The guitar remains one of the most popularly played instruments in the world. No matter what the genre of choice and preference, musicians are somehow always drawn to this string instrument and often take their first steps into the world of music-making and playing through it. Many continue to hone their skills and talents over the years and become exceptional at their art, and go down in history as the best of the best.
Many have come and gone, and continue to follow the blazing trails carved out for them by the greats, but some names never lose their place due to their sheer talent, skill, and power. Among the most famous guitarists in the world—there are plenty of noteworthy names—here are a select few.
Nobody and I mean nobody, in the world has come quite as close to Jimi Hendrix. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rock’n’roll fan, or you prefer pop, his name remains undisputed as possibly the greatest guitar player the world has ever seen. His use of the guitar went above and beyond our imaginations, playing flawlessly, wearing notes and chords like nobody’s business. Playing with three Super Lead 100-Watt Marshall amps most of the time, he’d turn them up to the max and set the stage on fire—once literally.
Another name that no list is ever complete without is the living, breathing legend Carlos Santana. With incredible hits like Hope You’re Feeling Better and Black Magic Woman, to pure masterpieces like Oye Coma Va, Santana’s music is recognizable from the first strum. His use of melody, groove, and combining jazz and salsa with rock is what sets him apart from so many contemporaries. He blended the perfect fusion of multiple genres that he was familiar with, going down in history as one of the uncontested bests.
Founder of Led Zeppelin, arguably one of the best rock bands the world has and will ever see, Jimmy Page is a multi-talented musician. While he also plays the keyboards, harmonica, sitar, and many other instruments, he remains one of the top guitarists in the world. Making his first television appearance at the age of 13, he has continued to blow the world away with his talent and skill. With incredible music to his claim, including songs like Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love, featuring some incredible solos, his style is unmissable and unforgettable. Once you’re hooked to the raw ferocity and simultaneously calculated finesse of Page’s tunes, there’s no looking back.
The man who shot the Sherriff and did some cocaine (pun intended), Eric Clapton is another English musician whose name has gone down in history for his ability to create a style and niche that was truly unlike anyone else’s. It wasn’t just that he was an aggressive guitarist, it’s that he was also so fiercely talented that he’d even garnered the nickname, Slowhand due to an incident at a show where he broke his string. Clapton is one of the most well-recognized and respected musicians today, and continues to hold his spot as one of the world’s greatest—and rightly so.
The world got a little bit dimmer as 2020 took away the incredibly talented Van Halen in October of last year. Called rock’n’roll’s superhero, Van Halen reinvented the way the electric guitar was played. He transformed the landscape of music with his band, the legendary Van Halen, and continued to hold his own till his dying breath. He is a legend in the truest sense, and the world is emptier, quieter, and sadder having lost such a mammoth talent.
The jazz, country, and blues singer who remains one of the most well-known guitarists of all time also invented the solid-body electric guitar that has been named after him. He pioneered the electric guitar to be what it is today and continued to stay committed to his craft, playing melodies that were complex, and incredibly emotive. There have been a few men as dedicated, talented, and insightful as Les Paul, whose talent across genres and as a musician and inventor both, has cemented his place in the world of music.
But you know what almost all of these guitarists had in common? Each of them invested in custom high-performance guitars. They knew their craft so well they tweaked, customized, and upgraded their instruments, and had a few prominent guitars that have also gone down in history with them.
Don’t think of your guitar as a tool, but rather, a vehicle to help you get to your destination as a musician. You can also invest in custom guitars online through Rock Guitars, a business founded by another passionate musician and artist turned guitar aficionado, EddieA. He customizes each piece by hand, focusing on ensuring powerful performance and functionality, without compromising on aesthetic qualities. Check out some of his creations here and get in touch with him if you’d like to own your very own masterpiece.
Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!