Peter Frampton with men TC in the early 2000's- Criminally underrated player- I love him!


Let’s venture through “A Dozen Underrated Rock Guitar Players”!
April is “International Guitar Month”! What does that mean? Our love for Guitar is on display and EVERYONE should strum or shred!
The guitar is a universal language. We love it, we want to play it and we want to hold it. Guitars are magic.

ALSO SEE: 10 Jersey Bands Who Should Have Been Bigger

Underrated Rock Guitar Players Still Shred

We all know the impact that Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Randy Rhoads, and the countless guitar gods we love have had on our lives.
However for this story- I wanted to get into those players that don’t get the credit that they truly deserve- that are not necessarily top of mind when “Guitar” comes up.

NOW- This list could be WAY longer, but I decided to pick a “darn good dozen” who shall we say “underappreciated’? for their guitar talents and contributions. Lead, rhythm, classic, new wave, male, female….all covered on the list.

Sometimes the band overshadows the members. Their image, their front person- Sometimes the band drama does too, but regardless, my list of favorites are players that I love listening to and their playing has inspired me as a rock fan.
As John Mellencamp says…..”Forget All About That Macho —t….and Learn How To Play Guitar”!

RELATED: TC’s Fave Underrated 80s Bands List

Check out some more of my music-related stories and interviews below as you scroll for my list.
And of course, I love to hear YOUR feedback- So if you have a favorite underrated guitarist please email me at [email protected].
Rock On!
Terrie Carr

Check Out The Gibson Guitar Website

TC’s Chat With Lita Ford

Enter The WDHA Parking Lot Party with Sonic Universe

10 MORE Underrated 80’s Bands

Whacky WDHA Memories

Exclusive WDHA Myles Kennedy Moments


  • Peter Frampton

    A heartthrob in the 70’s and a MEGA Guitar talent, Frampton often does not get the credit he deserves. His Gibson Les Paul in his “Frampton Comes Alive” era was a mighty force and he made the “talk box” famous. I have seen him countless times and he always wows.

  • Myles Kennedy

    A killer vocalist, songwriter and frontman, DO NOT disregard Myles Kennedy’s incredible guitar playing.

    Myles taught guitar early on and is a force to be reckoned with onstage at Alter Bridge shows where over the years his playing has increased on the bands albums and in their live shows. Myles is not often thought of as a guitar god, because he fronts bands with well know guitar gods Slash and Mark Tremonti- but he is a MONSTER player.

  • Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson is BADASS! She is an incredible player who mixed Rock with Flamenco and a classical flair and has helped score many successful movie soundtracks. Her rhythmic playing style has created some of the most iconic rock songs that have stood the test of time.

  • Lindsey Buckingham

    Lindsey Buckingham is associated with- 1. Fleetwood Mac, 2. Stevie Nicks, however he should be associated with GUITAR first! Lindsey is one of musics most versatile feel players, whether he is soloing on barn burners like “Go Your Own Way” OR playing stunning acoustic on “Never Going Back Again” , his fingerpicking style makes you “Go Insane” (no pun intended) I have seen Lindsey and his solo band multiple times including a show in the early 1990’s at Town Hall in New York City that ranks as one of the BEST shows I have ever seen.

  • Lita Ford

    Lita is the BOMB on guitar and one of my favorite hard rock, melodic players. I love the feel, groove and solo on “Back To The Cave” especially, because it shows off everything that makes Lita so incredible. AND her ability to have her vocal style just “fit” into the pocket of her guitar performance is one of her most underrated qualities. See her live and you will agree.

  • Ritchie Sambora

    Underrated and under appreciated, Ritchie Sambora has a fantastic guitar sound which is based in his blues influenced past. It’s hard to be in one of the biggest bands of the 80’s (and into the 1990’s) and be recognized for more than image. Ritchie’s solos are obviously areas worthy, but his playing on songs featured on his solo album “Stranger In This Town” , show his reach beyond Bon Jovi.

  • Vernon Reid

    As a founding member and guitarist of “Living Colour”, Vernon Reid is one of the most versatile guitarists in rock. His combination of Heavy, Funk and Jazz, are recognized immediately making him one of the most electrifying players of the New York rock scene in the late 80’s. Vernon’s ability to play with a plethora of artists including Mick Jagger, Tracy Chapman, Jack Bruce and Public Enemy, have proven not only his versatility, and talents, but seeing him live is a musical experience you won’t soon forget.

  • Mike McCready

    When you are in a band as big as Pearl Jam, that is truly a GUITAR band, Mike is the glue that makes the band stick! He is a guitar hero! Mike is perfect and a huge part of the Pearl Jam sound. Angry, Sad, Joyous, Mike’s playing tells a story. When people think of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder immediately comes to mind. But I think of Mike McCready who has dazzled me so many times.

  • Malcolm Young


    He has been called one of the greatest Rhythm Guitar players that has ever lived, however when all eyes are on Angus, it’s hard to notice much else! Malcolm Young is a master of the AC/DC sound. Keeping the “beat” with the guitar is a tall task and Malcolm was one of the originators of the AC/DC signature sound that has given us the rock sound track of our lives. No one compares.

  • Scott Holiday

    Not only is Rival Sons “Fuzz Lord” Scott Holiday under appreciated, the band as a whole is criminally underrated. The lord of “Fuzz Magic” (which I love) and tone, tone tone……Scott Holiday is one of my favorite guitar players in music. His name should be on the tongues and in the ears of every rock fan.
    He’s like an inventor. Creating imagination in every Rival Sons song. AMAZING!

  • Mike Orlando


    Mike Orlando is an extraordinary player, who rocked The Adrenaline Mob, solo work and now Sonic Universe.

    What’s so great about Mike is that speed and power don’t take away from his ability to groove and we are so stoked to have him along with Corey Glover, Taykwuan Jackson and bassist Booker King (yup, the whole band is coming) performing at our next WDHA Parking Lot Party on 5/3. Mike will floor you. His shredding on the upcoming Sonic Universe album- “It Is What It Is” is absolutely mind blowing.


  • Elliot Easton

    When you are in a band that makes super innovative videos and has such huge figureheads and distinct voices as Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr the guitar player may not get noticed. If you have ever heard a Cars album, their left handed lead guitar genius is the BOMB! Elliot Easton is undeniably one of the most underrated players with his incredible tone and instinctive style. His solos on “Touch and Go”, “Shake It Up” and countless Cars songs are the true heart and soul of this band.

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