Hendrix, who made his name in the '60s and whose version of America's national anthem electrified the crowd at Woodstock in 1969, beat Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, who was second, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, who placed third in the magazine's poll of readers, the BBC said.
Hendrix, who died in 1970, had a "devastating technique" and "redefined the term 'guitar hero'," said Classic Rock editor Scott Rowley.
"Singers might think that they're the real kings of rock 'n' roll, but our poll shows that guitarists are far crazier, usually more talented and the real driving force behind the music," Rowley said.
Rounding out the top 10 were Led Zeppelin's guitarist Jimmy Page; the late Dimebag Darrell, who played for heavy metal bands such as Pantera and Damageplan; Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath; the late Irish bluesman Rory Gallagher; Van Halen's Eddie Van Halen; Chuck Berry and the late Kurt Cobain.
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