Electric guitar players are some of the most talented and influential musicians in the world. They’ve created some of the most iconic songs and guitar riffs in history and continue to inspire new generations of guitarists to this day.
So, without further ado and in no particular order, let’s take a look at the Top 20 best electric guitar players in the world.
Top 20 Best Electric Guitarists
Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the best electric guitarists of all time. His innovative playing style and incredible stage presence made him a true icon of the 60s. He’s known for classics like “Purple Haze”, “Hey Joe”, and “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Eddie Van Halen
Next on the list of the best electric guitar players ever is Eddie Van Halen. He’s known for his amazing tapping technique and ability to create complex and melodic solos. Van Halen’s band, Van Halen, is one of the most successful rock bands of all time, and Eddie’s guitar playing played a significant role in their success.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan is considered one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time. His playing style was heavily influenced by the blues, and he was known for his incredible technique and soulful playing. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band, “Double Trouble”, was one of the most successful blues bands of the 80s and 90s.
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James Alan Hetfield is the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica. James is known for his powerful and unforgettable riffs, as well as his inhuman down strokes. He is also an incredible songwriter and is considered one of the most influential musicians in heavy metal history.
Randy Rhoads was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. He was renowned for his masterful playing style and knack for crafting intricate and melodious solos. Randy Rhoads died in 1982 in a plane crash, but his music continues to live on.
Joe Satriani is an American musician, composer, and guitar teacher. He is considered one of the most influential guitarists of the past few decades and is known for his out-of-this-world guitar playing. He is also an excellent guitar teacher, having taught some of the guitarists on this list, such as Kirk Hammett and Steve Vai.
Check out his chops on the live version of “Always With Me, Always With You”.
Eric Clapton is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He is renowned for his impeccable technique and talent for crafting mesmerizing blues solos and composing timeless songs. Clapton has been a part of some of the most iconic bands of all time, including Cream, Derek & the Dominos, and The Yardbirds.
Kirk Hammett is the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Metallica. He’s known for his incredible technique and ability to create memorable, intricate solos. His signature style of soloing has been described as a combination of speed, accuracy, and emotion. And he sure loves his wah pedal!
Slash is an iconic guitarist and riff writer. He is best known as the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses but has also played with other bands like Velvet Revolver and his own band, Slash’s Snakepit. He loves his collection of Les Pauls, one of the best guitar brands in the world. He’s known for his memorable rock riffs and leads on songs like “Sweet Child Of Mine”, “November Rain”, and “You Could Be Mine”.
David Gilmour is the lead guitarist and vocalist of Pink Floyd. He’s known for his beautiful melodic solos, and he’s also known for his experimentation with different effects and sounds. His combination of bluesy, soulful lead lines and creative use of effects pedals has set the standard for modern rock guitar playing.
Next on our list of the best electric guitar players in the world is none other than Dimebag Darrell. Dimebag was the lead guitarist of Pantera and Damageplan. His talent was evident from a young age; his father taught him to play guitar when he was just 10 years old. Dimebag continued to develop his skills and became a master of the instrument, inspiring legions of metal guitarists in the process. He tragically died in 2004, but his legacy will live on for many years to come.
Angus Young is the lead guitarist and co-founder of the legendary hard rock band AC/DC. His wild and energetic stage presence has made him a true rock and roll icon. His guitar riffs and lead parts in the classic hits “Back in Black”, “Highway to Hell”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and many, many others prove that he is one of the most iconic in rock and roll history who has inspired countless guitarists around the world.
Jimmy Page is the legendary guitarist of the legendary band Led Zeppelin. He is renowned for his unique and innovative playing style, which has widely influenced guitarists even today. Jimmy Page has written some of the most iconic rock songs of all time, including “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love”. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, both as a member of Led Zeppelin and as a solo artist.
Brian May is the lead guitarist of the iconic rock band Queen. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, being credited for popularizing the use of a sixpence coin as a guitar pick. May also has a doctorate in astrophysics and has written several books on the subject. He is also an active philanthropist, having founded the Save Me Trust to advocate for animal rights.
John Petrucci is the lead guitarist of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, having achieved both technical proficiency and musical expression in his playing. He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including two Grammy nominations. Petrucci is also the founder and primary songwriter of the instrumental metal project Liquid Tension Experiment.
Steve Vai is an American musician, composer, and guitarist. He began his professional career in 1978, at the age of 18, when he was hired by Frank Zappa to play on Zappa’s album, “Joe’s Garage”. Since then, he has released several solo albums that have been critically acclaimed and earned him multiple Grammy nominations. His signature style combines elements of rock, classical, jazz and blues music.
Watch him perform “For The Love Of God” live with a full orchestra!
Yngwie Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who rose to fame in the 1980s due to his neoclassical metal playing style. He is considered one of the most influential and celebrated guitarists in heavy metal and has released multiple studio albums over the course of his career.
Buckethead is an American guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for his eccentric onstage persona and unique guitar-playing style, incorporating diverse influences from progressive metal, funk, blues, jazz, bluegrass, and avant-garde music. He has released over 300 studio albums and is noted for his diverse range of musical styles and his tendency to experiment and explore different genres. Buckethead is also a prolific live performer, performing various musical styles, from doom metal to jazz fusion to funk. He is also known for his iconic stage performances, often involving his wearing a bucket on his head.
Carlos Santana is an iconic Mexican-American musician and guitarist and is one of the best electric guitar players ever. He is best known for blending rock, Latin, and jazz styles together in his music. His guitar playing has earned him 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tony Iommi is the legendary guitarist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. His style of guitar playing has been described as “dark, gritty and heavy”. Iommi’s influence on the metal genre is incalculable, with his riffs and solos inspiring generations of musicians. Known for his innovative approach to guitar playing, Iommi has often taken risks with new sounds and effects that have pushed the boundaries of music in the late ’60s and 70s.
That’s it! We hope you enjoyed our list of the best electric guitar players in the world. Electric guitar players have certainly left an incredible mark on music history. From Hendrix’s innovative playing style to the influential power chord riffs of Iommi, these 20 guitarists have truly set the standard for what great electric guitar playing should be. Whether you’re a fan of blues, rock, metal, or any other genre, these guitarists are sure to inspire you. So, plug in your guitar, pick up your favorite electric, and get ready to shred!
And make sure to check out our other popular lists!