Music

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 22, 2020 255.3k votes 18.9k voters 202.2k views 210 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. 
list ordered by
1
Tony Iommi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
2
Randy Rhoads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
3
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
4
Dave Mustaine & Mart... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman
5
Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
6
Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
7
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
8
Zakk Wylde is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
9
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
10
Dave Murray & Adrian... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith
11
Glen Tipton & K.K. D... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing
12
Ritchie Blackmore is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
13
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
14
Kirk Hammett & James... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield
15
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
16
Steve Vai is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
17
Angus & Malcolm Youn... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Angus & Malcolm Young
18
Yngwie Malmsteen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
19
Slash is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
20
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
21
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
22
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
23
Kerry King & Jeff Ha... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman
24
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Walkingdeads added
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 on this guy but everywhere else in the world does & his influence is on much of the metal coming out for years.  
25
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams