If you ask guitar fans about their favorite guitarists, you can be entirely sure that they’ll name someone from the West. To be honest, that’s because the majority of famous guitarists live and work in the West. However, we think it’s time for our readers to go on a musical journey to somewhere that is not the first place they would think of for guitarists. So, in this article, we have created a list of the top guitarists in India that you should know of!
10 Indian Guitarists You Should Know
1. Amyt Dutta
A legend among guitarists in India, Amyt Dutta is one of the pioneers of guitar-focused music in the country. He hails from Kolkata and has been known as a fine creator of guitar notes and riffs.
Amyt Dutta is famed for his wide range of genres, including jazz, blues, and rock. He plays along with groups such as Pink Noise and Skinny Alley as part of his collaboration.
2. Warren Mendonsa
Widely known for Blackstratblues, a solo project, Warren Mendonsa started his musical career in Mumbai. The first guitar that he used was the Mexican Fender Stratocaster which was gifted to him by his mother. His primary influences are bands such as the Eagles, Queen, Gary Moore, the Beatles, etc.
Warren has toured across the globe and still performs regular gigs in India. He even plays with several other artists, such as Vishal-Shekhar.
Warren’s songs are also appreciated by comedian Russel Peters who describes them as mind-blasting.
3. Rudy Wallang
Rudy Wallang is best known for his work in his band Soulmate which is one of the most popular bands in northeast India. He has been making major contributions to the blues genres and has been performing the same live on several occasions. Rudy’s musical career spans over four decades, and his brilliant guitar work is a testament to his vast experience.
One of those guitarists whose music can make you feel at ease, Rudy is surely one of the top guitarists in India.
One of the leaders of Carnatic music on the guitar in India, R. Prasanna, has had a vast musical career playing the guitar. Even though he initially worked in the tech industry, he stayed focused on music and went to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music, from where he graduated with high honors.
Prasanna has performed in various bands across India and covered the work of several international artists such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Jethro Tull, and Santana.
5. Baiju Dharmajan
Baiju Dharmajan is hands down one of the most creative guitarists in India. He is a champion of integrating the progressive rock genre with Carnatic elements that became a predominant feature of his rock band named Motherjane. One of his songs was also featured in Amnesty International’s music album titled “Peace.”
Baiju has even collaborated with several musicians like Girish Pradhan and worked on independent projects like Wrenz United and Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate.
6. Tony Das
Bangalore-based guitarist Tony Das has nearly twenty years of professional experience under his belt. He is the guitarist for Peepal Tree – a band that has played some of the largest music festivals in the country like OctoberFest and NH7.
In addition, Tony Das is also part of the popular rock band Thermal and a Quarter and has performed with them as a bass and guitar player.
Tony has also played the guitar on Sandeep Chowta’s album, Matters Of The Heart, an undertaking of epic proportions, which features nearly 50 of the greatest living rock/jazz musicians in the world such as Dave Grusin, Scott Henderson, Mitch Forman, Dave Weckl, Gary Willis, and many more.
7. Dhruv Ghanekar
Dhruv Ghanekar is a producer, composer, and well-respected guitarist based in Mumbai, India. He has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in the musical world in India and even internationally, such as Richard Bona, Vieux Farka Toure, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtue, A.R. Rahman, to name a few.
Dhruv has also performed at several leading festivals around the world as a leader of his band. As a composer, he has made more than 3,500 commercials, a lot of which have won awards both internationally and in India. He has also scored several chart-busting hits for movies including White Noise, Drona Snip, and Bombay Boys.
8. Rex Vijayan
Rex Vijayan is the leading guitar player for the alternative Malayali rock band Avial. He learned how to play various instruments at a very young age and began his musical career by mastering cover versions.
Rex was part of the popular rock band Motherjane as a rhythm guitarist from 2000 to 2003. He later became the lead guitarist, music composer, and synthesizer of Avial. Moreover, he was also part of the Munich-based hip-hop band “Intensive Erfischung. ”
He has won several awards, including the Filmfare Awards South, Movie Street Film Awards, CPC Cine Awards for the Best Music Director.
9. Bruce Lee Mani
Popular guitarist for the rock band Thermal and A Quarter, Bruce Lee Mani has enthralled music enthusiasts all throughout India and internationally with his band ever since its creation in 1996.
Bruce Lee Mani has won several awards, including Rolling Stone Magazines Guitarist of the Year in 2009 and 2012. Moreover, he was even titled as the Leon Ireland Vocalist of the Year in 2011.
Bruce is also working to spread music education and has created the Taaqacademy – of Bangalore’s largest music schools.
10. Kapil Srivastava
Kapil is one of the leading solo and lead guitarists in India who made his television debut in an album named ‘Lady Chatterjee’ for the song ‘Pyar Aur Dosti.’ He even composed and performed a song in the Bollywood movie Dubai Returns.
Kapil has also played the guitar for various record labels such as Saregama (HMV).
Last Few Words
Well, that’s all from our end on the best guitarists in India. The names on this list are truly praiseworthy for all the contributions they have made to the world of music.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.