metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
197.8k votes 14.8k voters 180.7k views 227 items

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
3,390 1,558
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

2
2,990 1,770
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
3,108 1,222
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
2,846 1,566
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
2,012 1,245
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

6
3,078 1,482
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
2,354 1,348
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ritchie Blackmore Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

8
3,262 1,604
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dimebag Darrell Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

9
2,235 1,657
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,960 1,325
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
1,999 1,063
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
1,992 1,071
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

13
3,045 1,403
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

14
2,025 1,405
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

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15
2,561 1,573
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

16
2,149 1,178
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
1,810 1,143
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
2,178 942
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,264 982
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,341 1,014
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
1,612 921
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

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22
1,574 1,293
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

23
1,142 1,009
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
992 1,000
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

25
943 334
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

26
1,943 365
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
1,145 736
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
1,333 911
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

29
944 807
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jake E. Lee Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

30
925 908
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
George Lynch Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

31
1,227 983
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

32
919 801
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

33
777 879
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

34
718 845
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
589 337
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
K. K. Downing Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

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36
889 1,242
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
792 756
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jason Becker Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

38
749 747
Prince is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JosephPampani added Prince Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

39
621 799
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

40
706 895
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

41
631 255
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

42
823 1,055
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

The Best Metal Albums of 2018

43
420 369
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

44
547 741
Warren DeMartini is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Warren DeMartini Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

45
1,037 499
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

46
1,006 432
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
610 667
Tom Morello is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Tom Morello Rock music, Acoustic music, Heavy metal

48
598 170
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
693 390
Gary Moore is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
ScottJaniak-Ross added Gary Moore Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

50
700 637
Jerry Cantrell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jerry Cantrell Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock