guitarists 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
3,061 1,270
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
2,651 1,542
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
2,804 1,018
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
2,504 1,365
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
2,154 1,158
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
2,696 1,323
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
1,793 1,079
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
2,861 1,428
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
1,972 1,449
Slash is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Slash Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal

10
1,764 1,194
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
1,813 931
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
1,791 962
Joe Satriani is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Joe Satriani Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal

13
2,254 1,426
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield

14
2,721 1,315
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman

15
1,805 1,258
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
1,912 1,067
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
1,624 1,039
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
1,996 872
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Dave Murray & Adrian Smith

19
2,108 945
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
1,147 896
Michael Schenker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Michael Schenker Heavy metal, Hard rock

21
1,280 1,099
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

22
1,444 838
John Petrucci is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
John Petrucci Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion

23
1,027 913
Alex Lifeson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Alex Lifeson Heavy metal, Progressive rock, Hard rock

24
1,384 1,193
Kirk Hammett is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kirk Hammett Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

25
884 913
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

26
832 845
George Lynch is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
George Lynch Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

27
1,901 271
Jeff Waters is listed (or ranked) 27 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 ...

28
849 748
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
997 659
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
da54 added David Gilmour Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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30
1,133 920
Chuck Schuldiner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Chuck Schuldiner Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

31
728 816
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
1,221 855
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman

33
946 856
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

34
652 786
Vivian Campbell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Vivian Campbell Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Blues-rock

35
797 1,112
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
835 755
Paul Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Paul Gilbert Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Instrumental rock

37
817 293
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Adrian Smith & Dave Murray Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal

38
545 314
Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Randy Manuel added Stevie Ray Vaughan Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

39
487 301
K. K. Downing is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
K. K. Downing Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

40
1,004 444
Criss Oliva is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
JaimeVargas added Criss Oliva Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

41
756 966
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

42
739 705
Jason Becker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Jason Becker Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal

43
349 324
Billy Gibbons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Billy Gibbons Blues-rock, Pop music, Boogie rock

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44
633 830
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Pete Townshend Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat

45
536 735
Mick Mars is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Mick Mars Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

46
478 697
Warren DeMartini is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Warren DeMartini Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

47
983 376
Chris Caffery is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
NannyGreebos added Chris Caffery Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

48
542 216
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
410 503
Matthias Jabs is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
DebbyHood added Matthias Jabs Heavy metal, Hard rock

50
499 141
Marty Friedman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams
Edwin Kruize added Marty Friedman Glam metal, J-pop, Heavy metal