Metal The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
207.5k votes 15.4k voters 184.9k views 257 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. 
list ordered by

1
3,545 1,636
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
3,122 1,868
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
3,242 1,293
Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

4
2,971 1,659
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal

5
2,097 1,331
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

6
3,233 1,540
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

7
3,398 1,675
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

8
2,434 1,419
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
2,336 1,758
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
2,030 1,399
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

11
3,151 1,470
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

12
2,080 1,114
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
2,666 1,660
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

14
2,072 1,124
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

15
2,120 1,478
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

16
2,242 1,241
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Groove metal, Heavy metal, Southern rock

17
1,888 1,195
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

18
2,250 994
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
1,312 1,040
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Hard rock

20
2,427 1,067
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

21
1,698 950
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

22
1,639 1,357
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

23
1,218 1,042
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

24
1,030 1,049
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

25
991 372
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
1,214 770
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

27
1,959 413
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Walkingdeads added 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
1,377 957
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

29
973 937
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

30
977 849
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
1,257 1,024
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

32
957 824
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

33
801 918
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
739 883
Vivian Campbell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

35
622 364
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

36
931 1,284
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

37
812 789
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

38
790 803
Prince is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JosephPampani added Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

39
464 390
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

40
665 284
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

41
650 842
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

42
729 926
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

43
859 1,097
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

44
570 767
Warren DeMartini is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

45
805 706
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson

46
1,053 530
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

47
636 193
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

48
1,013 462
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

49
633 707
Tom Morello is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rock music, Acoustic music, Heavy metal

50
717 416
Gary Moore is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
ScottJaniak-Ross added Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music