Let’s get one thing out of the way: There is no way this list is definitive. If you follow YouTube guitarists, you may spot a few glaring omissions. In fact, even if you don’t you might not see your favorite. But we have caught ourselves watching video after video on each of these channels:
“30 Shredders in in One Solo” is the video that placed Higgins on this list, as he is a master at aping other greats with his stunning imitations of everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Yngwie to Testament’s Alex Skolnick. And he’s happy to share his skills with great clips on speed picking, sweep picking and better practice regimens.
If your friends or bandmates ask you to please stop geeking out on guitars, then this Brit is your man. His pro videos, done with friend and fellow guitar nerd Captain Lee, are incredibly informative and just ooze a love of gear. From videos that show you how to get a Slash or Angus Young set up for relatively cheap, to their blind guitar challenges, this channel is completely addicting.
You may think that a guy who has dedicated himself to doing acoustic covers of nearly 200 Sonic Youth songs is really for only a select kind of people. But considering what kind of band Sonic Youth is and much of a challenge it can be to take them on with only an acoustic guitar, any musician will find it to be a fascinating look at someone’s dedication/obsession. He hasn’t done a cover for a year, so hopefully he’s busy figuring out a few more records.
This guy looks suspiciously like the late Chuck Schuldiner from Death, and that isn’t too surprising considering how much he worships at the altar of the metal elite. He definitely has a loyal following with almost half a million subscribers to his channel, but he works hard for his views, showing himself to be a creative, shredding virtuoso on his metallic take on Lady Gaga, a “thrashup” of Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer, this head-banging cover of Dragon Ball Z and his most popular video, an illustrative take on the difference between punk and metal.
We found plenty of people who could play the pretty parts from Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” on acoustic guitar, but he was the only one who actually pulled off the drop. Even ignoring his dozens of other killer videos, that right there is enough for us.
Is GearManDude a killer guitarist? No. Does he give you a definitive answer on whether or not you should pick up a piece of gear? Maybe not always. But as everyone has to note, this is essentially like watching fairly informative videos on guitar gear hosted by Jack Black wearing snakeskin boots and it’s endlessly entertaining.