3. Les Paul
Not only did he invent the solid-body electric guitar, but Les Paul also pioneered multi-tracking, tape delay, and pretty much everything that you can think of that exists today: light bulbs, computers... nah we're obviously kidding about those last two, but he was a great inventor.
He was also an outstandingly creative guitarist, influenced by the gypsy jazz movement in Europe, he developed a curious mix of speedy, twiddly jazz-rock guitar playing, and altered the speed of tape playback to create an early surf rock sound.
He also used tape to create a symphony of guitars, which wowed TV audiences when he performed with Mary Ford in the 1950s. Using layers rhythmic chops, lead harmonies, walking basslines, and chord inversions, he did something profoundly exciting with the guitar.
Hailed as the father of modern recording, he is also the real father of rock music, without the Les Paul guitar and the invention of the solid-body, the world of guitar playing would be a very different prospect today.
Simply put, without Les, the rest of the guitarists on this list might have sounded very different.
A true legend of music.