Joey’s Top 10s: Top 10 electric guitar players of all time

Joey counts down his top 10 electric guitar players of all time



The electric guitar provides even more opportunities to expand what is possible in music.


Similar to most of my lists, I am going to try to keep this list fresh and not recycle the same guitar players from the mainstream lists. (That being said, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen cannot be denied.)

  1. Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia was the front man for one of the most cult-classic bands of all time, the Grateful Dead. Nothing about Garcia’s playing was overly flashy (or flashy at all) but his impact on music is immense.

The Grateful Dead were able to jam on stage for hours, and that goes to show how talented they all are.

  1. John Frusciante

The lead guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frusciante is clearly inspired by the blues, but has his own unique twist that is extremely recognizable. Songs like “Snow” show how clean his chops are.

  1. Prince

A truly legendary musician. His live performances dwarf his album versions of songs. His Super Bowl Halftime rendition of “Purple Rain” and his cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weep” at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame are two of the best instances of guitar playing ever recorded.

  1. Mark Knopfler

Knopfler has so many different unique sounds, but my personal favorite is on the Dire Straits song “Down to the Waterline.” It is so smooth and it sets the tone of the songs really well. The tone of “Money For Nothing” is also unreal.

  1. Pete Townshend

Probably the most underrated musician on this list, Townshend has been around for a looong time, starting the classic band The Who in 1964. He wrote the rock opera “Tommy,” and is also known for a heavier, more distorted tone in songs like “Long Live Rock.”

  1. Brian May

While I’m not the biggest fan of Queen, Brian May’s guitar tone is out of this world. His sound on “Killer Queen” is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable ever. (His guitar also has a really cool backstory.)

  1. Steve Vai

Vai can shred like no other, he can fit a million notes into a phrase, or spread them out for a more melodic sound. I would like to see anybody play his song “Juice” without messing up, the studio version at the end of this rip-roaring song ends with one of his bandmates saying “Shut up! We know you can play.”

  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan

The second “Steve” on this list, Vaughan transformed the blues in the 1980s. Songs like “Pride and Joy” and “Texas Flood” introduced the blues to a whole new generation of listeners. Watching videos of him play live is incredible; he looks effortless up on the stage.

  1. Jimi Hendrix

Arguably the most iconic musician of all time, Hendrix is the inspiration for so many aspiring guitarists. His tone is unmistakable, and his blistering solos leave every listener in awe.

Honorable Mentions: Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons

  1. Eddie Van Halen

One of the most groundbreaking musicians ever, Eddie Van Halen broke into the scene with his band on their debut album which came out in 1979. His tone is arguably more recognizable than Hendrix’s and inspired the Hair Metal era of music in the 80s and 90s.

Van Halen utilized the “tapping” technique to unlock phrases and solos that were never dreamt of before the release of “Eruption.” To this day, Van Halen remains a timeless icon. Stay tuned for a Top 10 Van Halen Songs list.