While making this collection to honor our famous rock guitarists over the past decades, I know a post like this will get controversy.
But relax, guys!
This list is not made up by picking randomly, on the contrary, it’s based on the most popular and top choice guitarists voted by our millions of fans of music.
Some of them are still rocking until today; some are not. But let’s salute these legends who dedicate their talent and passion for the history of rock music.
If you don’t find your favorite one, don’t worry, there’s always the next time.
Jimi Hendrix (Johnny Allen Hendrix)
Born in Seattle, Washington, James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was an American rock guitarist who was described as “the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Although his career was within only four years, Jimi Hendrix had made some extraordinary achievements when he earned three UK top ten hits, including “Hey Joe,” “Purple Haze,” and “The Wind Cries Mary” in late 1966.
However, not until his performance in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival in the US, he achieved fame and became the most influential and highest-paid guitarists in history.
Jimi Hendrix was nominated as the Performer of the Year in 1968 by Rolling Stone.
Unfortunately, he died at the age of 27, leaving his three albums ranked among the greatest album of all time.
Anyone here who is a big fan of Led Zeppelin must know Jimmy Page, founder of this band.
Jimmy Page is an English musician, songwriter, and music producer whose success was recognized internationally.
Born in London in January 1944, Page’s parents are not musicians. His dad was a manager, a plant, and his mom was a secretary.
Started a career as a studio session musician in London, a young self-taught guitarist had earned himself as the greatest guitarists in the world and ranked 3rd place in the list of the best musicians by Rolling Stone.
During Page’s career, he was inducted twice by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The first one when he was a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and the latter in 1995 with Zeppelin.
It will be a big mistake if we don’t include Eric Clapton in this list, a famous musician who is best known for his rock and blues music.
Clapton was ranked second in the list of the 100 greatest guitarists by Rolling Stone.
And let me remind you of this.
Unlike others, Eric Clapton was the only artist who is inducted three times by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Yardbirds is his first band where he stayed until 1965, then Clapton had joined some other musicians and formed his rock bands, including the Bluesbreakers and the Cream.
Eric Clapton started his solo career in the 1907s and had been received several awards during his late-career.
Over the years, Clapton had sold over 100 million records, which make him among the best selling music artists of all time.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
If you are born in the 90s, the name Stevie Ray Vaughan may bring you some good old memories. This blues guitar player is among the top artists of the nation.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a famous rock guitarist born in America on October 3, 1954, and he had a strong influence on the revival of blues music in the 1980s.
The rock guitarist started to play music since he was only seven years old and performed in several bands before he became well-known in 1983 after the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Stevie’s famous album Texas Flood is the most successful releases in his career, half a million copies were sold.
During his lifetime, Stevie earned several music awards, including his induction in 2015 by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, Stevie died in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin.
If you don’t know The Rolling Stones, you don’t know about rock. Keith Richards is a co-founder of this famous rock band, and best known for some other roles as singer and songwriter.
Born in December 1943 in England, Keith Richards only started picking up his guitar skills after being transferred to Sidcup Art College.
There is something I need to mention here, too.
During this time, Keith spent most of his time developing his passion and had learned all the Chuck Berry’s solos.
Rolling Stone magazine called him the creator of “rock’s greatest single body of riffs” and put him on the 4th rank in the list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
If you are a big fan of Guns N’ Roses, which I believe you are, then some of you will fall in love with the lead guitarist of the band – Slash.
Slash or Saul Hudson, as his real name, is a British American musician who gained fame and became famous in the early 1990s. His success is worldwide known and considered as the greatest guitarists in the history of rock music.
In 1996, Slash left Guns N’ Roses to pursue his solo career and released four albums before he reunited with the band again in 2016.
Born in a family where his parents also work in the art field, but not until when he formed a band with his friend Steven Adler, he started to pick up an instrument.
During his first music lesson, Slash decided to switch from playing bass to guitar, and his decision is also influenced by other teachers.
Brian May is an English musician and the lead guitarist of the famous rock band Queen.
Born in 1947, Brian Harold May was the only son in the family where his name was English, and his mom was Scottish. He formed his first band name 1984 during his attendance at voluntary aided school.
Before his success at the band Queen with his co-founder Freddie Mercury, Brian formed his band Smile in 1968 but only lasted for two years.
During the golden age of Queen, Brian May had written many songs and some of them became a big hit including “Tie Your Mother Down,” “We Will Rock You,” “I Want It All,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Who Wants to Live Forever.”
Apart from music career with several awards, Brian May is also known for his award of PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London.
Ritchie Blackmore was born on 14 April 1975 in England and was a famous guitarist of the band Deep Purple in 1968.
Ritchie’s passion for music sparked when he was two years old, thanks to his father, who gave him the first guitar. But the actual reason behind this is because he wanted to be like Tommy Steele.
He started as a session player in 1960 and was initially a member of the band The Outlaws. Ritchie later was invited to join Deep Purple. But before that, he also established his band Rainbow during his solo.
As a member of Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore was inducted in April 2016 by the Rock and Roll Fame of Hall. Besides, Rolling Stone also acknowledged him as among the greatest guitar artists.
Riley B. King is a professional guitarist with stage name by B.B King. He is best known for his sophisticated solo skills that influenced many later blues guitarists.
Born in a cotton plantation in Mississippi, he was attracted and inspired by the music at the church.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, B.B King was considered as one of three of the Blues guitar among including Albert and Freddie King.
Jeff Beck is an English rock guitarist who had played with the Yardbirds along with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
Born in Wallington, England, Jeff Beck is known by his full name as Geoffrey Arnold Beck. He used to sing in a church when he was ten years old. He was inspired by Les Paul playing “How High The Moon” on the radio when he was six years old.
During his career, Beck won several Grammy Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 as a solo artist.
David Gilmour is a member of the famous progressive rock band Pink Floyd with many albums that gained international success in the 90s.
Known as his full name by David Jon Gilmour, he was ranked 14 in the list of the greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone in 2011. Besides, his voice was also voted 36 in the greatest voice in rock music by Planet Rock in 2009.
Gilmour joined Pink Floyd in 1968, over the years, they sold more than 250 million records worldwide, which make them among the best selling rock bands in the US.
Apart from his career as a musician, Gilmour also takes part in several projects, including environmentalism, animal rights, and human rights.
So that’s everything and I hope you will enjoy reading this article. I know there will be a lot missing but there is always a next time. I would also love to hear who is your favorite? Please tell us in the comment box below