December 2, 2007

Top 50 Guitarists

Mad Hatter has a great post up. The age old question that I NEVER tire of....his picks are interesting, no huge surprised other than I haven't heard to some of his picks. I have a very hard time listing my top 5 let alone my top 50.

Who should get that number one spot?

Its hard for me to base my decisions on skill alone, personality and how I personally feel about the artist at that time in my life (ok, so I am a female ok, I think with both sides of my brain!)

So for today only my top five are: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Slash, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Lifeson.

One thing I love about his reviews is his rating system, its clever and it speaks volumes! Check him out!

A - You will never be whole without it

B - Highly recommended

C - Flawed, but still pretty good

D - It's your money, not mine

F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?


The Mad Hatter said...

Thanks Barbara! Hopefully a good discussion follows. I'd been slowly piecing together the list for a few months actually as I would think of guitarists. It stills feels incomplete, but it's a start.

David Amulet said...

A great rating system, indeed! I may adopt some version of it ... it's quite clever.

-- david

pjazzypar said...

It is a good list, but full of testosterone, what about Bonnie Raitt or Nancy Wilson of Heart. A couple of women deserve at the very least an honorable mention.

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Mad, you are welcome...I will stop by and see what people are saying on your spot.

David, always nice to see such a handsome devil pop up in my comments.

PJ, Excellent point! I love Nancy and Bonnie but imho if I am looking strictly at talent and not counting gender...well they don't come close to the talent. I wonder why that is. Nancy is good but they actually have a guy playing lead on most of their songs :(

Malcolm: said...

I'm going to leave gender out of the equation. I feel that either you belong on the list or you don't. With that being said, I would include Bonnie Raitt. I think she is one of the best in the business.

As I mentioned over on The Mad Hatter's blog, I would also include Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. 3 other guitarists that are worthy of inclusion are Link Wray, Dick Dale, and Vernon Reid (Living Colour).

The Mad Hatter said...


I love Nancy Wilson; she just barely missed. But here's the thing: people associate Nancy as being the guitar goddess of rock when she actually had two other highly gifted guitarists in Roger Fisher and Howard Leese with her in Heart and who are equally as great.

Jeff said...

I'm always changing my opinion on my top guitarists, if you were to ask me now I would say

1. David Gilmour
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Tom Morello
4. Robert Fripp
5. Jimmy Page

The Mad Hatter said...


I forgot in my last comment to add that I did include Kaki King -- in my opinion, a fairly unknown musician with a ridiculous set of guitar chops. Utterly, beautiful stuff -- crazy tapping techniques, intricate chordal structures. Check her out!

pjazzypar said...

Hey Mad Hatter,

I half read your post so I feel that I kind of jumped the gun. In the last paragraph of your post you mention that the list is purely subjective. I was looking at a list which had a bunch of people that I never heard of, while it was missing people that are known for their guitar playing, B. B. King, and as Malcolm mentioned Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley come to mind. Truth is I couldn't begin to compile a list such as yours because I am not that knowledgeable about guitar players.

Bruce said...

It's all subjective, anyway. It all depends on your taste in music, and who is and isn't your "cup of tea". With me, there are only three that I put at the top of the heap; Clapton, Gilmour, and Stevie Ray. There are others that I consider great, but these three guys are/were the cream of the crop, as far as I'm concerned.

Six Strings said...

1. Duane Allman
2. Randy Rhoads
3. Jim Hendrix
4. The Edge
5. Jimmy Page

I like The Edge's playing for it's simplicity and texture.

Alex Lifeson - one of the reasons I ever played guitar in the first place.

My top five changes all the time, though. They are all great musicians.

Barbara (aka Layla) said...


Great additions to the list. I would have to add BB King because him and Lucille rock!

MadHatter, yeah what you said about Nancy. But WATCHING her play is incredible. I would rather watch her than just about any other guitar player cause her style and the way she does that move of hers is so cool. I think I have a chick crush on her.

Bruce - you like SRV? Really? Just kidding. I feel a special bond with you because of him. If I get another tattoo may be of him

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Six, yes, mine change all the time too. I liked your post on Duane today.


This blog has been missing you!

The Mad Hatter said...

Barbara, Nancy may not be in the top 50, but I'm with you -- she is a performer, for sure. In terms of beating an acoustic to death, she's way up there. Maybe it's because she plays it like an electric, I don't know, but it's fascinating stuff.

Angie said...

Well I have a chick crush on Patti Smith. I swear I would turn for that woman! :P

I'm no expert either, but she looks pretty amazing playing hers, as does Neil Young and his Ol' Black. And of course the two Jimmy's, Page and Hendrix.

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