The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

167k votes 12k voters 151k views 206 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only metal guitarist or guitar tandems. Guitarists from other genres shouldn't be included on here

List of the greatest metal guitarists of all time, with photos. Clearly, the list contains a broad selection of guitarists who can still be classified as "metal," though some of the featured guitarists predate the period in which "heavy metal" was enjoying mainstream, popular success. It also includes guitarists such as Brian May and Jimi Hendrix who are not typically referred to as "metal guitarists" as their primary genre – but their guitar sounds were actually highly influential in early heavy metal music.

Who are the best metal guitarists of all time? Which musicians shredded the hardest on their guitars? The list also notably contains memorable duos or guitar groups, as line-ups featuring multiple guitarists who compliment one another is such a fixture of the metal genre. Guitarists who are featured as part of a group (such as Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman or KISS's Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley) should not be listed individually except in rare circumstances where that guitarist had notable success and a specific style while playing solo as well as with a metal group. If you can think of anyone who would be in your personal top 100, then definitely add them to this list. 
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 2,726
    - 1,009

    the people's #1
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,325
    - 1,288

    most listed
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

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  3. 3
    + 2,471
    - 829


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,177
    - 1,145


    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2,475
    - 1,233


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,918
    - 965


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,581
    - 891


    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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  8. 8
    + 2,352
    - 1,114


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  9. 9
    + 1,553
    - 1,017


    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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  10. 10
    + 2,342
    - 1,185
    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

  11. 11
    + 1,612
    - 804
    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

  12. 12
    + 1,926
    - 1,227
    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

  13. 13
    + 1,705
    - 1,211


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1,561
    - 1,099
    Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Angus & Malcolm Young

  15. 15
    + 1,602
    - 831


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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  16. 16
    + 1,770
    - 773
    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

    ranked low on reranks
    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

  17. 17
    + 1,443
    - 899


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,690
    - 923


    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,020
    - 784


    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,830
    - 834


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 881
    - 789


    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,256
    - 730


    Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,182
    - 1,031


    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,130
    - 935


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  25. 25
    + 780
    - 779


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 730
    - 745


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  27. 27
    + 659
    - 714
    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

  28. 28
    + 1,850
    - 154

    ranked low on reranks & added by Walkingdeads
    Heavy metal thrash metal guitarist founder writer vocalist for ANNIHILATOR. One of the most under-rated and influential guitarists and writers in heavy/thrash metal.  Interesting to note that North American guitar

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  29. 29
    + 578
    - 679

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

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  30. 30
    + 852
    - 543

    ranked low on reranks & added by da54
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  31. 31
    + 745
    - 653


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  32. 32
    + 1,021
    - 824


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

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  33. 33
    + 752
    - 657


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 687
    - 969

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  35. 35
    + 1,084
    - 765
    Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

  36. 36
    + 840
    - 737


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

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  37. 37
    + 675
    - 628

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

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  38. 38
    + 679
    - 224
    Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

    ranked low on reranks
    Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

  39. 39
    + 918
    - 356

    ranked low on reranks & added by JaimeVargas
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

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  40. 40
    + 673
    - 846
    Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

  41. 41
    + 962
    - 298

    ranked low on reranks & added by NannyGreebos
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

    ;
  42. 42
    + 479
    - 654


    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 535
    - 754


    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

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  44. 44
    + 461
    - 652


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 475
    - 695
    Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

  46. 46
    + 415
    - 649


    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

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  47. 47
    + 364
    - 586
    Phil Collen & Steve Clarke is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Phil Collen & Steve Clarke

  48. 48
    + 449
    - 204

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock

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  49. 49
    + 543
    - 291

    ranked low on reranks & added by ScottJaniak-Ross
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  50. 50
    + 360
    - 461

    often listed & added by DebbyHood
    Heavy metal, Hard rock

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