American Male Guitarists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Male Guitarists

 1 Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix
7
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: September 18, 1970

One of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. As his career progressed, he became the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Rolling Stone ranked him as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time. He died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 27.

 2 Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen
7
Famous As: Guitarist, Musician
Birthdate: January 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: October 6, 2020

Eddie Van Halen was an American songwriter and guitarist. The co-founder of the popular rock band Van Halen, Eddie is widely considered one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock music. He is credited with popularizing the tapping technique, which is now used extensively by guitarists all over the world.

 3 Frank Vincent Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa
7
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: December 4, 1993

Frank Zappa was an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and bandleader. Widely regarded as one of the most stylistically diverse and innovative rock musicians of his generation, Zappa was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list in 2004. Zappa's works have influenced other musicians like Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix, Simon Phillips, Steve Vai, and Warren DeMartini.

 4 Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly
5
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter & Pioneer in Mid 1950's Rock and Roll
Birthdate: September 7, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lubbock, Texas, United States
Died: February 3, 1959

Musician and singer-songwriter Buddy Holly was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. Born to a musical family, he learned to sing and play the guitar as a child. He began his career as a teenager and found much success within a short period. Sadly, he died in an aircraft crash when he was just 22 years old.

 5 Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan
6
Famous As: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer
Birthdate: October 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dallas
Died: August 27, 1990

Stevie Ray Vaughan was an American musician. Stevie achieved so much in his mainstream career, that spanned only seven years, that he is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever and one of the most influential and iconic musicians in the blues music history. He is credited with reviving blues-rock and his work continues to influence several artists.

 6 Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry
13
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry was an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the Father of Rock and Roll, Berry is credited with pioneering rock and roll music. He is also credited with influencing the attitude with which the rock music lifestyle is usually associated. Also revered for his guitaring skills, Berry is often included in lists like the Greatest Artists of All Time.

 7 James Hetfield

James Hetfield
7
Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Downey, California, United States

James Hetfield is an American songwriter and musician. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular heavy metal bands of all time, Metallica. James Hetfield is often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and vocalists ever. Since the 1980s, Hetfield has played a key role in the success of ESP Guitars, as one of its major endorsers.

You May Like

 8 Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh
7
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer
Birthdate: November 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States

Joe Walsh is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. Over the years Walsh has contributed to the success of popular rock bands such as Eagles and James Gang. In 1998, he was made an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was ranked 54th on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list.

 9 Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham
6
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: October 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Palo Alto

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lindsey Buckingham ruled the American rock scene with the band Fleetwood Mac, performing with his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks. Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. After a brief hiatus, he rejoined the band but was fired eventually.

 10 Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hazlehurst, Mississippi, United States
Died: August 16, 1938

Singer and guitarist Robert Johnson is remembered as a Delta blues legend. Lack of proper documentation of his early life led to various legends surrounding him, such as one that claimed he had made a deal with the Devil to excel in music. He also inspired an award-winning biography. 

 11 Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain
7
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: February 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Washington, United States
Died: April 8, 1994

Gaining fame as a member of the rock band Nirvana, singer-songwriter and musician Kurt Cobain was often heralded as a spokesman of Generation X. He is considered to be one of the most influential musicians in the history of alternative rock. He enjoyed tremendous professional success, but his personal life was troubled. He died of suicide at just 27.

 12 Neil Young

Neil Young
8
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: November 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

One of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers of all time, Neil Young has worked both solo as well with bands like Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grammy award winning musician’s notable albums include After the Gold Rush, Harvest, Harvest Moon and Ragged Glory. He strongly backs environmental and disability issues too.

 13 B.B. King

B.B. King
9
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi
Died: May 14, 2015
Known as “The King of the Blues,” legendary musician B. B. King introduced a signature style of soloing using string bending and vibrato. His song The Thrill is Gone won him a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. He was featured on Rolling Stone’s “100 greatest guitarists of all time” list.

 14 Lou Reed

Lou Reed
7
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 27, 2013
Lou Reed redefined the glam rock genre with his album Transformer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee initially wrote sings for Pickwick Records and performed with the Velvet Underground. He then released 20 solo albums. His parents had made him go through electro-shock therapy to “cure” his bisexuality.

 15 Paul Simon

Paul Simon
8
Famous As: American Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: October 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States

One half of the popular musical duo Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon is a singer-songwriter, musician, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters of all time. His career, which has spanned more than 60 years, has been so influential that Time named him among the 100 People Who Shaped the World in 2006.

 16 Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia
7
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 9, 1995

Jerry Garcia had an illustrious 30-year career as the lead guitarist and vocalist of the rock band the Grateful Dead. Rolling Stone ranked him 13th on their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. He was known for his improvisations, participated in many side projects, and released several solo albums.

 17 John Mayer

John Mayer
11
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
John Mayer went from working at a gas station to producing the multi-platinum albums Room for Squares and Heavier Things and winning multiple Grammys. He has worked with bands such as the John Mayer Trio and Dead & Company. He has written for Esquire, donates to charities, and collects watches. 

 18 Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana
9
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: July 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Autlán, Mexico

Guitarist Carlos Santana rose to fame in the late 1960s and 1970s with his rock band Santana. He introduced elements of Latin American jazz in his rock music to create unique songs. He is the recipient of ten Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone magazine listed him on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists in 2015.

 19 Slash

Slash
12
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hampstead

Slash is an English-American songwriter, musician, and record producer. After achieving popularity as the lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses, Slash left the band to form Velvet Revolver, a hard rock supergroup. Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players in the history of rock, Slash is often named in lists, such as the Top Guitarists of All Time.

 20 Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens
4
Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: May 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: February 3, 1959

Widely regarded as the pioneer of Latin rock and Chicano rock, Ritchie Valens was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Since his untimely death at the age of 17, Ritchie Valens has inspired several musicians and bands like Carlos Santana, Los Lonely Boys, and Los Lobos. Valens also inspired Robert Quine, Jimi Hendrix, Keith O'Conner Murphy, and Chris Montez among others.

 21 Dimebag Darrell

Dimebag Darrell
7
Famous As: Guitarist, Composer, Musician
Birthdate: August 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dallas
Died: December 8, 2004

 22 Christopher Stapleton

Christopher Stapleton
4
Famous As: Named ‘Artist-Songwriter Of the Decade’ by ACM
Birthdate: April 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States

Five-time Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton is best known for hits such as Parachute. He has also co-written tracks such as Kenny Chesney's Never Wanted Nothing More. Before going solo, he was part of the bands The SteelDrivers and The Jompson Brothers. His music blends country with bluegrass and soul.

 23 Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell
4
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: April 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Billstown, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell was an American TV host, actor, singer-songwriter, and guitarist. Regarded as one of the most successful musicians ever, Campbell sold more than 45 million records, which included a double-platinum album, four platinum albums, and 12 gold albums, in a career spanning 50 years. In 2014, he became the subject of a documentary titled Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me.

 24 Billy Gibbons

Billy Gibbons
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer
Birthdate: December 16, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Houston

 25 Randy Rhoads

Randy Rhoads
5
Famous As: Guitarist, Musician, Classical guitarist
Birthdate: December 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica
Died: March 19, 1982

 26 Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Littlefield, Texas, United States
Died: February 13, 2002
Waylon Jennings was one of the pioneers of outlaw country music. He began performing on KVOW radio, at age 12, and then performed with several bands, such as The Texas Longhorns, The Waylors, and The Highwaymen. He also contributed to Wanted! The Outlaws, the first platinum country album. 

 27 Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 1, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Delhi, Louisiana, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning country artist Tim McGraw has released 15 albums, 10 of which have topped the Top Country Albums chart. He also has 25 Hot Country Songs chart-toppers. He has also appeared in movies such as The Blind Side and Tomorrowland and is a minority owner of the Nashville Kats.

 28 Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Issaquena County, Mississippi
Died: April 30, 1983
Grammy-winning blues singer McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, is considered the father of modern Chicago blues. He is remembered for his tracks Hoochie Coochie Man and Rollin' Stone, with the latter inspiring the name of the band The Rolling Stones. He shaped the rock and roll genre.

 29 Kirk Hammett

Kirk Hammett
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Metallica, was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. He was previously part of the group Exodus. His collection of horror memorabilia was released as a book, and he also started an annual horror convention.

 30 Mick Mars

Mick Mars
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Mick Mars gained fame as the guitarist for the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe and came to be known for his aggressive style of playing the instrument. He has also written songs for bands such as Crashdïet. He has suffered from ankylosing spondylitis since his teenage years. 

 31 Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oildale, California, United States
Died: April 6, 2016
Country singer Merle Haggard initially gained fame performing with The Strangers. He had several brushes with the law in his younger days, before he launched his music career. His songs reflected the angst of the working class. He won several accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

 32 Steve Vai

Steve Vai
4
Famous As: Guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: June 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carle Place, New York, United States
Three-time Grammy-winning guitarist and singer Steve Vai began his career as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa and played for his band till he launched his solo career. Guitar World named him the “10th Greatest Guitarist. His music was featured in music videos such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

 33 David Cassidy

David Cassidy
8
Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: April 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: November 21, 2017

Actor-singer and teen idol David Cassidy soared to fame with his iconic role of Keith Partridge in the long-running musical sitcom The Partridge Family. Known for hits such as Cherish and Daydreamer, he was often mobbed by girls in his youth. He spent his later life struggling with alcoholism and dementia.

 34 Tom Morello

Tom Morello
8
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Tom Morello is an American musician, rapper, singer, actor, songwriter, and political activist. Morello is best known for his association with Rage Against the Machine, which he co-founded with Zack de la Rocha. Renowned for his creative and unique guitar playing style, Tom Morello was ranked among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.

 35 Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney
4
Famous As: Country Musician Who has Received Twelve 'Country Music Association Awards' & Eleven 'Academy of Country Music Awards'
Birthdate: March 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Country singer Kenneth Chesney has over 40 Top 10 Billboard tracks to his credit. He has won six Academy of Country Music awards and nine Country Music Association awards. He also co-directed the ESPN film The Boys of Fall. His Flip-Flop Summer Tour was the highest-grossing country tour of 2007. 

 36 Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley
6
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist
Birthdate: November 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Anaheim, California, United States
Died: May 29, 1997

Jeff Buckley was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. His only studio album, Grace, was included in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Since his untimely death at the age of 30, Jeff Buckley has been the subject of several documentaries. His death also inspired several artists to record songs in tribute to his life and career.

 37 Bob Seger

Bob Seger
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: May 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Singer, songwriter, and musician, Bob Seger, first gained fame in the 1960s as a heartland rock artist. Known for his classic raspy and powerful voice, he recorded many songs that dealt with themes like love and women. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

 38 Billie Joe Armstrong

Billie Joe Armstrong
9
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist
Birthdate: February 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States

Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician and record producer. He is credited with co-founding and popularizing the rock band, Green Day. As a guitarist and vocalist, he has also contributed immensely to the success of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder. In 1997, Armstrong founded Adeline Records to help support contemporary bands; the record company was closed in 2017.

 39 Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charter Township, Michigan, United States

Rock guitarist Ted Nugent initially gained fame with the band The Amboy Dukes. He has also had a successful solo career, with hits such as Cat Scratch Fever. He was also part of the supergroup Damn Yankees. A National Rifle Association board member, he supports hunting and gun ownership.

 40 Don Henley

Don Henley
6
Famous As: Musician, Singer
Birthdate: July 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States

Don Henley is an American record producer, singer, songwriter, and musician. A founding member of Eagles, Henley contributed immensely to the success of the band. Don Henley has also been successful as a solo artist, selling more than 10 million albums and winning two Grammy Awards. In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine named him among the greatest singers of all time.

 41 Kevin Jonas

Kevin Jonas
10
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 5, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States

Musician, singer, and songwriter Kevin Jonas rose to fame as a member of the pop-rock band, the Jonas Brothers, with his younger brothers, Joe and Nick. Also an actor, he has appeared in many Disney Channel productions. He is involved in business ventures as well and is the founder of a construction company, JonasWerner.

 42 Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin
4
Famous As: Record Producer
Birthdate: March 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lido Beach

A record producer, Rick Rubin is the former co-president of Columbia Records and a co-founder of Def Jam Recordings. By promoting the musical groups  Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy, he helped popularize hip hop music. He has been named on Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

 43 Skrillex

Skrillex
6
Famous As: American music producer
Birthdate: January 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highland Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
The side-mulleted American DJ Skrillex is best-known for bringing dubstep music to the mainstream. The illustrious musician, songwriter, and singer began his journey as a solo artist and has bagged in eight Grammy Awards. Distingusihed for giving electronic dance music a face, DJ Skrillex owns astonishing YouTube views and earns enviable touring revenue.

 44 Bill Withers

Bill Withers
4
Famous As: American singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.
Died: March 30, 2020

Soul and R&B legend Bill Withers is best remembered for hits such as Ain't No Sunshine and Lean on Me. The three-time Grammy Award-winner also inspired the documentary Still Bill. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Bill moved on to other jobs after his 15-year music career. 

 

 45 Duane Allman

Duane Allman
3
Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nashville
Died: October 29, 1971

 46 Trace Cyrus

Trace Cyrus
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 24, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ashland, Kentucky, United States

The son of Billy Ray Cyrus and the oldest of the famous Cyrus siblings, Trace Cyrus is an American musician. In 2010, he formed a band named Ashland HIGH, which has released a couple of albums. Trace Cyrus is known for his eccentric style and multiple tattoos that cover his entire upper body.

 47 Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman
4
Famous As: Singer, Keyboardist, Guitarist, Writer, Autobiographer, Pianist, Singer-songwriter, Recording artist
Birthdate: December 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman was an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the rock band The Allman Brothers Band along with his brother Duane Allman. Dubbed the Southern rock pioneer, Allman was recognized for his distinctive, soulful voice; Rolling Stone magazine named him in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.

 48 Chris Pérez

Chris Pérez
6
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: August 14, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Guitarist Chris Pérez was married to Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla and performed as part of her band, Selena y Los Dinos. Following Selena’s murder by her own manager, Chris sank into depression. He later won a Grammy with the Chris Pérez Band and also wrote a book about Selena. 

 49 David Mustaine

David Mustaine
4
Famous As: American musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Mesa
Dave Mustaine performed as the lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Metallica and later left the band due to substance abuse issues. He then co-founded Megadeth and performed as its lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He also launched a metal festival named Gigantour. He is also a cancer survivor.

 50 Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA