Guinness names fastest guitar player in the world

WASHINGTON — It’s the topic of countless lists and arguments over the years, but now there is an official answer to the question of who is the fastest guitar player in the world.

No, it’s not Jimmy Page.

And nope, it’s not Eddie Van Halen. Or Angus Young, or Jeff Beck, either.

In fact, the fastest shredder in the world is a 28-year-old music teacher in Colorado, John Taylor, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

To prove it, here is Taylor thrashing through Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumblebee” at 600 beats per minute: says Taylor performed the feat in front of witnesses and Guinness verified he was, in fact, performing the complex song correctly.

The standing record, according to Taylor’s YouTube clip, is 340 beats per minute. And the original tempo for the song is 170 beats per minute.

Wired says Taylor’s favorite bands are Iron Maiden, Helloween, Slayer and, weirdly, Norah Jones. Wired also says Taylor has wanted to become the world’s fastest guitarist since he first picked up the instrument when he was 13. Since then, he practiced “bumblebee” for an hour each day, ignoring hand cramps, and using specially designed picks that helped him smooth the transitions on his custom guitar.

To read more about Taylor, check out’s article.

WTOP’s Brennan Haselton contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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