musicians The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams  

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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
3,090 1,290
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

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2
2,685 1,561
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
2,836 1,036
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
2,534 1,385
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
2,170 1,176
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
2,725 1,345
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
1,810 1,100
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
2,908 1,442
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
1,992 1,467
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,786 1,209
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
1,832 942
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing

12
2,284 1,444
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

13
1,813 977
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
2,756 1,322
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

15
1,825 1,268
Angus & Malcolm Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young

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16
1,934 1,080
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
1,646 1,046
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
2,014 879
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
2,128 957
Dave Mustaine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Heavy metal

20
1,158 909
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

21
1,457 851
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
1,040 926
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Lifeson Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

23
1,403 1,205
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

24
898 926
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
838 856
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
George Lynch Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

26
1,906 288
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 26 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 ...

27
1,015 669
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

28
859 757
Jake E. Lee is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jake E. Lee Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

29
1,144 932
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

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30
1,236 866
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

31
730 829
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Rot... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth

32
657 795
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
811 1,124
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
848 762
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

35
831 297
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

36
498 306
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
765 972
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

38
359 327
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Billy Gibbons Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

39
1,009 455
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

40
744 711
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jason Becker Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

41
640 837
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
545 741
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

43
482 704
Warren DeMartini is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Warren DeMartini Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

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44
511 145
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal

45
985 385
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

46
412 511
Matthias Jabs is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
DebbyHood added Matthias Jabs Heavy metal, Hard rock

47
630 606
Jerry Cantrell is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jerry Cantrell Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

48
549 224
Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

49
536 762
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Perry & Brad Whitford

50
756 645
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson