metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
196.7k votes 14.7k voters 180k 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
3,372 1,537
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
2,967 1,758
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
3,098 1,206
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
2,827 1,555
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
3,056 1,472
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

6
2,002 1,234
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

7
2,347 1,335
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
3,236 1,593
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
2,223 1,645
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,992 1,052
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

11
1,950 1,320
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Yngwie Malmsteen Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

12
2,011 1,395
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

13
1,980 1,065
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

14
3,031 1,397
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

15
2,546 1,563
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

16
1,803 1,138
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Brian May Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

17
2,132 1,171
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Zakk Wylde Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

18
2,169 938
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,263 977
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,330 1,010
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
1,605 915
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

The Best Qualities in a Person

22
1,567 1,283
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
1,137 1,004
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
987 995
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
1,942 358
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 25 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 ...

26
1,135 729
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

27
938 802
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jake E. Lee Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

28
918 905
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

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

29
935 331
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

30
1,225 978
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

31
1,330 905
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

32
716 839
Vivian Campbell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Vivian Campbell Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

33
913 797
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

34
773 875
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

35
883 1,232
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

Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

36
584 333
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
K. K. Downing Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

37
788 751
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
747 737
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
618 793
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
702 889
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
820 1,047
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

42
626 252
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

The Best Metal Albums of 2018

43
416 363
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
542 737
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
1,037 493
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
1,006 425
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
606 661
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
590 169
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
690 385
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
698 632
Jerry Cantrell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jerry Cantrell Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock