The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

169k votes 12k voters 155k views 207 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
  • 50 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2,762
    - 1,030

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,358
    - 1,306

    most listed
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2,500
    - 843


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,210
    - 1,160


    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2,510
    - 1,249


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,934
    - 980


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,603
    - 900


    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2,382
    - 1,128


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1,581
    - 1,029


    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ;
  10. 10
    + 2,386
    - 1,196
    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
    + 1,630
    - 814
    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
    + 1,955
    - 1,249
    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
    + 1,733
    - 1,224


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1,582
    - 1,113
    Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Angus & Malcolm Young

  15. 15
    + 1,622
    - 840


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,799
    - 782
    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
    + 1,455
    - 909


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,716
    - 934


    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,034
    - 793

    often listed
    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,861
    - 842


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 897
    - 799


    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,273
    - 739


    Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,197
    - 1,052


    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,143
    - 946


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  25. 25
    + 789
    - 790


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 742
    - 752


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

    ;
  27. 27
    + 665
    - 724
    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
    + 1,855
    - 163

    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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 586
    - 688

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 862
    - 552

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 751
    - 664


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,038
    - 832


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

    ;
  33. 33
    + 760
    - 666


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 693
    - 983

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

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,095
    - 773
    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
    + 851
    - 747


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 956
    - 364

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 695
    - 230
    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
    + 681
    - 636


    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

    ;
  40. 40
    + 683
    - 853
    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
    + 965
    - 304

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 483
    - 657


    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 543
    - 757


    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

    ;
  44. 44
    + 466
    - 658


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  45. 45
    + 483
    - 698
    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
    + 419
    - 652

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 369
    - 588
    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
    + 462
    - 207

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock

    ;
  49. 49
    + 551
    - 294

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 408
    - 251

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

    ;
208 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >