4 of the Most Underrated Guitarists of All Time

We all know about the greatest guitarists of all time. Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe are just a few names that would come to mind for most people. But what about the underrated guitarists, the unsung heroes of their respective genres? Let’s take a look at four examples of underrated guitarists that deserve their flowers.

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1. Alex Lifeson, Rush

At the top of our list is Rush’s mighty Alex Lifeson. Even marginal Rush fans know now how brilliantly he plays the guitar and composes. But since everyone tends to turn their focus on Geddy Lee and Neil Peart, it seems like he never had enough time in the spotlight. But when it comes down to it, Lifeson was the heart of Rush. And he’s inspired an entire generation of musicians, including Paul Gilbert, Steven Wilson, Jim Martin, and many more.

2. Chris Poland, Megadeth

He’s probably not the first person that springs to mind when one thinks of Megadeth, but guitarist Chris Poland helped Dave Mustaine define the band’s sound in its earliest days. Though Chris had returned to the band temporarily for the recording of The System Has Failed in 2004, his foray into jazz fusion is perhaps his most intriguing work.

[Get Tickets To See Megadeth Live In Concert In 2024]

3. Brian Setzer, Stray Cats

Brian Setzer has to be one of the most well-known key players in rockabilly if not the key figure. Along with his work with Stray Cats, Setzer gained notoriety in the 1990s for his work in swing revival along with his orchestra. He’s still touring with Stray Cats today, too.

4. Maxine Petrucci, Madam X

Maxine Petrucci is the reigning queen of this list. Petrucci is one of the pioneering women of technical guitar and has been wowing audiences with her advanced skills for decades. With Madam X, Petrucci created a stage persona and wild, flamboyant image comparable to those of the day’s arena-filling metal bands like Judas Priest. With her jaw-dropping, classically inspired fretwork, Petrucci helped push the envelope in the metal world. 

Photo by Kevin Winter

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