1) Jimi Hendrix
In my opinion Jimi Hendrix is without a doubt the best guitarist of all time. This incredible musician has inspired generations with his songs and incredible guitar solos. Many current musicians have take inspiration from Hendrix's unique tone and ability to engage a world audience with his innovative style. The expression and emotion he conveys in his music puts him in a different league to many other guitarists. Some stunts that he pulled in his career such as setting his guitar alight and playing with his teeth amazed audiences and are aspects of a life that was tragically ended too soon.
Whether you agree or not with popular opinion that Hendrix is the greatest guitar player alive, it cannot be argued that his unique style and sound has been an inspiration to many musicians around the world and if his life had not been so tragically ended at such a young age, he would be continuing to amaze people with his incredible playing. Jimi Hendrix will be forever mimicked but never matched.
2) Chuck Berry
A pioneer in the rock & roll genre; this exceptional musician has inspired generations with his individual sound and engaging stage presence. Songs such as 'Johnny B.Goode' and 'Maybellene' developed Rhythm and Blues into the genre that we recognize today. Berry's captivating stage presence delighted a world wide audience and made him into a a true entertainer as well as an incredible musician.
Chuck Berry established Rock & Roll as a musical genre and wrote songs and riffs that influenced millions of musicians, for that accomplishment his name will be forever remembered.
3) Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton's outstanding guitar riffs and solos have influenced numerous musicians within his lengthly career. Songs such as 'Layla' and 'Cocaine' adopt a unique, gritty tone that guitarists still attempt to recreate to this day, while his inspiring 'Unplugged' album takes a wonderful acoustic spin on his electric hits. Eric Clapton has been involved with many other bands such as 'Cream' and 'Derek and the Dominoes', he has written and performed some amazing songs with these bands which are worthy of the credit they enjoy.
Eric Clapton's exhilarating solos and riffs will go down in history as some of the finest ever.
4) Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page was the founder of the legendary band 'Led Zeppelin'. With this incredible band, he, along with the other members, wrote some exceptional songs that have been broadly influential. One of those many songs includes 'Stairway to Heaven'; in my opinion one of the greatest songs of all time. It includes a slow, delicate acoustic guitar part which builds up to a truly inspiring guitar solo which is widely considered as one of the greatest ever. Jimmy Page has written some other incredible riffs such as that in 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Kashmir' which has inspired a breed of musicians to aspire to be like this great guitarist.
Jimmy Page has written some truly exquisite riffs and solos that will go down in history as some of the most impressive ever.
5) BB King
This expressive guitarist, along with his companion - a Gibson ES-335 he named 'Lucile', have written and performed blues licks which almost every blues guitarist since has taken inspiration from. His passionate soloing rooted around flowing string bending and soft vibrato combined with tender vocals make BB King a truly unique and unequaled musician who will continue to inspire and influence the blues world for many years to come.