The Rolling Stone 250 greatest guitarists list gets a lot of things right – but some of its exclusions are just plain wrong

George Benson and Yngwie Malmsteen (L & R) didn't make the cut, but on the other hand, Sister Rosetta Tharpe gets a much-warranted top 10 spot
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives / David Redfern / Paul Natkin / Getty Images)

Rolling Stone released its countdown of the 250 Greatest Guitarists of all Time last week – its first update on the chart since its 2011 top 100 list – and to say it’s caused uproar among guitarists is something of an understatement.

There are a lot of talking points in there, particularly for anyone used to the old ‘stale, pale and male’ lists of yore: Eric Clapton is number 35, Slash doesn’t even get a look-in at the top 100 and there are more than a few inclusions that feel like afterthoughts.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor,

Matt is Features Editor for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.