metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
3,308 1,454
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
2,885 1,698
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
3,031 1,158
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
2,755 1,508
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
2,304 1,299
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
2,954 1,442
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
1,950 1,192
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Steve Vai Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

8
3,158 1,552
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
2,170 1,592
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,958 1,022
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
1,900 1,295
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
1,968 1,362
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

13
1,932 1,045
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
2,960 1,377
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
2,488 1,525
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

16
1,760 1,109
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
2,090 1,136
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
2,132 918
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,237 956
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,274 994
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
1,564 893
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 Toaster Strudel Flavors of All Time

22
1,527 1,250
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
1,110 984
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
958 978
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
1,934 334
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
1,098 707
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
916 786
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
896 890
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
907 318
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
1,201 962
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
1,308 894
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

32
702 826
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
768 860
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
867 1,192
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
889 788
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

The Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

36
559 326
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
776 741
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
707 716
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
599 776
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
802 1,024
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

41
681 873
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

42
405 350
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Billy Gibbons Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

The Best Metal Albums of 2018

43
604 244
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

44
526 726
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
1,032 483
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
1,002 415
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
586 644
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
675 375
Gary Moore is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
ScottJaniak-Ross added Gary Moore Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

49
562 165
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

50
559 794
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford