20 Best Modern Guitar Players 2024

While many hail from the golden eras of rock, metal, blues, and jazz as the untouchable gods of guitar, let’s not forget the modern warriors who are redefining guitar playing in the 21st century.

So, plug in, tune up, and let’s discover the axe masters of 2024:

1. Tosin Abasi

Animals as Leaders & Eight-String Explorer

Tosin’s groundbreaking work with his band Animals as Leaders has not only pushed the boundaries of progressive metal but also the very limits of guitar technique. Merging jazz, metal, and classical techniques, his use of eight-string guitars helps create a soundscape that’s as vast as it is intricate.

2. Annie Clark (St. Vincent)

Genre-Blending Genius

Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent, brings an eclectic mix of rock, pop, and electronic vibes. But don’t be fooled by her serene stage presence. Her guitar skills are on fire, with a style that’s both unique and utterly captivating.

3. Gary Clark Jr.

Blues’ Modern Torchbearer

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Gary is often seen as the savior of modern blues. His blistering solos and soulful voice are a testament to blues’ enduring power. Drawing from the greats while forging his own path, Gary is a beacon of blues in the modern age.

4. Nili Brosh

From YouTube to the World Stage

Nili first caught attention with her YouTube covers. Since then, she’s toured with legends like Tony MacAlpine and brought her unique brand of melodic shreds to audiences worldwide.

5. Tash Sultana

One-Person Juggernaut

Tash’s rise from busking in Melbourne to global stages is the stuff of legends. With a multi-instrument approach and some serious guitar chops, Tash’s music is a rich tapestry of sound, woven with passion.

6. Misha Mansoor

Djent Pioneer

One of the founding figures of the “djent” movement, Misha’s work with Periphery is a masterclass in modern metal guitar. Heavy riffs, atmospheric passages, and intricate solos – Misha’s got it all covered.

7. Plini

Instrumental Prodigy

Hailing from Australia, Plini’s compositions are an aural delight. He beautifully balances technical prowess with emotional depth, making him a standout in the instrumental guitar scene.

8. Yvette Young

Tapping & Math Rock Maven

Known for her band Covet, Yvette’s guitar style is a mesmerizing blend of tapping, harmonics, and complex rhythms. She’s redefining what’s possible on the guitar and has become an inspiration for countless upcoming players.

9. Mateus Asato

Instagram’s Guitar Sensation

Mateus burst onto the scene with his soulful and technical Instagram videos. His blend of melody, technique, and feel has garnered him a massive following and collaborations with major artists.

10. Mark Lettieri

Snarky Puppy’s Groove Guru

Being part of the Grammy-winning ensemble Snarky Puppy itself speaks volumes. Mark’s fusion of funk, jazz, and rock techniques has made him a sought-after session guitarist and a modern-day guitar hero.

11. Sarah Longfield

Tap Master and YouTuber

Sarah’s not just a YouTube sensation; she’s a modern guitar innovator. Known for her tapping technique and creative use of effects, she’s been bridging the gap between metal, ambient soundscapes, and everything in between.

12. Rabea Massaad

Riff Lord and Gear Guru

Whether he’s creating chunky riffs with his band Toska or showcasing the latest gear on YouTube, Rabea’s infectious enthusiasm and unmistakable guitar tone have earned him a dedicated following.

13. Jason Richardson

From Metalcore to Solo Brilliance

Having played for bands like Born of Osiris and All Shall Perish, Jason’s solo material truly showcases his immense skill. Combining dizzying speed with lush melodies, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

14. Kaki King

Guitar as a Percussive Instrument

Kaki has been redefining acoustic guitar playing. With her unique approach of using the guitar as a percussive instrument, she creates rhythm and melodies that are utterly hypnotic.

15. Courtney Barnett

Alternative Rock’s Reluctant Guitar Hero

This Aussie artist might be known for her witty, talkative singing style, but don’t overlook her guitar work. It’s raw, it’s gritty, and it captures the essence of garage rock in its purest form.

16. Nick Johnston

Instrumental Rock’s Melody Maestro

Nick’s playing is a beautiful blend of technicality and melody. While he can shred with the best of them, it’s his soulful, song-oriented approach to instrumental rock that truly stands out.

17. Polyphia’s Tim Henson and Scott LePage

Math Rock Meets Hip-Hop

This duo has been pushing boundaries with their band, Polyphia. Their fusion of math rock technicality with hip-hop rhythms and sensibilities has created a genre all its own.

18. Ariel Posen

Slide Guitar and Songwriting Symbiosis

Hailing from Canada, Ariel’s prowess in slide guitar is impressive. But when paired with his deep, heartfelt songwriting, it’s clear why he’s making waves in the modern blues and roots scene.

19. Lari Basilio

Feel over Flash

Lari, from Brazil, offers a refreshing style that emphasizes emotion over pure speed. Her melodically rich compositions and impeccable tone have made her a standout in a sea of shredders.

20. Ichika Mo

Instagram’s Rising Star

Frequently sharing snippets of his playing on social media, Ichika combines modern tapping techniques with melodic sensibilities, making him one of the must-watch guitarists of the era.

What a list, huh?

So, the next time someone tells you guitar music is a thing of the past, just crank up any of these players and let their music do the talking. The golden age of guitar might just be now! Keep those ears open, and always be ready to discover your next favorite guitarist.