The 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time: Guitar World Readers' Poll Results

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Nostradumbass

You don't ask music fanboys who the fastest guitarist of all time is. You ask someone that can measure NP/S. This is why this poll is so screwed up. A lot of people that listen to Avenged Sevenfold aren't necessarily going to know how fast Nuno Bettencourt or Jason Becker are. Of course, I'd be willing to bet that half of the 50 fastest guitarists in history are people none of us have heard of.

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Metal1996

I Think this poll need to be change especially that synyster gates is on 3rd fastest guitarist.He is quite fast and talented, but if you look at what other guitarists like Jimmy hendrix by far a legend, jimmy page and randy rhoads have done in the history.My opinion: 1.Jimmy Hendrix,2.Randy rhoads,3.Jimmy Page,4.Eddie Van Halen ,5.Les Paul,6.Dimebag Darrell,7.Michael Angelo Batio,8.Dave Mustaine,9. Kirk Hammett, Jeff Hannemann. If synsyster gates maybe top 15 or 20.

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Nostradumbass

Even if this poll were accurate, you seem to have misread the title. This is about who the fastest guitarists are, and if you were correctly informed, I'm sure you'd not even bother to put Hendrix, Page, and Paul in this discussion. I do agree that Synyster should be much lower, but that's what happens when you ask your average fanboy to measure speed, even if Syn is a remarkable guitarist.

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Phave

A poll on who's the fastest player?
Do you have polls on who is the fastest race driver?
The fastest track runner?
Who is the fastest is NOT decided by poll.

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ipsofacto

I'll have to admit that I don't know many of these players, but I do see a few that probably have no business being on the list: Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix. Players such as these belong in the legend or pioneer category...not the shred list.

I hate to say it, but the die-hard relics that vote for these same players for any and every poll that arises detracts from the accuracy and credibility of these polls. The same could also be said for the young metal-heads at the other end of the spectrum that are also stuck in their own little shoe box.

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jamesclaptonrandall

Just passing by and stopped for a couple of minutes. The only good thing I read was Kirk Hammet's name. The rest of it sounds like a bunch of Nutcakes and Wackadoodles. The one called Old Shred Dude, appears to be having a Senior Moment. See what kind of atmosphere the shred mentality creates. Have at it dogs. I'm gone.

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6bpanorama

The only "good" thing you read was kirk hammets name lol what universe are you from

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Gutao

Haters,
haters everywhere...

I would put Synyster Gates in a creativity poll, i know that he is fast as fuck sometimes, but even though there are faster guitarist to put in the list, so i think he would fit better in a criativity list.

But please ppl stop hating on guitarist/bands that on dont like thats just stupid ;/

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1984_jason

this poll result is stupid i mean people voting for the wrong player here.. we're not voting here for favorites we're voting here for the fastest shredder. and seriously paul gilbert and jason becker not in top 5 list? or malmsteen in that list too? maybe michaelangelo batio deserve it to the top but the others? this is stupid people voting here are ignorants. sorry for my bad english:)

uknowcurtis

Where's Slash,Dan Spitz,Dave Mustaine, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, Gary Holt,and above all CHRIS POLAND???? Synyster Gates(what a dumb name) has no place on the list. One of these days you kids that support that kind of music will wake up and see, its not talent, its ripping good musicians off and doing a terrible job of it. All these NU metal players use effects and delays in every solo, if they can play a solo. Paul Gilbert can play four clean notes so fast, it would make Gaytes(i spelled it right) head pop off. I think its funny how almost every one of these "fast" players have a delay in their rack or pedalboard and can't seem to play without it. Herman Lee and Sam Tottman should be taken off just because of that fact...their playing is almost ALL DELAY!! I'm mean they can play,but lets be honest here. Let's see a real challenge. Have everybody on this list play 8 bars without any delay or effects and we'll see who is truly the fastest(except for the deceased,of course). Clean speed is REAL PLAYING, not cheating with an echo. Chris Poland,Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse,Slash,and the other real players would shutdown 90% of these new guys inside of 4 bars. Seriously thinking about dropping Guitar World all together. You guys are losing your integrity by not thinking before printing. You guys can't even get a poll list right. At this moment, i'm embarrassed that I'm a subscriber. I really hope this list was a joke, because it insults ALOT OF PLAYERS, if it wasn't.

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roadwarrior

Django Reinhart, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, I have never been much of a shred head but even I gotta ask why are they on this list? Les Paul built a great guitar, but he doesn't belong on the same page as Joe Satriani or Eddie Van Halen.

torogami

Here's how the list would've gone had guitarists made it:1Shawn Lane2.Jason Becker3.Rusty Cooley4.Jeff Loomis 5.Guthrie Govan

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monstersmash

Torogami, I like your list...good calls. There are a couple that I think are very fast as well; I'm not saying to are faster than those in your top five but here they are: Malmsteen, Gilbert and MAB.

Keep shredding!

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redstrat8

I WANT TO SEE THE REAL FASTEST.NEED'S TO BE A FOOT RACE ON A TRACK.

metalblademoron

Obviously most of the people who are dissing Syn have NEVER touched a guitar in their lives. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion granted. But, saying he doesn't belong where he is on this list is like saying A7X doesn't sell albums. Look at the billboard sales charts and you will see what's what and who is who. Plus, he's so young I think he hasen't even reached his maximum potential yet. I've been playing for 12 years and I've been told that I'm fairly fast but, I couldn't keep up with Syn on my best day.

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scarface6254

Syn Gates faster than Jason Becker,Steve vai,Paco de lucia, Joe satriani.
this list sucks

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vanshipman7

Van Halen at 17 is about right. But in terms of that flutter thing he does, I have never seen anyone pick like that as fast. The dude has super-human speed and wrist control/power.

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Hendrik

KIRK HAMMETT

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VinceTheGuitarist

Funny how everybody forgot Vinnie Vincent. You know, the guy that everyone thought his solos were sped up. thats how fast he was.

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ytse_jam

what about dave mustaine. and what about michael romeo. symphony x is a pretty rocking group. and that synyster gates is way above his pay grade.

and would it pain them to put band names in. quite annoying to have to google people to see who they play with.

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tim9110

what about richie blackmore?

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strat_player86

they should do a poll on who had the best vibrato

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sikesusmc

synyster gates is a talented person. this list says top 50 fastest, not top 50 greatest. if you do not think he is fast, listen to "dancing dead", and/or "M.I.A" solos. very fast. i can agree, a lot of guitarists were left out, but this list is good. paul gilbert should definitely be in the top 10 along with many others. gates belongs in teens or top 10 if enough room is available. some of his new stuff is not so fast, but with more feel.

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matheusgrgr

You should redo this list, not by voting,but by you, because If it was really a vote, Synyster is third, because after the death of Rev, A7X is much known now, and A7x is turning fad.

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matheusgrgr

Still has much ground to Synyster Gates, get near the speed Batio, Steve Vai, Lane, The Great Kat, Malmsteen, Petrucci, Herman Li, Cooley, Paul Gilbert, john5, Hendrix. Where's Kirk Hammett is also faster than him?

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jaxx555

ehm ehm, Are we serious here on this poll? Again another waste of time flipping the slides to find another disappointing pick. Seriously, come on people, the Gates kid is not faster then the last 50th guitarist. Even Van Halen stated about himself that he is "Not a Fast Guitarist". Honestly, the shred thing is getting old, where is the creativity poll?

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mira

You're kidding, right?
Where's Frank Zappa?

No doubt this list was concocted by a bunch of snot-nosed kiddies.....

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killsing

I used to play with a guy that was sooo fast that for some reason he intimidated all other guitarists around. Problem was he was also the sloppiest and had a horrible tone. As we get older we realize that speed without being accurate and having a great sound mean more than just speed. Maybe because we grew up??

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masterbassist69

synester gates can suck my dick or cock

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killsing

Are we having a tough time posting our thoughts today or is there a wicked echo in here?

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masterbassist69

synester gates can suck my dick or cock

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masterbassist69

what the hell happend to this site?

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masterbassist69

what the hell happend to this site?

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killsing

I can only hope you can Master that Bass better than you can this posting. Something tells me that anyone that feels they have to tell everyone how much of a "Master" and badass they are may have issues of poor self-esteem because no one seems to notice you are that good, am I getting warm here, Mr "Master Bass Player" But, YES, I do agree that this site has some real issues of bad "content" lately. I guess they are catering to the young "Shredders" that haven't grown up enough to understand that there is more to playing than how fast one can play it. In the mean time may I suggest to you that you should stop telling us how scary you are and let your Peers decide how great you are. If you really are the "Master" they'll surely know, won't they?

dnnspay

There are players here that have nothing to do with speed..!! Damn what were some voters thinking?

davidwilson

There is always controversy when these lists are published. Its debatable in regards to many on this list as to if they really are even remotely fast enough to be compared to one another. For instance comparing Jimmy Hendrix to Michael Angelo Batio is absurd. Now im NOT referring to each others talent here JUST SPEED! If speed were the only judge you would definitely say Batio is WAY faster.

Ive always refrained from posting until now because i know that Guitarworld uses these lists to get noticed and arouse debates. They know all too well that many of these players are not even suitable for the list they occupy. They will always throw in a handful of players who definitely don't belong to piss people off but in the end how can it be bad for Guitar World. :)

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57 Stratman

No Billy Gibbons? No Stevie Ray Vaughn? No SLASH? No George Thoroughgood? No Ted Nugent? No Gary Moore? No Rory Gallager? No Alex Lifeson? No Steve Howe? Come on, who puts together these lists, with Joe Pass and John McLaughlin, but not the aforementioned guitarists. This list is Bullshit!! Must be a fastest Metal players list (except for a few), eh??

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roadwarrior

I agree, I don't remember Joe Pass or Les Paul ever playing metal or shred. Wes Montgomery was a Jazz guitarist not a headbanger.

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lord_tenchu

this is the worst list I've ever seen. :/

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guitarworldsucks

The fact that Allan Holdsworth is nowhere to be found on the list, shows clearly that top *anything* lists are just silly and whoever put together this list is f'ing clueless.
Guitar world magazine sucks.

mykel35

Agreed, Van Halen (who deservably is on the list) sights Holdsworth as one of his favorites you have to wonder what people are thinking. Holdsworth is amazing! I remember getting one of his records (yes on vinyl) when I was kid after Van Halen talked about him and went holy crap, this guy blows Van Halen out of the water! His music just isn't mainstream so he doesn't get the recognition. Really hate polls like this. Yes most of these guys are amazing players but there are so many out of the mainstream players that are so much better and some of these people I never even heard of, who the hell the woman at #5? Chris Imprelli (SP?) is actually the guiness book of records holder for the fastest player and he's #15. Makes no sense.

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vanshipman7

I agree with you there brother, Holdsworth is simply amazing. But polls are simply meaningless when it comes to this kind of stuff. Keep on rocking.

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mort3904

The list is so bad from #50 to #3. Some just don't belong on the list because of their style, some belong but are out of order. Somehow it got #2 and #1 right.

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matheusgrgr

I think John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Herman Li, are much faster than Synyster Gates

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old shred dude

Jimmy Page is one of the most over rated guitarist of all time.

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slayerswine

Gotta post again.
A lot of GREAT comments and names mentioned here people. Music is THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. I, like some people, forget that it is OPINIONATED and not OBJECTIVE. The ONLY way to prove who is the fastest would have to involve some sort of scientific testing involving film footage and sound I would imagine.

Now as far as my first comment, after careful second evaluation I would like to respond again to some responders as well as adding a few names to the mix.

thrasher666-TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU !!! I was fortunate enough to see Gary Moore in Chicago @ Metro in 1987 for "The Wild Frontier" tour. Stood right in front of him the whole show. AMAZING !!!

erndawggy-I'd say the EPIC SOLO in "Dazed & Confused" from "The Song Remains the Same" soundtrack gets him in. It was recorded in 1973.

GatorStudio-TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU !!! I have seen the Tonemaster numerous times. He shreds as well as anyone.

2 names not mentioned in this poll are Allan Holdsworth and Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis & Ministry). Undoubtedly two of the fastest guitarists on this planet.

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oldrhoadsfan

In what reality is Synister Gates ahead of Yngwie or Steve Vai on this list? It would apear that the 80's were a bit rough on the writer of this poll.

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8stringpagan

I agree with Michael Angelo being #1 as far as known guitarists go. But the Great Kat should've been right there next to him.

Were any metronomes used while people were judging?

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thf24

Gus G?

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rt41

I read in your own July '08 issue that Dannyjoe Carter was the fastest living guitarist around....and he's still around too! Yet he does not appear to be on this list anywhere?

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