guitarists The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Originally by
172k votes 12k voters 165k views 216 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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. 

1
+ - 2,972 1,197
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Randy Rhoads Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists Your 2016 Globe Picks for Best Actor, Movie Drama

2
+ - 2,565 1,481
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Eddie Van Halen Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

3
+ - 2,725 967
Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Tony Iommi Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

4
+ - 2,428 1,308
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jimmy Page Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

5
+ - 2,107 1,109
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ritchie Blackmore Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

6
+ - 2,608 1,267
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

7
+ - 2,752 1,383
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dimebag Darrell Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

8
+ - 1,735 1,042
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

9
+ - 1,898 1,396
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
+ - 2,155 1,378
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

11
+ - 2,627 1,289
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

12
+ - 1,767 906
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
+ - 1,742 1,228
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

14
+ - 1,712 1,156
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Yngwie Malmsteen Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

15
+ - 1,741 934
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time The 36 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

16
+ - 1,852 1,035
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Zakk Wylde Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

17
+ - 1,570 1,006
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Brian May Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

18
+ - 1,946 850
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
+ - 1,121 869
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
+ - 2,037 922
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

21
+ - 1,241 1,064
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

22
+ - 988 881
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Lifeson Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

23
+ - 1,393 810
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

24
+ - 1,321 1,165
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

25
+ - 861 876
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

26
+ - 811 822
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
George Lynch Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

27
+ - 720 791
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
+ - 1,886 245
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jeff Waters 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 magazines and press do not report on ...

29
+ - 1,182 834
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

The Best Metal Drummers of All Time 19 Real Springfields and How They Mirror The Simpsons

30
+ - 827 724
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jake E. Lee Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
+ - 638 761
Vivian Campbell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Vivian Campbell Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

32
+ - 961 628
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
+ - 912 830
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

34
+ - 1,101 900
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

35
+ - 764 1,076
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
+ - 817 733
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

37
+ - 787 277
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

38
+ - 465 288
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
K. K. Downing Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

39
+ - 735 936
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

40
+ - 995 428
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

41
+ - 721 690
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jason Becker Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

42
+ - 612 807
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

43
+ - 324 308
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Billy Gibbons Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time The Best Movies Based on Marvel Comics

44
+ - 516 718
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

45
+ - 503 299
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Stevie Ray Vaughan Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

46
+ - 976 360
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

47
+ - 517 733
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

48
+ - 469 681
Warren DeMartini is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Warren DeMartini Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

49
+ - 512 710
Nuno Bettencourt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Nuno Bettencourt Glam metal, Rock music, Funk metal

50
+ - 522 231
Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray Heavy metal, Jazz, Progressive rock