First off, it’s pronounced “Eeng-vay.” Second, you might already know that if you’re a fan of fast and ferocious guitar music. Well-known for his unique (at the time) form of neoclassic playing style combined with heavy metal, Malmsteen came to us from Sweden. Unlike many of the shredders on this list, Yngwie made his name by just putting his name on his music instead of working inside a band.
During the forty-plus years he’s been active, he’s put out twenty-two studio albums. He’s been in a number of bands, and his fingers are a blur of scales and eye-popping technical precision.
While we'd all love this guy's real name to be Wylde, he was actually born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt and would change his name to Zachary Phillip Wylde. As a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and one of the founders of the heavy metal band Black Label Society, Wylde's guitar credentials are stellar. He was even good enough at shredding and chugging to fill in during Pantera shows for Dimebag Darrell after his death.
Want to know how he got so good? Practice. According to him, he would get home from high school and practice pretty much until he left for school the next day.
Rush might be one of the more contentious bands here. Half of the people will say they're the best ever, and the other half will say they barely make music. However, saying Lifeson isn't a world-class guitarist is just plain wrong. He's the only founding member of Rush that is still in the band, and he's at or near the top spot in every rock guitarist poll.
Not only can he play sick solos or stirring classical pieces, but he can also play the mandola, the mandolin, the bouzouki, and more. Most rock guitarists these days will at least call Lifeson a genius.
That's right, it's the man himself. Many might know him more because his name is on millions of guitars worldwide, but there's a big reason for that. He was an amazingly talented guitarist who pushed music forward every time he started strumming, but his accomplishments have somewhat been covered by his design and construction of the modern electric guitar.
Thanks to that, of course, pretty much everybody else on this list was able to do what they do best. He was active for a long, long time, too – from 1928 all the way until his death in 2009.
Though he's remembered most for his way with words and his lyrics, Simon wasn't too bad at the guitar when it came right down to it. He grew up during the infancy of rock and roll, and then he joined the folk revival during the sixties, becoming one of its biggest stars.
He studied under the acoustic master Bert Jansch and was always looking for new ways to upgrade his own playing. Even at the age of seventy, he could wow people. His songs “Dazzling Blue” and “Kathy's Song” are the best ways to hear his expertise in action.