What a long, strange trip it's been.
Back in early April, we set out to determine your choice for the greatest guitarist of all time. A bracket was made, players were ranked — a few were voted in — and we kicked off our Greatest Guitarist of All Time readers poll. It was a mammoth 132-guitarist tournament that would span nearly six months and log close to a half-million votes when all was said and done.
Was it a perfect, scientific process? No. We had a couple of extra matchups, some bizarre pairings and the occasional omission. But overall, Guitar World's first-ever Greatest Guitarist of All Time Readers Poll was a fun, engaging way to get you all talking, sharing opinions and maybe even checking out some guitarists you weren't all that familiar with.
When the dust settled, Eddie Van Halen stood alone as the victor, defeating Queen's Brian May in a wild finals matchup that saw fans clubs, forums and Facebook pages getting involved to support their respective candidates.
Both guitarists had tough paths to the finals, between them knocking off Jeff Beck, Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads and a host of others.
While it's clear who No. 1 and No. 2 are, we wanted to see how poll results stacked up on a grander scale, so we've compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, as voted by you, the Guitar World readers. Check it out below!
How did we determine a Top 100 ranking for a tournament-style poll?
Simple. We ranked the guitarists by round — first the two guitarists from the finals, then the remaining two from the final four, and so on — and then within their respective rounds by their overall vote count. Dimebag Darrell, for instance, is No. 9 because he received the most votes of any guitarist that didn't make it to the Elite Eight.