Best Metal Guitarists

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The Top Ten

Dave Mustaine
Dave was one of the pioneers of metal. His invention of the spider rhythm technique and his blistering solos inspired a generation. His solos are inventive, melodic and suit the songs perfectly. Dave has got to be the king!
Dave Mustaine is truly talented and truly the best. Most people forget that not only is he playing masterpieces, but he is also singing. He is WAY BETTER than Kirk Hammett. Kirk is better at playing other people's songs than his own. But Dave is better on his own AND other people's songs. Dave should be number one. No doubt about it. I bet if Metallica didn't kick out Dave, they wouldn't have any challenge. They would be a mono
Mustaine puts so much energy into his riffs, you can't deny he's one of the best. His solos blow your mind with his technical playing style.
[Newest]Can you put a price on peace"?
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2Kirk Hammett
He rocks when plays guitar. He plays leading over and above our expectations that makes us proud that we are his fans. When he plays fade to black, nothing else matters, I like his style of playing guitar lead whether he taps or treks. Fade to black lead is one f my favorite leads he have played. His Esp guitar is very rocking. I also like his hair style. I think nobody can stand in front of him, when he performs.
Maybe not the fastest or the most technical guitar player arround. But Kirk is a great composer and he plays with lots of feeling, passion and dedication. He really mean what he's playing!

He also has a strong personality and he plays the music he want, the way he want, respecting his own style, no matter what other people say.
Thats the true spirit of metal!
Kirk Hammett joined Metallica in 1983 when Dave Mustaine was kicked out of the band because of his aggressive behaviour and drug abuse... Known for his confidence and passion while playing, Kirk always uses wah-wah pedal in his solos leaving everyone amazed and jealous of him... Although playing with less technique than Dave Mustaine but with more certainty and dedication, Kirk is considered to be much better than Dave... LOVE YOU MY MASTER
[Newest]I wouldn't have him in top 10. Maybe top 20 though.
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3Dimebag Darrell
dimebag should be number 1 no other guitarist can do or could do what he did he's the best end of story
Dimebag saved Heavy Metal.. Literally! More than once, with PanterA!
Even Dave Mustaine wanted him in Megadeth..
Kirk is just good.. Without the wah wah pedal, he would be nothing! James Hetfield is better than Kirk!
You just can't say anything bad about him, he had every thing, he could play fast techniques like no one could, and seriously I never heard someone play with so much feel.
Rip dimebag the best guitarist ever was we all love and miss you
[Newest]Should be #1, he had a unique sound and saved metal in general during the 90's. Also Dimebag has a lot more talent when it comes to playing guitar compared to Kirk Hammet and Dave Mustaine. I have a HUGE amount of respect for Kirk and Dave, but in all fairness, Darrell Lance Abbot (Dimebag Darrell) was more skilled than Dave Mustaine and Kirk Hammet put together!
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4Synyster Gates
He's the most talented guitarist on the planet who has achieved this huge spot in a very young age. I bet in the upcoming few years he will be the number one in the greatest guitarists ever as he is number one in best metal/rock guitarist. His solos are full of feelings and creativity. This century has come for him.
Additionally, he is the most good looking guitarist ever... No offense!
If I'd make a list syn wouldn't be in top 10. He is not bad, he is just not "the best" glenn tipton or darrell deserves the title. Best guitarist ever is jimmy page or David gilmour.
He playing very good in no matter type of music such as acoustic, solo, metal, rock and etc... He can play it better...
... Dave and kirk plays greatly, yet this guy can play better... Try listening to any song by the avenged sevenfold.. All have great instrumentals..
[Newest]That guy puts me to sleep
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5Randy Rhoads
He's the best. Those two at the top are metal Gods but more so with a complete band this is about best guitarist. You're confusing the two.

This just demonstrates the folly of democracy. Either those who have voted for other guitarists have not listened to Randy Rhoads, or have rooted themselves in denial that any guitarist outside their obscure (probably destructive) taste could be any good. Randy Rhoads is the best metal guitarist because he doesn't play metal for the sake of metal. He plays music for the sake of music, and luckily for metalheads, he just happens to play metal. Maybe other guitarists are better at playing pretentiously technical arrangements on guitar in a metal format, but none are better at playing music in a metal format... Than the legendary Randy Rhoads.
Randy Rhoads could have use Kirk, Mustaine and Gates as his guitar pick

They are good. But, Randy is GOD...

[Newest]The only thing better than han solo is a randy rhoads solo
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6John Petrucci
Hands down the best Guitarist on this list easily! Kurt Hammett at #1? What a joke... He couldn't stand toe to toe with John Petrucci on Kurts best day and John sick with the flu in bed!
All in one... this man is an monster... No one here even close! he has study, feeling, experience and technics... all in one definitely
This guy play anything! He's probably the one who have the best technique.
[Newest]He not only plays fast... he adds something unimaginable to the song that they compose... True guitar genius :-)
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7Tony Iommi
Acts such as Cream, King Crimson, and Blue Cheer helped reshape rock music. However, it was not until Black Sabbath's arrival onto the budding heavy rock scene that the face of music would be changed forever. Tony Iommi took the blueprint set before by other musicians and added heavier distortion, lightning-fast solos, and killer riffs. Mixed with the gloomy and depressive lyrics of Geezer Butler (Geezer also gets credit for being one of the most creative bass players in heavy metal history), the wailing vocals of Ozzy Osbourne, and the pummeling drumming of Bill Ward the result was that of an unorthodox rock machine that favored dark topics of obscure over the optimism of the hippy-era. And the driving force behind the band's songs were Iommi's riffs.

Songs featuring notable riffs of Iommi: Black Sabbath, N. I. B. , War Pigs, Paranoid, Iron Man, Electric Funeral, Sweet Leaf, Children of the Grave, Lord of this World, Into the Void, Wheels of Confusion, Supernaut, Snowblind, Under the Sun, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, A National Acrobat, Hole in the Sky, Symptom of the Universe, Megalomania, etc.
The fact that Tony Iommi and his sledgehammer riffs aren't at the top of this list is practically spitting in the face of heavy metal. Iommi and his guitar practically created heavy metal. Any guitarist on this list would more than likely say Iommi influenced them in one way or another.


This guy and Black sabbath basically created metal. During Sabbath's early days, Iommi realized that people payed money to watch horror movies, so he had the idea to start writing scary music with the band. His slow, kick ass riffs defined the tone of metal... He is the master of tritones and syncopation. I mean, just listen to the riffs in children of the grave, N.I.B, black sabbath, iron man, paranoid, and sweet leaf... And the solos in iron man, black sabbath, war pigs, and children of the grave


[Newest]Dude tony in Sabbath bloody Sabbath rocked
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8Alexi Laiho
Hey, whoever made this is kind of stupid I guess. Alexi and all the guitar player listed here are just like listed the lord and slaves. He alexi are far higher than all of them.
Just go and watch cob live in Stockholm guys...
And for those who vote for kirk, go and read his interviews about the best guitarist of world! He himself said alexi.. Forgive me for my english

This one should be voted number 1 because alexi was really fast. Just listen the song : Needle 24 7, every time I die. It has very fast guitar shred
[Newest]AlexI rules all the way
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9Dave Murray
This guy can play! That's the main thing you need to know...


Dave Murray should have been replaced with dave mustaine. It is sure that Iron Maiden is one of the best metal band of all time. Also known as NWOBHM. And the guitarists play the main role in metal songs. Dave Murray is a hero.
It's not about being the fastest, or heaviest guitar player. Rhodes would probably get my pick for best player of his time, but if you're talking longevity, there are not many that can compete with Murray for his amazing technical skill and memorable riffs. Not only that, but to be that consistently great for over 3 decades of kick-ass metal, is outstanding and noteworthy in its own right.
[Newest]Just he can do it all with a guitar just give him it and watch

10James Hetfield
this is totally unfair, james wrote all metallica's guitar parts and kirk just stood on stage and only played guitar solos
I like James the best because he comes up with legendary riffs and he can still play amazing solos even though he isn't the lead guitarist. He plays the ballad solo in to live is to die, the bluesy solo in master of puppets, the last solo in one and harmonizes with kirk in a lot of other songs.
If anyone on this list actually heard him play hard wasn't playing his usual backup, Then he would have made the list. I've heard him let loose and he's one hell of a guitar player. Remember, its not about how fast you can play, its about what you play and how intricate it is. Not only did he write most of the riffs for his music but he has an agreement with his manager that he MUST be recorded whenever he picks up a guitar, because of his creativity and natural talent he always comes up with new material every time he plays.
[Newest]Heh! I hate his playing
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The Contenders

11Marty Friedman
If we would play a mindgame and say Friedman would have been in Metallica and Hammett would have been the lead guitarist in Megadeth than Marty would be on top with a rate of maybe 40% maybe less maybe more neverless doesn't matter, but he would be for sure on top. And if Kirk Hammett would be at Megadeth. It could have been the way that nearly no one even had voted for him. What I want to say is that Kirk just benefits in his votes by being a part of Metallica while Friedman isn't appreciated so much, even though his lead play is unique and way more harder to copy. I play the electric guitar for 19 years now and I am playing a lot of Solos of both bands, but when I play Martys solos I have to practice parts of them so often because they contain a way of playing you can't just learn like a typical solo, ok hard to explain here for a non solo guitarist, but I can tell you I am very very good in guitar playing and it is still so hard for me to learn martys solos, because your fingers have always to be in perfect position. While when I play Kirks its more like when they are in your mind you got them, sure Kirks got something special as well, but not as special as Friedmans. It is hard to understand if you can't play such speed, but it is really amazing how Martys solos are. He plays such hard stuff and it still sounds so powerful. I don't want to underestimate Kirks playing but Friedman has so much talent; Megadeth never would have had such good Albums, like they got today without Friedman.
Marty Friedman can kick all of their ass. 'Cause he has really a awesome technique. He can play fast and meaningful solos with no mistake
Mustaine the best metal guitarist? Far from it. He isn't even the best in his own band.

And I love Metallica (still my favorite of the "big 4" but Marty Friedman is a better guitarist than Kirk Hammet.


[Newest]The exotic wizardry that Marty puts into every solo cannot be matched. Best lead player ever!
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Even though he's NOT ACTUALLY A METAL GUITARIST he has an amazing sense of improvisation and melody, and sounds a hell of a lot better than the pick-thrashing that is played by metal artists nowadays
Slash is probably the best technician after Jimi Hendrix, and he is a important part of one of the best bands ever.. So, my vote goes to him.. My favorites are also Dimebag, Iommi and Hammet, though there are too many good guitar player, so in a probably in the next ten minutes I'll change my mind, and I'll say 'I forgot some excellent guitarist'.
The best guitarist is always and will always him. He Was AWESOME, no one can't beat him. He stunned us when he enter the fields.
[Newest]Putting slash as no.12 is total madness

13Chuck Schuldiner
Synsyter Gates? Really? All those solos are like the same, only fast shredding, no creativity, no meaning of the solo, nothing. Chuck Schuldiner should be at least in the top five, his solos are legendary and memorable. Listen to solos in the symbolic album for instance (crystal mountain, misanthrope etc)
Chuck needs to be at least in the top 10 he may not be the best shredder like Randy Rhoads but his songwriting is unmatched. I'm sick of these posers who think sinister gates is a god at everything on a guitar and for the record avenged sevenfold isn't even a metal band.

Why is Chuck not at least number ten? He might not have sold as well as Metallica or Megadeth, but his legacy was HUGE! He may have single-handedly created the entire Death Metal genre, thus inspiring countless musicians, including myself.
His writing and playing skill was no joke either.


[Newest]Put it like this, he was so good he essentially created his own genre.
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14Eddie Van Halen
Best on the list, Van Halen live was awesome No others could hold a candle to this man.
Should have been in the Top Ten.
Set the standard for heavy metal Guitarist!
Probably the most copied guitarist ever
Eruption is an epic song. End of story.
Why is Eddie at 25th? I respect Kirk and Slash and all the others, but Eddie Van Halen is the real deal, the original.
[Newest]Not a metal guitarist.

15Zakk Wylde
Few guitarists can take the pentatonic scale as far as zakk. Epics like no more tears and mama I'm coming home had just perfect solos. One thing he lacks with is grooving with a drummer. He seems to work more off a bass player, in other words the riffs aren't fun to listen to. Zakk has started slacking the last few years, but hell we all get old.. But his stage precense is unmatched by anyone. Rockstars typically are short so seeing a large muscular Viking is epic all by itself.
zakk is the best guitarist of the world is fast & have the best sound


He's the best Soloplayer ever. He plays the best solos with god pinch harmonics. Its greater then Randy Roads. He's plays fantastic on Ozzy - No More Tears. He is the guitar god
[Newest]What? The crap that is synyster gates made it on the lists and zakk Wylde didn't! Whats the world coming to

16Steve Belong
He's not famous but is definitely worthy of being on the list. He's a seriously high octane guitarist, very fast and articulate. All of the technical skills are there : Scaling, Sweep Picking, Tapping, String Skipping, Harmonizing, Legato, etc, but he also possesses a fantastic sense of melody and emotion.

17Adrian Smith
His melodic riffs make Maiden music the great metal materpieces that they are!
His solo in wasted years, alexander the great, caught somewhere in time, powerslave and countless others are more memorable than those played by Herman Li. Speed does not make you a great guitarist, it is the feel of the music that makes you great. P. S Kirk Hammett deserves top 5, Listen to Fade to Black. SMith and Murray should be in top 15 at least.
When Adrian Smith joined Iron Maiden, he formed a partnership with Dave Murray that became one of the most impressive yet underrated in metal history. The styles of the two guitarists formed the riffs and solos of some of the most influential and ground breaking songs in metal history - (Hallowed be Thy Name, The Trooper and Aces High) to name a few.
[Newest]I love iron maiden songs and It wouldn't happen without the guitarist. So go Adrian

18Steve Vai
Steve vai is one of the greatest legend guitarist of all time!
He is obvious amazing guitar hero in new generation and forever.
Nobody is compare with steve vai skills except his master joe satriani.
Steve Vai is one of those who has influenced me deeply. He is a God's incarnation. Nobody's skills are meant to be compared to his. His solos are just to incredible.
.. Best tone comming out of his fingers... Passion, creativity, control, shredding skills, humor.. All on highest level!
[Newest]Simply amazing. What else is there to say.

19Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page is the reason that most kids have picked up a guitar in the first place. He is the god of the fretboard, without denial. I think that he should easily be at #1!
I changed my mind as an atheist when I first heard Jimmy Page's guitar playing. Since then I believe in the god of guitars.
Jimmy is the best!
[Newest]He is not a metal guitarist

20Daron Malakian
Why System of a Down is just so awesome. Listen to the intro of B.Y.O.B. and the solo in Lonely Day and tell me that isn't good. Did I forget to mention he's kinda cute?
After a very long debate with myself I decided that the solo in Lonely Day is the fastest I've heard. Its not that long, its not like the typical solo, but it is the fastest


Every riff this guy creates is just SO brilliant. Listen to System of a Down!
[Newest]His guitar solo of psycho is so awesome!

21Yngwie Malmsteen
While ironically beat at his own invention by Glenn, this man is still the next best sweep picker. His shred arpeggio's are hard to beat, but he doesn't experiment much so I ranked him down a bit. After Randy and Ritchie invented Neo-classical metal, Yngwie invented the sweep pick and developed the genres true stylistic sound.


I love this guy! I have ADD and drinks pots of coffee so I need a guy that plays like this! Thanks Yngwie!
Yngwie is the King! A big plus besides his musical geniality and technical skills is that he is mostly inspired by the greatest and most influential composer of all time Johann Sebastian Bach.

22Mick Thompson
mick's shredding skills, guitar design, and sheer amazing riffs should put him as number one
He's simply outstanding and is one of my favorite guitarists. He should be rated in the top ten list
Just listen to before I forget. Better than any modern guitarists, although dave mustaine is just the master of the guitar
[Newest]R you kidding. He is the most badass guitarist ever alive

23Jeff Loomis
I know that by best metal guitarist, we are talking about the most influential, skillful and unique players. And while I understand Dave Mustaine's influence on metal (I have all megadeth albums from before 2000) and agree that he is probably the most influential guitarist in metal, I would like to see him cover Miles of Machines.

Jeff Loomis takes inspiration from the likes of Marty Friedman, Jason Becker and in my opinion, is the one of the best metal players to emerge in the 21st century. I don't believe he is the best player in metal, but I don't think he should be as low as 34


Probably one of the most under-appreciated guitarists ever. There is no excuse not to have him in the top 10. He can sweep better than almost anyone (Devil Theory, This Godless Endeavor), has written some of the best riffs I've ever heard and most of all isn't just a mindless shredder like so many.
Incredibly underrated and overlooked. Amazing arpeggios, especially diminished arps. He could run circles around every player in the top 10... even the robot known as Petrucci.


[Newest]I have heard songs of all of the above artists and there is NO ONE who can play as fast as clean or as precise as Loomis.. I really don't understand how he is not known by more people.. he is definitely THE MOST talented and creative song writer and performer EVER!

24Jeff Hanneman
Jeff hanneman should be in the top 10 he wrote pretty much every song slayer has and he just really great I think Kerry is just a little overrated
85 you gotta be joking Hanneman is easily number two while Mustaine is number one
Jeff & King are in my top 10! Reign in blood is my all time favorite album!
[Newest]21?! He should be At least in the Top 5. Safe to say is that he is definitely better than Kirk Hammett!

25Kerry King
This freaks me out that Kerry King isn't listed as one of the best guitarist in the world. Who plays faster, tighter, and cleaner than him. Whether you listen to him live or recorded you cannot tell the difference. Slayer has 3 of the best musicians in metal/thrash. King, Hannemin and Lombardo.
1. The speed he plays at is nothing compared to countless other guitarists, he doesn't even sweep pick 2. His solos are atonal and pretty much display no talent at all whatsoever, it is just him mindlessly moving his fingers while abusing his whammy
Slayers lead guitarist. I don't even know how they get through an entire set list at the rate they play.


Kerry King is a boss, he has executed some of the greatest riffs of all time.
[Newest]I think a lot of people have serious brain damage for Kerry f@$! Ing king to be so far down this list
I think you have serious brain damage to even consider Kerry King a good guitarist, much less one of the top 100's.

26Glenn Tipton
Glenn Tipton should be first, he plays at a level that no one else can play at he's better than hammet and mustaine for sure his best solos are ram it down painkiller touch of evil and there are a lot more good solos to and his best riffs are touch of evil painkiller breaking the law and there also a lot more
Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing are two of the best metal guitarists out there. How these two, and Richie Blackmore, aren't in the top ten just boggles my mind. How can you have Synyster Gates as #3, but not even include the people he was influenced by in the top 10? I mean, good god, Judas Priest were one of the bands that synthesized Black Sabbath and Deep Purple into its fiery and chaotic self. Especially on the album Painkiller. I find myself just continuing to skip back to the solo on the title track just to hear the whole thing another time. Very fast, very talented, and very underrated on this list.
Whoo.. I've to actually move down to 28 to get glenn tripton... You guys are really metal fans out here? And I guess glenn and kk downing should be together,... I don't even see tony iiomi... Oh god these three happen to be the starters of heavy metal and they aren't in the top... Shame on heavy metal... Go listen to adele
[Newest]Tipton & Downing could easily crush most of the guitarists above them with their blindingly fast & technical riffs & solos. Both must be in the top 5.

27Joe Satriani
I also am quite surprised not to find Joe Satriani in your top ten, but then he's never really played in any real popular bands. Always the lone wolf. However that may be, He is definitely up there with the best of them. He and John Petrucci of Dream Theatre and Liquid Tension Experiment are two of my most favorite guitar players in the world that I can listen to anytime day or night.
Yeah, not many kids know who he is, granted. I'm 14 and know who he is and how amazing of a guitarist he is. So not many kids know him, but remember this is a METAL guitarist list, and Joe isn't really metal. That said, as an overall guitarist, Joe should be number 1
mah. none of these kids even know who joe is. if they did, he'd be #1 for sure. he's not "the guitar god" for nothing
[Newest]Joe is one of the best. I'm really surprised to not see his presence in your list of the top ten.

28Mikael Akerfeldt
The range of this guy! From acoustic, to jazzy, to the heaviest death metal riffs & solo's, this guy has written & played it all! And while the above guitarists are technically equals (maybe), they cannot put the same amount of feeling into the music that Mikael can. From sadness to brutality, his guitar playing has it all. His solo's are among the best ever written.
This guy has dedicated his heart and soul into whatever he writes. He definitely deserves to be in top 10 and in my opinion number 1. I never used to listen to death metal until I listened to opeth. None of the guitarists in this list have the creativity that this guy has. Of course I like dave, kirk, hetfield and many others but akerfeldt is the best. This man is not getting the respect that he deserves.
He got me into metal in the first place.
He's influenced so many of my composition.
Every time I hear his growls, It raises raises goosebumps over my arms.
If I had to listen to one band forever more, It would be Opeth.
[Newest]Epic guitarist! He also growls and sings beautifully.

29Herman Li
He should be in top 1! You should see the way he played, from: play on the TOP of the neck, play with his tongue, the speed, the effects, and else. Although he was self-thought, but he's very talented. You can hear his solo in "Through The Fire And The Flames" song m/
I love the speed, skill, and the effects of course. Just listen to Dragon Force's song: "Heroes Of Our Time" and "Through The Fire And The Flames"
The fastest and the most melodious guitarist of all time. Plays both the electric and acoustic guitars better than any guitarist.
Heroes of our time, cry for eternity and Through the Fire and Flames shows how good he is.
Should be in top 1.
[Newest]DragonForce is such an underrated band! Listen to songs like through the fire and flames and operation ground and pound and listen the the dueling guitar solos in those songs. I recommend listening this this dude and his band to all you guys

30K.K. Downing
Sophisticated, atmospheric and completely supporting Rob (Priest's vocalist) with out-if-this-world musical riffs. A genious.
K. K Downing is all what you need for metal guitarist, my number one!
What's KK doing down here at #30? I'm pretty sure less than half of these guitarists would be guitarists if he never picked one up. Same thing for Glenn, they should be #1 and #2. Best twin guitar attack ever.
[Newest]Legend! Just behind Glenn...

31Jason Becker
Jason did what Eddie Van Halen did for rock guitar for metal guitar. He took Malmsteen's and Rhoads' technique to the upmost level, and put undeniable passion in every note he played. It is a shame that he was stricken down with ALS. He is the greatest to live.
Jason's Skill was undeniable....anyone who has heard his music should know that it is one of the most amazing things ur ears have ever heard..jason is hands down...the greatest...
Jason Becker was a best guitarist I've ever seen, His guitar playing was unbelievable. He is very good man. If he able to play guitar now than he could be the number 1 guitarist of the world. We love him very much.
[Newest]Not much to say.. Just that he wrote masterpieces even with ALS.

32Matt Tuck
The best metal guitarist ever I've heard. Playing is amazing, singing is fantastic. The metal god, is here. Vote for him guys, don't you like the best guitarist and singer.
What could anyone say ever about his playing and singing. A bit disappointed to see him so down in this list. Maybe the the list is incorrect
Woo Bullet for My Valentine is the best. I don't understand how they can be low on any list! Great riffs and drum beats.
[Newest]He should be number one he is the best out of all of them

33Mark Morton
Starting to sound like a groove metal poll? Mark Morton has never wrote a riff that wasn't heavy, every song stays brutal. As far as rythems I say lamb of god can create more ass kicking mayhem than pantera. Even. Not the memorable soloist petrucci or dimebag are. But still an extremely underrated soloist. Plus he has a sweet beard
The man is a complete legend.
The aggressive feel of the riffs created by mark morton plus the extreme aggressive solos that make Morton to be the best guitarist..
The heaviness of the songs like walk with me in hell, ghost walking, pathetic and many more, is filled with so much anger that anyone no matter he like LOG or not but he will start banging for sure...
Solos created by him are just awesome... They contain a heavy metal feel in them.. Solos like walk with me in hell, grace, ghost walking and many other have made him an outstanding guitarist among all...
He is a legend for sure..
[Newest]Ugh, 34th place, if more people knew about LoG he would definitely be higher. The guy is brutal, I love learning to play LoG songs, more so than Metallica.

34Michael Romeo
One of the most skilled guitarists I've ever listened to. He should work on putting feeling into his playing, but in terms of raw skill he gets a 10. He is definitely in my top 15.
An excellent, well polished guitarist. He's actually a musician I'd consider learning from. His power and skill are wonderful, but he should work on putting feeling into his technique.
One of the absolute best in my opinion. It's a damn shame that he and Gus aren't higher on this list. I look forward to hearing more of his work.
[Newest]An incredibly good musician

35Alex Skolnick
Why is alex at 64? Definitely one of the most diverse guitarists out there, which shows from his soft metal, to death metal, to his jazz trio he is currently part of, not to mention being one of the lead guitarist for the philharmonic orchestra.. Testament!
This man is EVERYTHING a metal guitarist should be. Heavy, melodic, fast, precise, technically sound, innovative and a great song writer. He's way more enjoyable to listen to than many on this list, in my opinion.
One of the greatest guitarists in early thrash metal. He (along with Chuck Billy) put Testament on the map and his skill is widely acknowledged and respected in the thrash scene.


[Newest]I'm quite offended that Skolnick is at 88 while Hammett sits in the top ten.

36Richie Blackmore
The most versatile technical guitarist on this list. A long career writing so many classic riffs, songs and solos. Ritchie really is terribly under valued. He started modern metal with Deep Purple In Rock in 1970, and expanded on that with Made in Japan in 1973. Rainbow Rising is another high point of which there are so many. A true musicians musician and genius. The one and only Man in Black.
This guy needs to be at the very top. Seriously speed does not make you a great guitarist.
Even though speed is not everything, he was the fastest metal guitarist in the 70s! Add to this his superhuman creativity and intricate riffs and solos. All his metal counterparts of the 70s sound very naive and simplistic as compared to him. Definitely he was the best one back then. A true guitar god.


The best guitarist by far! He came up with so many memorable riffs, like Smoke on the Water! Just listen to his solos, he's a guitar god!

37Jim Root
Excellent melody, rhythmic notes. The solos just flow through your ears. Should be at the top with Mick Thomson.
What? HE SHOULD BE ON the TOP HIS SOLOS are not Just Fast but he puts his soul into it. His SOLOS beat overrated guitarists like SYNYSTER GATES. Please vote.
I mean come on guys jim and mick both are excellent guitarist. They deserve to be in the top 10 especially jim he is one of my favourites
[Newest]Great soloist, has great melodic tones and solos

38Paul Gilbert
Agreed most of the people who vote on this list aren't guitarists. Paul gilbert is probably the most under rated guitarist I've heard. Type in scarified on you tube and you'll see why
Paul Gilbert, who teaches music theory and can play any style you can think of. Seriously, if this is a list of 'talent'... Then many of you don't have an ear for Mr. Gilbert. If you're a guitar musician, you know who Paul Gilbert is - period.
[Newest]The most underrated metal guitarist of all time.

39Michael Angelo Batio
You people are crazy! Go listen to his solos and you tell me that he isn't better then kirk. Look up how long he has been playing. Watch his videos and how he plays! Worth it!
When it comes to it, no one can touch MAB. Whether it's super heavy riffs, or blazing solos, he is king!
He should be number one, speed, skill, and technicality, no one close to him, except maybe petrucci.
[Newest]No other man can play a double guitar, shred, or use the over-hand technique like MAB.

40Jeff Waters
Oh I'm shocked he is not in the list. Guys listen to him and you'll know why he is the best.
Mine top 3
1) Dave Mustaine
2) Jeff waters
3) John Petruci


Personally, I think mustaine is the best, but I voted for waters because he is SO underrated, jut listen to W. T. Y. D. And pretty much all of the Alice in hell album, and you'll be convinced he should be in the top 10
The best guitarist on the earth. So much inspirational. Every song he plays is just brilliant. So many riffs, great solo's and the most he is annihilator just as dave is megadeth...
[Newest]The most under-rated guitar virtuose!

41Luke William Fielding
luke william fielding has been very successful in his short but great career. he has come up with solos that i only dream i could play. this man, maybe in a few years, could be compared to the legends of heavy metal guitarist such as dave mustaine, kirk hammett, dimebag darell, kerry king, zakk wylde, eddie van halen, steve vai, buckethead and slash. i dont see why you wouldnt want a true hero to top this list. im not saying that dave mustaine isnt a legend. vote fielding.


I have had the priviledge to see him live and even meet him, he gets my vote and I do believe he is the best metal guitarist in the world but hes quite up himself, needs a personality check


I have heard this man play and sing and think that he is the best I have ever heard in a very long time, come on everyone vote for Luke.
[Newest]His technique and rhythm are second to none, and he continues to produce these insane solos that just blow me away.
The best there is!

42Michael Paget
Great guitarist. Just nails every note perfectly and clearly. Solos are so memorable and with great taste. He's not the most technical guitarist, but is very creative with his leads and riffs. Dude is nasty!
The best one ever my band's lead guitarist is greatly inspired by this young man. I future him and bullet for my valentine will be the best they are improving rapidly and are coming up really great I wish he was there in the top 20s. Anyway he will soon make his way
Paget should be ahead of Matt Tuck. Love ya Matt but this guy shreds for the whole concert! And even shreds for like 10 min by himself in the middle of thr set so the rest of the band can take a break/bear/bong.
[Newest]HIS SOLOS ARE just awesome...

43Michael Amott
Mike Amott is such a passionate guitarist who expresses so much through his guitar playing. He deserves at least a spot in the twenties and above!
Mick amott is the best guitarist of the year 2012! This solo are very expressive! Look the solo of shadow and dust!
Bill steer it's better! And owns carcass

44Matthew Heafy
Matt Heafy unofficially joined Trivium at the age of twelve, but became the official frontman after Brad Lewter, the previous vocalist of Trivium, quit the band shortly after Heafy joined. Heafy assumed responsibility for vocals and the majority of the songwriting. Matt's debut with Trivium included his compositions of "Fugue", "emon", "Requiem", "Sworn", and "The Storm". He has also composed the songs and lyrics for Ember to Inferno and Ascendancy.
Seeing as Corey is higher up on this list. It's Matt's turn to shine. A great riffer, and great at composing driving epics, the reason he is much lower in this list is the fact that he doesn't record any rhythm tracks on trivium records, I have seem them live and he is badass live and could easily record most of the record himself. But since he didn't, he gets the #9 spit. A great lead player, just doesn't always write as interesting leads as Corey. But considering that he does solos, rythems, sings and screams as well as he does at the same time. He definitely redeemed himself enough to get back on this list.
Damn, he is so much better that that Matt Tuck guy.
He is the better Singer, Songwriter and most important: the better Guitarist.
[Newest]Better than almost all of the people above him in this list

45Adam Jones
This guy plays with ridiculous time signatures and focuses on the bands overall sound far more than many on this list.
What a groove player. In front of Danny Carey's drumming and underlining Maynard's vocals, Adam makes tool tick.

46Alex Lifeson
Working Man, 2112 Overture, The Trees, Freewill, Circumstances, Spirit of the Radio, Tom Sawyer, Limelight... Alex' integration of acoustic classical guitar and tight electric within a piece of music make for some of the best rock guitar ever.
One of the most under rated guitar players His guitar playing stands out I'm most of Rush's songs even though he is over shadowed by arguably the best drummer Neil Peart and Bassist Geddy Lee in rock
Most inspiring and complete guitarist of all time. He was already playing better than Jimmy Page on his first album, and continued to evolve his playing to a higher level. Amazing musician.

47Chris Broderick
No one can play so fast, so accurate, and so effortlessly. He looks like he's not even trying, not breaking a sweat. He almost looks bored while playing riffs only a handful of people in the world can even approach. Guys like Mustaine and Dime Bag innovated in ways that we all know, and they are deservedly rated highly, but Broderick is innovating stuff on such a high level, you have to be a pro guitar player yourself to even recognize it.
I highly rate Marty Friedman. But Chris is a better guitar player than Marty Friedman. Chris is the best modern Metal guitarist.
Even if is creation skill is not the best technically he is easily in the top 10 best technical guitarist spot than Hammett can't even be in top 200 we have Mustaine to create awesome riff and lyric and Broderick to play it perfectly

48Tosin Abasi
Guy is amazing, He should be a lot higher and probably will be over time. Not too well known as of yet, but listen to him if you get the chance. He's amazing.
I think he is one of the only modern guitarists that tries to be different.. His playing is just amazing and in a few years he will be well known...
My son just seen this group and got to take a picture with Tosin at their concert in Silver Spring, Md.

49Jani Liimatainen
You know, it saddens me when there are these morons that actually think Kirk Hammett or Dimebag was the greatest, yet when there are so many great underground metal guitarists like Jani Liimatainen who would whoop them! He should be one of the top 10. Along with Mike Davis too, another really underrated guitarist.
Jani friggin' owns. Go listen to FullMoon, Still Loving You, Wolf and Raven... Hell, I could go on for ages... (Just avoid Fade to Black, that's not so good). Sonata Arctica FREAKIN' RULE!
jani is really good... i just wish more ppl would listen to sonata arctica... maybe not the fastest maybe not the best but one of my favourites!!!

50Phil Demmel
Amazing guitarist. Machine head is one of the most underrated metal bands out today. These guys shred. If you need proof look up Halo. Or their cover of hallowed be thy name by iron maiden. And Kirk Hammett at number 2? LOOOL k if we need some good ol simple pentatonic drenched in wah wah I'll call Kirk. Leave the real guitar work to Phil demmel and Dave mustaine B)
Not only guitarist of Machine head, also guitarist of pioneering thrash band Vio-lence.

51Trey Azagthoth
Come on guys. Trey azagthoth is the best death metal guitarist ever. He definitely deserves a place in the top ten list. Hasn't anyone ever heard the brutal riffs he composes? In my opinion he's the best guitarist
Should be in the top 10 easily better than some of the guys in the top ten right now
He is the best death metal guitarist ever. Listen to maze of torment, chapel of ghouls, immortal rites, fall from grace, rapture, angel of disese

Very underrated, and Metallica is my favorite band, yet that doesn't mean Kirk is the best guitarist, he is a little overrated in my opinion...


Puts so much passion into every note, such an amazing player, should be a lot higher on the list
If you have not heard of him check him on you tube you will be blown awy i promise.... simply amazing!!!!
[Newest]Listen too bucketheadland 2 or pikes 97(passageways), and you'll agree he is the best

53Jon Schaffer
Jon Schaffer should be number 1! if not, then at least in the top 10! His left hand and right hand are bionic! He's fast as hell and definitely beats kirk hammet not only does he play monster riffs but also does backing vocals!
People should listen to this guys riffs before voting to anyone else. Voting for Kirk is a joke compared to the quality of other musicians on this list.
Jon Schaffer top 5.
How the hell did Dan Donegan beat Jon Schaffer!? How the hell did Kirk Hammet beat Schaffer! This guy is the riff MASTER, damn it!
[Newest]Jon schaffer its an excellent, composer but don't makes solos all you stupids morons.

54Steve Harris
No one can compete Steve Harris' godlike shredding and epic composition. He makes the guitar literally sing. He is very creative at writing solos. My favorite ones are eruption, creeping death, holy wars... The punishment due, the trooper, painkiller. He is the most technical thrash metal guitarist ever. He plays so fast yet with harmonious notes. Even Nick Menza can't compete with Harris.
What is Steve Harris doing in this list? He's bassist!

55Muhammad Suicmez
Two albums, EPIC! He produced the entire album himself. The drum tracks the guitars, the bass, this guy is THE modern GERMAN legend. People just have to listen to his classically influenced technical Compositions in death metal and understand the reason behind me writing a short story about his EPICNESS!
Just listen to mutilate the stillborn, only ash remains, intestinal incubation, or symbiotic in theory and tell me that's not awesome
The best guitarists, voted in the Underground Metal society. Just because you people do not listen to Metal, go pick up 'Necrophagist' songs. It's a band
[Newest]I think he's underrated. He should be easily top 10.

56Mark Tremonti
No guitarist today works harder than Mark does. He never stops playing and practicing. Anyone who doesn't think he's the best guitarist of today is out of their mind. Not only can he play, but he's a great songwriter. I guarantee you he's better than every single one of those guitarists in these screamo bands today. Including guys like Ben Bruce from Asking Alexandria.
Hands down the most underrated guitar player. Creed ruined his image as a credible metal player but with the departure of Scott stapp, tremonti could finally shine, ab2 & 3 really are heavy heavy albums and Do not get the credit. They deserve.. And few can play as well live as mark can. Marks only lacking features is his legacy, many people have brushed him aside and not given him the credit owed. Where as the fanboys make synester gates out to be
Spectacular despite playing the same solos in every song
Insane picking speed with overcharged riffs. Honestly I might say he is the greatest guitarist of all time when you look at all aspects in a guitarist... Check out his solo album all I was and find out

57Brendon Small
One of the most unique sounding guitarists out there. He was able to record all the Dethklok tracks in studio by himself.
Listen to Thunderhorse or Laser Cannon Deth Sentence and you will agree with me.
The Doom Star Requiem is a modern masterpiece. It deserves infinitely more attention than it has.

58Donald Buck Dharma Roeser
Buck Dharma's guitar playing is memorizing; not just the playing talent, but the sounds that forever stayed in my musical soul. In my book, there is no finer guitar player, no more perfect sound, than that of Buck. I've watched him play since I was a teenager and after all these years, I still feel the same. Move over Hendrix and Clapton, the real master of guitar playing is Donald Roeser!
One word encompasses Buck's guitar playing. UNDERRATED. No one has the ability to do what Buck does with a guitar, as well as he does. Buck often combines the speed, heaviness, complexity, and melodic qualities of several higher rated guitarists in a single solo. There is no one better than Buck, a true Pioneer of American metal, Buck deserves better.
Buck Dharma, like his band, Blue Oyster Cult, are one of the most underrated rock bands, period. He wrote "Don't Fear (The Reaper)" and "Godzilla" and co-wrote "Burnin' for You", all classic hard rock/heavy-metal hits. He has one of the most original and recognizable styles of playing and is self taught. Tasteful and melodic, yet fast and powerful.


[Newest]Wow, Buck should be much higher on this list.

59Gus G
There is something terribly wrong with this site. Gus G is a guitarist I personally hold above most others. Having him this low on the list is not only a crime against the metal community, it's a crime against God himself.
The lead guitar of the band Firewind is definitely one of the most talented guitarists today with some awesome solos and riffs

60Willie Adler
This guy is amazing he plays almost all if the riffs in the band and this guy wasnt even posted in the top 100 like really :(


61Max Cavalera
Listen to arise some serious playing going there

62Richard Z. Kruspe
May not be the fastest, or makes the most difficult songs to play but Richard Zven Kruspe is a very creative guitar player and influential. The man has a unique loud sound he inspired me and I bet many more people to pick up the guitar and play. The man even designed a microphone robot so you won't have to go back and forth changing the positions of the mic, and he designed some badass guitars that are worth playing for any heavy metal player.
Really talented and brilliant guitarist! R.Z. K forever!
Richard, thanks for playing with rammstein.

63David Ellefson

64Mats Haugen

65Andy LaRocque
Andy needs to be higher. Any King Diamond song is better than any a7x song

66Scott Ian
Scott Ian is one bad to the bone metal guitarist.

67Cipher - D'erlanger
one of the most influential guitarists in japan in terms of hard rock, rock, metal


Cipher is kauru of dir en grey's idol


68Mick Mars
Not technically metal but for a glam rock guitarist his guitar solo's really were awesome!

69Sander Gommans

70Pat O'Brien
Frantic Disembowelment. That is all.
Encased in Concrete go litsen just the start of it.

71Paul Waggoner

72Kostas (Gus G.) Karamitroudis
He not only has such raw skill, he is also incredibly melodic. For example listen to the fire and the fury. In that example he shows great speed, emotion and awesome rhythm, what more can one ask for?
Great guitarist.
Firewind is my favorite. Band, and Fire and Fury is my favorite. Song, but I have to point out-
On Fire and the Fury, listen carefully, there are two different guitar parts.
It definitely isn't live!
It's a crime against humanity to put Gus so low on this list. People like him are keeping the metal genre alive and well. Guitarists everywhere could learn from him and his technique. Damn good guitarist.
[Newest]To say that Gus is a skilled guitarist is to say that God has just a bit to much power. Speaking of religion, Holding Gus at #66 is an absolute sin against not only power metal, but against music as a whole.

73Ace Frehley
Ace was a huge part of the KISS sound. Great style and great vibrato. Should be rated higher due to his great influence on many.
Ace Frehley has influenced so many people that are playing now days. He is a metal legend and a bad ass guitar player. Classic Rock is true metal. Rock n Roll!
Ace is an amazing guitar player of his time with Kiss. His licks are unreal. He was a very hungry player back in his day. He made Kisses songs better. He's a guitar legand!

74Misha Mansoor

Kaoru is a truly amazing and talented guitarrist. His guitar skills are awesome, and the guitar solos are simply breathtaking! And he's also a songwriter, and has given some of the most beautiful songs to Dir en grey.
Die is great, but Kaoru is better XD


As the others said, Kaoru is a great guitarist, I don't know if it's better than Die, but he doesn't lose quatity because of that.

76Gary Holt

77Corey Beaulieu
Corey records all of the rhythm and half the solos in trivium, he is definitely the better soloist of the two. Pull harder on the strings of your martyr, light to flies, and gunshot display extreme skill as a riffer and a shredder. Since the epic of shogun was primarily written by heafy I can not say that his building epics are something to credit him with. But overall he definitely deserves this spot.

78Tom Morello
I guess he is this low on the list because' he is too good for it... I mean, there's no way this guy is 70th on any guitarist list.
Come on people, who doesn't start banging their head when rage comes on
Why isn't he n°1? I mean, he is the god of guitar effects, whoever denies that has gotta listen to any RATM song. Sometimes it doesn't sound like he's playing the guitar, he invented a whole new instrument. He is incredible, looi him up on YouTube!

79Stevie Ray Vaughan
The only man who can make you say Damn that's as good as Hendrix without being the same!

80Jun Senoue
If you have ever heard Crush 40 then you know why he should be on this list!

Just listen to tracks like Live and Learn or Knight of the Wind.

He can solo really well and he can play rhythm.

81Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker - the guitarist of this world. So low in the list. Why is that? I think the main reason for this is because he never pursued fame as some people listed above. Kurt Kobain for example - how voted for this guy?
He's the best, simple as that
So many ignorants vote here, schenker is the man

Hizaki is great. Not just because of his skills in playing and composing the best symphonic metal I have ever heard, but also because he is modest and has time for his fans. Also his recent participation in fundraising for victims of the Japanese tsunami raised my respect for this guy. What can I say, this guy is the best! WE ARE VERSAILLES!
Great composer and player.

83Rob Chapman

84Jerry Cantrell
Deep, Heavy and unique. The 1990's Toni Iommi
I think he is the best composer
Wrote most if aic music and has a beautiful voice

Really? Everyone voting for Syn to be first? WHY NOT LET SYU GET INTO TOP TEN? Switch places with Synyster. Syu certainly should be in the top ten, with his skills on par with the guitar gods, BRING HIM UP!
This guy definitely needs to be in the top 5, easily. He rips harder than about 90% of this list!
Syu is outstanding and deserves to be in the top ten and considering who else is on here it is dissapointing. On another note where the hell is Hizaki? Hizaki should be at the top of this list.

I don't care if Lemmy's a bass guitarist, he knocks all these other guy's socks off by just strumming a note! HE IS GOD! THE ONE AND ONLY RULER OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD!

87Josh Christian

88Brian "Head" Welch
This is ridiculous. Come on Brian, take your 7 and 14 string guitar and let's get outta here. IDWTLOTPA.

89Brent Hinds
Brent should be higher on the list as he is very creative plus is in the current best metal band in the world right now. Mastodon.

90Marc Rizzo
his solo albums are godlike shred. enough shred to demolish a library.

91Oli Herbert
he's like god with a guitar and he also has one of the most epic beards of all time


92Brad Delson

93Kai Hansen
He is a great compositor of heavy metal sounds. And he sing and play the guitar so good!
Laugh out loud kai is awesome... You just have to smile When you listen to him
He invented power metal and made me love flying V guitars. Great fast yet melodic solos. Every song he touches turns into a masterpiece. And he is truly a great guy

94Adam "Nergal" Darski
His guitar playing is really awesome..hear Lucifer, Inner Sanctum, slaves shall serve, ov the fire and the void and conquer all and you will know that this top tens is really fu**** up with synster gates at 4 spot!


Die is just pure awesome definitely deserves to be on this list but he could be on the top ten no he deserves the top 10 kaoru is good to
He's a gifted man, his style is always pleasently loud and notoriousley fast
He is a great guitarist! He's the best!

96Jack E. Lee
Saw jake play in Pittsburgh this year, 2014, and hands down the best hard rock heavy metal guitarist easily. he has the best right hand left hand combination ever. plays with heart, balls, and imagination, of which the majority of these guys on this list know nothing about. I have seen a lot of the guys on this list play and I am sorry but there is just no comparison. kirk hammett at umber 2 shows this list has no validity whatsoever
Ozzy's best guitarist. Changed his style completely from the 80's heavy metal to blues rock when he started the band Badlands. Has some serious skill and his phrasing is just amazing.
Great guitar player listen to ozzy's bark at the moon CD
[Newest]Seriously whoever made this list is not very smart

97Jon Donais

98Steve Stevens
One of the best ever. Michael Jackson and Billy Idol will both agree, I assure you.

99Timo Tolkki
He has speed (in stratosphere he sounds just like a violin), quality and a great knowleadge of barroq style. All of that makes him a considerable top ten. METAL
This is the best because he has the feeling, and his compositions are beautiful and amazing, the way he plays is his own, it is TIMO TOLKKI!
There is a simple pleasure in listening to this guitarist.


100Dan Jacobs
no doubt.. belongs in top ten

although atreyu aren't that big... yet.. He is an amazing guitarist

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This list was created 8 years, 101 days ago and has been voted on over 20,000 times. This top ten list contains 222 items, has been remixed 71 times and has been blogged about 2 times.

Updated Monday, April 27, 2015

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