guitarists The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Originally by
177.6k votes 13.0k voters 168.4k views 217 items 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. 
list ordered by

1
3,041 1,252
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 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

2
2,637 1,530
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
2,789 1,008
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
2,493 1,353
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
2,145 1,148
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
2,673 1,312
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
2,834 1,420
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
1,780 1,073
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
1,962 1,442
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,753 1,190
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Yngwie Malmsteen Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

11
2,236 1,415
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

12
2,699 1,312
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

13
1,803 928
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

14
1,792 1,253
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

15
1,787 959
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 Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
1,905 1,060
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
1,617 1,032
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
1,982 871
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
2,094 943
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

20
1,142 895
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

21
1,277 1,094
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
1,435 834
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

23
1,023 907
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Lifeson Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

24
1,374 1,191
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
880 906
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
1,897 270
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Walkingdeads added 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 ...

27
991 654
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

28
829 845
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
George Lynch Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

29
1,125 920
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

The Best Guitar Teams Common Phrases That Are Literally Antiquated

30
846 747
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
726 816
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

32
1,213 855
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

33
942 853
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
650 785
Vivian Campbell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Vivian Campbell Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

35
829 755
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

36
794 1,106
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

37
541 312
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Randy Manuel added Stevie Ray Vaughan Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

38
810 292
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

39
482 301
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
K. K. Downing Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

40
752 963
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

41
1,003 444
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

42
734 705
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jason Becker Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

43
630 827
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time The Best Mystery Novels

44
345 323
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Billy Gibbons Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

45
532 733
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

46
981 376
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

47
536 216
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

48
496 141
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

49
529 752
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

50
748 639
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson