Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time.
We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host of incredible guitarists (dead and living) — players chosen for their technical ability as well as their importance and creativity, not to mention how influential they've been. We asked you to vote in the final four names, which you did. Now the 128 slots are filled, and we're ready to go.
We know there are going to be some weird style matchups in this poll, which may lead many of you to ask questions like, "How do you compare a shred guitarist to a blues guitarist?" Aside from how good a player is at their given style, here are some things to take into consideration:
• Influence: Who inspired more kids to beg their parents for a guitar for Christmas? Who inspired a wave of copycats?
• Chops/Versatility: Is the guitarist in question a one-trick pony or a master of many styles?
• Body of Work: Who had the more consistent career? Who has played on more classic albums?
• Creativity: Who pioneered new techniques? Who sounds the most radically different from what came before them?
Round 1 — Today's Match
Chris Broderick has been a full-fledged member of the Megadeth family since 2008, contributing ripping leads to the band's last two albums, Endgame and Thirteen. Prior to joining the 'deth, Broderick enjoyed a lengthy stint in U.S. power metal favorites Jag Panzer, playing on four albums.
Alex Skolnick has been an on-and-off member of Testament since 1983, providing his signature style of lead guitar work to classic albums like The New Order and The Legacy. Somehow, Skolnick has also found time to tour with the seasonal favorite Trans-Siberian Orchestra, not to mention letting his jazzier side loose in the Alex Skolnick Trio.
Yesterday's matchup saw Zakk Wylde (64.59%) defeat George Lynch (35.41%).