Metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
204.1k votes 15.3k voters 183.9k views 238 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
3,501 1,618
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
3,098 1,827
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
3,201 1,278
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
2,937 1,629
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
2,067 1,305
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
3,190 1,525
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
3,370 1,647
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
2,406 1,399
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ritchie Blackmore Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

9
2,309 1,722
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
2,014 1,369
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
3,127 1,439
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

12
2,642 1,624
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

13
2,049 1,100
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
2,037 1,107
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

15
2,103 1,445
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

16
2,221 1,211
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
1,852 1,184
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
2,230 969
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,298 1,012
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,408 1,041
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
1,668 944
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

22
1,626 1,334
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
1,194 1,033
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
1,022 1,030
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
974 358
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
1,191 761
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
1,951 397
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 27 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 ...

28
1,366 939
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

29
971 833
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
955 932
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
1,247 1,009
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
942 819
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
795 905
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
733 871
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
612 356
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

36
919 1,270
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
806 777
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
779 785
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
655 273
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

40
642 829
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

41
850 1,082
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

42
448 385
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

43
719 919
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

44
563 758
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
800 695
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson

46
1,047 519
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

47
626 183
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

48
1,010 451
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

49
626 692
Tom Morello is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Tom Morello Rock music, Acoustic music, Heavy metal

50
711 406
Gary Moore is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
ScottJaniak-Ross added Gary Moore Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music