In your opinion who is the greatest guitarist to ever live. Me perosnally I think Stevie Ray Vaughn just because he could play like a god, he strung his eletric guitar like a base he just amazing. To bad he died so early only in his 20's immagion how good he would be if he was 60. shesh
Tom Morello in the days of 'Rage Against the Machine' for me was/is one of the most unique and highly original guitarists ever.
So many to mention.....but personally I think Leo kottke
out of the poll. Defenitly Jimi Hendrix... He just was amazing. It seems like all great people die young in music. Its just like the song Only the good Die Young by billy joel.
Why say Stevie Ray Vaughn then fail to include him in the poll? He's easily better than that lot.
Personally I prefer Satriani and Petrucci.
In this poll, Page would vote for Hendrix
Of the ones who live today I think Ronni Le Tekrø is one of the best
I leke clapton too and especially unplugged (best album in the world)
I like Brian Zetzer. He has a really nice blend of Jazz and rocknroll. I'm surprised that Eric Clapton didn't make it into the poll and he does influence alot of mainstream guitarists nowadays..their names I can't remember. I really don't like Carlos Santana...his solos don't seem to excite me as much as other guitarist
None of them. Hendrix would be best out of those but he's OVERRATED AS ******!
How can you not like Jimmy Page? He wrote some of the best riffs of all time!
Myself, I think John Petrucci is an amazing guitarist. Some of the stuff he does is just mindblowing. I'm not a guitarist, but I can appreciate the work that goes into a lot of Dream Theater's stuff.
I just think they're an allaround tight band, and they have some of the craziest guitar work I have ever heard.
and would be right
Whatever happened to good ol Steve Vai??
Excluded from the poll on the grounds of mind-meltingly boring self-indulgent tastless shred? Perhaps?
Jimi is the one I gave vote to in this one, but Dimebag Darrell from Panera is the one I look really up to.
In this poll Jimmy Hendrix, but i think that Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai or Joe Satriani or Michael Angelo xD, but mostly Yngwie Malmsteen.
Yngwie ****** Malmsteen
Just because he's pretty much the fastest guitarist doesn't mean he's the best of all time.
But he still kicks ***!!
Hey hey hey, are we forgetting Herman Li Man?
heheh, a topic as old as a guitar itself;P
I would prefer John Petrucci. What he does with the sound is exhilarating. Dream Theater is great. but not only. Petrucci played in Liquid Tension Experiment (personally i got plunged into it) and a project named AYREON (anybody heard of that? - a good piece of music really) and many others as i guess..
As far as knowing guitarists, my knowledge is limited to Classic Rock, and in that I would say the top three are:
And it's not necessarily how well they played the guitar, but what they did with it and what they pioneered. I'd also put David Gilmour, Carlos Santana and also Eddie Van Halen in there up high in the ranks.
I'd say Clapton as far as guitar skills. Another choice would be Kurt Cobain. He changed the face of music, even though his guitar playing wasn't very intricate.
My favorite is Kirk Hammett, of Metallica, he's just really cool. And i don't really know the plays of the guitarists in this poll, so i won't vote.
Put of the list you gave Hendrix rules!
I'm a great fan of steve vai, satriani and love mark knopffler.
They're just too cool
I don't believe it. Just one guy remembered John Petrucci! He is a guitar virtuoso and one of the best. I realy think that he is no worse than those who are in the voting poll.
Stevie Ray Vaughn
You can't beat them, my friend.
morello without any doubt, that's why there are so little good ratm cover bands
Petrucci : No stage presence whatsoever. Great guitarist, but I can't stand watching him live. Every show seems like his first, what with the shoegazing and the constant mildly bemused expression.
Vai : Mindless? Self indulgent? I don't think so. There are a whole bunch of guitarists who go in that particular category (Rusty Cooley, for one.) but Vai is honestly in a class of his own. I'm pretty convinced in sheer musical ability, knowledge, and talent, Vai is entirely in a class of his own. There isn't really much he can't do if he wants to.
SRV died when he was 36. Not "in his 20's". And while he did string his guitar pretty heavily, it was not strung like a bass.
I think Frank Zappa or Paul Gilbert is my favorite guitarist, depending on my mood.
Off the list, probably Hendrix. Page couldn't really perform live as well.
Doesnt' depend on what musical style you're talking about? I'm sure the best blues guitarist is vastly different, though not necessarily better, than the best metal guitarist.
why isnt he in the list?
I like paul gilbert too.
Its a toughie, but there are 3 awesome guitarists I can think of:
Yngwie Malmsteem (he does freaking RULE)
Herman Li (If you've not heard him, he RULES too)
Sam Totman (Li's partner in crime... check them both out at www.dragonforce.com)
Oh and don't forget Yngwie, http://yngwie.org/news/Contents2.html, his guitar playing will MELT YOUR DAMN FACE!!!
Ya, Yngwie Malmsteen owns!
My top two would have to be JOHN FRUSCIANTE and SLASH.
They both kick ass at what they do and manage to keep their high quality of playing.
For those who aren't convinced I suggest listening to Stadium Arcadium and Appetite For Destruction.
There is many major guitarists that haven't been mentioned. Yes, I'm sure that also many of these guitarists would had been voted for Hendrix, as the great godfather of modern guitar sound. Some of these who hasn't been mentioned, could be Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Gary Moore, Ted Nugent and Randy Rhoads etc. The list would be long.
I'd voted for Page, as he is still going strong.
Hehe. The list as others have mentioned is way too short. And by the way you cant always say who is the best, since its also a little subjective. Personally i like the style of Timo Tolkki from stratovarius - he is fast and and writes some great compostitions. Some people are more in blues and so on.
Tom from the Fall of Troy. He's definitley the most talented alive at the moment. I recommend the Ghostship Demos to anyone who hasn't heard of them. Be prepared.. Be prepared.
regarding branding different rankings on different guitarist..it's VIRTUALLY impossible..coz all of them juz are different in musical styles n inspirations..
but of course..THE ONE who set the whole stage up for rock n blues guitar is DEFINITELY ---------> JIMI HENDRIX..win
Best of the various styles
guitar virtuoso a.k.a spamming = michael angelo batio n yngwie malmsteen of course. coz michael angelo batio is juz MAD n too free to do anything except spamming on his 2 sided guitar n malmsteen is some crazy dude who can make custom SCALLOPED neck strats n still play like GAILY fast n basically arranges classical music pieces to electric guitar...
1960's = jimmy page. undoubtedly the best..beats clapton n many others although i have to say george harrison, eric clapton and stevie ray vaughn r quite pro also
1980's = slash = win
now = joe satriani, steve vai, john petrucci..
oh ya..why is everyone like talking bout electric guitarists anw..there are also LOADS of classcal n acoustic guitars for that matter that are freaking pro also...although they're like quite UNKNOWN..
for classical i think john williams is the best especially with his arrangement of CAVATINA for deer hunter the movie.. i was totally inspired to learn guitar thnx to that song man..
A lot of good people named already, but I have to go with Clapton, Stevie ray Vaughn, and Page a distant third, with Hendrix an even more distant 4th.
A very, very underrated guitarist is Mark Knopfler of Dire Straights fame. His work in the band, and solo is outstanding. It's just not very showy, so it doesn't get the attention it deserves.
Wow, you are missing quiet a few great guitarist
I think personally Van Halen is the best
ever heard the solo "Eruption" ?
it took me like 2 weeks to learn
This is rubbish.
You must place everything in perspective. You cant possibly say like "he is the best, no that other is" because it's pure opinion
What are the criteria in here ? just personal matters, this is like saying I like french fries, do you ?
Definitely: Jean François Pauvros.
Well... let me think about this... we're on a forum, which is a place where people express their opinions... hmm...
Kai obviously started this thread because he was interested in other peoples opinions on who the greatest guitarest was/is. And while yes, it is clearly a subjective matter, most people will have a favourite guitarist, which, I'm sure, is all the Kai wanted to know... Other people's favourite guitarists.
Anyway, how about Luca Turilli, namely from the power-metal band Rhapsody? He is an awesome guitarist, and does a lot of solo work too.
You should put Rory Gallagher, Dune Allman, Alvin Lee and some of the older blues legends in the poll...
Oh come on! He cannot be the best guitarist, you are kidding. All he does is just run up and the neck. He might be fast as hell but he isn't fastest. Therefore, he is not the best =)
That poll is missing some HUGE monsters. In my opinion, the players that caused the biggest evolution in rock guitar are (in chronological order):
Jimi Hendrix > Jimi Page > Eddie Van Halen > Joe Satriani/Steve Vai
He is an awesome player and, in fact, I prefer his solo work rather than Rhapsody. It's kind of more classic metal oriented.
I totally agree ! I used to be a fan of Joe Satriani but Steve Vai really is the God when it comes to guitar. You got to see the DVD´s from the G3 concerts wich features Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and a special guest for every year. Yngwie Malmsteen and John Petrucci are two of them.
I think its a travesty that you haven't included the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera and Damageplan. Though he was electric I think there hasn't been a heavier guitarist since...
Tom Morello for me aswell. God im Listening to Rage Against The Machine- Guerilla Radio Atm.. Dam the Guitar is just.. wow
Here is one for the google list:
Terry Haggerty ROCKS!
Tom Morello was better in RATM. Now Zach doesn't write his rifts for him so he blows. Sorry I just don't care for audioslave. I think Im going to start a post about it...
LOL I can hardly blame you... Its true, RAtM are a thousand time better than Audioslave ever will be. I only like 1 of their songs (Cochise) wheras with rage, ALL of their songs were brilliant. And oh yeah:
What are you on about!?! Yngwie is just about THE sole inspiration for almost every modern day power-metal bands! Without his ridiculous "i'm gonna see how many notes I can play in a second" attitude we wouldn't have legendary bands like Dragonforce and Freedom Call! HE OWNS!!!
I vote for Ross Childress, the former lead guitarist for Collective Soul. He truly kicked some monkey ass on the guitar. Too bad he left the band; they've gone downhill since then.
well, i think there are so many and u cant compare. For people who love rock and metal, it is one guy, and for classical it is anotherand it just goes on and own. And best definately doesnot mean fast and doing crazy stuff. Although fastness and doing weird stuff on the guitar amazes us but i think it is truly in the composition of the licks or solos.
Sometimes, a slow solo can make you feel so good. So i think guitarists cannot be compared.
Personally i have listened to the likes of jimi hendrix, page, rhoads, zakk wylde, steve morse, joe satriani, steve vai, john petrucci, slash, eric clapton, bb king, carlos santana and they are the masters in their own way.
For example, when i listened to solo of november rain, i was in total awe for the harmony and eruption is totally different with all the tapping and stuff.
So for me they are all greats but i dont think we can have one greatest.
Right, since we're deep in the belly of subjectivity im gonna add my own tuppence worth - for rythms, Bob Dylan - he's never gonna make it as the most skillful, but can anyone else make a few simple chords sound so damn good? I dont know. Hendrix might just be up there for my all time great, certainly in solos and pure damned style... Im also a big blues fan, so some slide players deserve a few mention - Harry Manx for his funky slide gig that just rolls...Ben harper for tenderness and emotion, together with some damn fine skills on lapslide, and Xavier Rudd for pretty much the same reason - tender and beautiful. With a didgeridoo.
That's all folks. (:
because steve vai, is fast, not good.
In short, he's very, very boring. Who cares if he regularly plays in 17/16 time, he doesn't make you feel anything. There are very few fast guitar instrumental players i like, i think Joe Satriani and John 5 are the only two at the moment, and even Satch can geta bit same-y at times. Although John 5 is he best and most original guitarist i've heard in a long time.
My personal favourites are James Dean Bradfielad (Manic Street Preachers), Andy Gill (Gang of Four), Johnny Marr (The Smiths, now Modest Mouse), Jez Williams (Doves) and John Squire (Stone Roses)
Gary Moore .... nice addition to the list ... Randy Rhodes too.
No one said that this the best rock guitartists, so I'm going to throw out some other personal favorites from different musical styles:
B.B. King - He can say more in one note than some players can all night. Great vibrato!
Stanley Jordan - He didn't pioneer the 2 hand hammer technique, but he still blows my mind.
David Gilmour - I love his feel.
Al DiMeola - Commands a wide variety of styles.
John McLaughlin - I love his overbend techniques with the scalloped fretboard. (I love "Friday Night in San Francisco" with him, DiMeola and Paco DeLucia, that is some wicked sick playing).
Tony MacAlpine - Another speed guitarist in the Yngwie vein, heavy classical roots.
A couple of repeats from previous posts that I want to mention again: Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
I also have to agree with HDirtwater on Mark Knopfler. He doesn't play with alot of pyrotechnics, but I love his playing. His work on "Sultans of Swing" is awesome.
Richie Blackmore - Rainbow/Deep Purple - Pretty sloppy, but really makes it work.
I think Jimi did the most to show the world what the guitar was capable of. He didn't just push the envelope, he freakin' burnt it. Out of that given list he would be my choice.
Lots of good suggestions added. also. damj added many I think are great (King, Glimour, and Blackmore, in particluar). One that I didn't see was Jon Anderson of Yes. Not my favorite by far, a little to jazzy for my tastes, but the guy was good!
Oh yeah, Jon Anderson too ... I had to draw a line somewhere ... lol
I was also thinking of including Martin Barre of Jethro Tull.
Other players I like, more for their style than their prowess is New Age guitarist William Ackerman, Chris Smithers from New Orelans and Keb Mo (mostly acoustic blues).
Man! There are just so many good players out there!!!
Yeah Jimi ... wow!!! It's amazing that 35 years after his death that people are still trying to play Jimi (I mean reeeeeeeeeally play Jimi), and only one white dude from Texas ever came close.
Clapton has always been a great rock guitarist and there is no arguement there, but he has always been called a great blues guitartist (since the 60s) and I disagree with that. Sure, Clapton knew how to play blues style, but it has only been in the last few years that he has truly understood the blues. Blues is more about playing with feel, just look at B.B. King. King has very limited technique, but he pours out his frickin' soul into a single note!!!!
Being I'm probably older than most here....(my kids are probably older than some of you!) I can really only speak on the older guys.
Hendrix in my mind is the greatest (and humblest. Ever see an interview with him?) Listen to some of his stuff and realize that HE was the only guitarist. There was a drummer and bass player. I use to sit and listen on my walk-man headphones and say to myself, "there has to be more than 1 guy playing! There's just too much guitar here!"
Page made Zed Zepplin. For a great book check out Hammer of the Gods. It's the story of Led Zepplin. Page was as relentless in the studio producing as he was on the stage playing and Clapton has withstood the test of time. He's still as awesome as he was back in the 60's and has been consistently cranking out songs since. Santana is one of the greats, but remmeber he just dissappeared for a long time before he came back.
A couple of other guys I'd like to mention are Ritchie Blackmore and Pete Townsend. Though many may not cosider Townsend the best, he is one of my favorite.
Everyone has a different style, so you can't really have a best...
Clapton, Hendrix, Page, and Santana all rock though. <3
Beside topic, B.B. is the vocal I can listen forever. "The thrill is gone" makes me different every time I heard it.
Yep, solo from the "Sultans" should be in every top 10 list!
Richie, Richie... The influence by him is probably immeasurabled.
I would mention Marc Ribot in this topic also. I heard about his work only recently, last few years, and I'm really sorry why I didn't liten to him before.
JIMI HENDRIX! OMFGsh! He is truly AWESOME! Like the BEST ever in my opinion, there was this other guy who could play really fast but I forgot his name. >.<
I'll vote for Yngwie J. Malmsteen. A great guitarist. Try to search for his Black Star. It's a great piece. I know him back in high school and I think that he deserves to be called as one of the finest guitarists of all time. I wish I could be like him one day. hehe.
well. I chose carlos santana. But, everyone chose jimmi hendrix cause thats all they know! Seriously, listen to ALL of the stuff carlos plays, and compare to jimmi's playing. it's a bunch of bs! seriously. Mabye it should of been a vote for SERIOUS GUITAR PLAYERS ONLY! Because now there's going to be several people thinkin he's the best. And what about artist like steve vai!? Wheres he?! Seriously.
You forgot to mention that it was Joe Satriani who was the teacher of Steve Vai, and even Kirk Hammett from Metallica (who also was forgotten to be mentioned).
The problem is that there is a hell a lot of extremly brilliant electrical guitarist players around the world, and you would never could say that the one is better that another. It's the taste who does it. Someone thinks that BB King is an great guitarist, others says Tonni Iommy from Black Sabbath.
I like the most of them all.
Have a nice day...
Eric Clapton. Hands down.
Joe Satriani. He taught Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, and a bunch of other good guitarists. I also think that David Gilmour is one of the greatest, but his playing style isnt speed. He knows how to put all the notes together and sound awesome.
Have you heard the version that he did with Tracy Chapman on vocals? It is great!!!
this person ABSOLUTELY wins this topic
he said exactly all the names I wanted to.
Is it true that Jimmy Hendrix can play his guitar left handed while he was stoned? That would take a lot of skill... even if he was stoned.
I think being left handed to start with helped. If I remember correctly, he played a right hand strat played upside down, just restrung.
as to playing stoned... well, I think lots of people did that
alexi laiho from children of bodom
I think that this following might be funny to add into this topic:
HE should be on the list!! You can't put page and let richie blackmore out! They are THE guitarrists from those years (wonderful ones). It can't be denied that deep purple went down after blackmore left.
I agree also with al those who stand for vai, but i'm a huge blackmore fan
I wouldn't include gilmour. He was good in the early pos-barret times, but after waters left, the guitar in pink floyd just wasn't the same. I didn't like he's solo work either. His great solo success would have been confortably numb, hadn't he "lent" it to The Wall
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Troy Thompson(Bride), etc...
Why aren't they on the list? They are awesome!
Hendrix, Hands down...
P.S. He is not overrated...can you emulate the way he played?
Didnt think so : )
on the list i picked hendrix because of his influence and creativity he had, but i think steve vai is a better guitarist
Zappa, good choice. He was one hell of a brilliant musician.
Steve Vai has only speed and he likes to be a poser :/
If it is true that "only the good 'in music' die young", then why are so artist hitting 25+ years in the business?
As for the poll: There are just too talented guitarist for it to work. Elvin Bishop, Joe Satraini and Steve Via come to mind.
Well said, well said. Totally agree.
I agree that Jimmy Page is the greatest guitarist but I still am a great fan of Jimi Hendrix and others. The biggest thing I didn't like about jimi hendrix was he couldn't sing. Neither could Jimi Page but at least he didn't try do. I thought Jimi Page did an impressive preformance during stairway to heaven. Im not sure if he is listed but the guitarist from the Eagles are good. he is amazingly talented and does amazing alpegeos in hotel california.
Hard to define...
I feel Ritchie Blackmore would get my vote on this one. Even though he isnt on your poll which by the way you have some greats on it as well. In my view hard to match those old Deep Purple days of the 70's.
STEVA VAI! STEVE VAI! STEVE VAI!
That man rules! He made the music for the Scarab-section in Halo 2 and i almost cry when i hear that song.
What about Brian May? I think he's also a guitar god. I like his acoustic version of the queen's LOVE OF MY LIFE.
I'm gonna put my vote for Angus Young. Everyone else has mentioned every other influential band under the sun and I think the ol' Acca Dacca deserve a mention
Joe Satriani. Perhaps. Or Saul "Slash" Hudson
I would have to say Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Why wasnt he included in that poll?
I can't believe Angus Young is losing. AC/DC is probably the best classic rock band and Angus Young has the best guitar parts!!!
Yeah. even listen to his Halo Theme Song Electric Guitar Solo
Hmm.. hard to say.. i can list five of my favourite ones:
Jeff Beck - the stuff that he did in the 70's was mindblowing... but what he does nowadays is even better
John Mclaughlin - the guitar player's guitarist... he was 100 years ahead of his time... Mahavishnu Orchestra was an amazing and unique band
Jimi Hendrix - he changed music in a really creative way
Derek Trucks - that guy has some serious talent... best slide playing i've heard in years
Paco De Lucia - the god of flamenco guitar... you can really hear the anger when he's playing that guitar
Angus is the best for my opinion because he invented the chicken dance which you see in TNT. Also he plays Thunderstruck with only his left hand and I don't see other guitarists doing that huh? See Angus is WWWWAAAAYYYY BETTER!!!!!!!!
This guy, Michael Angelo can even do it with 2 hands, on a double necked guitar (Ive also seen videos of him doing it on a 4-necked guitar, swapping between the necks without even missing a beat)
Hendrix, from the list.
Otherwise.. Dunno. I'd say Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Desert Sessions). 'cause he's my favourite. Yeah. That's all.
Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, Kirk Hammett, The Best
Angus Youngs is best because his using SG.
lol single handed tapping isn't rocket science and he definitely wasn't the first person to use it. Not to mention that Thunderstruck is incredibly easy to play for anyone who's been playing longer than 3 months. I don't mean to take anything away from him, but he's extremely far from the most skilled technical guitarist. I will give him the award for being at the top of playing with nothing but pure energy. I think you're reasons are silly.
On topic with the poll: None of those are the greatest guitarist (although there is no such thing). Speaking from a technical standpoint, none of those guys are near the top. Musically and creatively, I would say Hendrix is up there, only because he was ahead of his time. There's dozens of players much much better than the four listed.
Where is John Petrucci? He is truly the greatest!
While I'm a lover of rock, none of these rock guitarists in the poll hold a candle to many of the great jazz players.
Django Reinhardt is probably still one of the best guitar players who's lived.
Hendrix is my favourite, probably...
but where are George Harrison, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, etc.?
I voted for Santana because he is Mexican like me, but I think Hendrix is the greatest guitarrist of all time, Hendrix is my grandpa and James Hetfield is my Father.
Where is hide ?
Hide is the best guitalist dont you know ?
However we are x !
Considering a Google search brings up absolutely nothing about him, I'd say he's not the best at all
dimebag darrell (rip) of pantera, damageplan
dave mustaine of megadeth... hail \m/
i basically look for technicality and speed. dave mustaine for speed. dimebag and zakk wylde for technicality... they are the pinch harmonic gods!!!
I'd have to disagree there. The more famous you are, the more likely you are to get brought up in a google search. Fame has nothing to do with talent. Just google "Soulja Boy" and you'll get tons of pages. That doesn't mean that Soulja Boy doesn't suck (he's terrible). Furthermore, the opposite holds true. Some of the greatest bands that I've ever heard were indi/unknown bands.
Anyways.... I like a lot of guitarists... I like Hendrix, Steve Vai, (all of the really popular ones), plus a bunch of other people that I've heard and will probably never hear again.
Any of Steve Vai, Satriani or Malmsteen are probably the most skilled, but their guitar-dependant music is just so damn boring, so I'm gonna go hendrix on this one.
Surely the best guitarist in the world would have a website or a couple hits on Google...
What exactly did you type in google? was it hide? If it was then I think you should think about it... You should be able to answer your own question.
Randy Rhoades hands down! Shame on you for not listing him!
My favorite guitarists, for various reasons:
Phil Keaggy, Peter Green, Dick Dale, Duane Allman, Steve Howe, Robert Fripp, Chuck Barry, David Gilmore, Eric Clapton.
Not necessarily. Perhaps the greatest guitar player is some factory worker that plays at home for fun on the weekends. Perhaps the greatest guitar player alive is some college student who plays just to impress his girlfriend. Perhaps the greatest guitar player alive is a high school music teacher. Just because you have talent doesn't mean that you're going to go and record yourself playing and make albums and put yourself on the internet...
If I have to choose from the four I would say Jimmy Page. Why? Because he did much more than just play guitar. He was involved in producing the music almost single handedly. The reason John Bonom's bass drum sound is legendary was because of Jimmy Page. Now Jimmy was known to do allot in the studio too but that stuff he needed to inspire him hehe...
Ah man, don't underestimate the contributions of John Paul Jones.
There are loads, here are my favourites.
Some great guitarists here. I like subtlety myself, so I will throw out the names Bruce Cockburn and Steven Stills.
Also, agree with those who've suggested Mark Knopfler and Brian May. On the latter, Freddie got all the glory, but without Brian, that distinctive Queen sound would not exist. Same goes for The Edge of U2. Probably not a great technical guitarist, but so distinctive and recognizable.
You can not comparing a dead legend with 3 others who still alive.
You actually hit my list there, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai are long time favorite, meanwhile Michel Angelo's butterfly just kick too much asses.
Oh, also on the alternative side (B-side) I enjoy Brian Patrick Carroll "Buckethead" like no other guitarist.
Of those 4 Hendrix, followed closely by Page, but you've missed out some great guitarists there.
No mention of Slash, Brian May, Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, Jim Martin, Dimebag Darrell, Johnny Marr, John Squire, Bernard Butler.
Could go on for ages.
Amazed that no-one has even mentioned Peter Green. Try listening to some of the early Fleetwood Mac tracks - his playing will give you goosebumps / make you cry / make your hair stand on end.
All the guitar idols of the 60's / early 70's acknowledged that he was The Man and if he hadn't disappeared from the music scene all those years ago he'd still be the best blues guitarist around.
John McLaughlin http://www.johnmclaughlin.com/ is the best guitarist ever. If you play jazz, blues, rock or maybe even metal guitar, listening records of John playing in Mahavishnu Orchestra is a must for you.
In my opinion, Jimmy Hendrix is the best out of the four that are listed in the poll. Although polling is not appropriate here, as there are not enough options.
It might be useful to set up another poll by taking all the guitarists' names appearing in this thread.
Steve Vai is Greatest ever. Hendrix is good too, but for his time.
Out of this 4 you posted I gotta go with Page with Hendrix in a close second position. With Page you get riffs, open tunings, soloing, innovation ... he is amazing.
Or, if you want to know more famous guitarists, there is a photo album "Guitar Gods" by the Flame Tree Publishing Co. This album counts more than 160 great guitarists, with most of them being from the USA or the UK (because of the Anglo-Saxon cultural constraints, I think, and not because there are less great guitarists in the Hispanic world, say). So one is free to add more to this pantheon. After all, who told that there should be just one guitarist of all times? There are plenty of them! Guitarism is a polytheistic religion.
Give me a break. Bonham is one of the best drummers rock has ever seen, and that's not because of Page...
i dont know any new ones since Skidrow
Kirk and all the major rock bands been influence on me
Can one of us know something like that? We were not there, so...
So what? We are all on the Internet where, with a little bit of effort, any information is available.
Hendrix was incredible!
Santana is a good composer of guitar, but does not have the same intensity.
Jimmy Hendricks of course
There is plenty of live video and audio footage of Zeppelin, and there were plenty of people alive who did go to their concerts in their prime...so yes. There are plenty of things we weren't present at that we know are true. Not being at a specific event doesn't mean you can't make valid conclusions.
I am in no way trying to say Page is bad. He was an amazing song writer; I happen to think his playing was somewhat sloppy and there are much better guitar players, but that's what makes him unique in a way. Either way, Bonham remains one of the best drummers in rock music and to discredit him by saying he was only good because of Page's playing is nonsense. That was really my only point.
In fact, it could be said, and has been, that Page (and Plant) was so good due to the solid foundation and leash provided by Bonham (and Jones).
Zep was a bit of a rare bird, in which every member was an incredible musician in their own rights. Page and Plant had incredible charisma and raw power... but perhaps weren't exactly refined in how they delivered that power. Bonham and Jones had great raw power and talent, but perhaps lacked the charisma of Page and Plant... but they maintained a much tighter control of song progression and structure. Essentially they kept those two from being able to go too far off on weird tangents, maintaining the integrity of their songs. Without Bonham and Jones, Page and Plant would have essentially been rockets without stabilizing fins.
i think slash
but from the list
Is the voter influenced by the official or other rankings?
Gary Moore - Parisienne Walkways
Brian May - God Save the Queen
Hmm... why isn't Eric Clapton on this list? Woudl ahve to go with Santana, but I'm surprised that Clapton didn't make the cut.
What exactly is it that makes a great guitarist?
A lot of people point to speed/accuracy in playing; shredders, if you will... others point to soul/heart; the emotional content of playing. Some point towards improvisation, while others point towards the ability to flawlessly replicate the same progressions each time they're played...
What sort of criteria are we working with to determine "greatest"?