The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams Bands/Musicians
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The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

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. 

  • 26 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 946
    - 312

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 923
    - 494

    most listed Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 896
    - 418

    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 863
    - 401

    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 818
    - 276

    ranked low on reranks Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 861
    - 425

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 522
    - 390

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 635
    - 424

    Angus & Malcolm Young

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 879
    - 454

    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 603
    - 285

    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 525
    - 264

    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 574
    - 310

    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 675
    - 416
    ) open
  14. 14
    + 614
    - 317

    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 519
    - 275

    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 580
    - 265

    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 764
    - 406

    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 597
    - 350

    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 641
    - 292

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 358
    - 272

    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 461
    - 290

    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 274
    - 246

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

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 356
    - 270

    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 222
    - 214

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

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 485
    - 323

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 398
    - 248

    ranked low on reranks Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 220
    - 217

    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 323
    - 275

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 315
    - 350

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 409
    - 278

    ranked low on reranks Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 262
    - 225

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 237
    - 225

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 171
    - 232

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 200
    - 224

    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 246
    - 286

    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 169
    - 230

    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 291
    - 307

    ranked low on reranks Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 188
    - 264

    Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 122
    - 156

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 212
    - 238

    Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 220
    - 251

    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 183
    - 194

    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 119
    - 195

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Chris Degarmo & Michael Wilton

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 228
    - 195

    Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 164
    - 197

    Phil Collen & Steve Clarke

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 327
    - 247

    ranked low on reranks Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 172
    - 204

    Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 90
    - 101

    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 104
    - 88

    Rock music, Acoustic music, Heavy metal

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 113
    - 46

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

    ) open
144 +

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