10 Rock Guitarists You Need To Hear

There have been, and will continue to be, many amazing players of our chosen instrument. Listening to these players is an essential part of your development as a guitar player.

Here is a list of 10 of the most influential rock players that have ever lived. There are many many more and I urge you to listen to them all but these are just some of my most favourite players from this genre.

  1. Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix needs no introduction. One of the most famous guitar players of all time for a very good reason; he was so advanced for his time and literally changed the way everybody thought about guitar playing. He's often notated as a blues guitarist, which he of course was, but he was one of the very first rock guitarists and also influenced an entire generation.

  2. Brian May - Lead guitarist of the band Queen, Brian may has written some of the most recognised music on a global scale. His guitar parts are always extremely tasteful and highly musical. An amazing guitarist from an amazing band.

  3. Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani was the first guitarist to release an all instrumental ‘shred’ guitar album. His album Surfing With The Alien was a real milestone in lead guitar playing and paved the way for many albums of this kind.

  4. Yngwie Malmsteen - Yngwie quite literally blew the world away with his astonishing technique and command of the neo classical style when he arrived in the early eighties. He is a phenomenal guitarist that anyone who wants to play hard rock styles must listen to.

  5. Steve Vai - Steve Vai first came on to the scene when he got the gig with Frank Zappa, which was no mean feat. He then went on to tour the world with the David Lee Roth band and then also played with bands like Whitesnake. He later released his album Passion and Warfare which is regarded by many as the best instrumental guitar album ever.

  6. Jason Becker - Jason released his album Perpetual Burn in 1988 to find the world around him stunned by the musical genius and technical virtuosity on display in this most amazing piece of guitar work. The truly amazing thing was that Jason was just 17 years old when this album came out! Even today this album is hailed as one of the scariest moments in guitar history. He must be an alien, as humans cannot play this good!

  7. Paul Gilbert - Paul Gilbert was snapped up by Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records in his late teens. He paved the way for a new generation of rock guitarists with his blistering rock technique. Hailed as possibly the most technically gifted rock guitarist ever, he has toured the world playing his own solo compositions but most famously with the band Mr Big.

  8. Richie Kotzen - Richie is also a product of Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records. He replaced Paul Gilbert in the Mr Big line up and has toured the world with many different projects. Equally adept in fusion, blues and rock styles, Richie is one of the most accomplished guitarists alive today.

  9. Nuno Bettencourt - Nuno is the lead guitarist for the band Extreme, who have had numerous hits world wide. Nuno's technique is second to none and he has written some of the coolest riffs and solos ever. He quite literally is an extreme guitarist.

  10. Guthrie Govan - Equally adept in country, blues, jazz and funk. You name it, this guy can play it. Check him out with care. He WILL scare you!