped make Jim Croce's folk rock songs sound so good. Many of the first songs I learned on acoustic guitar were Croce songs, and it was hearing his guitar parts that made me want to learn it.
Sign In or Register to comment.