Uncategorized » 9 Surprising Celebrities Who Play Guitar: You Won’t Believe Who Made the List!

9 Surprising Celebrities Who Play Guitar: You Won’t Believe Who Made the List!

It’s always surprising to learn about hidden talents of celebrities. So prepare to be pleasantly surprised as we shine a spotlight on the stars who not only captivate us on screen but also can hold their own with a guitar.

Many celebrities have learned to play the guitar and some of them are pretty good! So here’s a list of 10 surprising celebrities who rock the guitar.

Some of them are known mostly for their musical talents while others are better known for their work in other areas. But all of them have shown they genuinely love music and have put the hard work in.

So let’s look at these multi talented celebs and musical side of these famous personalities.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves playing bass guitar

Best known for movies like The Matrix and John Wick, Keanu Reeves has actually had a somewhat successful music career. In 1991 he formed the band Dogstar and played bass with them until they broke up in 2002.

They toured extensively over their career and released 2 albums and an EP. After they disbanded Reeves and the Dogstar drummer Robert Mailhouse briefly played together as ‘Becky’.

After over 20 years of inactivity Dogstar announced in 2022 they were reforming and will be releasing new music.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp playing guitar

Johnny Depp is not only a hugely successful and talented actor but also a skilled guitarist. He’s been playing guitar for over 30 years and has even recorded with famous musicians such as Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper and Oasis.

He began his career as a guitarist and had some minor success with his band Kids before becoming an actor. After he made it in Hollywood Depp later rekindled his love of music first as the guitarist with the short lived band ‘P’ and then went on to form ‘Hollywood Vampires’.

Hollywood Vampires features Alice Cooper and Joe Perry amongst other famous touring members. They have released studio 2 albums and a live album. Depp is the lead guitarist and co wrote the original songs they have recorded.

Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon playing acoustic guitar

Kevin Bacon has had an amazing career. From Footloose to A Few Good Men he’s a permanent fixture amongst Hollywood.

But alongside the success of his acting career he’s also an accomplishment guitarist. He formed the band The Bacon Brothers with his brother Michael in 1995, in which plays acoustic and electric guitar, and still performs with them today.

The Bacon Brothers have recorded 7 albums and tour regularly when Kevin Bacon isn’t busy acting.

He is also more recently known for his Instagram videos of playing guitar and singing. He’s covered a bunch of well known songs, with one of the most famous featuring him serenading a few of his goats (he lives on a farm) while singing Beyoncé’s ‘Heated’.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel playing acoustic guitar

Probably best known for playing Jess on hit sitcom ‘New Girl’, Zooey Deschanel has had a long and varied career across film and TV. But she’s combined that success with a long running and equally successful music career.

Deschanel formed the indie duo ‘She & Him’ with M. Ward and they’ve since released 7 acclaimed albums, selling over a million copies. She is a multi instrumentalist and as well as being the vocalist she plays guitar, percussion, keyboards, banjo and ukulele.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto playing electric guitar

Oscar winner Jared Leto made a name for himself in films like Requiem for a Dream before earning himself a Golden Globe in 2013 for Dallas Buyers Club.

But he’s also the frontman, lyricist and guitarist for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars which he formed in 1998 with his brother Shannon Leto.

Music was a big part of his life from an early age and although his acting career took over he still wanted to pursue music. He wanted to succeed on the basis of the music and not his fame as an actor.

Thirty Seconds to Mars have released 5 studio albums with Jared Leto serving as guitarist, lead vocalist and primary songwriter. The album A Beautiful Lie went platinum and is their most successful to date.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling playing bass guitar

Ryan Gosling is another famous actor who has a musical side. After starting as a child actor in the Disney Mickey Mouse Club his breakthrough role came in 2004 film The Notebook. He’s since been in a range of successful films including the box office behemoth Barbie.

But in the late 2000’s he teamed up with his friend Zach Shields, who he met when dating Rachel McAdams and Zach was dating her sister, and formed the indie band Dead Man’s Bones.

Dead Man’s Bones released one self-titled album in 2009. Gosling sang and played guitar, bass and cello, learning many of the instruments in the run up to recording the album.

Gosling can also be seen (and heard) flexing his musical muscles in Barbie, singing ‘I’m Just Ken’ and serenading Barbie with a rendition of Matchbox Twenty’s ‘Push’.

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie is beloved for playing Dr. House on TV but he’s also an extremely accomplished musician who plays guitar, piano, saxophone, drums and harmonica.

From a young age he had a love for the blues and began piano lessons at age 6. This musical interest continued as he taught himself all the instruments listed above.

He released his first album in 2011 with his band the Copper Bottom Band and has released another album since.

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland playing acoustic guitar

On top of decades of acting work Kiefer Sutherland has an impressive musical resume. He has contributed backing vocals and guitar to albums by Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and country artist Jude Cole.

Sutherland also cofounded his own independent record label alongside Jude Cole, Ironworks, and has released 3 country albums under that label. He co-wrote the songs and plays guitar in addition to singing lead vocals.

David Duchovny

David Duchovny playing guitar

One of the more recent celebrities to embark on a music career, X-Files star David Duchovny is also a singer songwriter guitarist.

He released his first music album Hell or Highwater in 2015 where he sings and plays guitar and has since released 2 more. His commitment to music even lead to him pausing his acting career from 2017 to 2020 to focus on his music.

Steve Martin

Steve Martin with banjo

Legendary comedian Steve Martin may be most known for his zany antics but he’s a very accomplished musician too. Although this one is a bit of a cheat as it’s banjo rather than guitar that he plays.

But he’s an incredibly talented on the banjo and has been playing since the 1960’s. He formed the Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass band and has received multiple Grammys for his bluegrass albums.

Martin frequently performs live with the Steep Canyon Rangers and other bluegrass musicians when he’s not busy acting in movies.

So there are some multi-talented celebrities who play guitar! It’s probably not a huge surprise that already talented people would be good at something else. But it’s always fun seeing your favorite stars away from what you know them best for. And some of them are pretty good too!

surprising celebrities who play guitar

About Andy Fraser

I'm Andy and I've been crazy about music, and specifically the guitar, for longer than I can remember. As a former guitar teacher I've been immersed in the world of music for years. It's this passion and enthusiasm about all things guitar that drove me to start this website. A place where I could talk about the gear, techniques and general awesomeness that is the best instrument. I began playing somewhat late compared to a lot of people. I was 15 years old as it had taken me a while to find the confidence to believe in myself and take that step to learn to play an instrument. It started my lifelong love of music and playing in general. Since then like so many before me I've become an addict and gone through more guitars, amps and gear than I care to remember. I taught guitar for some time but unfortunately was forced to stop due to ill health. This lead to me starting this website so I could still share my love for and what I've learnt about the guitar. Guitar Inside Out is my way of sharing that love and passion with the music community and hopefully inspiring and helping others to enjoy it as much as I do. Learn more about Andy

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