Acoustic players are most expressive and resourceful guitarists that they set to showcase their skill through guitars that you cannot resist admiring them more.
Inspiring audiences and tirelessly challenging with championed musical loves makes some avant-garde musicians or can be referred to as icons who are worshiped for their defining sounds.
Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Players in the World
1. Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Emmanuel is an occasional songwriter and singer, but an Australian guitarist known for his energetic performances and complex technique of fingerstyle. He has a knack for using the percussive effects and though he plays with many bands, he has carved his individual style that he is releasing award-winning singles and albums.
Tommy reveals practice and passion in combo has created him as you see him performing live that he is committed to this art. Tommy was named in 2008 and 2010 Guitar Player Magazine in reader’s poll as Best Acoustic Guitarist.
Key Tracks: “The Journey”, “Fear of rain”, “Don’t hold me back”
2. Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is a guitarist, songwriter, and singer from English rock and blues. He has been an inductee three times, as a solo artist and as a Yardbirds and Cream member separately. He is also Derek and the Dominos member.
His album ‘Unplugged’ proves him to be the versatile guitarist. His electric stuff has made him popular and everyone knows him by his album ‘Unplugged’. He is regarded as all-time best acoustic guitarists.
Right from a Gibson to Fender and to Martin guitars, he is playing Rock, Blues, Reggae and many more genres, making at all as Clapton a God and a guitar list must have his name in at least top ten.
Key Tracks: “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Crossroads,” “White Room”
3. Phil Keaggy
Phil Keaggy is another great acoustic guitarist, difficult to match his excellence. Phil is an improvisational and innovative acoustic guitarist continuously working on different tones. Phil has to his credit 75 albums and is undoubtedly a world-class acoustic guitarist.
He is versatile and this American guitarist contributed to contemporary Christian music and also the recording in the mainstream markets.
Key Tracks: “Here comes the sun”, “Shades of green”, “Time”
4. Michael Hedges
Michael Hedges is also an influential, gifted and inspiring artist. He was a new age quintessential guitarist prominent for his two-handed picking style of guitar. He explored various techniques that he was the favorite guitarists of many.
He tried rapid techniques and used the same with extra pizzazz. His musicality presented a combination of composition and musical genius offering the emotional depth.
Key Tracks:”Funky Avocado”, “Silent Anticipations”, “Woman of the world”
5. Andrés Segovia
Andres Segovia kept the classical guitar single-handedly alive and also offered training to an entire generation. He never played pop and did not win contests, but he retained the techniques, music, and passion that had a big role behind the classical guitar.
You cannot claim him to be the best as per your list of preferences, but there is nothing to stop him from being above anyone. Listen to his CDs; you will know he is spiritually and technically sound. His performance is No.1 in Bach’s Chaconne.
Key Tracks: “Prelude”, “Bouree”
6. Django Reinhardt
Django Reinhardt considering the genre of jazz is a famous guitarist. He, in fact, lost in a fire 2 of his fingers but continued playing as a guitarist. He inspired the Black Sabbath original guitarist, Tony Lommi to play after he lost in a factory accident his fingertips.
He is the founder of Gypsy Jazz and the guitar had his influence that it became the pop music integral part. There are many guitarists who are highly inspired and influenced by Django Reinhardt. These are people who created a new music genre as they played and there is a need for them to be in the list of top ten.
Key Tracks: “Minor Swing”, “Nagasaki”, “I’ll See You In My Dreams”
7. Sungha Jung
Sungha Jung is known for his technique and talents. He is a South Korean guitarist specialized in fingerstyle acoustic guitar. The complexities and Jungs rendition of songs is mind-blowing and even as the musicians hear they are awestruck at his approach and style.
His guitar sings the song lyrics he wishes to play and listening to his videos will show you the way he takes you immersing into the guitar. His concerts include American and European appearances with Paul Gilbert, Jason Marz, Andy McKee and more. He has released 3 albums that have more originals and is recorded in Germany at Ulli Bogershausen.
Key Tracks: “He’s a Pirate”, “More Than Words”, “River Flows in You”
8. Chet Atkins
Chet Atkins is referred to as "The Country Gentleman" and "Mr. Guitar". He was an occasional vocalist, record producer, and songwriter. He developed the country music style. Chet Atkins in the sixties was a producer and a record executive and he was the one invented the Nashville sound rescuing the country music from becoming a commercial slump.
He as a guitarist was inventive with mastering jazz, country, and classical styles, perfecting to play melody and chord simultaneously. He had a thumb and three finger picking style. His solo albums presented endless guitar tricks, pure notes, mixing harmonics and also a brilliant clear tone.
Key Tracks: "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Wake Up Little Susie"
9. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix exploded the rock music idea that he literally manipulated the guitar, the studio and also the stage. His instrument went on songs like "Voodoo Chile," or "Machine Gun" like a divining rod. He was playing the instrument effortlessly and it was observed that throughout his career he played without any effort.
It was just flowing and this guitar player delivered seamless weaves in chords and appears in music books. It is Jimi and there is no doubt that he is a pretty good charming guitarist bringing the best tones into guitar music. His legacy is that he will be all time a great guitar player and will be loved all the time.
Key Tracks: "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Hey Joe"
10. Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry was brilliant and took by storm as he played the acoustic guitar. Chuck took to a different level as he plays and his songs were not just pop, they were more commercial.
Chuck really had a swing and had those early records with an incredible hand. He is not an easy guy and he wrote songs on a cat that had humor sense and intelligence.
Key Tracks: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven”