Metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
199.9k votes 15k voters 182k views 231 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. 

1
3,438 1,580
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
3,033 1,794
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
3,140 1,245
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
2,885 1,592
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
2,033 1,273
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
3,122 1,498
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
2,374 1,369
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
3,312 1,621
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
2,264 1,687
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,983 1,341
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
2,018 1,076
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
2,006 1,084
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
3,081 1,417
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

14
2,051 1,424
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

14 Practical Jokes Gone Horribly Wrong

15
2,591 1,597
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

16
2,179 1,192
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
1,822 1,159
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
2,200 951
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,276 995
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,372 1,023
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
1,632 931
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

Best Metal Bands From The American South

22
1,596 1,312
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
1,162 1,018
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
1,003 1,011
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
957 341
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
1,948 377
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
1,160 747
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
1,350 921
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

The Best Heavy Metal Songs Of 2018

29
953 817
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
936 916
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
1,239 990
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
928 808
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
785 889
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
723 855
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
599 342
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

The Best Broadway Shows Right Now

36
899 1,252
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
795 762
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
760 763
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
630 810
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
642 260
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

41
836 1,065
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

42
709 905
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

Every Song in Waitress (the Musical), Ranked by Singability

43
428 372
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
554 745
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
1,040 503
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
607 171
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

47
1,007 437
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

48
617 678
Tom Morello is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Tom Morello Rock music, Acoustic music, Heavy metal

49
699 394
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
707 643
Jerry Cantrell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jerry Cantrell Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock