The genre may be rock, indie or country; guitars have found their way into every style of music today. The simplicity of this instrument ensures that you can become an intermediate player with few good lessons and self-practice. Though they held the position of simple rhythm lines in the past, with the development of genres likes blues, guitars were brought center stage and their users were treated like gods.
Today, guitarist are key members of a band, having as much fame and importance as the front man which has caused some of them to make a great fortune for themselves. Following is a list of a few of such maestro’s. Checkout the list of top 10 richest guitarists in the world in 2018.
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- 10. Angus Young ($140 million)
- 9. Kirk Hammett ($200 million)
- 8. The Edge ($240 million)
- 7. Dave Grohl ($280 million)
- 6. James Hetfield ($300 million)
- 5. Eric Clapton ($300 million)
- 4. Dave Matthews ($300 million)
- 3. Keith Richards ($340 million)
- 2. Bruce Springsteen ($460 million)
- 1. Jimmy Buffett ($600 million)
10. Angus Young ($140 million)
This stage sparkling lead guitarist of the Australian band AC/DC has been in the business since 1973 when he first formed the band with his brother Malcolm Young. Angus Young is famous for his school shorts, hexatonic scale influenced solo style and the duck walk, which he copied from Chuck Berry. He has been known to be the greatest influence on rock music, spawning a generation of musicians. His solos on songs like Thunderstruck and Back in Black can be heard in any guitar store. On 18th November 2017, he lost his bandmate, brother and his influence in music, Malcolm Young.
9. Kirk Hammett ($200 million)
Kirk Hammett is the guitarist for the heavy metal band Metallica. He started his career with the band in 1983, replacing the then guitarists Dave Mistaken who is now the lead vocalists and guitarist for Megadeath. Kirk Hammett, through Metallica, started an entirely new genre of music called thrash metal which incorporates palm putting and fast picking the low E string.
He is a horror movie enthusiast which he shows by printing famous horror movie posters over his ESP guitar bodies. He had his formal training at the age of 13 from the famous guitarist Joe Satriani. His guitar solos on Master of Puppets and One are one of the few examples of his exemplary skill.
8. The Edge ($240 million)
David Howell Evans, also known as Edge is the lead guitarist of the alternative rock band U2, which is one of the most commercially successful bands.
He started the band with his brother Dik, Bono and Adam Clayton who was in the same school. His guitar style is unlike any other famous guitarists. Rather than using complicated arpeggios or scales, the relay on using a reverb letting one note to ring out for a long time.
He is known to favour a Gibson Explorer paired with a VOX amplifier which enhances his signature sound.
7. Dave Grohl ($280 million)
This now famous guitarist and lead vocalists of the Foo Fighters started his career as a drummer for the very successful band Nirvana. His banging the drums till they bleed technique was quite famous and became the core idea, along with Cobain’s distorted guitar, for the sound of the genre known as grunge.
After the untimely death of Kurt Cobain, Grohl claimed that even the idea of playing music depressed him. But soon he started the band Foo Fighters, which is today one of the most famous grunge bands.
Grohl is not a trained guitarist, claiming that he only took two or three guitar lessons. His playing is based on the idea that the entire guitar can be treated and played as a drum set.
Despite having a successful band, he has also produced movies and an eight-part series on the music of America.
6. James Hetfield ($300 million)
This is the man who came up with the haunting opening to the song Enter Sandman. James Hetfield is the guitarist and leads vocalists of the band Metallica. He, along with his bandmates gave rise to a whole new genre of rock known as thrash metal. The core idea of thrash metal is palm putting and repetitive downstrokes on the low E string.
They, along with the bands Slayer, Megadeath and Anthrax form the Big Four which is a group of the first and greatest thrash metal bands.
Hetfield has openly said that in the begging his late friend and first bassist of the band Cliff Burton was classically trained in music and helped him a lot during the early years of the band.
5. Eric Clapton ($300 million)
Eric Clapton is one of the biggest names in the rock industry and is worshipped by anyone learning to play the instrument. His main style of music is the blues which he has mastered and perfected. He is famously known to have been in many successful bands like the Yardbirds and Cream and has also collaborated with artists like B.B.King and Buddy Guy.
The Fender Stratocaster he uses has been affectionately named Brownie. He has known to go to pawn shops and find old and well-used Stratocasters with Mahogany fretboards. The reason for this he says is that if they are used well, you can tell that they sound beautiful. His style includes fingerpicking and using the plectrum with the tone set between bridge and middle which gives a banjo type feel to the sound.
4. Dave Matthews ($300 million)
Dave John Matthews is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band which is named after him. He started his career in 1991 and since then has only seen much growth in his fandom. Between 2000 and 2010 his concerts have sold and earned most money than any other act in the entire North America.
Their album released in 2012 made them the only band to ever have six bums in the first position in Billboard Top list. This two time Grammy winner sticks mostly to acoustic guitars, favouring the world-renowned company Martin and Co.
3. Keith Richards ($340 million)
Keith Richards is the multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and the lead guitarist for the English band The Rolling Stones. The name for their band comes from a blues song sung by Muddy Waters, with whom they got to record early in their career. Though the frontman of the band, Mick Jagger is famous for his moves on stage, the band gets their signature blues and rock sound because of Richards. He doesn’t try to wow the crowd with something flashy but relies on chord progressions and rhythm. Songs like Sympathy for the Devil and Satisfaction are few good examples of Richards’s style.
Keith Richards drug and alcohol abuse have been in the media quite a few times. Even at the age of 79, his habits have not changed and this has made people claim in humour that he will never die.
2. Bruce Springsteen ($460 million)
Bruce Springsteen, or as known by his nickname The Boss, is one of the most successful selling artists of all time. He has 20 Grammy’s, 2 Golden Globes and an Academy Award under his belt which only goes to show the level of talent he possesses.
Despite these awards, he has been also honoured with inductions in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. His fame comes from his writing style, which involves lyrics which are relatable by the average Joe and full of the American spirit. His song Born in the USA is an American folk which is a part of their musical history now.
1. Jimmy Buffett ($600 million)
If you imagine yourself relaxing on a sandy beach with a drink in your hand and no worries, you are in a Jimmy Buffet song.
James Williams Buffet or Jimmy Buffet is one of the most successful singers, guitarist and songwriters in the world. He started his music career in 1970 and dabbles in styles like country, country pop and folk music.
Despite having a successful music career he turned his attention towards other ventures. He owns two restaurant chains ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ and ‘Margaritaville’, both of which are named after his song titles. He also has his business spread in sectors like alcohol, sports and video games.
Guitarists are an essential part of any musical group and these individuals are the best of the lot. Taking their talent and working consistently on it they have been able to merge their interest and work to make all their dreams come true.