Guitar World’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’

Eddie Van Halen has emerged the victor in Guitar World’s inaugural list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

’The renowned Van Halen guitarist defeated Queen guitarist Brian May in the final round of the near six month long tournament; overcoming the likes of Jeff Beck, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads and a host of others in the process.

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In all, 132-guitarists were entered into the tournament and close to a half-million votes polled in order to place the winner.

Guitar World explained how it compiled the list: “Simple.

We ranked the guitarists by round — first the two guitarists from the finals, then the remaining two from the final four, and so on — and then within their respective rounds by their overall vote count.

Dimebag Darrell, for instance, is No. 9 because he received the most votes of any guitarist that didn’t make it to the Elite Eight.”

Guitar World’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’

100. Wes Montgomery
99. John 5
98. Derek Trucks
97. Tosin Abasi
96. Mark Knopfler
95. Jack White
94. Albert King
93. Gary Rossington
92. Ace Frehley
91. T-Bone Walker
90. Robin Trower
89. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
88. Neil Young
87. Synyster Gates
86. Peter Frampton
85. Jeff Hanneman
84. Malcolm Young
83. Glenn Tipton
82. Robert Fripp
81. Nuno Bettencourt
80. K.K. Downing
79. Gary Moore
78. Chris Broderick
77. Andy Summers
76. Al Di Meola
75. Joe Perry
74. Ted Nugent
73. Rory Gallagher
72. Steve Morse
71. Jeff Loomis
70. Michael Angelo Batio
69. Kerry King
68. George Lynch
67. Johnny Winter
66. Alex Skolnick
65. Pete Townshend
64. Albert Lee
63. John McLaughlin
62. Chuck Schuldiner
61. Steve Howe
60. John Lee Hooker
59. Son House
58. Steve Lukather
57. Tom Morello
56. Lindsey Buckingham
55. B.B. King
54. Jerry Garcia
53. Rick Nielsen
52. Joe Walsh
51. Allan Holdsworth
50. Dave Murray
49. Alexi Laiho
48. Joe Bonamassa
47. Eric Johnson
46. Jason Becker
45. John Frusciante
44. Chuck Berry
43. Yngwie Malmsteen
42. Carlos Santana
41. Michael Schenker
40. Keith Richards
39. Jeff Beck
38. Buckethead
37. Jerry Cantrell
36. Kirk Hammett
35. Warren Haynes
34. Mark Tremonti
33. Mark Morton
32. Django Reinhardt
31. Dickey Betts
30. Chet Atkins
29. Billy Gibbons
28. Eric Clapton
27. Frank Zappa
26. Vernon Rein
25. George Harrison
24. Buddy Guy
23. Paul Gilbert
22. Slash
21. Angus Young
20. Ritchie Blackmore
19. James Hetfield
18. Zakk Wylde
17. John Petrucci
16. Robert Johnson
15. Duane Allman
14. Les Paul
13. David Gilmour
12. Dave Mustaine
11. Randy Rhoads
10. Steve Vai
09. Dimebag Darrell
08. Stevie Ray Vaughan
07. Tony Iommi
06. Jimmy Page
05. Joe Satriani
04. Jimi Hendrix
03. Alex Lifeson
02. Brian May
01. Eddie Van Halen

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What More Top 100 Lists?

Fan Vote: Did Our List Rock It? 


  1. Guess Scott Henderson, George Benson, Jimmy Herring, Larry Carlton and Robben Ford all need to practice more.

  2. My list would include Reb Beach (Winger), Neal Schon (Journey), Matthias Jabs (Scorpions), Prince, and put less priority on just “being there” i.e. in famous bands (Keith Richards, Slash, Buckethead, John Frusciante)

    • I think you need to look up the word “juvenile”. I don’t know that EVH deserves to be at the top of the list, but he revolutionized lead guitar playing, and he is a modern-day J. S. Bach when it comes to his rhythm playing. You don’t have to like him or his music, but he deserves respect.

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