Not to be confused with a list of who I think the *best* guitar players of all time are, this list is my personal favorites. Much cleaner. Although please note many of these gentlemen would be on the other list, too. Presented in no order, other than the first guy listed.
  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Tone. Passion. The greatest player of all time. SRV is why I started playing the guitar. The ultimate Texas blues player.
  2. John Mayer (@john)
    Possibly the most *talented* player on this list. Acoustic and electric, across genres, Mayer is the best note-for-note I've ever heard. He can play any style and play it well. There's literally nothing guy can't do.
  3. Slash
    The greatest hard rock player ever. Slash brought restraint (believe it or not) to Guns and his tasty solos like in November Rain made just another really good Sunset Strip hard rock band into the greatest hard rock band of all time.
  4. Ted Nugent
    A freight train coming at you 100 mph. Uncle Ted is hell unleashed on the guitar. If he just did Strangehold and then retired, I'd still put him on this list. His work is often overlooked because of his politics but make no mistake, one of the best players of all time.
  5. Billy Gibbons
    So underrated it's frightening. Billy is one of the original Texas blues masters, and had such a sensational tone that it set the standard for the genre. His work at ZZ Top was obviously sensational, but even before that with Moving Sidewalks too. If you don't listen to Jesus Just Left Chicago and get it, then I can't help you.
  6. Eric Clapton
    I don't even need to explain myself.
  7. Keith Urban
    Simply put, Keith Urban makes music you can't get out of your head. He's got a melodic sound like Knopfler, can lay down a Richards-style riff, and can blow the roof off the place with soaring solos. The ultimate performer. You just can't look away.
  8. Keith Richards
    Nobody wrote better riffs. Nobody did alternate tunings better. Nobody could take a more dark and ominous tone - think Gimme Shelter - quite like Kieth. And nobody wrote more *great* songs. Keith is Keith for a reason.
  9. John Osborne
    The pick most people would say "who?" to, John Osborne is such an incredible country player that he deserves inclusion on this list. His twang is unmatched right now. His chicken picking is extraordinary. The way this guy plays slide is unreal. He is everything a country player should be.
  10. Mike Campbell
    A bit biased because I just *love* Petty, but this guy - much like Richards - just had a sound nobody else could copy. So unique. His two and three note riffs just sound so darn good. And he wrote so many of my favorite songs; that counts for something.
  11. Jimmy Page
    Timing. Taste. Versatility. Page was the perfect player for a perfect band. So eminently talented yet had the ability to show restraint and pack a punch when needed. Another brilliant songwriter but more importantly, tastemaker and pioneer for a whole generation of players.
  12. Albert King
    The true pioneer of electric blues. But that aside, the bends... oh my god. More powerful and forceful bends than anyone I've ever heard. How King bent notes that far, while playing the bass strings at the floor, are something I'll never comprehend.