Famous Guitarists: Brian May
There are just so many famous guitarists deserving of mention that, undoubtedly, someone's favorite will be left out. Still, the guitarists featured in the following pages are amazingly talented players who have shown they have the power to endure in the music business.
Queen guitarist Brian May actually seems to receive more attention for his producing prowess, but he is really an outstanding guitarist as well. Take a listen to Brighton Rock on Queen's Sheer heart Attack album, and you'll hear him in full glory.
Incidentally, Brian actually made his own "Red Special" guitar, and it has served him well all these years.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan died all too soon in 1990, but his musical legacy and bluesy guitar licks live on to influence new generations of players. He had a preference for Fender Stratocasters throughout his career.
For a sample of Vaughan's style, listen to Pride and Joy and Crossfire.
Joe Satriani became an unlikely hit during the mid-1980s at a time when straight up instrumental music wasn't receiving much attention. Today Satriani has his own JS Series with Ibanez Guitars.
Listen to Satriani's Surfing with the Alien, and you'll see what makes him famous.
Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen is nothing short of a living legend. His body of work spans Van Halen and his guest appearances on many other artist's albums, including his famous contributions to Michael Jackson's Beat It. He's famous for taking the two-handed tapping technique to new heights.
Eddie's virtuoso performance on Eruption stands as his finest performance to date.
The Motor City Madman first gained notoriety as lead guitarist for The Amboy Dukes, but Nugent is probably best known for his solo career. He was also part of Damn Yankees, but he returned to a solo career and still tours extensively.
Nugent's guitar preferences include the Gibson Byrdland and Les Paul models. For a taste of Nugent's talent, treat yourself to Stranglehold or Great White Buffalo.
Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck is one of the most influential guitarists of all time. He received early accolades for his work with the Yardbirds, but his solo career has guaranteed him virtuoso status, and he is a master of improvisation.
Some of Beck's best work can be heard on Beck's Bolero and Rice Pudding.
Eric Clapton's considerable talent has made him a three-time inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These honors include his work with the Yardbirds, Cream and his highly successful solo career. He has used a number of guitars over the years, including the Fender Telecaster and Jazzmaster as well as a Gibson Les Paul Sunburst.
Some of Claptons best work can be heard on Disraeli Gears (Cream) and Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Derek and the Domninos).
Jimmy Page of the legendary bands the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin is famous for his combination blues and hardrock style. His instrument of choice is a Gibson Les Paul, although he often played a double-neck Gibson SG.
Listen to Jimmy's solo on Stairway to Heaven, and you'll hear what makes him one of the most revered players of all time.
A master of feedback and experimentation, Jimi Hendrix wowed the crowds at both Monterey and Woodstock in the 1960s. Hendrix played a Fender Reverse Headstock Stratocaster, and some of his most famous work includes Purple Haze and All Along the Watchtower. Who knows what heights he would have achieved if he had not succumbed to a drug overdose in 1970.
Where would rock an roll be without the advent of the electric guitar, and for that we have to thank Les Paul in large part for his contribution to its development. In addition to being an amazing performer across several musical genres, Paul also pioneered recording techniques commonly used today. You'd be hard put to find a famous guitarist that hasn't played a Gibson Les Paul at one time or another.
Now that you've finished this slideshow, check out some famous bass guitarists...