In the world of the electric guitarist, there are great players and then there are legends. What sets them apart from being mere mortals? Read on for ten of the best and why. Who knows, maybe you have a budding electric guitar prodigy in your family that will be inspired to become the next big deal. With guitar lessons for kids readily available, there’s only one way to find out! See how the big names below have made an impact on the world of music through their guitars.
1. Les Paul
Les Paul gave his name to one of the most iconic guitars in the world; he was also a nifty guitar player in his own right.
2. Eddie Van Halen
With a unique sound and an amazing two-handed playing technique, Eddie Van Halen changed the sound of rock for generations and inspired more people to take up playing than any other electric guitar player. Being a ‘tone chaser’, he would experiment with guitar parts to make the perfect instrument.
3. Jimmy Page
One of the first heavy metal bands, Led Zeppelin owes its distinct sound to Jimmy Page. Very few people fail to recognize the opening notes to Stairway to Heaven or the iconic riff to Whole Lotta Love! Jimmy Page was one of the most iconic guitar players in the world.
4. Jimi Hendrix
No list would be complete without James Marshall Hendrix. Hailed as the world’s greatest guitarist, an outplayed Clapton walked off stage when Jimi joined Cream for a jam, saying to Jimi’s manager “You never told me he was that good!”
5. Eric Clapton
When you have fans that spray graffiti on walls proclaiming ‘Clapton is God’, then you must be an amazing guitarist. A blues player, Clapton combines amazing solos and instantly recognizable riffs to be one of the most accomplished artists.
6. Joe Satriani
Inspired by Hendrix, Joe Satriani is mainly an instrumentalist who occasionally sings. He has an amazing technical ability, and has taught many other famous guitar players. Among his students is Steve Vai, who couldn’t even string a guitar when he met Joe.
Guns & Roses would not be where it is today without Slash. Slash’s style epitomizes the iconic rock guitarist and spawned many trying to follow in his steps across the world. Songs such as Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle will have you reaching for your air guitar in no time.
8. Steve Vai
A master of the space age sound, Steve Vai pushes the boundaries of what you can do with an electric guitar. With a unique style and technical ability, there aren’t many who come close to him. Steve played with Whitesnake and sold out crowds in the early 90’s.
9. Peter Green
The founder of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green is one of the most accomplished musicians around. A beautifully soulful blues player, he wrote many memorable tracks including Albatross and Black Magic Woman. When blues greats such as B.B. King say, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats” you know he must be good.
10. B.B. King
A legendary blues player, and influence of many, B.B. King was the master of the clean, soulful blues. If you have never heard of King, then you’ve never heard the blues.