So who are the best guitarists alive today? First up: Muse’s Matt Bellamy. Why? Because “his virtuoso squealing takes the traditional metal-widdle show-offery and makes it tuneful”, according to Mark Beaumont.
Josh Homme, Queens Of The Stone Age. “At once a true, old-fashioned macho guitar hero and a genuine subverter of all the clichés, Josh Homme is both showman and piss-taker. His playing veers unpredictably from technical brilliance to bone-headed stoopidity.” (Martin Robinson).
Jack White. “Utilising the electric guitar for all its worth, his visceral style is naked, raw and more instantly identifiable than anyone else on the planet.” (Liam Cash).
Carrie Brownstein. “Sleater-Kinney’s high-kicking, windmilling player isn’t a remarkable female guitarist. She’s just a remarkable guitarist.” (Laura Snapes).
Andy Falkous. “Within Future Of The Left, one of the UK’s most underrated bands, lies Falco – one of the most underrated guitarists in the land.” (Jamie Fullerton).
Graham Coxon. “I don’t do solos,” Damon Albarn explained last month. “Graham is the closest I allow, and his are more like anti-solos.” Therein lies the mantra that’s tailed Coxon’s ascent into the highest echelons of axe-wielder; he’s a virtuoso, but not as we know it.” (Jaimie Hodgson).
Kevin Shields. “It was an incredible 19 years between albums for his band My Bloody Valentine – but Kevin Shields’ style still sounds like the future.” (Alan Woodhouse).
Nick Zinner. “Blessed with a visionary understanding of his instrument, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist can make a three-piece band sound like an orchestra.” (Paul Stokes).
Jonny Greenwood. “He’s not one for rock god posturing – you’re unlikely to see him slide across the stage on his knees while playing ‘Bodysnatchers’ – but Jonny Greenwood’s talent is subtler than that. He’s the thinking man’s guitar hero.” (Luke Lewis).
James Dean Bradfield. “Formidable technique tempered by raw emotion, he never lets those flickering fingers get in the way of his heart.” (Emily Mackay).
Johnny Marr. “His nimble fingers yanked British guitar music out of the doldrums, redefining its place in modern pop. Johnny’s undersold bravado made him the first real indie hero of the axe, paving the way for Squire, Butler, Coxon and all the rest.” (Mike Williams).