Top 5 Guitar Players In The World

Determining the world’s best guitar players is no easy task. With all the talented guitarists out there it’s hard to say someone is the best guitar player in the world. With that said, it is a fun conversation to have, so we gave it a shot. Here are the top 5 modern day guitar players in the world.

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35 Responses to “Top 5 Guitar Players In The World”

  1. Al Kaplan says:

    Others that can be included are Walter Trout, Davy Knowles, Carlos Santana, Danny Bryant, Warren Haynes, Stevie Nimmo, Jimmy Thackery

  2. David Swallow says:

    Matt Schofield would be in my top 5 together with Robben Ford, Derek Trucks, Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi.

  3. Steve Sullivan says:

    5 – Guthrie Govan
    Agree with Eric gales
    Eric Gillette
    Marcel Coenen
    Jeff Beck

  4. Nigel Foster says:

    I can understand the argument for all five artists stated here. Right now my top five, in no particular order would be; Joe Bonamassa, Dan Patlansky, Ryan McGarvey, Derek Trucks and Philip Sayce.

  5. Joe Myers says:

    Walter Trout absolutely has to be in the discussion. I’m also big on Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Albert Castiglia, Albert Cummings, Warren Haynes and Jimmy Thackery.

  6. Paul Evans says:

    Tough choosing five but I go:

    Dan Patlansky
    Matt Schofield
    Albert Cummings
    Albert Castiglia
    Joe Bonamassa

  7. Alick says:

    Agree with the listed artists, but would like to add some that I think are worth mentioning:
    Frank Marino
    Monte Montgomery
    Dan Patlansky
    Lesley West
    Eddie van Halen

  8. Mark Wassner says:

    Joe Bonamassa
    Carlos Santana
    Jerry Garcia
    Warren Haynes
    Derek Trucks

  9. David Hoover says:

    I totally agree with this selection. Although I’m not yet ready to grasp Derek Trucks as Slide King as Sonny is still with us but Derek’s day will be recognized. Just as JoeB’s was after his idol passed. Keep up the fun challenges and Keep the Blues Alive! Groovy Hoovy (small college Radio DJ spinning the Blues on Sundays)

  10. Gary Milligan says:

    It’s always hard to pick but right now.I will say not based on just past works but in the now.
    Joe Bonamassa
    Philip Sayce
    Al Dimeola
    Eric Gales
    JD Simo

    That’s where my head is at right now

  11. Noni Torrent says:

    What about Dan Patlansky?

  12. Jim says:

    In no particular order:

    Sonny Landreth
    Joe Bonamassa
    Warren Haynes
    Jeff Beck
    Eric Clapton (still there)

  13. Kevin Ricci says:

    Tough to pick 5, but one that always comes to mind when someone asks is Ronnie Earl. Perhaps more a personal favorite, but is also on Bonamassa’s short list for blues guitar. I’d suggest something “live in Germany” from Youtube. Maybe “Blues in D Natural”

  14. Jimmy says:

    Dani Rabin, from the band Marnin.

    Dani was my college roommate at Berklee but this isn’t why I’m recommending him.
    He has quickly become a world class guitarist especially in the progressive Jazz genre.
    His album The Last Chapter of Dreaming is a masterpiece. He has only gotten better since.

    Dani Rabin, one of the best guitarists in the world.

  15. Cathy Thomas says:

    Yngwie Malmsteen
    David Knopfler

  16. James Bohnen says:

    Joe Bonamassa Kenny Wayne Shepherd Brad Paisley Keith Urban Brad Whitford
    *John Mayer……… to humbly name a few (seems like Joe is the
    common factor in this little contest of
    opinions)…..*honorable mention

  17. Anne Clow says:

    Like all of those listed above and would like to add Marc Bonilla to the list.

  18. Dave Persich says:

    Eric Clapton is not on many peoples lists but he’s still up there. Buddy Guy as well.JB and Derek Trucks. Bernie Marsden?

    And don’t forget the ladies. Rory Block, Joanne Shaw-Taylor, Samantha Fish, Bonnie Rait…. the list goes on. Five is not enough.

  19. Renata Vlaho says:

    Peter Frampton, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, Kim Mitchell, Alex Lifeson – just to name a few more.

  20. Scott says:

    Pat Metheny, Eric Johnson, Bill Frisel, Derek Trucks, Jeff Beck

  21. Gordon says:

    Clapto, Clapton, Clapton, Clapton, Clapton

  22. Gordon says:

    Clapto, Clapton, Clapton, Clapton, Maybe Joe Bonamassa

  23. randy says:


  24. Tim says:

    Matt Bellamy, Chris Buck, Dani Rabin, Joanne Shaw Taylor,

  25. Shari says:

    So many great names here.Right now I am really enjoying listening to Davy Knowles. Incredible guitar skills paired with an outstanding voice. His shows are so damn good!

  26. Melissa Siebert says:

    So glad you included Philip Sayce! Have been a big fan of his for a long time, wish more people listened to him, appreciated him — and you’re right, he’s the reincarnation of SRV and Hendrix in many ways, plus himself thrown in. Brilliant…

  27. patrick putman says:

    I have a few others that I feel should be considered….Matt Schofield, Josh Smith, Eric Steckel and Kirk Fletcher….

  28. Shawnyguitar says:

    I love this Pete. One typically sees the “Top 100” or something; reducing to 5 is a whole new ball game, well done. Made me an instant fan.
    I notice your choices are very blues/blues-rock oriented, and why wouldn’t they be; you’re the EIC of Blues Rock Review, I get it.
    That being said, makes it tough since jazz and classical players are sort of overlooked (except Tommy Emmanuel, you hit that one right on the head!).
    Great jazz players can play tremendous blues-rock in their sleep then wake up and rip something far more complicated, so it’s hard to put them beneath blues-oriented players.
    Two guys that have the most complete game in the world that I’ve heard are Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton. I mean, come on LC has been known throughout the music business as the greatest living guitarist for decades. Personally I put Luke a tiny notch above LC these days because he can play wicked jazz on stage with LC but then shred serious metal with Joe Satriani, which I think would be out of LC’s comfort zone.
    And just beneath them you have people like Jeff Beck, George Benson, many more.

    If we forget all of that and concentrate on blues/blues-rock, the Phillip Sayce, Eric Gales and Joe Bon choices are great, I love them. But, all 3 have a tendency to overplay, especially Sayce. So I’d like to ask you if you’re familiar with Chris Duarte (surely you are). He can kill any style, and if you’re looking for some blues he will wring your neck; check out his ODell Legends performance of “Bottle Blues” for example. Cream of the crop.
    Another is Davy Knowles (PHENOMENAL). Has an entire performance at Daryl Hall’s Club that is off the charts. Have seen him myself, as I have all the aforementioned artists, and he is special.
    The Derek Trucks selection I’d definitely never argue with, for he may be the best slide player ever. Which is extreme praise coming from me, being a big fan of both Joe Walsh and Johnny Winter. Derek can just do things with a slide I’ve never heard or seen before, can’t deny it.

  29. Pete Francis – It may come as a surprise to you, but Eric Gales is actually right handed. His oldest brother, Eugene, id left handed and taught himself to play upside down,then taught his 2 right handed younger brothers to play that way. The middle brother, Manuel, performed as Little Jimi King, and died about 15 years ago. Check him out, too. He actually played in Albert King’s band. The three Brothers actually once made an album as the Gales Brothers Band called “Left Hand Brand”. Check that out, too. When I saw Eric signing autographs right handed, I ssked his wife about it, and she told me the story. My reaction at the time was, that’s messed up.

  30. Peter Catherall says:

    Okay it’s Blues-Rock Review and therefore the top 5 guitarists would presumably be the top 5 in that genre. So I’m surprised (but delighted being Australian myself) that Tommy Emmanuel is included. Tommy is fabulous but I’m not sure he should be ‘classified’ as blues-rock. I do believe Warren Haynes should be in this list.
    However the big one who is ALWAYS overlooked (and I just don’t understand why) is Robin Trower! Sure Robin’s roots were in prog rock, but at 72 he is putting out some exceptional blues-rock work and still touring. Vastly under-rated talent that needs far more recognition before we lose him like so many others.

  31. Steven Tromley says:

    David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, KWS, Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani.

  32. Boomstick says:

    First off, where the hell is Jimmy Herring?

    Second I see you put Tommy Emanuel there, so you clearly have some acoustic players knowledge but then where is Preston Reed?

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