Who do you consider to be the best electric guitar player? This guide will introduce you to those I consider to be the best electric guitar players on the planet. These are only my personal selections, so you might have your own.

These players have all influenced me throughout my own guitar-playing career. I wouldn’t be the player I am today had I not heard these musicians and their incredible guitar work.

Quick Look: Best Electric Guitar Players

#1 Best Electric Guitar Player Overall: Jimi Hendrix


It’s difficult to determine the best guitar players because there are so many of them in multiple genres. My list covers blues, rock, and modern rock styles. These are the styles that have influenced me the most.

Electric Guitar Songs

What Makes a Great Electric Guitar Player?

Several things make a great electric guitar player, but this is all a matter of opinion. In general, it takes a mastery of the instrument to be a great guitar player.

Some of the best electric guitar players are not all that technical, but they’ve created a unique style that people recognize. The ability to craft an amazing song is also a part of being a great guitar player.

Electric bass guitar player hands

There are both great rhythm players as well as great lead guitar players. Some musicians are able to do both equally well, while others excel in one area. It’s a combination of factors that makes a guitar player great.

10 Best Electric Guitar Players

Here’s my list of who I consider to be the 10 best electric guitar players I’ve ever heard. Your list may be different from mine, but these are all artists that have inspired me throughout my own musical journey.

1. Jimmy Page

  • Best Hit Song: Stairway to Heaven
  • Best Album: Led Zeppelin IV
  • Music Type: Rock/blues
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Gibson Les Paul

I consider Jimmy Page to be one of the best guitar players on the planet. He innovated in the era of rock guitar throughout the 1970s. He has a unique ability to combine both electric guitar and acoustic guitar.

Songs such as Stairway to Heaven, Black Mountain Side, and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You are some of my all-time favorite songs. My favorite solo of all time is the solo in Stairway to Heaven, which is a masterpiece.

I was heavily influenced by Jimmy Page when I was learning how to play guitar. I still spend a lot of time learning songs off of the first four Led Zeppelin albums.

The reason why Jimmy Page is such a popular guitar player is the songs that he wrote. The music of Led Zeppelin is loved by many people because of the songwriting and guitar playing of Jimmy Page.

2. Eric Clapton

  • Best Hit Song: Crossroads
  • Best Album: Wheels of Fire (Cream)
  • Music Type: Rock/blues
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster

One of my all-time favorite electric guitar players is Eric Clapton. I consider him to be one of the best guitar players every. I especially like his work during the Cream days. He has command over many aspects of the guitar.

He has the unique ability to craft good songs. I especially like the songs Crossroads, Cocaine, and Layla. Many guitar players today get their influences from Eric Clapton.

He is one of my influences too, and I especially like his playing when he was a member of the band Cream. They remain one of my favorite bands to this day.

Eric Clapton is one of the most loved guitar players because of his ability to craft memorable songs. He’s one of the first pioneers in the blues-rock genre, as he was able to combine these two styles.

3. Stevie Ray Vaughan

  • Best Hit Song: Pride and Joy
  • Best Album: Texas Flood
  • Music Type: Blues
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster

When I first started playing electric guitar, I used to play mainly rock and heavy metal. That all changed when I heard Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was blown away by his guitar technique and the sound he got out of his instrument.

He was a master of the modern rock genre and created some of my all-time favorite songs, such as Lenny, Pride and Joy, and Texas Flood. Stevie Ray Vaughan was a complete master of the Fender Stratocaster.

His playing inspired me to pick up a Fender guitar and get into playing blues. I consider him to be one of the best electric guitar players of all time.

Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of the most loved guitar players of all time because of his aggressive blues guitar playing. He was able to take regular blues and speed it up a bit to create high-energy blues guitar music.

4. Jimi Hendrix

  • Best Hit Song: Hey Joe
  • Best Album: Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Music Type: Blues/rock
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster

No one on electric guitar compares to Jimi Hendrix. I still consider him to be the best guitar player that ever lived. He was a master of the instrument who ushered in the era of modern rock and experimentation on the instrument.

He had a unique ability to combine different effects to get sounds out of the guitar that no one had heard before. Not only could he do this, but he created some of the best-loved rock songs of all time, like Hey Joe and Voodoo Child.

One of the most impressive live performances was his version of The Star-Spangled Banner during Woodstock. This is one of my favorite renditions of this song. It’s just one example of his mastery of the guitar.

Jimi Hendrix is still loved as one of the best guitar players of all time. His playing was unique, especially his use of guitar effects, as they were not used that much until that time. He ushered in experimenting with music.

5. James Hetfield

  • Best Hit Song: Enter Sandman
  • Best Album: Black Album
  • Music Type: Heavy metal/thrash
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Gibson/ESP Explorer Guitars

The heavy metal genre wouldn’t be the same without James Hetfield and Metallica. He’s one of the leading pioneers in creating modern heavy metal. He remains one of my favorite heavy metal players of all time.

James has a style that’s almost exclusively downpicking. He’s been able to create some of the heaviest and most recognized rhythms in all of heavy metal. His style has inspired many other guitar players.

Some of my favorite Metallica songs include Enter Sandman, Fade to Black, and Seek and Destroy. His rhythm work pairs well with the lead guitar playing of Kirk Hammett, which helps round out Metallica’s sound.

6. David Gilmour

  • Best Hit Song: Comfortably Numb
  • Best Album: Wish You Were Here
  • Music Type: Rock/psychedelic
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster

David Gilmour is perhaps the most expressive guitar player on the planet. He has an uncanny ability to create some of the most poignant guitar solos of all time. His solo on Comfortably Numb is one of my favorites.

David has been able to take the electric guitar and express a multitude of emotions with it. Some of my favorite Pink Floyd songs include Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb, and Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).

He never plays anything that’s too technically difficult, but it’s his choice of notes and especially his playing in Pink Floyd that’s so memorable. He’s able to get emotion out through his guitar playing, and this is what makes him great.

7. Joe Satriani

  • Best Hit Song: Always With Me, Always With You
  • Best Album: Surfing with the Alien
  • Music Type: Technical/rock
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Ibanez

In terms of modern technical guitar playing, no one beats Joe Satriani. He has the unique ability to create extremely fast runs that sound exciting. He’s able to put emotion into his faster playing, so the music sounds energetic.

When I first heard Joe Satriani, I couldn’t believe my ears. Here was someone that sounded better than Eddie Van Halen, and had total command over the electric guitar.

Surfing With the Alien is my favorite Joe Satriani album. It has excellent songs such as Always with Me, Always with You, and Satch Boogie. If you want to learn about technical guitar playing, listen to Joe Satriani.

Joe Satriani is considered one of the best technical guitar players today because of his ability to take fast playing and add a lot of melody to it, so it’s more interesting than what a lot of other players are doing.

8. Randy Rhoads

  • Best Hit Song: Crazy Train
  • Best Album: Blizzard of Oz
  • Music Type: Rock/heavy metal
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Gibson Les Paul/Flying V

Randy Rhoads’s promising career was cut short, but in his playing career, he created some of the most well-loved rock and heavy metal songs of all time. He was able to combine regular rock and roll with classical styles.

He had an incredible guitar technique, and this can be heard on songs such as Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley. He’s one of my biggest influences on electric guitar and for many others who have picked up the instrument.

Rock and heavy metal would not be the same without the playing of Randy Rhoads. There’s no telling what he could have done had he had lived longer than he did. I’ll always remember his playing.

Randy Rhoads is still considered to be one of the best guitar players who ever lived. His playing was advanced for the time, and his music still inspires countless musicians today to reach that high level of proficiency.

9. Eddie Van Halen

  • Best Hit Song: Eruption
  • Best Album: Van Halen I
  • Music Type: Rock/metal
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Custom Strat

No one did more for the genre of rock and heavy metal than Eddie Van Halen. He had absolutely mind-blowing guitar technique and helped write some of the most memorable rock songs of all time.

His tapping technique has been copied by countless guitar players since it was first heard on the song Eruption from Van Halen I. Not only was Eddie extremely talented, but he was also able to create a wide range of different sounds.

His brown sound is one of the most sought-after guitar tones, as players want to have the tone that he did. He experimented a lot with electric guitars to get the sounds that he’s famous for.

Eddie Van Halen will always be remembered for his pioneering work in the modern rock and heavy metal styles. This music wouldn’t be the same today without his amazing playing. He’ll inspire players for generations to come.

10. Angus Young

  • Best Hit Song: Back in Black
  • Best Album: Back in Black
  • Music Type: Rock
  • Favorite Electric Guitar: Gibson SG

One of my favorite guitar players is Angus Young. He’s not known for his technical ability, but he’s still one of the best guitar players of all time. The reason that he’s one of the best is that the music rocks like no other.

Angus Young and AC/DC were able to take straight-ahead rock and roll and create memorable rock songs. Some of my favorite AC/DC songs include For Those About to Rock (We Salute You), Back in Black, and Highway to Hell.

This is a band that you’ll always hear played at a party. The music is energetic and fun to listen to, and it features the blazing rhythms of Malcolm Young and the guitar solos of Angus Young.

AC/DC is one of the best-known bands in the world. The music of Angus Young has helped inspire countless other musicians to pick up the electric guitar.

Types of Electric Guitar Music

Here’s a listing of some common types of electric guitar music. Not all genres are covered here, as there are many different genres.

Electric bass guitar player hands, live music theme

These are some of the more popular ones.

Rock Guitar

Rock guitar is the most popular type of electric guitar music. This started in the 1950s with artists such as Buddy Holly. It expanded in the 1970s with players such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Eddie Van Halen.

Blues Guitar

Another type of electric guitar music is blues guitar. Famous blues guitar players include Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King, and B.B. King. This style helped create modern rock guitar.

Blues-Rock Guitar

Players from the 1960s and 70s got a lot of their influences from early blues music. This created the genre of blues-rock guitar. Players of this genre include Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, and Michael Bloomfield.

Heavy Metal Guitar

This genre took the best from rock guitar and added in faster guitar solos. This created the genre we know as heavy metal. Famous players in this genre include James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Tony Iommi, and Randy Rhoads.

Country Guitar

Another form of electric guitar playing is country guitar. This features artists such as Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Merle Travis, Danny Gatton, and Chet Atkins.

Jazz Guitar

Guitar playing is also found in jazz. Some of the famous players include Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Larry Carlton, Frank Gambale, Pat Metheny, and Allan Holdsworth.

Grunge Guitar

After the heavy metal craze of the 1980s, players went back to basics. The style that came out of the 1990s was called grunge guitar. This was made famous by players such as Kurt Cobain, Kim Thayil, Jerry Cantrell, and Mike McCready.

Technical Guitar

Technical guitar refers to music played at a higher level. This is often incredibly fast playing with multiple advanced guitar techniques used. Players in this genre include Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Eric Johnson.

Best Electric Guitar Songs

Here are three of the best electric guitar songs that I like. These are my own personal selections, so you might have some of your own.

Black and White Stratocaster Electric Guitar

I like them for various reasons.

Stairway to Heaven

One of my favorite songs of all time is Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. I like this song because it’s a combination of so many different styles. It combines fingerpicking, strummed chords, and a ripping guitar solo.

Comfortably Numb

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd is another one of my all-time favorite songs. This has some of the most soulful and expressive playing from David Gilmour. The solo in this song is loved by many players because it’s so melodic.


My life changed as an electric guitar player when I heard Eruption by Van Halen from the album Van Halen I. This song sent a lot of guitar players back to the garage. The playing on this solo is unbelievable.

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In Conclusion

This concludes my guide to the best electric guitar players. You probably have your own, but these are mine. Take your influences and learn from them to create your own individual style.

We can learn a lot from the players we like. These musicians inspire us to be better guitar players. I love listening to these musicians every day, and I always find something new to draw from their playing.

Please like, comment, and share this article. I look forward to hearing from you at any time. Now, go listen to some new music, and get some inspiration for your own playing.