10 Underrated Guitarists You Should Know About

Top 10 Underrated Guitarists

At Get My Guitar, we believe in celebrating talent that often goes unnoticed. Our guitarist community has come together to select ten underrated guitarists who deserve more recognition. This curated list is a tribute to those musicians who have made significant contributions to the world of music but haven’t always received the spotlight they deserve.

Each guitarist featured here has a unique story, distinctive style, and impressive body of work. From blues rock legends to innovative jazz fusion artists, these musicians have influenced countless others and left an indelible mark on the guitar landscape. We hope this list inspires you to pick up the guitar and play, or perhaps head out to a vinyl record store to discover some vintage albums of your new favorite guitarist.

We encourage readers to share their thoughts and suggestions in the comments. Your input helps us continue to champion these incredible musicians and introduce them to a broader audience. Dive into their stories, explore their music, and let’s celebrate the artistry and passion that make these guitarists truly special. Get ready to be inspired and discover some hidden gems in the world of guitar music!

Our Top-10 Underrated Guitarists You Should Know About

1. Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher

Genre: Blues Rock
Active Years: 1963–1995
Bio: Born in Ireland, Rory Gallagher was a blues and rock virtuoso known for his fiery playing and passionate performances. Despite his talent, he never achieved the mainstream success of his contemporaries.
Notable Works: Irish Tour ’74, Tattoo, Blueprint
Primary Guitar: 1961 Fender Stratocaster
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Gallagher’s raw energy and technical prowess influenced many guitarists, including The Edge and Slash. His live performances were legendary, showcasing his ability to blend blues, rock, and folk seamlessly.

2. Danny Gatton

Danny Gatton

Genre: Rockabilly, Jazz
Active Years: 1959–1994
Bio: Often referred to as “The Telemaster,” Danny Gatton was a versatile guitarist whose style spanned rockabilly, jazz, blues, and country. His virtuosity on the Telecaster earned him a dedicated following but never the widespread acclaim he deserved.
Notable Works: 88 Elmira Street, Cruisin’ Deuces
Primary Guitar: Fender Telecaster
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Gatton’s technical skill and ability to blend genres were unmatched. His innovative approach and improvisational skills made him a guitarist’s guitarist, admired by peers like Eric Clapton and Les Paul.

3. Shuggie Otis


Shuggie Otis

Genre: Funk, R&B
Active Years: 1969–present
Bio: Shuggie Otis is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who started his career at a young age. Despite his talent and early success, Otis remains largely underappreciated in the mainstream music scene.
Notable Works: Inspiration Information, Freedom Flight
Primary Guitar: Gibson ES-335
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Otis’s work in the 1970s laid the groundwork for future funk and R&B artists. His innovative use of rhythm and melody, combined with his soulful guitar playing, makes his music timeless.

4. Roy Buchanan

Roy Buchanan

Genre: Blues, Rock
Active Years: 1957–1988
Bio: Known for his mastery of the Fender Telecaster, Roy Buchanan was a pioneer of the blues-rock genre. His emotional playing style and innovative techniques have influenced countless guitarists.
Notable Works: Roy Buchanan, Loading Zone, Live Stock
Primary Guitar: 1953 Fender Telecaster (“Nancy”)
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Buchanan’s ability to convey deep emotion through his guitar playing set him apart. His influence is evident in the work of artists like Jeff Beck and Gary Moore.

5. Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Active Years: 1975–present
Bio: As the lead guitarist for The Runaways and a successful solo artist, Lita Ford broke barriers for women in rock and metal. Despite her achievements, she often doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves.
Notable Works: Out for Blood, Lita, Living Like a Runaway
Primary Guitar: B.C. Rich Warlock
Why She Deserves More Recognition: Ford’s powerful playing and stage presence paved the way for future generations of female rock musicians. Her solo work in the 1980s showcased her ability to blend melody with hard-hitting riffs.

6. Tommy Bolin

Tommy Bolin

Genre: Rock, Jazz Fusion
Active Years: 1966–1976
Bio: Tommy Bolin’s career was tragically cut short, but his work with Deep Purple, James Gang, and as a solo artist left a lasting impact. His fusion of rock, jazz, and blues created a unique sound.
Notable Works: Teaser, Private Eyes, Come Taste the Band (with Deep Purple)
Primary Guitar: Fender Stratocaster
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Bolin’s innovative approach and genre-blending techniques were ahead of his time. His influence can be heard in the playing of Joe Bonamassa and John Frusciante.

7. Kim Simmonds

Kim Simmonds

Genre: Blues Rock
Active Years: 1965–2022
Bio: As the founder and guitarist of Savoy Brown, Kim Simmonds has been a key figure in the British blues scene since the 1960s. Despite his longevity and talent, he remains under the radar.
Notable Works: Raw Sienna, Street Corner Talking, Looking In
Primary Guitar: Gibson Les Paul
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Simmonds’s contributions to blues rock are significant. His tasteful playing and commitment to the genre have kept the blues alive for decades.

8. Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson

Genre: Progressive Rock
Active Years: 1968–present
Bio: As the guitarist for Rush, Alex Lifeson helped define the sound of progressive rock with his complex playing and innovative use of effects. Despite Rush’s success, Lifeson is often overshadowed by his bandmates.
Notable Works: 2112, Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves
Primary Guitar: Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Lifeson’s technical skill and creativity have influenced countless guitarists. His ability to blend different styles and push the boundaries of rock guitar is unparalleled.

9. Jennifer Batten

Jennifer Batten

Genre: Rock, Fusion
Active Years: 1979–present
Bio: Known for her work with Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck, Jennifer Batten is a virtuoso guitarist with a distinctive style. Her technical prowess and stage presence have earned her a place among the greats.
Notable Works: Above Below and Beyond, Whatever, Thriller (with Michael Jackson)
Primary Guitar: Washburn JB100, Ibanez RG550
Why She Deserves More Recognition: Batten’s innovative techniques, including two-handed tapping, set her apart. Her ability to adapt to different genres and her contributions to iconic performances make her a standout.

10. Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett

Genre: Progressive Rock
Active Years: 1970–present
Bio: As the guitarist for Genesis during their progressive rock era and as a solo artist, Steve Hackett has been a pioneering force in the genre. His innovative techniques have influenced many musicians.
Notable Works: Selling England by the Pound, Voyage of the Acolyte, Spectral Mornings
Primary Guitar: Gibson Les Paul, Fernandes Burny
Why He Deserves More Recognition: Hackett’s use of tapping, sweep picking, and alternate tunings was groundbreaking. His influence on the progressive rock genre and beyond is immense.

New Guitarists on the Scene

At Get My Guitar, we are big supporters of new talent in the guitar world. Although these rising stars didn’t make our top ten list, they certainly deserve a mention. We believe these new guitarists will inspire many to pick up the guitar and explore new musical horizons.

1. Jake Kiszka

Jake Kiszka

Genre: Rock
Active Years: 2012–present
Bio: Jake Kiszka is the lead guitarist for Greta Van Fleet, a band known for their revival of classic rock sounds reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. His passionate playing and vintage tone have quickly made him a standout in the modern rock scene.
Notable Works: Anthem of the Peaceful Army, From the Fires, The Battle at Garden’s Gate
Primary Guitar: Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG
Why He Deserves Recognition: Kiszka’s ability to channel the spirit of classic rock while adding his unique flair has garnered him a dedicated following. His technical skill and stage presence make him a rising star worth watching.

2. Molly Tuttle

Molly Tuttle

Genre: Bluegrass, Americana
Active Years: 2010–present
Bio: Molly Tuttle is a singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist known for her incredible fingerpicking technique and heartfelt songwriting. She has quickly become a prominent figure in the bluegrass and Americana scenes.
Notable Works: When You’re Ready, …but i’d rather be with you
Primary Guitar: Preston Thompson D-SBA, Martin D-28
Why She Deserves Recognition: Tuttle’s mastery of fingerstyle guitar and her ability to blend traditional bluegrass with contemporary sounds make her an innovative and influential musician. Her technical prowess and emotive playing have earned her numerous accolades and a growing fan base.

Conclusion – 10 Underrated Guitarists You Should Know About

These ten underrated guitarists have each made significant contributions to music, yet they remain underrated in the mainstream. By exploring their work, you can discover new sounds and techniques that showcase the depth and diversity of guitar playing. Additionally, keep an eye on rising talents like Jake Kiszka and Molly Tuttle, who are making waves in the guitar world today.

At Get My Guitar, we are passionate about celebrating and promoting guitar talent, both legendary and emerging. We hope this list inspires you to delve deeper into the work of these remarkable musicians, learn from their unique styles, and perhaps even incorporate some of their techniques into your own playing. Whether you’re a seasoned guitarist or just starting out, there’s always something new to learn from these artists.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our other posts on GetMyGuitar.com. From mastering iconic guitar sounds to exploring the latest trends in the guitar world, we have a wealth of content designed to inspire and educate guitar enthusiasts of all levels. Stay tuned for more exciting stories and insights into the world of guitars. Happy playing!

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