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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jimi Hendrix, widely considered to be one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time.

A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as acoustic guitars, electric guitars, classical guitars and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.



A guitarist with harmonica playing at the Pike Place market in Seattle.

The guitarist controls an extremely versatile instrument. By using techniques such as bending and vibrato, the guitarist can make the guitar express a near vocal quality.

While with an ensemble, a guitarist can take the role of rhythm (playing with bass in the ensemble) or lead (playing on top of the bass in the ensemble) guitar.

A guitarist can also play along with a harmonica as a second instrument. Famous examples include Bob Dylan and Neil Young.[1]


The guitarist has several ways of playing the guitar including the guitar pick, fingernail, and/or fingertip (see Fingerstyle guitar).[2]


"Degas's Father Listening to Lorenzo Pagans Playing the Guitar, by Edgar Degas

The guitarist has long been a popular subject for artists. One of the more famous examples is the painting by Edgar Degas showing the guitarist Lorenzo Pagans playing the guitar, with his elderly father Auguste de Gas in the background. Painted somewhere between 1869–72, the painting is currently owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[3]

Notable guitarists

There are several lists made by magazines or websites with the purpose of finding out who are the greatest guitarists of all time for example The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine or 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World magazine. Based on different criteria, these lists, particularly Rolling Stone polls, often meet with criticism and ridicule by many guitarists but they are also praised by others.


Rolling Stone

Jimmy Page, lead guitarist for Led Zeppelin.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine published a list called The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. This list included 100 guitarists which the magazine considered the best with a brief introduction for each of them. The first in this list is the American guitarist Jimi Hendrix introduced by Pete Townshend, guitarist for The Who, who was, in his turn, ranked at #50 of the list. The list is heavily in favor of blues rock guitarists. The Top Ten of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone are:[4]

# Guitarist Nationality
01 Jimi Hendrix  United States
02 Duane Allman  United States
03 B.B. King  United States
04 Eric Clapton  United Kingdom
05 Robert Johnson  United States
06 Chuck Berry  United States
07 Stevie Ray Vaughan  United States
08 Ry Cooder  United States
09 Jimmy Page  United Kingdom
10 Keith Richards  United Kingdom

In informing the list to readers, Paul MacInnes from British newspaper The Guardian expressed: "Surprisingly enough for an American magazine, the top 10 is fair jam-packed with Yanks", although he also noted three exceptions in the top 10.[5] The online magazine Blogcritics criticized the list for introducing some undeserving guitarists while forgetting some artists perceived being perhaps more worthy, such as Phil Keaggy or John Petrucci.[6]

The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time is mentioned in many biographies about artists who appear in the list.[7][8][9]

Guitar World

Guitar World, a monthly music magazine devoted to guitar, also published their list of 100 greatest guitarists in the book Guitar World Presents the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time from the Pages of Guitar World Magazine.[10] Different than the list of the Rolling Stone which was introduced in descending order, Guitar World preferred dividing the guitarists by music genre such as "Lords of Hard Rock" for hard rock artists or "Jazzmen" for jazz players. Despite the appearance in other magazines like Billboard,[11] this publication by Guitar World was criticized for including no female musicians within its selection.[12]


Following the death of Les Paul, TIME website presented their list of 10 greatest artists in Electric guitar. Like the Rolling Stone's list, Jimi Hendrix was chosen as the greatest guitarist followed by Slash, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[13], an online music magazine, also ranks Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitarist ever, followed by Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Keith Richards and Kirk Hammett.[14]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2003-09-18. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  5. ^ MacInnes, Paul (2007-02-13). "Who are the 100 greatest guitarists of all time?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  6. ^ The Theory (2003-08-28). "The Top 100 Guitarists According to Rolling Stone". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  7. ^ The Crisis. The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc.. Autumn 2008. pp. 18. 
  8. ^ Ogunjobi, Rotimi (2008). The Essential Jimi Hendrix. pp. 28. ISBN 1411699238. 
  9. ^ Clement, Vivian (2007). How to Succeed As a Female Guitarist: The Essential Guide for Working in a Male-dominated Industry. Alfred Publishing. pp. 1. ISBN 0739043048. 
  10. ^ Jeff Kitts, Brad Tolinski (2002). Guitar World Presents the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time from the Pages of Guitar World Magazine. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0634046195. 
  11. ^ Billboard, vol. 117, n° 49, pp. 67
  12. ^ Leonard, Marion (2007). Gender in the music industry: Rock, discourse and girl power. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. pp. 38. ISBN 0754638626. 
  13. ^ "The 10 Greatest Electric-Guitar Players". TIME.,29307,1916544_1921910,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  14. ^ "The 50 Greatest Guitarists... Ever!". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 

Simple English

A guitarist is a person who plays the guitar. A guitar is a type of musical instrument.


Noted guitarists


Baroque (XVII & XVIII century)

  • Antoine Carré
  • Francesco Corbetta (ca 1615-1681)
  • Giovanni Battista Granata
  • Francisco Guerau
  • Girolamo Montesardo
  • Alonso Mudarra (1510-1580)
  • Santiago de Murcia (Around 1682 or 1685-1732) (Spain)
  • Gaspar Sanz (1640-1710) (Spain)
  • Robert de Visée (ca 1658-1725) (France)

XIX century

XX century


Country music


  • Paco de Lucía


  • Al Di Meola
  • Bill Frisell
  • Frank Gambale
  • Jim Hall
  • Scott Henderson
  • Allan Holdsworth
  • Charlie Hunter
  • Stanley Jordan
  • Enver Izmailov
  • Barney Kessel
  • Eddie Lang
  • Tony Macalpine
  • Pat Martino
  • John McLaughlin
  • Pat Metheny
  • Wes Montgomery
  • Randy Napoleon
  • Joe Pass
  • Andreas Paolo Perger
  • Snoozer Quinn
  • Django Reinhardt
  • Marc Ribot
  • John Scofield
  • Mike Stern
  • Andy Summers
  • Martin Taylor
  • Szabó Gábor
  • Herb Ellis

Folk and acoustic


  • Luther Allison
  • Duane Allman
  • Blind Blake
  • Michael Bloomfield
  • Doyle Bramhall
  • Big Bill Broonzy
  • Roy Buchanan
  • Chris Cain
  • Eric Clapton
  • Albert Collins
  • Ry Cooder
  • Robert Cray
  • Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper
  • Robben Ford
  • Jesse Fuller
  • Lowell Fulson
  • Rory Gallagher
  • Guitar Shorty
  • Guitar Slim
  • Buddy Guy
  • John Hammond, Jr.
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Son House
  • Mississippi John Hurt
  • Elmore James
  • Skip James
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Lonnie Johnson
  • Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson
  • Robert Johnson
  • Albert King
  • B.B. King
  • Freddie King
  • Little Jimmy King
  • Sonny Landreth
  • Leadbelly
  • J.B. Lenoir
  • Mance Lipscomb
  • Lonnie Mack
  • Taj Mahal
  • Mississippi Fred McDowell
  • Brownie McGhee
  • Blind Willie McTell
  • Little Milton
  • Memphis Minnie
  • Coco Montoya
  • Gary Moore
  • Keb' Mo'
  • Matt 'Guitar' Murphy
  • Charlie Patton
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Tampa Red
  • Jimmy Reed
  • Robert Ross
  • Otis Rush
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  • Hubert Sumlin
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  • Jimmy Vaughan
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Joe Louis Walker
  • T-Bone Walker
  • Muddy Waters
  • Bukka White
  • Josh White
  • Johnny Winter
  • Howlin' Wolf
  • Pat Megroin
  • Tommy O'Brien
  • Peter(The Beard) Longjohn


Heavy metal


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