The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

173k votes 12k voters 160k views 208 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
  • 53 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,836
    - 1,081

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,435
    - 1,365

    most listed
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2,581
    - 883


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,292
    - 1,205


    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,996
    - 1,018


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2,471
    - 1,166


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  7. 7
    + 2,589
    - 1,292


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,649
    - 942


    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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  9. 9
    + 1,801
    - 1,266


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

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  10. 10
    + 1,643
    - 1,145
    Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Angus & Malcolm Young

  11. 11
    + 2,480
    - 1,227
    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

  12. 12
    + 1,627
    - 1,063


    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 2,035
    - 1,286
    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

  14. 14
    + 1,690
    - 837
    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

  15. 15
    + 1,670
    - 862


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,765
    - 957


    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,490
    - 937


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,857
    - 801
    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

  19. 19
    + 1,069
    - 814


    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,932
    - 867


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 936
    - 820


    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,182
    - 973


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,315
    - 756

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

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  24. 24
    + 819
    - 810


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,248
    - 1,082


    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  26. 26
    + 765
    - 770


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,863
    - 184

    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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  28. 28
    + 682
    - 744
    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

  29. 29
    + 606
    - 703


    Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

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  30. 30
    + 890
    - 576

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

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  31. 31
    + 875
    - 763


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 775
    - 674


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  33. 33
    + 1,064
    - 846


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

    ;
  34. 34
    + 778
    - 678


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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  35. 35
    + 1,126
    - 788
    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
    + 716
    - 1,013

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

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  37. 37
    + 723
    - 239
    Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

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

  38. 38
    + 973
    - 379

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

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  39. 39
    + 693
    - 647


    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

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  40. 40
    + 704
    - 877
    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
    + 563
    - 772


    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

    ;
  42. 42
    + 484
    - 674


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 969
    - 314

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

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  44. 44
    + 429
    - 255

    ranked low on reranks
    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 493
    - 669


    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 297
    - 279


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 499
    - 710
    Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

  48. 48
    + 442
    - 750


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  49. 49
    + 434
    - 658

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

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  50. 50
    + 475
    - 212

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock

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209 +

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