Guitarists are some of the coolest people on the planet. Without their axe of steel and wood and whatever else they’re made of, some of the best are normal people. With it, they are capable of reducing grown men to tears with their abilities. When you are able to play guitar to the high standard some of the people on our list here, you can get away things only normal people would dream of. DotCom Magazine want to talk about who we feel are the five coolest and most badass guitarists in the world and why.
Joe Strummer, The Clash and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Joe Strummer was not exactly the most capable or proficient rhythm guitarist in the punk rock scene. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single punk rocker that didn’t wish they were him. While a lot of guitarists in that scene took their inspiration for playing from the proto-metal and hard rockers guitarists they like to pretend they hated, Joe took his inspiration from ska, soul, rockabilly and reggae. It was those influences that made his unique style stand out.
Izzy Stradlin and Slash, Guns ‘N’ Roses
There have been a number of great guitar teams – Ronnie and Keef, KK Downing and Glenn Tipton and Malcolm and Angus to name a few. However, Izzy Stradlin and Slash really take the biscuit as the most badass and coolest. They were different enough from each other to provide enough contrast and color that made them stand out from the crowd of other lead and rhythm guitarist teams. It worked so well because although they both loved Zeppelin and Aerosmith, Izzy enjoyed the Rolling Stones style with added punk rock, while Slash enjoyed Jeff Beck and Michael Shenker. the raw power of Stradlin’s riffs and Slash’s pyrotechnic solos with a rough edge gave the crossover appeal that GnR needed to have class rock fans, pop fans, glamsters, punks and metalheads enjoying their music.
There is no list of guitarists that is complete without Hendrix. While other guitarists are content with finding their way through tones and scales, Jimi saw the guitar as an open canvas that he could put his imagination into. He was able to produce sounds and noises with a Marshall amp and Strat that no one had ever done before. He was the first to chain pedals together to produce wild sounding riffs and lead work. His work really stood out from the crowd.
Eddie Van Halen
Although he arguably changed the way the guitar is played and made, it’s not why he’s cool. It was attitude, he would play like a virtuoso without it seeming to involve any effort at all. He was the king of that tapping technique that made his guitar sound like a synth. Although he could make an album of some of the worst guitar playing in the world and probably rake in millions, he was a perfectionist that worked on pieces far longer than other players would.
Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones
From the very beginning Keith set a standard for rock and roll that there would be rhythm and riffs. He has managed to survive more mishaps and potential life-threatening incidents and drug misuse than most mere mortals would ever be able to and has done it with the same grin and the same swagger. The fact that he made what others wish they could do, look so damn easy, makes him a real stand out.