250 Greatest Rock Guitarists
Of All Time

rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Criteria: Rock Guitarists are ranked by originality, influence, creativity, and skill (technique, versatility). (*=R.I.P.)

Last Updated: 2023-10-03
Greatest Rock Guitarists
  1. Jimi Hendrix* (Jimi Hendrix Experence, Band of Gypsys, session work)
  2. Jeff Beck* (The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group, session work, solo)
  3. Eddie Van Halen* (Van Halen)
  4. Eric Clapton (The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, solo)
  5. Jimmy Page (The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Firm, session work)
  6. Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore's Night)
  7. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, solo)
  8. Chuck Berry* (solo)
  9. Scotty Moore* (Elvis Presley)
10. Duane Allman* (Allman Brothers Band, Derek & The Dominos, session work)
11. Robert Fripp (King Crimson, session work, solo)
12. Steve Howe (Yes, Asia, the Syndicats, solo)
13. Brian May (Queen, solo)
14. David Gilmour (Pink Floyd, solo)
15. Carlos Santana (Santana, solo)
16. Pete Townshend (The Who, solo)
17. Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG's, Mar-Keys, Blues Brothers Band, session work)
18. Steve Vai (Frank Zappa, Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, solo)
19. Yngwie Malmsteen (Steeler, Alcatrazz, solo)
20. Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, solo)
21. Eric Johnson (The Electromagnets, solo)
22. Joe Satriani (solo, Chickenfoot)
23. Danny Gatton* (solo, session work, Redneck Jazz Explosion)
24. Roy Buchanan* (solo, session work)
25. Steve Hackett (Genesis, solo)
26. Phil Keaggy (Glass Harp, solo)
27. Jan Akkerman (Focus, solo)
28. Alex Lifeson (Rush)
29. Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits, solo)
30. Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones, solo)
31. George Harrison* (The Beatles, solo)
32. Randy Rhoads* (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne)
33. Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions, solo)
34. Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, MSG)
35. Gary Moore* (Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, solo)
36, 37, & 38. Joe Messina* / Robert White* / Eddie Willis* (The Funk Brothers)
39. James Burton (Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, session work)
40. Link Wray* (solo)
41. Jimmy Nolen* (The J.B.'s, Johnny Otis Band, Maceo & All the King's Men)
42. Lonnie Mack* (solo, session work)
43. Dick Dale* (solo)
44. Jerry Garcia* (Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, solo, session work)
45. Marty Friedman (Cacophony, Megadeth, solo)
46. Cliff Gallup* (Gene Vincent's Blue Caps)
47. Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts Band)
48. Shawn Lane* (Black Oak Arkansas, The Willys, HLS, solo)
49. Hank Marvin (The Shadows)
50. Bo Diddley* (solo)
51. Curtis Mayfield* (Impressions, solo)
52. Frank Zappa* (Mothers Of Invention, solo)
53 & 54. Thurston Moore / Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth)
55. Terry Kath* (Chicago)
56. Eddie Hazel* (Funkadelic, solo)
57. Rory Gallagher* (solo)
58. Tommy Bolin* (Deep Purple, session work, solo)
59. Slash (Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, session work)
60. Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule)
61. Andy Summers (The Police, session work, solo)
62. Mick Ronson* (The Spiders From Mars, session work, solo)
63 & 64. Glenn Tipton / K.K. Downing (Judas Priest)
65. Steve Lukather (Toto, session work)
66. Neal Schon (Santana, Journey)
67. John Petrucci (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, solo)
68 & 69. Dave Murray / Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
70 & 71. James Hetfield / Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
72. Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
73. The Edge (U2)
74. Alvin Lee* (Ten Years After)
75. Leslie West* (Mountain)
76. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
77. Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X, solo)
78. Buckethead (solo, Praxis, Guns N' Roses)
79. Vinnie Moore (UFO, Alice Cooper, solo)
80. Tony MacAlpine (M.A.R.S., Planet X, Ring Of Fire, CAB, solo)
81 & 82. Angus Young / Malcolm Young (AC/DC)
83. Ray Gomez (session work, solo, Los Pop Tops, Stanley Clarke)
84. Michael Landau (session work, Raging Honkies, Michael Landau Group)
85. Carl Verheyen (session work, Supertramp, Carl Verheyen Band)
86. Adrian Belew (King Crimson, solo)
87. Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
88. Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, solo)
89 & 90. Dave Davies / Ray Davies (The Kinks)
91. Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, solo)
92 & 93. Scott Gorham / Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy)
94. Dimebag Darrell* (Pantera)
95. Guthrie Govan (Asia, Erotic Cakes, The Fellowship, solo)
96. Derek Trucks (The Allman Brothers Band, Frogwings, Derek Trucks Band)
97. Big Jim Sullivan* (session work)
98. Mickey Baker* (session work, Mickey & Sylvia)
99. Robin Trower (Procol Harum, solo)
100. Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)

101. Johnny Ramone* (The Ramones)
102. Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush)
103. Duane Eddy (solo)
104. Ronnie Montrose* (Montrose)
105. Andrew Latimer (Camel)
106. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave)
107. Carl Perkins* (solo)
108 & 109. Allen Collins* / Gary Rossington* (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
110. Paul Kossoff* (Free)
111. John Cipollina* (Quicksilver Messenger Service)
112. Andy Timmons (Danger Danger, solo)
113. Joe Walsh (The Eagles, The James Gang, solo)
114. Ted Nugent (The Amboy Dukes, Damn Yankees, solo)
115. John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival, solo)
116. Chuck Schuldiner* (Death)
117. Bill Nelson (Be Bop Deluxe, solo)
118. Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big, solo)
119. Alex Skolnick (Testament, Savatage, solo)
120. Rick Derringer (McCoys, Edgar Winter, solo, session work)
121. Kerry Livgren (Kansas)
122. George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob)
123. John Sykes (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy)
124 & 125. Tom Verlaine* / Richard Lloyd (Television)
126. Steve Hillage (Gong, solo)
127. Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
128. Steve Rothery (Marillion)
129. Jason Becker (Cacophony, David Lee Roth)
130. Buddy Holly* (solo)
131. Jukka Tolonen (Tasavallan Presidentti, solo)
132. "Fast" Eddie Clarke* (Motörhead, Fastway)
133. Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, CSN, solo)
134 & 135. Joe Perry / Brad Whitford (Aerosmith)
136. Ron Thal (Bumblefoot, Guns N' Roses, solo)
137. Michael Romeo (Symphony X)
138. Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen, solo)
139. Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Bozzio Levin Stevens, session work, solo)
140. Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands)
141. Domenic Troiano* (The Guess Who, The James Gang)
142. Peter Frampton (Humble Pie, solo)
143. Miller Anderson (Savoy Brown, Miller Anderson Band, Keef Hartley Band)
144. Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)
145. Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains)
146. Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
147. John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
148. Nile Rodgers (Chic)
149. John Jorgenson (session work, Hellecasters)
150. Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
151. Kai Hansen (Helloween, Gamma Ray)
152. Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard)
153. Trey Anastasio (Phish)
154. Brett Garsed (John Farnham, Nelson, solo)
155. Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music)
156. Bernard Butler (Suede, The Tears, solo)
157. John Squire (Stone Roses)
158. Rik Emmett (Triumph, solo)
159. Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers)
160. Ollie Halsall* (Patto, Tempest, Boxer, Rutles, Kevin Ayers)
161. Greg Howe (solo, session work)
162. D. Boon* (Minutemen)
163. Greg Ginn (Black Flag)
164. Jerry Miller (Moby Grape)
165. Reggie Young* (session work, Bill Black Combo)
166. Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser (Blue Öyster Cult)
167. Lowman Pauling* (The 5 Royales)
168. Travis Wammack (session work, solo)
169. Robbie Krieger (The Doors)
170. Michael Lee Firkins (solo)
171. Larry Lalonde (Primus, Possessed)
172. Ty Tabor (King's X, Platypus, solo)
173. Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine)
174. Billy Zoom (X)
175. Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac)
176. Matt Bellamy (Muse)
177. Ace Frehley (Kiss)
178. Syd Barrett* (Pink Floyd, solo)
179, 180 & 181. Jonny Greenwood / Ed O'Brien / Thom Yorke (Radiohead)
182 & 183. Ric Ocasek / Elliot Easton (The Cars)
184 & 185. Jeff Hanneman* / Kerry King (Slayer)
186. Prince* (solo)
187. Chris Poland (Megadeth, OHM)
188. Bill Steer (Napalm Death, Carcass)
189. Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society)
190. Robert Quine* (Lou Reed, John Zorn, Tom Waits, Brian Eno, session work)
191. James Murphy (Death, Obituary)
192. Chris Rea (solo)
193 & 194. David Allan "Ted" Turner / Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash)
195. T. J. Helmerich (sessions, solo)
196. Dr Know (Bad Brains)
197. Roger McGuinn (The Byrds)
198. Robbie Robertson* (The Band)
199. Ron Asheton* (The Stooges)
200 & 201. Wayne Kramer / Fred "Sonic" Smith* (MC5)

202. Johnny Thunders* (The New York Dolls, The Heartbreakers)
203. Marc Bolan* (T-Rex)
204 & 205. Rudolph Schenker / Matthias Jabs (Scorpions)
206. Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers)
207. Kim Simmonds* (Savoy Brown)
208. Nils Lofgren (Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, solo)
209. Wild Jimmy Spruill* (session work)
210. Franny Beecher* (Bill Haley & His Comets)
211. Danny Cedrone* (Bill Haley & His Comets)
212. Paul Burlison* (Johnny Burnette & The Rock & Roll Trio)
213 & 214. Bob Bogle* / Don Wilson* (Ventures)
215. Kim Mitchell (Max Webster, solo)
216. East Bay Ray (Dead Kennedys)
217. Mick Jones (The Clash)
218. Brian Jones* (The Rolling Stones)
219. Danny Kortchmar (session work, the City)
220. Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend Band)
221. Kee Marcello (Europe)
222 & 223. Chris DeGarmo / Michael Wilton (Queensryche)
224. Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic, Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Friends)
225. Ernie Isley (Isley Brothers)
226. Vernon Reid (Living Color)
227. Dave Mason (Traffic, Fleetwood Mac, session work)
228. Kurt Cobain* (Nirvana)
229. Dave Meniketti (Y&T)
230. Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi, solo)
231. Randy California* (Spirit)
232. Glen Buxton* (Alice Cooper)
233. Steve Miller (Steve Miller Band)
234 & 235. Brad Gillis / Jeff Watson (Night Ranger)
236. Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Death)
237. Criss Oliva* (Savatage)
238. J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
239. Trevor Rabin (Yes)
240 & 241. Francis Rossi / Rick Parfitt* (Status Quo)
242 & 243. Scott Ian & Dan Spitz (Anthrax)
244. Jonsi Birgisson (Sigur Ros)
245. Gary Green (Gentle Giant)
246. Don Felder (The Eagles)
247. Mike Campbell (The Heartbreakers, Dirty Knobs)
248. Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick)
249. Tommy Shaw (Styx, Damn Yankees, solo)
250. Adam Jones (Tool)

10 Best Premier
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Mike McCready
Jerry Cantrell


rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Joe Satriani
Steve Vai
Yngwie Malmsteen
Randy Rhoads
Eric Johnson
Paul Gilbert
Steve Morse
Jason Becker


rock guitarist Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
Richie Blackmore
David Glimour
Duane Allman
Brian May
Carlos Santana
Tony Iommi
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rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Eric Clapton
Jeff Beck
Frank Zappa
Keith Richards
Peter Green
Pete Townshend
Dave Davies
Steve Cropper
George Harrison


rock guitarist Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Bo Diddley
Mickey "Guitar" Baker
Scotty Moore
Lowman Pauling
Cliff Gallup
James Burton
Eddie Cochran
Link Wray
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All names past 250 are unnumbered.
Michael Angelo Batio (Nitro, solo)
Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar)
Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (Venom)
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins)
Wolf Hoffmann (Accept)
Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, OSI)
Ike Turner* (Ike & Tina Turner Revue, session work)
Akira Takasaki (Loudness)
Doug Aldrich (Dio, Whitesnake)
John Norum (Europe, Dokken, solo)
Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake)
Vito Bratta (White Lion)
Warren "Torch" DeMartini (Ratt)
Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, solo)
Bruce Watson (Big Country)
Mick Box (Uriah Heep)
Francis Dunnery (It Bites, solo)
Dave Hlubek* / Steve Holland / Duane Roland (Molly Hatchet)
Hughie Thomasson / Henry Paul / Billy Jones (The Outlaws)
Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
Mikael Åkerfeldt / Peter Lindgren (Opeth)
Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols)
Keith Levene (Public Image Ltd)
Tony Hicks (The Hollies)
Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys)
Mick Ralphs (Mott The Hoople, Bad Company)
Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Green River)
Ian Crichton (Saga)
Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy)
Trey Spruance (Mr Bungle)
Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck, solo)
Hank Shermann / Michael Denner (Mercyful Fate)
Michael Weikath (Helloween)
Izzy Stradlin (Guns N' Roses)
Tom Scholz (Boston)
Brian Jones* (The Rolling Stones)
Gary Hoey (solo)
Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues)
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta)
Larry "Rhino" Rheinhart (Captain Beyond, Iron Butterfly)
Jon Drenning / Ben Jackson (Crimson Glory)
John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites)
Phil Collen (Def Leppard)
Dave "The Snake" Sabo / Scotti Hill (Skid Row)
Bruce Kulick (Kiss, sessions)
Alex Chilton (The Box Tops, Big Star)
Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
Stevie Salas (sessions)
Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe)
Bernie Watson (Cyril Davies & the R&B All-Stars,
    John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers)

Mark Reale (Riot)
Mick Jones (Foreigner, sessions)
Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius)
Michael Hampton (Parliament, Funkadelic)
Toy Caldwell (Marshall Tucker Band)
Graham Coxon (Blur)
Claudio Sanchez / Travis Stever (Coheed & Cambria)
James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers)
Joe Santiago / Frank Black (Pixies)
Dann Huff (Giant, session work)
Mike Einziger (Incubus)
Frank Hannon (Tesla)
Mark Briody / Chris Broderick (Jag Panzer)
Joey Tafolla (Jag Panzer, solo)
Dave Peverett* / Rod Price* (Foghat)
Jorge Santana (Malo)
Zoot Horn Rollo (Captain Beefheart's Magic Band)
Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel)
Hillel Slovak (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Mads Eriksen (solo)
Gary Richrath (REO Speedwagon)
John Mayer (solo)
John 5 (Marilyn Manson)
Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom)
Steve Lynch (Autograph)
Rusty Cooley (Outworld, solo)
Ross The Boss (Manowar)
Marcus Siepen / André Olbrich (Blind Guardian)
Brendt Allman (Shadow Gallery)
Kiko Loureiro (Angra, solo)
Thomas Youngblood (Kamelot)
Jani Liimatainen (Sonata Arctica)
Luca Turilli (Rhapsody, solo)
John Christ (Danzig)
Jeff Carlisi / Don Barnes (.38 Special)
Steve Clark* (Def Leppard)
Glen Burtnik (Styx, sessions)
Zacky Vengeance / Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold)
Jim Peterik / Frankie Sullivan (Survivor)
Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter Bridge)
Jay Jay French / Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister)
Joe Stump (solo)
Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot)
Jack White (The White Stripes)
Chris Impellitteri (Impellitteri)
Matt Heafy / Corey Beaulieu (Trivium)
Johnny Farina (Santo & Johnny)
Edmund Darris (Pleasure Groove)
Kevin Peek (Sky, session work)
Michael Sembello (session work, solo)
Will Ray (session work, Hellecasters)
Jerry Donahue (Hellecasters, Fairport Convention)
Eddie Cochran (solo)
Lou Reed & Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground)
Gary Green (Gentle Giant)
Eddie Phillips (Creation)
Jake Cinninger & Brendan Bayliss (Umphrey's McGee)
Brad Nowell (Sublime)
Elliott Randall (session work)
Waddy Wachtel (session work)
Paul Jackson Jr. (session work)
Michael Thompson (session work)
Tim Pierce (session work)
Dean Parks (session work)
Dennis Budimir (session work)
Tommy Tedesco (session work)
Peter Buck (R.E.M.)
Dennis Coffey (session work)
Wah-Wah Watson (session work)
Leo Nocentelli (Meters)
Marv Tarplin (Miracles)
Robert Ward (Ohio Players)
Sugarfoot Bonner (Ohio Players)
Bobby Womack (session work, solo)
Pops Staples (Staples Singers)
Jimmy Johnson (Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section)
Freddie Stewart (Sly & the Family Stone)
Papoose Nelson (Fats Domino, Professor Longhair)
Al McKay (Earth Wind & Fire,
    Charlie Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)

Rene Hall (session work, B.Bumble & the Stingers)
David Williams (session work)
Peter "Guitar" Lewis (Johnny Otis)
Chips Moman (session work)
Teenie Hodges (Al Green, Hi Rhythm Section)
Dick Wagner (Frost, Velvet Underground, Alice Cooper)
Steve "Deacon" Hunter (Velvet Underground, Alice Cooper,
    session work)

Ray Fenwick (Syndicats, Ian Gillan Band)
Roye Albrighton (Nektar)
Glenn Schwartz (James Gang, Pacific Gas & Electric,
    The All Saved Freak Band)

Thomas McClary (Commodores)
Pat Smear (Germs, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
Salman Ahmad (Junoon)
Ian Mackaye / Guy Picciotto (Fugazi)
Muhammed Suicmez (Necrophagist)
Thomas Blug (solo)
Manny Charlton (Nazareth)
Davey Johnstone (Elton John, Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf)
Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah)
David T Walker (session work, Dreams Come True)
Anthony Phillips (Genesis, solo)
Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike & the Mechanics)
Peter Banks (Yes, Empire)
Mick Abrahams (Jethro Tull, Blodwyn Pig, This Was)
Steve Winwood (session work, solo)
Buzz Feiten (session work, Butterfield Blues Band, Rascals)
Eric Gales (solo)
Todd Rundgren (solo, Utopia)
Clem Clempson (Humble Pie, Colosseum)
Dave Edmunds (solo, session work)
Bernard Sumner (Joy Division, New Order)
Lenny Kravitz (solo)
Mark Morton (solo, Lamb of God)
Nita Strauss (solo, Alice Cooper)
Honorable Mentions
Guitarists who only arguably qualify as rock guitarists, however the impact they've had in relationship to rock guitar is undeniable. In no particular order:
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Carl Hogan
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith
Joe Bonamassa
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Bruce Cockburn
Glenn Branca
John McLaughlin
Chet Atkins
Albert Lee
Johnny Guitar Watson
Freddie King
Albert King
Buddy Guy
Mike Bloomfield
Peter Green
Les Paul
Allan Holdsworth
Larry Coryell
Hank Garland
Tommy Emmanuel
Earl Hooker
Al di Meola
Larry Carlton
Frank Gambale
Fred Frith
Marc Ribot
Ry Cooder
Jeff Healey
Walter Trout
Junior Brown
John Martyn
Brian Setzer
Snowy White
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Peter Tosh
Bob Marley
Richard Thompson
Brent Mason
Snooks Eaglin
Floyd McDaniel
Dave Beegle
Sonny Sharrock
James Blood Ulmer
Junior Barnard
Johnny Hiland

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