The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

170k votes 12k voters 157k 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
  • 51 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2,797
    - 1,052

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,392
    - 1,332

    most listed
    Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

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  3. 3
    + 2,539
    - 864


    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,248
    - 1,179


    Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,966
    - 993


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2,551
    - 1,266


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

    ;
  7. 7
    + 2,412
    - 1,143


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  8. 8
    + 1,620
    - 917


    Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

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  9. 9
    + 2,428
    - 1,206
    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

  10. 10
    + 1,599
    - 1,043


    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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  11. 11
    + 1,658
    - 822
    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
    + 1,987
    - 1,263
    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
    + 1,757
    - 1,241


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

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  14. 14
    + 1,602
    - 1,126
    Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Angus & Malcolm Young

  15. 15
    + 1,637
    - 848


    Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

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  16. 16
    + 1,467
    - 920


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

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  17. 17
    + 1,823
    - 788
    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

    ranked low on reranks
    Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

  18. 18
    + 1,736
    - 943


    Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

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  19. 19
    + 1,045
    - 798


    Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,891
    - 847


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  21. 21
    + 914
    - 805


    Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,291
    - 744


    Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,158
    - 957


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,220
    - 1,065


    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

    ;
  25. 25
    + 799
    - 796


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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  26. 26
    + 754
    - 758


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

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  27. 27
    + 672
    - 730
    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

  28. 28
    + 1,858
    - 169

    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
    + 597
    - 692

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

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  30. 30
    + 872
    - 560

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

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  31. 31
    + 1,056
    - 835


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

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  32. 32
    + 759
    - 667


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  33. 33
    + 768
    - 668


    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

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  34. 34
    + 1,115
    - 777
    Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams


    Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

  35. 35
    + 700
    - 992

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

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  36. 36
    + 855
    - 754


    Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

    ;
  37. 37
    + 962
    - 369

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

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  38. 38
    + 705
    - 234
    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
    + 688
    - 639


    Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

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  40. 40
    + 688
    - 864
    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
    + 967
    - 307

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

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  42. 42
    + 486
    - 661


    Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

    ;
  43. 43
    + 545
    - 764


    Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

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  44. 44
    + 472
    - 664


    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  45. 45
    + 488
    - 703
    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
    + 425
    - 653


    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

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  47. 47
    + 374
    - 592
    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
    + 465
    - 210

    ranked low on reranks
    Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock

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  49. 49
    + 556
    - 297

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

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  50. 50
    + 369
    - 465

    often listed & added by DebbyHood
    Heavy metal, Hard rock

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