Some people say that speed isn’t everything. But in the grand scheme of things, it is not without significance.
Everyone should give the guitar a shot at least once; it’s essential to any musical education. But, of course, it’s a tall order to master it. But how quick is the world’s best guitarist?
The following guitarists, whose fingers virtually fly with every note, have unquestionably left their stamp on music history. Of course, becoming a quick guitarist takes practice and dedication; otherwise, anyone could do it.
8. Steve Vai
photo source: Guitar.com
Steve Vai is among the fastest guitarists and is often regarded as the most influential guitarist. He has won three Grammy Awards. At 18, he made his debut in the professional music industry by playing guitar for Frank Zappa.
Since then, he has recorded with artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, and Whitesnake. Passion and Warfare, an instrumental album he released in 1990, has been called “the richest and greatest hard rock guitar-virtuoso record of the ’80s.”
Did You Know:
In addition to having over 15 million recordings sold, Guitar World magazine ranked him as the tenth greatest guitarist of all time.
7. Yngwie Malmsteen
photo source: Guitar World
Since the release of Rising Force in 1984, Swedish-born guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has been awing with his incredible lightning-fast guitar playing.
After its release, Rising Force was recognized as the best album of the year by Guitar Player magazine, nominated for a Grammy, and was responsible for shaping the musical tastes of a new generation of guitarists.
Yngwie Malmsteen is considered by many to be the founder of neoclassical guitar playing. Neoclassical guitar playing is distinguished by its technically virtuoso playing and lightning-fast guitar runs.
Did You Know:
According to a poll conducted by Time magazine in 2009, Yngwie Malmsteen was ranked ninth among the 11 best electric guitar players of all time.
6. Viktor Zinchuk
photo source: Rin.ru
Viktor Zinchuk, who hails from Moscow, has been playing the guitar since he was 11. He played in school groups for children as young as five and as old as 16 years old.
Throughout his career, Zinchuk has toured around the USSR and internationally.
He broke the world record for the fastest guitar playing of all time in 2002. Everyone was taken aback by Zinchuk’s lightning-fast playing speed, which he accomplished by playing Rimsky Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” in just twenty-four seconds.
This allowed him to play twenty notes in a single second, which is an incredible rate. The renowned guitarist, composer, and arranger holds many titles in the field of music and is a winner of many contests and festivals.
Did You Know:
For his work in guitar music, the International Academy of Sciences of the Republic of San Marino gave him the title of Honorary Master in 1995.
5. Tiago Della Vega
photo source: JOYO
Born in 1984 in Brazil, Tiago Della Vega started learning to play the acoustic guitar when he was five.
When he performed The Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, he did it at 340 beats per minute, which earned him the title of fastest guitarist in the world according to the Guinness World Records. Then, on May 9, 2008, at EM&T in Sao Paulo, he shattered the mark he had previously set for himself.
Tiago Della Vega has been active in the music industry for over 30 years and has experience working in various subgenres. He is responsible for producing over 40 bands with different musical styles from Brazil and worldwide. In addition, he spent several years as an arranger in the classical scene, where he was responsible for developing and editing arrangements.
Della Vega has also worked as a producer for many enterprises, including Disney and Cirque du Soleil, producing innumerable movie music and performances worldwide. In addition to playing with Fermatha and After Dark, Tiago Della Vega was a member of both bands. He plays music while on the road and teaches seminars in various countries.
Did You Know:
Rolling Stones magazine included him as a candidate for one of the top 70 most influential guitarists of all time in their 2014 issue.
4. Sergei Putyatov
photo source: Mykola MrHardGuitar on YouTube
Sergei Putyatov, a guitarist from Russia, broke the record for most notes played in a single second by playing 27 of them in May of 2011. Russian guitarist Viktor Zinchuk established the prior records in the Guinness Book of Records in 2002. Zinchuk played 20 notes per second, which was the previous record.
After some time, the Brazilian guitarist Tiago Della Vega could play 24 notes per second, enough to break the previous record. He practices playing a rock progression consisting of 27 notes on his Fender Stratocaster several times before he ultimately masters the ability to perform the run in just one second.
Did You Know:
After 10 years of residency in Donetsk, Putyatov was forced to relocate to the Crimean peninsula as a result of the uncertain political situation in the region.
3. John Taylor
John Taylor, a guitarist, performed a piece at 600 beats per minute on April 2011, becoming the fastest guitar player in the world at the time. His performance earned him a score of 600 beats per minute (bpm) in the Guinness Book of World Records and the Universal Records Databank.
This astounding record was finally beaten by Taylor in Hong Kong in January of 2012 when he clocked in at 620 beats per minute.
The classical composition “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Andrejewitsch Rimski-Korsakow, written in 1899, was originally composed with a pace of 170 beats per minute (beats per minute).
Did You Know:
John Taylor put rubber resistance bands around his fingers to build strength in his hands. After putting his digits through a strenuous exercise, he removed the bands from his fingers and attempted the piece.
2. Taylor Sterling
photo source: Taylor Sterling on YouTube
There is not much information available on Taylor Sterling besides the fact that he is originally from Australia and now lives in Japan. However, after playing Flight of the Bumblebee at 999 beats per minute, he took the record away from the previous holder.
1. Daniel Himebauch
photo source: DailyMotion
The world record for the fastest guitar playing was achieved by guitarist Daniel Himebauch, who accomplished this feat with a performance that blew away everyone’s expectations at 1300 beats per minute (BPM) or around 90 notes per second. Then, he started playing Flight of the Bumblebee and sped up the speed to an incredible 1300 beats per minute (BPM).
During a concert held as a benefit for 9/11 first responders, Daniel Himebauch was able to play the piece at a tempo of 1300 beats per minute (BPM). The occasion was held on September 8, 2012, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Himebauch begins his performance softly and gradually increases the beats per minute until he reaches an incredible 1300 BPM.
Himebauch states at the beginning of the video that “This is not a display of musicality or tone and should not be taken as such.”
Himebauch is still active online and often releases cover songs and videos of him performing on his Facebook page and YouTube channel. Even though Himebauch is not quite as well-known as some of the other people on the list, his record-breaking performance proves he is just as skilled.