Microsoft Bing recently listed their five greatest guitarists in history. I chuckled that they thought they were qualified of producing such a list. How bad was it? Eddie Van Halen was listed by his birth-name, Edward. Eddie wore short pants the last time that happened.

The list got my juices pumping. First, in full disclosure, I can’t tune a guitar – and I own four! Those that knows me though will tell ya I’m a walking-talking encyclopedia on rock guitarists, so I’m qualified to a) speak about great guitarists and b) dissect Microsoft’s list.

Microsoft’s top five: Scotty Moore; Jeff Beck; Jimi Hendrix; Edward Van Halen; and Frank Zappa.

You’re probably wondering who Scotty Moore is. I had to look him up and take a listen . He was Elvis Presley’s guitarist. Who knew? He must have been listed for innovation rather than musicianship. If innovation were a reason to be on this list, we’d have to include Adolph Rickenbacker, the inventor of the electric guitar. Unlike most others, the late Mr. Moore’s guitar picking sounds too “50’s”  in my opinion. Others listed have more “timeless” music. 

Zappa’s name into this list was interesting. Zappa could play just about any instrument, probably including a rubber band stretched across two toothpicks and played with his nose. Frank is just not top five stuff. 

Reviewing what other publications had to say –  Rolling Stone magazine, usually wrong about everything, actually had reasonable picks – Hendrix, Duane Allman , B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Robert Johnson. Well, they got one right. 

Given bluesman Robert Johnson’s recording career lasted only 7 months, he really can’t be considered. And let’s not forget that alleged deal between him and Satan at the Crossroads. 

The more credible Guitar World Magazine listed guitarists Brian May, Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Van Halen, and Clapton – a better list, especially for including the genius of May. In addition to playing amazing guitar for the band Queen, he’s also an astrophysicist.

Then I thought, what would a great guitarist say. I couldn’t ask guitar gods like Hendrix, BB King, Van Halen, Chuck Berry, Duane Allman, or Stevie Ray  Vaughn. Sadly, they’ve all gone to Rock and Roll Heaven, where “ya know they’ve got a hell of a band.” 

So, I looked up to see the opinion of the man that actually was once called a guitar god, old Slow Hand himself, Eric Clapton. His list of greatest guitar pickers is Allman, Muddy Waters, Johnson, Hendrix, and Prince. Eric was always partial to blues players. I’ve been to six Clapton concerts, which might be a clue who’s on my list. His nickname was due to the amount of time it took him to replace a guitar string, by the way. 

I have a Spotify list of my 100 greatest guitar songs in the history of music. Guitars only go back to about the 15th century, so that far any way. The first guitars were developed during the early 15th century in Spain to the Malaga people. They were more a Ukulele. 

So, without further ado, the “official” Webber’s top 5 greatest guitarist of all time is as follows:

…but first, some honorable mentions – Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, and Vince Gill. Great guitarist all. 

#5 Keith Richards – Considered the creator of “rock’s greatest single body of riffs” on guitar, is this Stones guitarist. Strangely, the 80-year-old guitarist claims to have snorted his father’s ashes with some cocaine. 

#4 Rory Gallagher – Considered the greatest guitarist you never heard of, he was an Irishman with the band Taste, before going solo. Sadly, by the time I became aware of him, he was already dead.

#3 Carlos Santana – Another musician I’ve seen six times. He appeared at Woodstock, incredibly before releasing his first album. He wowed the audience with an eleven-minute rendition of Soul Sacrifice. I’d tell ya I was there, but I’d be lying. I was 12 at the time.  

#2 Eric Clapton – When one considers some of the greatest rock or blues bands, incredibly Clapton was in it. Yardbirds, Blues breakers, Cream, Derek & the Domino’s, Blind Faith, plus a sterling solo career. Sadly, at 78, Eric seems to be slowing down some. 

And the number one guitarist in my opinion is … drum roll please:

#1  David Gilmour – I cannot get enough of his picking. Seen him twice. At 77, he isn’t slowing down much either. He performed the top 2 songs of Webber’s greatest guitar songs with “Comfortably Numb,” and “Fat Old Sun.” Gilmore replaced the drug-induced-mentally-ill Syd Barrett in Barrett’s own band, Pink Floyd. Gilmour took the band to the heights of one of the greatest rock and roll outfits in history. 

Well, there you have it, my 5 greatest guitarists. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. 

Now tell me why you disagree.