Most of us, at one point or another, have picked up the air guitar and rocked out to the riffs of the greatest guitarists of all time. From Johnny Ramone and Joni Mitchell to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, these incredible guitarists’ melodies and solos will live on forever in our hearts and minds. In fact, many of these masters are still burning up the six strings on stage today!
Covering numerous genres, including blues, metal, rock, and alternative, these guitarists showcase the heights of human talent. Read on to see where some of your favorites landed on our list and who tops the chart…
40. Bo Diddley
Ellas McDaniel, better known as Bo Diddley, was an American blues guitarist and singer. Although many don’t know the name, Diddley is hugely influential, even today. He played a key role in the birth of rock n’ roll from the blues. As a result, he inspired many future artists, including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.
Diddley became one of the first musicians to use African rhythms in popular music. Furthermore, his signature drum beat, now called the “Bo Diddley beat,” became a cornerstone of current hip-hop and pop music. In recognition of his achievement, Diddley received many accolades, including a Grammy Award and induction into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.