30 instrumental guitarists with something to say

Joe Satriani, Tim Henson, Scott LePage, Tosin Abasi
(Image credit: Jen Rosenstein/Olly Curtis/Future)

As far back as the 1950s, guitarists such as Link Wray, Hank Marvin, Grant Green and Giovanni Paolo Foscarini (look him up!) taught us compelling guitar-based music doesn’t require vocals or lyrics.

To celebrate the release of new Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Animals As Leaders albums – not to mention the arrival of fresh Polyphia material – we offer up a guide to 30 (technically 31!) hard-working instro-centric guitarists whose solos are worth at least a thousand words.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).