This is a comprehensive list of great guitar players that have influenced me at one point or another. Also just a list of awesomeness. If you think I forgot someone let me know but I won’t promise you that I will agree with your point of view and include him on my list of awesomeness. Note, this list is not in any particular order except alphabetical ordering by first name (more or less).
A great classical performer.
Andy Mckee is one of those new type of Open Chord Tuning guitarist. I like his groove though. The only problem about these kind of guitarists is that they tend to get stuck in certain tunings using the same go to patterns within that tuning and thus starting to sound repetitive.
Well Buckethead is here well because… Bucket.. Head..
Certainly one of the first real finger style guitarists out there his legacy is huge.
A really underrated guitarist and composer. In my mind Townsend isn’t to far from Zappesch talent.
One of the G3 regulars with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani which wont get his spot here since i dont really like his style he’s pretty good though.
In terms of raw technique and knowledge of the neck theory wise i don’t think many guitarists get close to the thunder from down under!! No really you could learn a lot from this guy.
I’ve never really categorized Zappa as a guitarist as such and I don’t think he did either in my view he’s one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century. If someone would ask me what single artist or a band I would take with me on a desert Island and i could’t listen to anything else the rest of my life Zappa would easily be my first choice.
Greg Howe on of those that went from the 80’s shred to become a great fusion guitarist.
I like Guthries playing style a whole lot especially his jazz/fusion improvs.
Dream Theater’s Petrucci is the guitarist in Dream Theater and is a master of Alternative picking
Melodic and nice.
Michael Romeo – Symphony X
Mr. Romeo has a great control over the guitar he can do amazing solos and metal riffs using sweep picking, alternative picking and tapping. A lot of his melodies and solos are based on the Harmonic Minor Modal System.
Ron Jarzombeck is probably most famous for his Spastic Ink stuff or Watchtower, im not sure but be sure to check out this guy he gets 2 videos for being awesome! I cant forget to mention his appearance on the first Gordian Knot studio album which is crazy.
I don’t think i need to say much. His signature thick Pentatonic and arpeggio licks define his sound.
Joe Pass is just so damn likable. Check out this talk by him about baseline comping or walking base. I love how he views the theory.
Fusion, Jazz. Scofield.
He has this signature sound that sometimes can be just a tad uncomfortable.
Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola
Here are three masters worth mentioning. If you want to see crazy alternative picking speeds check out more with DI Meola.
A smooth unique tone.
Steve Ray Vaughan
Steve Ray for those who don’t know him is like the Better/Stronger/Faster version of Jimmy Hendrix.
I think most people know Steve from Kansas or his Steve Morse Band or recently from Deep Purple but you should really check out his best work which is his time spent with Dixie Dregs.
Steve Vai – Steve Vai Band
I guess most guitarists people know who Steve Vai is. He started out his glamours guitar playing career in the Frank Zappa band. If you don’t know about Steve check out some of his amazing guitar virtuoso stuff.
Had a unique playing style like they most do.
Tommy Emmanuel is my all time favorite finger style guitarist. I’ve seen him play live concerts two times with almost a 6 year time difference and i can tell you that his passion for playing infects one with the guitar bug. He’s probably the main reason i started to really focus on finger style although I had already started to dabble in Chet Atkins at the time.
If you like flamenco or spanish guitar you should check this guy out.