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You Tube Gold: The Greatest Guitarist Of All Time

All the guitarists say so.

Django Plays
circa 1950: Belgian-born jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (Jean Baptiste Reinhardt, 1910 - 1953), performs on stage,. He squints as he sits and plays his guitar.
Photo by Agence France Presse/Agence France Presse/Getty Images

Any stringed instrument requires a lot of dexterity and strength. When you see musicians who really have both the talent and dedication to master an instrument, it’s really impressive.

There’s a level beyond that though that’s dazzling and relatively few musicians get to the point where they take your breath away. Junior Brown is a bit of a goof, but when you see him in person, it’s insane. No one should be able to do that on a guitar. They used to say Leo Kottke didn’t need a band because he was his own band. Stanley Jordan plays guitar in a way that no one ever even imagined before he did it.

All of them are stunning talents but none of them have the elegant genius of Django Rheinhardt.

And all of them had four fingers to use or, in Jordan’s case, two full hands (we said it was totally different).

Rheinardt’s hand was injured in a fire when he was a young man and he had to retrain himself to play with just two fingers.

Even with that limitation, no one has ever matched him.