Over the past sixty years, the American music scene has grown considerably, partly due to the emergence of hundreds of great talents, including guitarists. Like their pop singer contemporaries, guitarists have swept audiences away with their riffs and rhythms, with their melodies, and with their masterful mastery of the guitar. Whether as solo artists or as part of bands (think The Who, the Beatles, U2), many of them have become wildly popular and legendary. But who is the best guitarist of them all? We’ve ranked the 40 of the greatest guitarists of all time below.
Buddy Guy is known today for his long list of hit songs produced by his six-string guitar technique, such as “First Time I Met The Blues” and “Stone Crazy,” but it wasn’t always rosy. At the beginning of his career he was once told by record executives that his music was just a ‘bunch of noise’. Born George Guy in July 1936, the Louisiana native began playing guitar from home at a young age. He was schooled in the blues background which later influenced his guitar style and inspired some of the greatest guitarists of all time.