Queen guitarist Brian May voted as the greatest rock guitarist of all time

music news 09/06/2020

The legendary Queen guitarist, Brian May, has been named the greatest rock guitarist of all time, voted by the readers of Total Guitar magazine.

The magazine shortlisted 170 guitarists that was split into six categories - classic rock, blues, heavy metal, shred, indie/alternative and 'best right now'.

Readers were able to vote for their favourites in an online poll, with May coming out on top of the rock category.

May told Total Guitar, "I'm absolutely speechless. I'm blown away. I have to say it's completely unexpected. Obviously, I'm deeply touched that people feel that way about me. I'm not under any illusions that, technically, I'm even on the tree of great guitarists."

"I guess this tells me that what I've done has affected people, and that means a great deal to me. I will never claim to be a great guitarist in the sense of, you know, a virtuoso. I guess I just try to play from my heart and that's about it."

Among the top five voted guitarists were Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen) and Eric Clapton.

"Well, it is very humbling. Jimi is, of course, my number one. And I've always said that," May said. "To me, he's still something superhuman. It's like he really did come from an alien planet, and I will never know quite how he did what he did."

He explained that every time he goes back to Hendrix, he's "thrilled and stunned" every time, explaining that he will never stop learning from Hendrix. "I get that feeling all over again, like either I'm going to give up playing the guitar, because I can't face up to this, or I'm gonna really have to get into it in a big way and try and do what is in my own body and soul."