Wednesday Question: Best Guitarist Behind Solo Artist

Votes and nominations inside.

Ultimate Guitar
Wednesday Question: Best Guitarist Behind Solo Artist

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we'd like to kindly ask you folks to think about amazing guitarists that perform in bands of solo artists and answer this:

Who is the greatest guitarist behind a solo artist?


  • We're not looking for guitarists performing as solo artists (e.g. Joe Satriani), we're looking for amazing guitarists in bands of other solo artists.
  • Post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).
  • Multiple nominations of one musician create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given guitarist to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same musician, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.
  • Vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike.

We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG top list. Show us what you got now!

196 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nile Rodgers (from Sister Sledge, David Bowie and Bryan Ferry to Madonna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga) He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
    Steve Stevens - Billy Idol
    Came here to nominate Steve. Dude rips it up!
    I used to hate Billy Idol until I listened to the guitar.
    I used to hate on Billy Idol until I brought his VH1 Storytellers DVD. Steve is great on it (on his acoustic mainly) and the sound quality is wicked! 
    Came here to say that! Probably not worthy of the top spot, but definetly a contender
    John 5
    1000 times yes. John is an amazing guitarist. Especially with his solo stuff which is where he shines. I am glad I can still vote for him for his work with DLR, MM, and Rob Zombie. Way underrated!
    Jake E. Lee  Very underestimated guitarist, because a lot of people think of Randy Rhoads or Zakk Wylde, when it comes to Ozzy solo career. Bark at the moon and The Ultimate Sin are very strong albums.
    I actually like Jake better than Randy tbh. Not that RR is a slouch just preference. Both are good status to me.
    Jake E. Lee/Ozzy Osbourne albums: Bark At The Moon(1983) and The Ultimate Sin(1986) Zakk Wylde/Ozzy Osbourne albums: everything from No Rest For The Wicked(1988) to                                                      Black Rain(2007)
    Despite being a massive Zakk fan, the best albums he did with Ozzy are No More tears and No Rest...everything else was very mehh after that only my opinion though 
    Andy Laroque - King Diamond. You can argue Mercyful Fate having better material (maybe), but the solos on Abigail and Them are pretty much unmatched. 
    His playing with Death is phenomenal too.
    lol you're damn right, i wanted to mention Death but the focus was on solo artists (even though Death essentially WAS a solo project).
    Steve Lukather. Played with some huge acts. Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Richard Marx, Chicago, etc...
    Lukather is a session guitarist though so he's always played for various artists, though that still doesn't take away his work with solo artists I suppose.
    Jimmy Nolen (James Brown) He even developed so called "chicken scratch", signature guitar picking sound.
    Orianthi (Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson) Maybe not greatest, but deserves to be mentioned anyway
    Dude friggin miles kennedy (on slash's solo albums), dude is the best guitarist in the group
    Myles is a wonderful player but I'm pretty sure he has only written a handful of leads for Slash's work. And I think you misunderstood the question. Best guitarist, backing a major artist who went solo
    Slash is a major artist who went solo. Myles is not the person whom the act is named after, but rather works with Slash. Myles does play guitar with Slash. To some people (myself included) Myles is a better/more preferable guitarist than Slash. It's a weird way of interpreting the question, but I don't think 2Ties is technically wrong. 
    I'm pretty sure he doesn't play guitar in Slash's solo stuff. A couple songs on acoustic shows but that's it
    Myles laid down the Rhythm guitar on the Apocalyptic Love album, before they picked up Frank Sidori - they recorded the album as-live in the studio, so no chance of Slash double tracking guitar like he did on his self-titled record. Couple of clips of Myles on guitar in this:
    While he did record the album, I'm postive most of the guitar stuff was written by Slash. I'm not doubting Myles capabilities here, I just don't feel he counts.
    Well, my assumptions got the better of me there then. Nevermind, I suppose 2Ties isn't right then. =P
    Yes 2ties is wrong Myles plays acoustic guitar with Slash on few occasions on live acoustic sets only. As far as I know he never played electric guitar on an album or even live, together with Slash. So it's a bit tricky there. Anyway there are many great acoustic performances of Slash and Myles together. Should it count ? I'm not sure because it's not really what was expected there.
    Well i am getting upvotes so.....  Nah i know it's kinda weird, I just remember reading interviews with him (on UG actually) where he was talking about playing guitar in a band with slash, unless they have other projects together? Either way he's a damn good guitar player playing with a solo artist (slash), he also just happens to be the lead singer Take it or leave it, I have no emotional attachment, I suppose its up to the people to decide whether its legit or not, I was just throwing it out there
    Steve Cropper He was in Booker T. and the MGs, the Stax Records house band that played on hits by Carla Thomas, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.
    Dave Kilminster
    First playing with Keith Emerson, then imitating David Gilmour for Roger Waters for a decade (which isn't easy) and jumping into Guthrie's shoes for Steven Wilson and doing it masterfully. Got to admire the guy
    Peter Tosh - (Bob Marley).  I think his solo career more than explains his talents.
    And while we're talking Marley, Junior Marvin's work with the Wailer's is incredible, and severly underrated - The guitar solo to "Waiting in Vain" is one of my favorite guitar solos of all time, every phrase memorable, not a single unnessecary note, and so god damn tasty that my mouth begins watering every time I hear it.
    Mike Bloomfield (worked with so many blues artists, including Bob Dylan and Al Kooper)
    Eric Clapton - John Mayall (For some reason my previous comment was removed.....)
    Hmm not sure this qualifies as solo artist: John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
    Eric Clapton on George Harrison's Cloud Nine and Roger Waters' The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
    Since Mick Ronson has been mentioned, I suggest Vini Reilly He recorded the guitars on Morrissey's first solo album and has toured and recorded with lots of other bands and artists like John Cooper Clarke during the 80's and 90's. Even John Frusciante has praised his talent as a guitar player.
    Wendy Melvoin (Prince) Again, she is not the greatest, but deserves a mention
    Mateus Asato.  May not be on the list now, but in 5 years most definitely.  Currently playing behind Tori Kelly, his playing is easily one of the prettiest you will hear.