Music

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
242.8k votes 18.1k voters 197.9k views 234 items

List Rules Only metal guitarists or guitar tandems. Guitarists from other genres shouldn't be included, but given the crossover between hard rock and metal, hard rock players are allowed.

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. 
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page.
list ordered by
1
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal
2
Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal
3
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal
4
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music
5
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock
6
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music
7
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock
8
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal
9
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal
10
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield
11
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock
12
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young
13
Slash is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal
14
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman
15
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing
16
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock
17
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock
18
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith
19
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion
20
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Hard rock
21
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock
22
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock
23
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock
24
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock
25
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman