The 2004 Guitar Player Readers Poll: Your 50 Greatest Guitarists Revealed!

By Molenda, Michael | Guitar Player, March 2004 | Go to article overview

The 2004 Guitar Player Readers Poll: Your 50 Greatest Guitarists Revealed!


Molenda, Michael, Guitar Player


We asked for your votes, and we got 'em. Thousands of them. They came via e-mail, snail mail, and the Web. And what we have here is the ultimate Top 50 list of transcendent guitarists, as well as your picks for Icon, Living Legend, Ferocious Female, and Young Gun each and every one chosen by a peer who actually plays, and who is obsessed with all things guitar. You just can't get a better panel of judges than that, and we thank all of you for your participation. (Hopefully, the straight media will respect the intelligence of your choices!)

And although we "rated" the players based on the number of reader votes they received, it's important not to view this list as a competition. We prefer to see it as an accounting of the primary guitarists who have forged modern guitarcraft. In other words, if you want to embrace the legacy of the guitar, these are the first 50 cats you should study. From there, thousands of other players deserve your attention. And, as far as we're concerned, anyone coo] enough to make music with a guitar qualifies for hero status.

THE TOP 50

1. JIMI HENDRIX

2. STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN

3. ERIC CLAPTON

4. JIMMY PAGE

5. JEFF BECK

6. EDDIE VAN HALEN

7. STEVE VAI

8. JOE SATRIANI

9. B.B. KING

10. CARLOS SANTANA

11. ERIC JOHNSON

12. DAVID GILMOUR

13. CHET ATKINS

14. RANDY RHOADS

15. DUANE ALLMAN

16. ANGUS YOUNG

17. ZAKK WYLDE

18. ALEX LIFESON

19. GEORGE HARRISON

20. SLASH

21. WES MONTGOMERY

22. JOHN PETRUCCI

23. DJANGO REINHARDT

24. MARK KNOPFLER

25. STEVE HOWE

26. BUDDY GUY

27. YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

28. STEVE MORSE

29. JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

30.

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