Friday Top: 24 Best Guitarists Behind Solo Artists

As voted by UG community.

Ultimate Guitar
Friday Top: 24 Best Guitarists Behind Solo Artists

This week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the people of UG community discussing the matter of the greatest guitarists behind solo artists.

Based on votes and about 200 comments, we summed this one up into a Top 24 rundown.

Before kicking things off, the honorable mentions are:

  • Paul Gilbert (Neal Morse)
  • Dave Weiner (Steve Vai)
  • Peter Tosh (Bob Marley)
  • Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie)
  • Mike Bloomfield (Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, etc)
  • Neil Geraldo (Pat Benatar)
  • Dominic Miller (Sting)
  • Jeff Beck (Roger Waters)
  • Eric Clapton (John Mayall)
  • Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed)
  • Junior Marvin (Bob Marley)
  • Wendy Melvoin (Prince)
  • Vini Reilly (Morrissey)
  • Mateus Asato (Tori Kelly)

The full rundown awaits below.

24. Craig Ross (Lenny Kravitz)

23. Andy Larocque (King Diamond)

22. Ike Willis (Frank Zappa)

21. Dave Kilminster (Steven Wilson, Roger Waters)

20. Steve Cropper (Carla Thomas, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett)

19. Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson)

18. Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Richard Marx)

17. Nuno Bettencourt (Rihanna)

16. Jimmy Nolen (James Brown)

15. Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley)

14. Myles Kennedy (Slash)

13. Orianthi (Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson)

12. Mike Campbell (Tom Petty)

11. Vivian Campbell (Ronnie James Dio)

10. Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne)

9. Nile Rodgers (Sister Sledge, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, etc)

8. Jason Becker (David Lee Roth)

7. Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne)

6. Steve Vai (David Lee Roth, Frank Zappa)

5. Mick Ronson (David Bowie)

4. Steve Stevens (Billy Idol)

3. John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, David Lee Roth)

2. Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson)

1. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)

That's all folks! Feel free to post other great guitarists behind solo artists in the comment section below. And we hope you enjoyed the top, stay tuned until next week for another WQ!

49 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Chris Poland supporting Dave Mustaine Jeff Young supporting Dave Mustaine Marty Friedman supporting Dave Mustaine Al Pitrelli supporting Dave Mustaine Glen Drover supporting Dave Mustaine Chris Broderick supporting Dave Mustaine Kiko Louriero supporting Dave Mustaine
    So stoked to see Andy LaRocque mentioned here.  This guy usually doesn't get enough credit.
    Any ghoul behind Ghost maybe?
    Tobias Forge and the poor saps that need a paycheck that he pays to put up with him.
    I was expecting to see SRV/Bowie in the top 3, and was surprised he didnt even make the list. And, i do have to put in a vote for Paul Sidoti backing Taylor Swift. Because thats my name too
    Jimmy Page played on Joe Cocker records. Jimi Hendrix played with Little Richard. Duane Allman played with Boz Scaggs. Earl Slick played with Bowie & John Lennon. Albert Lee played with Clapton.
    I usually don't write negative comments but what kind of a retard wrote this article? I mean how can you write Miles Kennedy when even the uploaded video of him say MYles kennedy? 
    I'm afraid that's my fault, I nominated him and spelled it wrong, and I was promptly corrected on it. They probably was just looking through comments and saw that and copy and paste. Lot of friggin controversy over this nomination haha
    IMO I could easily put Rhoads on 3 and move J5 and Govan one step forward. You just have to check the solo material by John, and Govan... well... 'nuff said. Respect to who respect deserves. Randy were a beast on guitar, but we have to avoid being influenced by the fact he became a legend due to his tragic and early death, forgetting what is really important: the way the make music.  And Randy were a fine musician, but..... John 5..... Guthrie Govan!!.... You get it, right?
    I mean I get where you're coming from, but this list is in the context of them backing a solo singer, not their own solo work. Being judged by that criteria, Roades is the pretty clear winner.
    Always found the Zakk solo at budokan funny how he rips the American anthem in Japan.
    I always wondered where Budokan was but was too lazy to Google it. TY random internet guy for edmucatin me.
    Cool to see John 5 here, his solo work is pretty awesome I think. I would also like to mention Jacky Vincent from Falling In Reverse. (I don't really like that band). But check out his album 'Star X Speed Story'
    So amazing to see Mr.Kilminster up there, I absolutely love his style!
    The craziest thing about Miles Kennedy being on this list is the voice on that guy. He's genuinely got one of the most powerful voices in rock right now, and his guitar skills are this on point. 
    Pretty awesome that 3 of ozzy's guitars made the top 10. Though imo zakk>>>jake. Also I had know idea that Nuno played for Rihanna.
    Honestly don't even know who did it, but Sarah McLachlan had a KILLER guitarist on the track Rivers Of Love. One of the first solos I learned by ear; still moves me everytime I hear it.
    I'm sure Google could help you.
    I was sure that the album notes would help after Google didn't, but there are multiple guitarists on the album and it doesn't specify which one played which tracks.
    Hmmm I see your difficulty, I would say its either Colin Cripps or Michel Pepin based off of her Wiki page for Laws of Illusion. Hard to tell though.