Musicians The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
219.2k votes 16.1k voters 189k views 258 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. 
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list ordered by

1
3,703 1,736
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
3,251 1,982
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

3
3,394 1,370
Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

4
3,090 1,766
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

5
2,194 1,431
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

6
3,348 1,631
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

7
3,561 1,765
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

8
2,530 1,492
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music

9
2,441 1,887
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
2,115 1,483
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

11
3,313 1,535
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

12
2,184 1,161
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

13
2,806 1,750
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

14
2,173 1,170
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

15
2,209 1,561
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

16
2,009 1,237
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

17
2,343 1,310
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

18
1,370 1,098
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Hard rock

19
2,325 1,053
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

20
2,561 1,120
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

21
1,791 981
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

22
1,732 1,431
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

23
1,291 1,076
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

24
1,074 1,113
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

25
1,306 806
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock