Top 5 Guitar Icons. Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and Johnny Ramone

Top 5 Guitar Icons. Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and Johnny Ramone
Yareah Magazine

Top 5 Guitar Icons. Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and Johnny Ramone. Who do you prefer? Yes, we know, a difficult choice!


Jimi Hendrix. Photo attribution Klaus Hiltscher

Author Bio: Jason is a teenage musician who took his first guitar lesson after being inspired by a Jimi Hendrix CD his father played in the car. Jason is currently awaiting confirmation of a University place, but hopes to make a career out of music despite planning to study law.

Along with being a sports star, being in a band is one of the top things that we hope to do in our later lives when we’re growing up.  While we all have our individual passions, most of us dream of being able to play the guitar – for many it is something they carry throughout their lives, although playing the latest edition of Guitar Hero is as close as many of us will come. The icons of guitar playing are often the ones that inspire these dreams; but who are the five most iconic guitarists of all time?

Jimi Hendrix:

There was no one like Hendrix before Hendrix, and there’s been no one like him afterwards, either. The chances of there being another one in future are pretty slim, too. The influence Hendrix had on music is undeniable. He took everything the world knew about guitar, turned it upside down and produced something completely original and new.

Not only did he achieve this, but he inspired a whole generation of guitarists and musicians. Perhaps the most remarkable thing was that he was only “big” for four or five years, yet is still widely considered the greatest guitarist ever.

Keith Richards:

Richards is thought of as the man who introduced more riffs to the world than anyone else. The Rolling Stones guitarist is still coming up with great music even as he enters his seventies, and can sell out stadiums around the world. Although he has shown some signs of slowing down in recent years, there is no question he will forever endure as a guitar icon.

Eric Clapton:

It is often thought that those who enjoy fame have got there by constantly practicing their art from a very early age. What many don’t realise is that Clapton didn’t even look at a guitar until he was 15, late in musical terms when at that age many have already played in a few bands and might even be playing live gigs and session recordings.

Although Clapton’s rip-roaring riffs are legendary to the point that even those who aren’t fans appreciate his best work, the man himself says that he tries to keep his music simple and to the point. If that is the case, goodness knows what he could produce if he put more thought into it!

Chuck Berry:

In a world that is now dominated by the rockier sounds made popular by the top three entries on this list, it is easy to forget that players like Chuck Berry are responsible for much of what we hear today. Berry pioneered the playing of “rock and roll guitar,” and continues performing live even now in 2013 at the age of 87.

Berry undoubtedly deserves his spot not just on this list, but on general musical greatest of all time lists.


Chuck Berry. Photo attribution Diana Passy

Johnny Ramone:

One of music’s original rebels, it is said that Ramone invented the punk guitar style himself, not just because he loved what he did, but because he hated the thought of standing playing solos himself. Ramone is dismissed by many because he kept it simple and relied on distortion, but anyone who has heard the Ramones know how good he is.

View Comments (11)
  • Road Cat

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    Throughout the remarkable twenty-two-year career of the Ramones the seminal punk rock band, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers, Recording Academy Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners and inductees into The Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, Monte A. Melnick saw it all. He was the band’s tour manager from their 1974 CBGB debut to their final show in 1996. Now, in this NEW UPDATED EDITION he tells his story. Full of insider perspectives and exclusive interviews and packed with over 250 personal color photos and images; this is a must-have for all fans of the Ramones.

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