Celebrities Who Secretly Shred on Guitar – The List Will Blow Your Mind

We know many Hollywood stars as talented actors, comedians, or TV personalities. But did you know some of these celebrities also possess incredible guitar-playing abilities on the down low?

Let’s reveal the secretly shredding celebrities you likely didn’t realize have genuine musical talents. Prepare to be amazed by this list of stars who can also solo with the best of them!

Acoustic guitar player

Johnny Depp – Serious Guitar Hobbyist

Johnny Depp is most associated with acclaimed acting roles in films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands. But off-screen, he’s a dedicated guitarist who has recorded and performed with many legends.

In 2015, Depp formed the supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. They released an album featuring Depp on rhythm guitar and vocals covering classics like “My Generation” along with original material.

Footage shows Depp capably soloing next to Perry lending credence to his skills. He even jams casually with //Oasis//’ Liam Gallagher, trading bluesy licks. Though not a virtuoso, Depp clearly takes his guitar passion seriously with a mastery exceeding typical hobbyists.

Considering his presence on major releases, Depp may have the most legitimate guitar chops of any actor. And unlike some celebs who pick up the instrument fleetingly, he practices tirelessly – a true student of rock and blues.

Hugh Laurie – Accomplished Bluesman

Known best as the sarcastic Dr. House on TV, Hugh Laurie is also a phenomenal blues musician. He taught himself piano, guitar, harmonica, and more from childhood onward.

Laurie has recorded multiple studio albums showing off impressive Lead vocal skills and intricate blues guitar playing. His fingerpicking chops are evident on covers of classic artists like Leadbelly and Jelly Roll Morton.

For years critics assumed Laurie’s musical gifts were exaggerated for his acting roles. But he has proven to be a seriously proficient multi-instrumentalist devoted to roots music.

In addition to the piano, Laurie’s guitar and harmonica work are completely legitimate. Don’t be fooled by his comedic background – this man can wail on blues standards with the best of them!

Banjo player

Steve Martin – Master Banjoist

Comedic icon Steve Martin is renowned for his standup and movies. But he’s also a consummate 5-string banjo maestro. Martin has been honing his banjo skills since the 1960s, releasing acclaimed bluegrass albums.

His technical abilities on the notoriously difficult instrument rival celebrated country and folk players. Martin’s intricate banjo lines and solos demonstrate deep mastery.

In addition to banjo, Martin also plays guitar and piano. He proves having a successful mainstream career needn’t prevent developing serious musical talents. Any aspiring country guitarist should gain inspiration seeing Martin’s dedication to his craft.

Neil Patrick Harris – Multi-Instrumentalist

Few former child stars end up becoming such multi-talented performers as Neil Patrick Harris. Beyond acting and vocals, he’s an accomplished guitarist, pianist, drummer and magician.

Harris can solo proficiently as seen guesting on American Idol. His band features him rocking out convincingly on guitar and keys through 1970s covers. The breadth of instruments Harris plays at a high level is truly rare among Hollywood performers.

Like Steve Martin, Harris truly seems driven to master multiple creative pursuits from acting to music with passion and humility. His• insatiable artistic curiosity comes across in his continuously expanding skill set.

Gene Simmons – Surprising Guitar Player

As the fire-breathing bassist for KISS, Gene Simmons always stood out from the band. Yet many fans don’t realize he also played rhythm guitar with KISS before Ace Frehley joined.

Simmons is adept enough on guitar to record passable demos. And he contributed rhythm parts behind Frehley’s solos in the studio occasionally.

Though not his main instrument, Simmons’ unassuming guitar abilities further prove his musicianship. He along with Paul Stanley were vital arranging KISS’ material during the early years. Simmons downplays his diverse talents, but the evidence is there.

Jack Black – Actual Guitar Hero

It’s no shock that Jack Black loves music given his over-the-top rock comedy persona. But his insane vocals and guitar skills in Tenacious D are 100% real and impressive.

Shredding through power ballads and rock operas alongside Kyle Gass, Black’s meaty riffing and solos border on excellent. He also exhibits an advanced understanding of music theory composing Tenacious D songs.

For Black, performing comedy clearly goes hand-in-hand with genuine ability. He completes the rock star package with entertainment value and legitimate chops few funnymen can match.

Ukulele Player

Zooey Deschanel – Ukulele Siren

Known for charming roles in films like 500 Days of Summer, Zooey Deschanel is also quite the ukulele-playing songbird. She demonstrates advanced skills in fingerpicking intricate lines.

Deschanel frequently accompanies herself singing live on uke. She also plays piano and percussion maintaining a true passion for music. Like so many stars, Deschanel seriously invests time mastering instruments on the side.

Her musical talents only add to the bubbly onscreen persona she’s created. But as shown in songs with M. Ward as She & Him, Deschanel’s skills are legitimately good enough to release music professionally.

More Multi-Talented Stars

Those are just a few of the most accomplished musicians among people primarily famous for non-music careers. Many other stars can hold their own on guitar and other instruments:

  • Jim Carrey – skilled guitarist and keyboardist
  • Jennifer Lawrence – impressive vocals and guitar playing
  • Jared Leto – writes songs and shreds guitar with 30 Seconds to Mars
  • Bruce Willis – harmonica virtuoso and respectable blues guitarist

The list goes on! From Oscar winners to major comedians, a surprising number of celebrities take musicianship seriously. Their dormant talents often don’t get displayed, but make no mistake – tons of stars can truly play.

FAQ – Celebrity Musicians

What celebrity is the best guitarist overall?

Based on demonstrated technical skill across numerous recordings and videos, Johnny Depp likely has the most legitimate guitar talent among famous actors. His rhythm and blues abilities are quite convincing.

What female celebrities actually play guitar well?

Zooey Deschanel stands out for having true singing and ukulele chops that translate on stage and in albums. Jennifer Lawrence and others also play respectably but less publicly.

What musical genres do most celebrities gravitate to on guitar?

Blues, rock, country, and acoustic pop are common styles for celebrity hobby musicians like Hugh Laurie and Jack Black. More intricate genres like metal seem less pursued by Hollywood stars.

Be Inspired by Stars Who Shred

Hopefully, this list provides some inspiration to keep honing your guitar skills even if music isn’t your “day job.” Plenty of famous stars prove you can have a successful mainstream career and remain dedicated to your instrument.

The key is setting aside consistent time to practice and learn. Don’t let other passions prevent musical growth. As Depp and Black demonstrate, creative hyphenates can attain excellence across multiple disciplines.

Let these multi-talented celebrities serve as role models for nurturing hidden talents. Whether acting, comedy, or other pursuits, you can stay connected to your musical gifts. Shred proudly like the stars who moonlight as guitar heroes!

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