Guitarists to songs are like arms to a human body. There are two kinds of guitarists: one who is overshadowed by the lead singer, and another who overshadows everyone else. It is the latter who fine tunes himself into the hearts of the masses and attains immortality. To compile a list of top ten of such guitarists means to be open to slandering, ridicule, accusations of being ignorant and perhaps also the clichéd “bad taste in music” blame. But all that is expected since a topic like this is subjective. This list is based on the principle that playing fast doesn’t necessarily translate to playing well; it is the soul that matters.10. Mike McCready: Perhaps the most underrated guitarists of his time, Mike McCready forms an integral part of the experience known as ‘Pearl Jam’. He has come up with amazing licks for the band, playing a mammoth role in keeping grunge going and further helping the same to evolve. He has successfully blended elements of blues and grunge making it a treat to the ears. (img source: vampirefreaks.com) 9. Bert Jansch: Having a huge influence on artists such as Neil Young who called him “Jimmy Hendrix on an acoustic”, this Scottish origin guitar player was best known for his ability to mix Jazz and elements of blues. Bert Jansch’s characteristic ‘clawhammer’ style of picking gives him a unique sound which is unmatched. A perfect way to start exploring him, if you still haven’t already, is to start with ‘Needle of Death’ – a hauntingly beautiful song where the tastefully added ninths give it a lumpy sound. (img source: scotsman.com) 8. Chuck Berry: “He could play a guitar just like ringing a bell. GO GO!!” – This line from his song ‘Johnny B Goode’ could perhaps be the best description of Chuck Berry. Although his career was sidelined by a two year jail term in the early 1960’s, Chuck Berry is still the first person who made it big in the rock and roll business. His trademark sound of staccato screech descending from Chicago blues can lift you up and set you flying anytime. (img source: myguitarworkshop.com) 7. Stevie Ray Vaughan: ‘If this house is rocking, don’t bother knocking’, so said Vaughan. Stevie Ray Vaughan picked it up from where Jimmi Hendrix left. The elements of Jimmy’s playing can be found in Stevie’s playing with the difference that the latter’s has more Blues elements. There are or have been hardly any guitarists who had such a perfect amalgamation of soul with speed. His career got cut off with an untimely demise caused due to a plane crash but he shall still live on through his work in our hearts. (img source: soundcheckmusicblog.com) 6. Eric Clapton: The walls of London suburbs proclaim ‘CLAPTON IS GOD’. There couldn’t have perhaps been a better description of the enigma called Eric Clapton. Be it the swaying lick of ‘Layla’ or the soft finger picking acoustic stuff like ‘Tears in Heaven’, Clapton is adroit and has a soul to his playing that is matched or surpassed only by a chosen few. Started playing guitar when he was 15 and by the time Eric Clapton was 20 he was nicknamed ‘Slowhand’ because of the pace at which he could come up with licks. One ought to bow down to the master.