Depends on what they mean by a guitarist... technique? Live performances? Songwriting? Introducing new concepts to the art?
Some are way, way overrated, some way, way underrrated. Some aren't even on the list, some shouldn't be on it at all. That's the nice thing about these lists, whether sports, music, flim (or as you might say, film), or what have you. Always good for debate and discussion.
Agreed. So, let's discuss. If there are people who should be on the list but aren't, who are they? And, if they go on the list, who should come off? And the criteria - what should it be? I happen to think that technique should weigh in most heavily. If we're talking about guitarist, what makes a person a guitarist? I think it's the ability to play the instrument. If that's not first on the list, then there are other factors (already mentioned) which must be taken into account and then we're moving a little bit away from guitarist. For instance, if songwriting has too much weight, then we're talking about songwriters. Live performances? That's a pretty good one but I'd like to see the hands of all those who were polled who'd seen Robert Johnson on stage. Sure, showmanship on the stage should count but...is he more showman than guitarist?
So, when I think "guitarist," I think of how well he/she can play the instrument and how capable they are of getting the guitar to voice what they're feeling, what they're trying to express.
So, with all that being said, how many classical guitarists were on the list? I didn't see Andres Segovia. He's got to knock someone off the list. Johnny McLaughlin made it but where's Wes Montgomery? And to me, the most glaring omission would be Al DiMeola. Incredible.