1 Kirk Hammett - Metallica
Kirk Lee Hammett is the lead guitarist and songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus.
I like Kirk, but he isn't the best. - Userguy44
His solos are fast full of emotions and melody. just go back to all their albums, especially the first four.
Truly a musical genius...
Kirk always deserves 1st - mmeldr01
Kirk is the best guitarist. His speed is awesome. If you don't believe it see him playing master of puppets it was great
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Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This is not fair at all. Kirk Hammett's solos do not have the emotion that Slash's solos have. BOO!
Slash should be number 1 for being the master of the les Paul Gibson and for his work in Guns N’ Roses and velvet revolver
This guy is the king of all guitarists. He has such passion towards music. His fingers move like lightning all over the guitar.
Its pretty much hard to play slash parts of solo. I played every solo and conclude slash solos are a bit difficult than kirk
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3 Angus Young - AC/DC
Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. When performing live he does his own version of Chuck Berry's "duck walk" and has also spun on his side while ...read more.
Really Angus above Ritchie Blackmore? - Userguy44
The guy that can play guitar while lying on the floor with spasms
Angus is the best... Love that duck walk!
Eddie van halen
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4 Ritchie Blackmore
Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ...read more.
After 5 years, 215 days, and 57 names, he wasn't on this list? Shame. - Metal_Treasure
Surprisingly he wasn't on the list - zxm
5 Dave Mustaine - Megadeth
David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own ...read more.
In a wrong list I think
I'm going Dave mustaine on this one to be the lead guitarist in the 2 biggest metal bands in the world u gotta be number one just for that and he plays rhythm and sings no one comes close to big pappa Dave
Way better than any body here!
Uh, he’s rhythm - GreenDayFan21
6 Jeff Waters
Jeff Waters (born February 13, 1966) is a Canadian metal musician and founder of the metal band Annihilator. He's best known as the guitarist for Annihilator, appreciated for his fast riffs and solos. Waters is also the primary songwriter in the band. Very often he has taken on the role of lead singer, ...read more.
Annihilator - Alison Hell. He wrote the song and played the riffs and solo. - Metal_Treasure
7 Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated ...read more.
What the hell? Is this a list or comedy. If Jimi Hendrix could be on top of best guitarist list then why he is low in this list. So, what was he? Wasn't he a lead guitarist? Lead guitar has rhythm parts in it. So, all lead guitarists are rhythm guitarists. - zxm
Mick Thompson better than Jimi Hendrix, that is comedy. LMAO I know this is someone's idea of a joke, and it's funny. Jimmy Page couldn't crack the top ten... it's getting funnier. I mean Page is no Kirk Hammet... we all no that, rofl!
Jimi is the greatest guitarist that has ever lived, is still living or ever will live.
Jimi is the greatest of all time!
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8 Synyster Gates - Avenged Sevenfold
Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold.
You must be kidding me! He's the best lead guitarist ever born. Slash is nowhere even close to him.
Syn's skill is amazing! Sweep picking, dive bombs, hammer ons and pull offs, sliding. He's a master of it all. Most of his solos are superfast and clean at the same time. The solo from afterlife is what you should listen to. Jimi hendrix set his guitar on fire. Syn can do the same. ALL HE HAS TO DO IS PLAY IT! HE PLAYS SO FAST HE MAKES SLASH SEEM LIKE A ROOKIE!
Him and zacky and so many others inspired me to become a guitarist!
Syn great guitarist ever
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9 Joe Satriani
Joseph Satriani (born July 15, 1956) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie ...read more.
10 Jimmy Page
James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
This guy should be 2nd, not 10th.
Synyster gates? Better than jimmy page? I don't think so. Jimmy page was the second greatest guitarist that ever lived the first being jimi hendrix.
11 Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. He was born 8th May 1977. He is known to be one of the greatest blues guitarists ever.
He was not on this list, really a shame, he beat Kirk Hammett on all fronts. - Jph
12 Eddie Van Halen
Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.
This list is a joke. He should be higher than 15! - galaxyfox
Why would anybody in their right mind put Synyster Gates over Eddie Van Halen?! This is coming from an Avenged sevenfold fan too!
13 Brian May - Queen
Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.
Brian May is greatly under appreciated. He wrote many #1 hit songs, topping the music charts. He was also very creative using a six-pence coin instead of guitar picks using the rough side for special noises. He was also a member of the best band ever (Queen) and is a very famous astrophysicist. How many famous lead guitarists can say that. Or people in general.
Slash before Slash
Surely the most technically able guitarist of all time
14 Jeff Loomis
Jeff Loomis is an American musician, best known for his role as lead guitarist in the progressive metal band Nevermore and death metal band Arch Enemy.
He's a technical beast. - Metal_Treasure
15 Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden
Adrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.
16 Yngwie Malmsteen
Yngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.
There has never been one like him!
Black Star is a masterpiece. - Metal_Treasure
YJM deserves to be no. 1. You people heard of FBTS and BS - GreenDayFan21
17 Marty Friedman
Martin Adam "Marty" Friedman is an American guitarist, known for his tenure as the lead guitarist for heavy metal band Megadeth which spanned nearly the full decade of the 1990s, as well as Cacophony alongside Jason Becker until 1989. Friedman has resided in Tokyo, Japan since 2003, where he has hosted ...read more.
The mastermind of thrash metal...melodic and technical at the same time...every single solo he writes is just amazing...he should be at 1
The only one who deserves to be in the top 10 in this whole list.
18 Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.
It genuinely scares me that anybody would put Mick Thompson over Eric Clapton.
The graffiti in 1960's London alleyways said it all: "Clapton is God".
19 John Petrucci - Dream Theater
John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.
Here is number one! The others are incredible in their own right but this guy is on another level. But most peons won't understand this fact.
Should be higher - zxm
NOWWTF IS THIS BULLCRAP, SYNYSTER GATES OVER A GOD?
20 Mark Knopfler
Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known for being the frontman of the British band Dire Straits.
He was also not in this list, really a shame. - Jph
21 Dimebag Darrel - Pantera
Dimebag Darrell is the greatest of all time! Kirk? There must be some crazy dope going around.
Picture? What the hell.
O my god so good.
dude, maybe Slipknot is you favorite band; but you're going to receive many bad comments in this list because you put Mick Thompson in first place... mainly because it is so wrong that he is before Jimi and Dimebag, and you forgot many great guitarists like Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Alexi Liaho, Zakk Wylde, John Petrucci, Rhandy Rhoads, Michael Angelo Batio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Eric Clapton, Glenn Tipton... - rock2metal
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22 Steve Vai
Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.
23 Tony Iommi
Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle ...read more.
Tony in #23 and Kirk on top? Kirk wrote wonderful solos and he's a great player, but I think he's overrated. Tony is so underrated as a lead guitarist. People say that there are guitarists that can solo better than Tony, but actually there are people that can solo better than Kirk and Tony is one of them. Kirk has made great choices of notes and phrasing and he's done some good bending, but there are guitarists including Tony that not only can do that, but they use more control whenever they use vibrato and they don't overuse wah pedals while soloing. Just listen to "War Pigs", "Black Sabbath", "NIB", "Planet Caravan", "Children Of The Grave", "Symptoms Of The Universe", "Neon Knights" "Heaven and Hell", "Lonely Is The Word", etc.
24 David Gilmour - Pink Floyd
David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.
He should be in the top 10. His feeling and playing style is amazing! - Userguy44
Most of those guitarists ranked above him bow to Gilmour
David Gilmour is probably the most soulful guitarist alive today. Kirk Hammett is very good, but no one can beat the soulful, inerrant style of David Gilmour.
Laughing at the list. He's on top 7 of "Best Guitarists Ever" list. And he's on 22 of best lead guitarist list. - zxm
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25 Mick Thomson - Slipknot
Mickael Gordon "Mick" Thomson is an American heavy metal musician. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he is best known as one of two guitarists in Slipknot, in which he is designated #7.
OF course he is. He created his own tuning. Kirk is good but just any regular guitarist
Of course Mick Thompson's #1. His guitar powers are controlled by the power of his mask. My inspiration.
He should be #1
26 Alex Lifeson - Rush
Aleksandar Živojinović, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.
One of the most inspiring musicians out there. Deep variety, sound, quality, versatility. All of his work is unique.
Should be in the top 10
27 Gary Moore
Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.
He was also not in this list, really a shame. - Jph
28 Jeff Hanneman - Slayer
Jeffrey John "Jeff" Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.
29 Kerry King - Slayer
Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.
30 Joe Perry - Aerosmith
Anthony Joseph "Joe" Perry is the lead guitarist, backing and occasional lead vocalist, and contributing songwriter for the American rock band Aerosmith.
Very underrated but very talented too. Should be higher without a doubt. Aerosmith wouldn't be the same without him. - Userguy44
Best ever, for a lot of reasons.
31 Alexi Laiho - Children of Bodom
Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho is a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and is also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band and Kylähullut.
32 George Harrison - The Beatles
George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.
He should be #1.
He is the greatest, his solos was for the music, not for the ego.
I can't believe he is number #40
33 Michael Padge Paget - Bullet For My Valentine
Man he is so underrated :(
He should be on top 5 :(
Tears don't fall, shows what he is
34 Richie Sambora
Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. He is known for his work with Bon Jovi from 1983 to 2013. He is a very praised guitarist who played solos for songs like Dry County, Stranger ...read more.
Can't believe he isn't higher. He is one of the greatest ever! - Userguy44
35 Keith Richards
Keith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.
I think he's more like a rhythm guitarist. - Userguy44
36 Daron Malakian - System of a Down
Daron Vartan Malakian is an Armenian–American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.
Just for the madness he has got, I would rank him in top ten. My personal favorite though.
37 John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
38 Dan Donegan - Disturbed
Dan Donegan is an American musician and guitarist for heavy metal band Disturbed. Donegan began playing guitar as a teenager and eventually formed a band called Vandal, which was an 1980s-style hair band.
Haha, Disturbed's my favorite band and I love Danny to death. However, he should not be in the the top 20, let alone the top 10. That's not to say he's bad guitarist. He's an excellent guitarist; the man learned how to play just by watching someone on T.V. and he down-picks exclusively. Considering this list is bad enough as is, I'll support the home-team and give the guy my vote
39 Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music, and ...read more.
You should all be ashamed of your selves one of the best bar none
He was also not in this list, really a shame. - Jph
40 Brad Delson
Bradford Phillip Delsonis an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park.
He's ok. I like Linkin Park but their guitarist is mediocre. - Userguy44
Have you ever heard waiting for the end?
41 Robin Trower
42 Matt Bellamy
Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.
His solos are pretty cool. - Userguy44
43 Mick Taylor
Michael Kevin Taylor is an English musician, best known as a former member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Rolling Stones.
44 Tom Delonge
Thomas Matthew "Tom" DeLonge, Jr., is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and film producer. He was born in Poway, California on December 13, 1975. When he was in high school at age 15, he got expelled for drinking at a basketball game. He also used to play the trumpet, ...read more.
45 Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.
He was also not in this list, really a shame. - Jph
46 Paul Gilbert
Paul Brandon Gilbert is an American hard rock/heavy metal guitarist. He is best known for being the co-founder of the band Mr. Big. He was also a member of Racer X, with whom he released several albums.
47 Frank Marino
This guy was doing taps before Eddie Van Halen was even around he was also the first to use the wireless on the guitar as well as the first to do the backward guitar sound he was way ahead of his time and was the first after Hendrix died to do that style of music as well as some Hendrix songs on the guitar! No one sounds as close as Hendrix than this guy can if he wants! He also builds his own amps and effects pedals to meet his personal sounds and needs!
48 Uli Roth
49 Johnny Ramone - Ramones
John William Cummings, better known by his stage name Johnny Ramone, was an American guitarist and songwriter, best known for being the guitarist for the punk rock band the Ramones.
Like I said in the remix, he is not really a lead guitarist. A band that has only one guitarist doesn't really mean he has to be lead guitarist. Lead guitar is more complex than rhythm guitar. Rhythm guitar usually means some notes played repeatedly. That means rhythm guitarists mostly play riffs. While lead guitarists play more than just riffs. They play solos, use more techniques - pull off and hammer on, bending, difficult licks etc. Johnny Ramone could play lead guitar. But he did rhythm part more than lead part. So he shouldn't be so high on this list. And its not just for him. Also for a lot of punk guitarists. They use more rhythm guitar part than lead part. - zxm
50 Ray Toro
Raymond "Ray" Toro is an American musician who served as lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band My Chemical Romance until their split in 2013.
He's good. The hidden Talent.