Famous British Guitarists

Strings of nylon or steel bound together on a wooden device when strummed with fingers or a pick create music that is food for the soul! Confused? Well, it’s the music by a guitar that we are talking about! Guitarists are people who are well versed with the technique of playing a guitar. Broadly divided into the category of classical, acoustic, electric and bass guitar, the genre of guitar music has greatly evolved since its emergence. Guitarists have seized quite a sizeable popularity when it comes to music fan following, with their rock, metal, jazz, folk, classical and acoustic forms. While Americans are credited with popularizing guitar music, it were the Brits’ who refashioned the music style to make it edgier, harder, inventive and melodic! Spearheaded by Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame, British guitar players pushed the art form to celestial heights with their inventive technique and powerful play. Laced with soulful renditions, dazzling technique and quality content, British guitarists helped the instrument rise up to monumental standards. Some of Britain’s ace guitar legends include Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, George Harrison, Steve Howe, Angus Young and so on. Check this section and find out more about the life and works of greatest British guitarists. Find out what they have to offer from their musical arsenal!

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

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 1 Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
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Birthdate: March 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Eric Clapton, the rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time. In the 1970s, he recorded a number of successful solo albums and continued to do so over the next several decades and is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had issues with alcohol and drugs.

 2 Slash

Slash
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British, American

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.

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 3 Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

British singer, Cat Stevens, has released more than 15 studio albums and has churned out many hit songs. He converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He was slammed for reportedly backing the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has also been accused of allegedly having ties with terrorist organisations, a charge he has vehemently denied.

 4 Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

An English musician, songwriter, and record producer, Jimmy Page gained international recognition as the founder of the popular rock band Led Zeppelin. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and greatest guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page was ranked third in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Jimmy Page has influenced several popular guitarists.

 5 Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: July 7, 2006
Pink Floyd co-founder and frontman Syd Barrett was known for his contribution to psychedelic rock and experiments with studio effects such as echo and distortion. He was removed from the band due to his drug addiction, following which he began a solo career. His final years were spent in privacy.

 6 Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Roger Taylor soared to fame as the drummer of the iconic rock band Queen. A Planet Rock poll named him the eighth-greatest classic rock drummer. Taylor also became known for his falsetto vocal range and co-wrote hits such as Innuendo and Under Pressure. He also appeared on Pop Quiz.

 7 Roger Waters

Roger Waters
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Famous As: Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
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 8 Brian Jones

Brian Jones
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Famous As: Founder of the Rolling Stones
Birthdate: February 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 3, 1969

Brian Jones was an English musician credited with founding the world-renowned rock band, The Rolling Stones. He was also considered the original leader of the band before his fellow band members, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, took over the musical direction of the band. Jones became the first member of the infamous 27 Club, when he died at age 27.

 9 Laurence Fox

Laurence Fox
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 10 Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn
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Famous As: Guitarist, Singer, Musician, Composer, Songwriter
Birthdate: March 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 11 Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: August 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 12 Andrew Ridgeley

Andrew Ridgeley
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: January 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 13 Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood
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Famous As: Musician & Songwriter
Birthdate: June 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Ronnie Wood is a musician and songwriter. Over the years, Wood has been an important member of popular rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck Group, and Faces. He is one of the few musicians to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A cancer survivor, Wood serves as an inspiration to those fighting cancer.

 14 David Bowie

David Bowie
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: January 10, 2016

English singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Dubbed "The Greatest Rock Star Ever" by Rolling Stone magazine, he rose to international prominence in the 1970s with his innovative style of music. Deeply dedicated to his profession, he remained musically active until his death in 2016.

 15 Jamie Campbell Bower

Jamie Campbell Bower
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 22, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Jamie Campbell Bower is an English actor, model, and singer. He is known for playing important roles in popular films like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and The Twilight Saga. He is also credited with founding the popular punk rock band Counterfeit.

 16 Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Two-time Grammy-winning artist Steve Winwood experiments with a variety of genres, including rock, blues, and jazz. He has been part of groups such as Traffic and Blind Faith, and has delivered Billboard-topping hits such as Roll with It. He is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

 17 Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend
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Famous As: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: May 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

Pete Townshend is an English guitarist, composer, and singer. He is credited with co-founding and leading one of the most influential and important rock bands of the 20th century, The Who. Also an influential guitarist, Pete Townshend was ranked 10th in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest guitarists of all time list published in 2011.

 18 Marcus Mumford

Marcus Mumford
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 31, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, American

 19 Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck
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Famous As: Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Jazz guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: June 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 20 James Righton

James Righton
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 25, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

James Righton is an English musician credited with co-creating the new rave band Klaxons. Apart from releasing albums and singles, James Righton also works on creating music for films and theatre. In 2015, he scored music for a short film titled William. In 2018, he scored for a comedy-drama feature film titled Benjamin.

 21 Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

A Guinness record holder for the most-watched leading man on TV, three-time Golden Globe-winner and two-time SAG Award-winner Hugh Laurie has also dabbled in blues music and written a novel. From starting his career with sketch comedy, to winning the OBE and CBE, the actor/comedian has come a long way.

 22 Keith Richards

Keith Richards
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: December 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Keith Richards is a musician and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular rock bands ever, The Rolling Stones. Also a guitarist, he was ranked fourth on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 best guitarists list in 2011. Richards' look and characterization inspired the character of Captain Teague who appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.

 23 Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: August 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: December 22, 2002
Joe Strummer is remembered for his memorable performances with the punk rock band The Clash, with whom he delivered hits such as London Calling and Train in Vain. He was known for his rebellious and politically charged lyrics. He also experimented with acting and hosted on a BBC radio show.

 24 Peter Green

Peter Green
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Famous As: Musician & Songwriter
Birthdate: October 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Peter Green was an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Green is credited with founding the popular British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Named in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, Green has influenced many other guitarists like Joe Perry and Gary Moore.

 25 PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer, Artist, Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: October 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

 26 Donovan

Donovan
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 27 Ritchie Blackmore

Ritchie Blackmore
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Famous As: Guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: April 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 28 Robert Smith

Robert Smith
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist
Birthdate: April 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

English singer-songwriter and musician Robert Smith gained fame as a co-founder and member of the rock band, The Cure. He was also the lead guitarist for the band, Siouxsie and the Banshees, for a few years. He became an influential figure in the goth subculture in the 1980s and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 29 James Bay

James Bay
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 30 Tony Iommi

Tony Iommi
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Famous As: Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: February 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 31 Matthew Bellamy

Matthew Bellamy
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 32 John Entwistle

John Entwistle
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: October 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: June 27, 2002

John Entwistle was an English singer-songwriter, bass guitarist, and music producer. He is credited with co-founding the popular rock band, The Who, for which he served as the original bass guitarist and backing vocalist. Nicknamed Thunderfingers, Entwistle was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Bass Players list. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 33 Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr
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Famous As: Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

 34 Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County
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Famous As: Recording Artist
Birthdate: May 4, 1998
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 35 Paul Weller

Paul Weller
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Famous As: Singer, Songwriter, Musician
Birthdate: May 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Paul Weller is an English musician and singer-songwriter best known for his work with the popular band, The Jam. Referred to as The Modfather, Weller played a significant role during the mod revival of the 1970s and 1980s. In 2006, he was honored with the Brit Award under the Outstanding Contribution to Music category.

 36 The Edge

The Edge
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: August 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Irish, British

David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, is a musician and songwriter. He first gained fame as the keyboardist, lead guitarist, and backing vocalist of the rock band U2. He is known for his signature style of guitar playing. Besides music, he is an advocate for human rights and is involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors. 

 37 Adam Ant

Adam Ant
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Famous As: Guitarist, Actor, Singer
Birthdate: November 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

 38 Dhani Harrison

Dhani Harrison
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Famous As: Singer, Guitarist, Composer, Pianist, Model
Birthdate: August 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 39 Mick Taylor

Mick Taylor
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Mick Taylor soared to fame as the guitarist of iconic rock band The Rolling Stones. He has also been part of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Named to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, he was also declared one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

 40 Tom Fletcher

Tom Fletcher
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Tom Fletcher, lead vocalist and guitarist of the band McFly, has also written for several artists and bands, such as Busted, One Direction, and The Vamps. A successful YouTube vlogger, too, he has documented and shared all three pregnancies of his wife, Giovanna. He has also written several children’s books.

 41 Oliver Sykes

Oliver Sykes
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 20, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

Oliver Sykes is an English singer-songwriter. He is credited with co-forming the popular rock band Bring Me the Horizon, for which he also serves as the lead vocalist. Also an entrepreneur, Sykes founded and owns a clothing line called Drop Dead Clothing. A vegan since 2013, Oliver Sykes supports organizations, such as PETA.

 42 Fatboy Slim

Fatboy Slim
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Famous As: Disc jockey
Birthdate: July 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 43 Mike Oldfield

Mike Oldfield
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Famous As: Composer, Guitarist, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 44 Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Guitarist, Musician, Model, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, American

 45 Greg Lake

Greg Lake
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Famous As: Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: December 7, 2016

 46 John McVie

John McVie
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: November 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 47 Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp
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Famous As: Guitarist, Composer, Motivational speaker, Record producer
Birthdate: May 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 48 Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson
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Famous As: Composer, Singer, Guitarist, Flautist, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 49 Stevie Young

Stevie Young
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: December 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 50 Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood
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Famous As: Guitarist, Banjoist, Composer, Ondist, Multi-instrumentalist, Actor, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British