Do you play the guitar? Do you love jamming to your favorite music in the car. with your friends, or at a concert? What kind of guitar is your favorite, acoustic or maybe electric? Do you. like most, at the very least hold a deep appreciation for this historical stringed instrument?
Do you admire those that have a similar passion for this beautifully crafted creator of melody? If so, you might have previously pondered over who’s considered the most prolific or downright best acoustic guitar player on this planet. Even if you haven’t, you can grasp the concept that this list of classical guitarist is useful to draw inspiration from.
Let’s see. there’s…
You’d be hard pressed to find a conversation where when the phrase ‘genius guitarist’ is mentioned. Jimi’s name isn’t also being tossed around in the mix. That’s for a reason. We are talking about an effortless mastery level of every single aspect of the guitar.
Jimi played like the guitar was an extension of his body. One second of listening to him throw his entire self into the instrument is described by some as a ‘spiritual experience’. Jimi was born in Seattle, Washington, discharged from the Army, was soon after discovered playing gigs at nightclubs and then made his way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Whether or not the feedback guitar technique was invented or pioneered by Jimi. one thing is for certain, that man could dominate on a guitar.
Now, Eric is probably known as the most versatile acoustic guitar player ever, both with his style, type of playing, and career choices. He came from the English rock and blues genre but that didn’t stop him from spreading his talent across just about any genre or style, and then hitting gold every single time.
Be it rock, rhythm and blues, reggae, singing songwriting, the list goes on. You can find many sub genres within the genres of Eric Clapton. After playing with multiple local bands Eric’s breakout was when he joined the Yardbirds but then left due to his artistic integrity, good decision.
By all means this extremely influential guitarist deserves respect for his craft. Most people have a specific genre or era of Clapton that spoke most to them, but the best thing is that he’s still going at it to this day. If you see him give him his props and he might bust a beautiful riff down for you.
A common all time favorite in the acoustic guitar history is. of course. Mr. Hedges himself. Now the two hand picking guitar style rose to fame from his speedily plucking technique. Michael was a beautiful and precise composer who guided the acoustic guitar scene throughout the 70s until the 90s. in an alternative rhythmic manner.
This Peabody Conservatory alum with a major in composition was on near mythical levels with his multi instrumental mastery. He’s an icon known for his long flowing black hair and his emotionally penetrating sound.
Let’s talk about the lasting style and flair presented with a stellar musical talent that represents Chuck Berry. Now if you ever were to want a musician to visually entertain you as well as delight your ears.
Chuck is ‘Johnny B. Goode’ at that, but this is not meant to downplay his instrumental abilities. Let’s also put it out there that Chuck was a controversial guy. yet he was funny, sensical. with a knack for clever showmanship.
From a family of carpenters and with an early history of trouble making. Berry made his mark on jazz music and let his skill and style flourish during the beginnings of rock and roll.
Master and commander of the ominous vibe through guitar strings. There’s no doubt Keith had a certain element that was all his when he played.
What is impressive about Keith is his ability to make a simple chord shift sound like magic and then switch swiftly between chord and riff in an illuminating blend of the two. As an only child from Dartford. Kent England, it appears as though Keith was destined for the guitar.
From his direct style of playing to his distinct and recognizable vocals. Keith’s raw talent is undeniable. Even to this day you can tell this man has still got the touch, this Rolling Stone brings the ‘Satisfaction’ in a fundamental way.
Scotty has been defined as ‘Elvis’ secret’ before, for good reason. He’s the guitarist who was so good no drummer was even needed. Listening to his deliberate, hard plucking, virtuosic rhythm was like listening to an entire instrumental orchestrated band come from one person and one instrument.
This Tennessee native and former Navy member had some intense skills and a recognizable grin to match his guitar playing with grit Scotty has widely been known to be an influence to many fellow great musical influences and is almost guaranteed to make even the most prolific guitarists say. “Whoa.”
The innovative guitarist and founding member of the band Chicago from Chicago. Illinois deserves a nod in this list. Known for blending a Ray Charles vocal style with notorious skill on his humbucker pickup guitar.
Terry was masterfully talented among multiple instruments, had a distinct and finely tuned taste in guitars and in their modifications. It’s been mentioned more than once that this artist is one of the supremely underrated musicians of his time.
His choice in acoustic guitar was the Ovation, and for his contributions to rock music he deserves a standing ovation for putting the petal to the wah wah metal.
Multi-talented Jimmy Page is a double whammy of talent, literally and metaphorically. His blend of multiple elements that combine into one sound is downright spectacular. He would outwardly express this in his iconic use of the double whammy guitar.
Still, this founder of Led Zeppelin and former Yardbird artist who wrote, produced and played his own music is so much more than just impressive. It’s noted his blending of melodies, pitches and styles effortlessly and masterfully has a transcendent quality.
A lot can be said about Jimmy’s talent, skill, and innovation, but it probably wouldn’t be enough.
Eddie Van Halen
Ok now let’s talk about Eddie. This guy is a beast on his stringed instrument. He erupts onto any scene with his guitar and commands all attention. He’s got soul, he’s got passion, he’s got a masterful talent, he’s got his own finger picking style that cannot be beat.
Mr. Van Halen has just got something about him that’s for sure. He’s got the flare and the hair, a style that goes on for miles, a talent that can’t be patented. Eddie is just Eddie, you just have to listen to him play to get it. Born in Amsterdam. Eddie was born to rock. He’s simply Van Halen.
Let’s talk about the King that is B.B. His style is a kind of style that can be put into many words but few can fully master or understand. You just have to hear him play to connect the dots. His short bursting style with deeply interconnected yet complicated hand technique is second to none.
Expert Tip: B.B. has the movement in his hands that links to his listener’s soul and makes them want to be moved too. The Gibson L-30 acoustic guitar was the first guitar B.B. ever touched, which led him to us on his musical journey.
In response to that we say thank you. Lucille! Originating from Berclair Mississippi. B.B was a string bending blues player for the ages. There isn’t enough gratitude that can be shown for bending those blues B.B.
Speaking of musical virtuosos and melodic geniuses. Mr. Jung deserves a mention. Now this humble string picker doesn’t like to brag to distract from his craft so I will for him. What you’d call a child prodigy bumbled into what you’d call a musical genius and was crafted into the instrumental element of the young man we have in Sungha today.
This internet famous, finger plucking acoustic guitar playing musician bom in Cheongju, South Korea might as well be called a magician. Of course he can play almost anything accurately from his visionary hearing.
He will make you practically visually see sounds. If you become one of his millions of Youtube subscribers, you’ll see why he has so many of them. If you ever meet Sungha. tell him to stay grounded and to keep plucking that guitar for us.
Born in Luttrell and bred for Nashville. Tennessee. this country music star is the creator of that distinct Nashville sound of music. Yet. narrowing “Mr. Guitar” down to one brand would be a huge mistake.
Chet was beyond skillful at mixing the jazz with the classic, the harmonic melody with the notes, then plucking along with style and adding a couple of tricks along the way. He made this look easy.
His branded title was given to him for a reason, he earned his moniker. Don’t mess with this gentleman of the country, he’s known as a rescuer to country music.
This “Skydog” is another heavy hitter. His personalised style and melodic guitar slide routine is illustrious. The Allman Brothers Band music is still very well-played to this day. as Duane’s finger skill on the guitar sings for itself. Another Nashville native.
Duane’s favorite acoustic guitar is known as the Gibson L-00. but it seemed like when this Allman brother got behind any guitar he’d make you want to sing out ‘Layla.’
Known not only for his outstanding and record smashing instrumental ability, but also for his endearing and collaborative spirit. D. Allman is simply monumental.
The Who is Pete Townshend. The answer to the question what, is that he is one of the 60s and 70s greatest influences in the music of rock. Why? Pete is a man who can mix solid fluidity with such a passionate intensity and directive nature that is extremely hard to come by.
His self- taught multi instrumental talent further expresses the genuine artwork of a musician that Pete displays. Coming from a musically inclined family Townshend never learned to read music which makes his musical instrument prowess even more impressive. He was fierce at symbolism and knew how to make a point to create iconic statements.
Expert Tip: Remember the guitar smashing move was first done by Pete, a powerful sentiment. Pete is just plain smart, on and off the stage, with or without a guitar in his hand. This multi faceted strongly talented musician innovated the power chord. How does he do it? You’d have to ask him.
Where would modern rock be without the iconic Beatles? So it just makes sense to finish off with their lead guitarist. Harrison was a wonderful composer who admitted that music is just what made him happy starting from an early age.
It made his listeners happy too. Harrison’s focus, determination, and intensity on stage is probably what got him named “the quiet Beatle”. George expressed an innovative technique on the guitar which led the way for fellow guitarists in the 60s.
He exhibited a more subdued form of playing with his own handle on it, almost like taming his guitar. He was an emotion drawing musician and composer.
It’s no overstatement to say he would manipulate the melody and play it out in a way that extremely serviced whatever particular song he happened to be playing. He entered into many forms of music, had his sashay into songwriting but all the while he could make his guitar weep for sure.
The Truth of the Matter is…
With the artists listed above a lot more could be said. When it comes to the best acoustic guitar players of all time, the list could go on and on and even this short bundle compiles a mental list of those left unmentioned.
The musical arena of admirers or players of the beloved guitar, has been filled with many icons, works of talent, and plain ingenuity. Some of the above artists and many more have influenced and inspired each other and everybody else for ages.
Who influences you? Do you have a much deeper rooted appreciation for our brothers of the acoustic guitar now? As well as. who should be a Dart of this discussion for next time?