While there is little doubt that Shred Monkeys is on the top of the list of paper shredding services in Orlando, some people might get them confused with other top shredders of their business. No, not paper shredders, rock gods who shred on guitar.

We can see why there can be a bit of confusion, after all, Shred Monkeys are rock stars in the field of shredding and rock star guitarists are, well, rock stars who know how to shred. Now, if we were to create a list of paper shredders in Orlando, it would be a boring list with Shred Monkeys at the top, no surprise there. But if we were to create a list of the best rock and roll shredders of all time, that list would be:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • Basis for Discussion
  • Full of More Awesomeness than One Person Can Handle in a Day

It is also a list that could get you in trouble if you read it while at work. That is, if you have a report to write, a sales call to make or a boring meeting to attend, then read this on your lunch break.

When setting out to create such a list, one needs to take several things into consideration including raw talent, stage presence and popularity. You see, it would be silly to create a list of guitar greats who nobody heard of. Adrian Belew is often noted to be a very fine guitar player, but one is hard-pressed to find many people who have even heard a King Crimson song.

Maybe it has to do with age, but it seems as though it has been awhile since anybody new has been crowned a master shredder. There were several in the 1980s, like Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young, and a few in the 1990s including Billy Corgan and Slash, but things have died down since then. Someone suggested Ed Sheeran as a modern day rock guitar hero, but we shamed then into submission and made them apologize.

We considered the top 100 guitar players of all time, but we want have this article finished before the season premier of Game of Thrones, so we will be just hitting the top 10.

Brian May

May was heavily influenced by the likes of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, yet he played with a very distinctive sound. It is all too difficult to play in a rock band in which flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury steals the spotlight, but May held is own. In fact, he was instrumental (pun intended) in Queen’s success.

Take a listen to the album News of the World and listen to the distinctive sound made from controlled feedback. May was more than just a great guitar player and he was also a formidable composer and songwriter as well.

Carlos Santana

Founder of the rock band Santana, Carlos Santana is a brilliant guitar player as well as a studied classical guitarist, a deadly combination that makes for a unique player. It also helps to be a top performing guitar player when the music you play combines rock and roll with a little Spanish influence. Take a listen to “Smooth” (featuring Rob Thomas) and “Hold On” to get an idea of what talent this man has.

Jimmy Page

In addition to being a phenomenal songwriter and record producer, Jimmy Page is one of the greatest rock guitarists in history. The Led Zeppelin axeman is on this list because he has created some of the greatest riffs of all time, music that any wannabe rock star attempts to learn how to play. If you doubt us, check out “Communication Breakdown” and “Going to California”.

Jimi Hendrix

It not as though Jimi Hendrix was more talented or technically superior to any of his peers, he just made shredding the guitar look all too easy. Anybody who can play as effortlessly and as cool as Hendrix will be placed on this list. That’s a challenge if you are interested.

Slash

You don’t have to be a huge fan of Guns N’ Roses to appreciate the talented Slash. The Guns N’ Roses guitarist has written and performed some of the most memorable riffs in rock history and did so while looking really cool. Right now, you have the “Sweet Child of Mine” riff going through your head. You can’t deny it, he is a compelling player. And that riff is stilling echoing in your head.

Eddie Van Halen

Go listen to “Eruption”. Nuff said.

Stevie Ray Vaughn

This blues legend was a phenomenal guitar player and a revolutionary performer. Stevie Ray Vaughn defined Texas Blues Rock with timeless classics like “Pride and Joy”. He produced a sound that was both unique and recognizable.

As a live act, Stevie Ray Vaughn demanded your attention and shredded through tunes with unforgiving demeanor.

Angus Young

As the focal point of the rock band AC/DC, Angus Young took hard rock to a whole new level. Angus is a raw, loud guitar player with an attitude that matches his hard sounding and unforgettable riffs. If you get the chance, you really need to see this guy play live.

Kirk Hammet

If you want to listen to a guitar solo that will melt your face, throw on some Metallica and listen to Kirk Hammet. Each album Metallica releases might not top the list of heavy metal favorites, but the trash riffs will mesmerize any metalhead. To get an idea the talent this shredder has, listen to “Master of Puppets” or “One”.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton grew up with an appreciation for Chicago blues, which helped give him his unique style and a reputation as a top blues guitarist in the 1960s. From there, he would shine in Cream, cranking out masterpieces like “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” and move on to Blind Faith before embarking on a remarkable solo career.

We gave you what we believe are the top ten guitar shredders of all time, but we will leave it up to you to rank them from one to 10. Good luck.