The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

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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
  • 54 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,857
    - 1,099

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,456
    - 1,386

    most listed
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

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  3. 3
    + 2,610
    - 895


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,318
    - 1,224


    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2,017
    - 1,030


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2,494
    - 1,181


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,672
    - 956


    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2,613
    - 1,308


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

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  9. 9
    + 1,816
    - 1,288


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1,647
    - 1,075


    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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  11. 11
    + 2,056
    - 1,300
    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

  12. 12
    + 1,716
    - 844
    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

  13. 13
    + 1,667
    - 1,157
    Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Angus & Malcolm Young

  14. 14
    + 1,688
    - 871


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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  15. 15
    + 2,504
    - 1,237
    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

  16. 16
    + 1,781
    - 965


    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

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  17. 17
    + 1,504
    - 950


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,882
    - 807
    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
    + 1,085
    - 822


    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,950
    - 877


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 950
    - 830


    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,192
    - 990


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,334
    - 763

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

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  24. 24
    + 826
    - 826


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,269
    - 1,095


    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  26. 26
    + 781
    - 776


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,869
    - 192

    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
    + 691
    - 752
    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
    + 619
    - 714


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

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  30. 30
    + 905
    - 586

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

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  31. 31
    + 788
    - 681


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  32. 32
    + 886
    - 774


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,070
    - 855


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

    ;
  34. 34
    + 786
    - 685


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,138
    - 793
    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
    + 728
    - 1,024

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

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  37. 37
    + 738
    - 242
    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
    + 978
    - 385

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

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  39. 39
    + 699
    - 651


    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

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  40. 40
    + 713
    - 886
    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
    + 570
    - 779


    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

    ;
  42. 42
    + 971
    - 319

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 492
    - 682


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  44. 44
    + 438
    - 259

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 500
    - 677


    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 301
    - 288


    Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 506
    - 715
    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
    + 489
    - 214

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock

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  49. 49
    + 446
    - 661

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

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  50. 50
    + 446
    - 761


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
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