This past decade has shined the light of success on many great guitarists. Some rose from the bottom to reach the peak of the music world while others have maintained their position on top through consistent quality. Some are known for exotic styles. Others are known for their quick riffs and detailed technique. All of them are known for their undeniable talent and skill, crafted from years of top guitar lessons and countless hours of dedication.
10. Joe Satriani
Joe Satriani has been the face of consistency over the past few decades. His skill and performance on the guitar has transcended eras, allowing him to stay in the top ten despite the longevity of his career. He has continued to differentiate his styles over the last ten years, showing his versatility. One of his most popular pieces, Shockwave Supernova, showed his ability to continue to innovate the way guitarists perform today with its techno and modern feel.
9. Adam Jones
Adam Jones made a name for himself this decade by striving to think outside of the box. He has converted ordinary and normal concepts into complex and unorthodox play. His style of play is energetic, specializing in crazy melodies and intense riffs. Jones has a certain longevity to his name as well, as over 30 years of hard work and dedication to his craft has allowed him to play unmatched melodies and riffs over many genres and styles.
8. Kiko Loureiro
Kiko Loureiro recently led the band, Dystopia, to one of their most dynamic and exciting albums ever. As the lead shredder, Kiko and his amazingly technical style of play created an energetic feel throughout the whole album. Loureiro specializes in using fast and precise plucks to create his abnormal scales and unique phrasing.
7. John Mayer
John Mayer has always been a prominent figure in the pop music picture. This has continued over the past decade, but he has evolved in other musical facets. Over the past ten years, Mayer dedicated much time to developing his guitar skills. This development can be seen in his solo projects and in the band Dead & Company, where he stars as the lead guitarist. These performances have opened many eyes to his ability on the six-string.
6. Tosin Abassi
Tosin Abassi is one of the world’s greatest innovators when it comes to guitar play. Abassi specializes in taking what is expected from a common eight-string player and converting it into a new, unique concept. He changes the game completely. He loves learning and developing new techniques and finding ways to implement these new findings in creative and innovative ways. This innovation has led to much success this decade.
5. Derek Trucks
Many have called Trucks the greatest current guitar player. His ability to improvise and play a large variety of styles give him a strong argument to be the best. Trucks wrapped up his career with the Allman Brothers and began his own band with his wife. This band, called the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has continued to push the envelope in ways that guitars are played.
4. Joe Bonamassa
Though Joe Bonamassa has had wonderful pieces through the decade, he sits near the top of this list primarily for his ability to keep the blue relevant. His style of play incorporates a fast paced note playing with traditional blues, creating a sounds and style unique to Bonamassa alone. He has an uncanny ability to play an unprecedented amount of notes in a coordinated fashion, blowing many of the other artists out of the water. His success has traveled beyond his perfected style of play, however. Bonamassa also runs a very successful instagram account where guitar fans from around the world can connect and experience his content and items. He also sells and distributes his signature gear, allowing old and new fans alike to experience what Bonamassa experiences while playing his blues music.
3. Guthrie Govan
The talent Govan possesses can be seen in his given nickname. Commonly known as, “Professor Shred,” Guthrie Govan is an electric innovator of guitar play today. His skill is almost unmatched as he possesses an extreme amount of versatility. He plays fast melodies with fluid and accurate techniques. Govan can seamlessly flip through all genres of music and styles of guitar play. The long haired artist can full on shred or play a laid back blues melody. He can do heavy rock or slow it down and groove to some funk. No style is out of the mix with Guthrie Govan. His mastery of the guitar can be seen in differing formats as well. Guthrie excels in solo acts, but can also steal the show as a featured artist. He also plays a major role in the instrumental group, the Aristocrats, were he masterfully performs as the guitarist.
2. Gary Clark Jr.
Clark broke onto the worldwide scene in 2010. After a jaw dropping performance at the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival, Gary has grown into the new face of blues around the world. Clark works to infuse elements of r&b, reggae, hip-hop, and other popular forms of music with traditional blues. This creates a unique and eloquent tone style that has driven Clark to the top of the guitarist world. His understanding of multiple genres and styles of play has pushed him above his competitors and allowed him to diversify his music collection. Clark is well equipped to perform any genre under any circumstance.
1. Mark Tremonti
Mark Tremonti has been the face of the guitar world for years. Throughout his career, Tremonti has sold over 50 million records for his songwriting and guitar play. Hard work and dedication to his craft put him on the map and pushed him to the pinnacle of his career. His skills and ability to shred are evident in his records, recordings, and can be witnessed live at his shows, performances, and clinics. Mark is not afraid to tackle difficult songs or melodies and eagerly attacks new techniques and styles. This has allowed him to develop immensely as a musician and is one of the things that makes him one of the best guitarists of the 2010s.
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