Best Metal Guitarists

The Top Ten

1 Dave Mustaine 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.

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.

Let me put it like this. All the solos in Kill Em All belongs to Dave and most of the riffs. Why? Because Kirk wasn't even a solo guitar player. And James was inexperienced too at the time. When Kirk he joined Metallica at the time of 1983. He had to go to Joe Satarini for guitar lessons. And yes he learned quickly to solo and added some solos to Kill Em All. But those solos Metallica never plays live almost. But the solos that ruled in Kill Em All "Hit the lights" "The Four horsemen" "Jump in the fire" and ofc "Phantom lord" kicked ass! Why didn't Kirk change them? Because they ruled! And every Kill Em All fan knows that. Dave can play any riff or solo that Kirk can. But try to put Kirk on Megadeths "The five magics" or any RIP song and lets see how good the nr1 guitar player really are!

I'm not say Kirk is a bad player, I love him! He is in fact a really good guitar player.

But he is very overrated. And better than ...more

2 Dimebag Darrell Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

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!

dimebag should be number 1 no other guitarist can do or could do what he did he's the best end of story

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

I was shocked by seeing Kirk Hammett in the second position! Who is Kirk Hammett?! I have never seen him doing a shred once in a solo also! Never in my life! Really Who is Kirk Hammett? This man Dimebag DarreL is the GoD Of MeTaL! It is given dime at nos..5. Y? What is the reason that he is at number 5? No other guitarist can do what he can do! He is the best guitarist I have seen ever! And if anyone would tell dime to play whatever... Any song of Metallica, like - wherever I may roam or muster of puppets! What do all think? Could he play that? And I am sure that he would play far more better than Kirk the most over rated Guitarist ever!

Kirk is a guitarist who himself gets scared while playing any solo of his own song! LOLz! Each and every solo of his song he has done whami and his leg would be placed definitely in the processor! Sorry! If I have misspelled of my writing! Still m a kid of 14 years! I was born in 1999, 5th August. I started listening metal songs at the age 0f 8 ...more

3 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.

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, ...more

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.

Dave Mustaine is awesome, but overrated. Tony Iommi is actually the greatest metal guitarist. He may not be one of the greatest guitar technicians, but he innovated and perfected heavy metal with his signature dark guitar tone and scary riffs like "Black Sabbath," "Iron Man," "Children of the Grave," "Into the Void," "Hand of Doom," "Electric Funeral," "Symptoms of the Universe," and "Under The Sun."

Let's not forget that his solos are not too shabby. Check out "Black Sabbath," "Warning," "Junior's Eye," "Planet Caravan," "War Pigs," "Fluff," "Children of the Grave," "Supernaut," "Snowblind," "Symptoms of the Universe," "Heaven and Hell," "Neon Knights," "Children of the Sea," "I Go Insane," "Devil and Daughter," "Wheels of Confusion," ...more

Nothing would excist if there's no Tony Iommi. He's the creator of metal.

4 Kirk Hammett 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.

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 is not the most technical player but he knows exactly what notes and rhythms to play in his solos. Everything fits perfectly within the songs and his soloing skills are insanely good. He can play very fast, however is also good a playing slow solos just as well.

Kirk is a great player who can just shred out anything at anytime. His fast solos are crazy and his slow ones are very melodic

5 Randy Rhoads Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. He was killed in a plane crash.

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...

Inovator. One of the best guitarist ever. Many guitarist on this list started to play by his influence.

6 Chuck Schuldiner Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck ...read more.

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.

RIP Chuck, the father of death metal. He may have not been the most technical guitar player, but he had one of the most inventive minds in all of metal at the time.

7 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.

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 ...more

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

It's really funny that some people say Kirk is better than Marty, and that he is more melodic. They have no understanding of music whatsoever, as the only thing they can decipher is pentatonic scales, Wah, and triplets. Marty is a very tasty player. Never gets boring. Kirk just happened to be lucky to be in a band with James and Cliff. James is a much better soloist than him, at least he constructs better solos than him. Kirk has had a few great solos like One and Fade to black, but Marty's whole career is filled with awesomeness. Marty has put so much time into his bends that comparing Kirk's vibrato to Marty's is just like comparing trash to gold.
Also, where the hell is Chris Poland? He can make a guitar sing and has such a fluid legato. Vote for Marty people!

Mustaine, Hetfield, Dimebag and Iommi are the kings of riffs, but when it comes to soloing, Marty Friedman evokes an emotion like none other. Marty has proved himself through Cacophony and his solo career as well. Kirk is a good player, but his vibrato is horrible and bends are out of tune man... People say that Kirk's solo in MoP is very good, but I personally think that James' solo is much better. Marty has a very mesmerising vibrato, and his phrasing is what guitar players dream of. Dime was a very fine lead player as well, but Marty can construct melodies that just grip you.
Upvote Marty!

Kirk shouldn't be in the top anywhere, instead put James above him, James plays much better solos than those Wah solos having pentatonic exercises, sloppiness and sharp bends.

8 John Petrucci 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.

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!

He should slow some of his stuff down. Train of Thought, for example, was just senseless shredding for the sake of senseless shredding. The solos just weren't rewarding at all, no matter how fast he was.

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.

In terms of sheer technique, Petrucci wins hands down. He is the most consistent of everybody on the list, especially when watching live performances, as most of these guitarists only can play their own parts so-so in live shows... but Petrucci always delivers. Even in videos where he is covering other bands, he always plays the guitar parts BETTER than the original guitarist (even when I don't want it to be so) and even mimics their style of playing. I really like most of the other guitarists on this list, but in a completely objective comparison of "who is the best guitarist", I think that Petrucci is by far at the top.

9 Adrian Smith 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.

His melodic riffs make Maiden music the great metal materpieces that they are!

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.

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.

Kickass guitarist. He can indeed "pluck the notes right out of the air. "!

10 James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

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.

It's actually sad that people think Kirk is better than James. Have you seen Kirks solo's lately? They're pretty bad. There's a reason why James always plays the riffs first by himself and not Kirk like in Blackened, Battery and Creeping Death. He wrote almost all of their riffs from Kill em all to...And Justice for all and then some. Enter Sandman is an iconic metal riff written by Kirk Hammet, but Master of Puppets, Creeping Death, Battery, Harvester of Sorrow, One and Ride the Lightning all have riffs that are masterpieces. The stuff James plays and sings at the same time is incredible. Not much I need to say about that. And James has also had his share of solo's from Nothing Else Matters to Master of Puppets to The Outlaw Torn etc. He puts more emotion in his solo's. The only emotional solo from Kirk was the Unforgiven solo. But of course, Kirk is the better guitarist when it comes to solo's cause Creeping Death, One and Blackened all have amazing thrash solos.

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.

The Contenders

11 Dave Murray David Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as one of the earliest members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

This guy can play! That's the main thing you need to know...

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.

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.

I think he's an amazing guitarist and in an amazing band too. Iron maiden inspired me to play guitar and also where I knew I wanted to play the guitar. I went and saw them play live recently, and they were amazing. Mid Solo, dave would just break out in a improvised solo that sounded better than the original solo! He's a great riff writer, performer, and guitrarist.

12 Synyster Gates 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.

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!
-Syn

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..

The most talented guitarist in 21st century, he's the only righteous successor of Dimebag Darell. Period.

13 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.

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.

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.

I love this guy! I have ADD and drinks pots of coffee so I need a guy that plays like this! Thanks Yngwie!

Some may disagree and say "Oh well he's good but he plays the same thing over and over" but man, without Yngwie, Metal as it is today wouldn't exist.

14 Alexi Laiho 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.

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

This position is an outstanding one though he is really talented and should be 1st. Being lead vocalist and guitarist is really hard and takes real concentration and Alexi is issued in that state but he enjoys it and is clearly known to be a "crowd favorite". I also have to mention that some of his verses do not equalize with his vocals and that shows a great talent cause not only can he concentrate on his vocals but also his melodic guitar tunes. Thanks for reading this comment and I hope to have every other 14 year old children like myself to encourage themselves to pure music

15 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.

Technically proficient, very melodic, crazy sweep picking, very sharp right hand technique, this guy hands down the best metal guitarist out there

If he ever had played in a Band with
more commercial success, I think he would be voted first. Band underrated = guitar player unknown

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.

16 Alex Skolnick Alexander Nathan Skolnick is an American metal and jazz guitarist who is the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, and heads the jazz band Alex Skolnick Trio.

How the hell does this god get overlooked?! His solos in Souls Of Black and Into The Pit are incredible!

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!

As a fan of Kirk Hammett and Metallica, as much as I love Testament, they were physically and mentally incapable of inventing thrash, writing its greatest albums, and Hetfield and Hammett in their prime could easily duplicate anything Testament have done.

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.

17 Glenn Tipton Glenn Raymond Tipton is an English Grammy Award-winning guitar player and songwriter. He is most commonly known as the lead guitarist for English heavy metal band Judas Priest.

This is number one for me. Glenn Tipton is living proof that class and style beats technique any day of the week. Not that his work isn't technical or difficult (it is, though there's several on this list that take it quite a bit further on that aspect), but he's a sloppy player - especially live. That doesn't stop at least half of his solo's being beautiful, memorable tunes and mini-stories that fit perfectly within the song. That percentage is easily 5 times as high as any other guitarist in this list in my very humble opinion - many guitar solo's are either boring or just don't add much to what is already in the song; regardless of how difficult, unusual or well played it is.

Are you kidding? Criminally underrated Tipton easily must be in the top 3, Priest are pioneer twin lead guitar of early Heavy Metal in mid 70's (Thin Lizzy aren't metal but it's rock). Most evolved guitarist ever, you can see his playing style in 70's then compare to 90's etc that's insane.

He mastered all metal guitar technique, he can play like modern shredder guitarist. His solo are memorable, complex, good precision, good & unique note selection, different pattern every solos (anti-boring), can fast shred can melodic, soulful player. It's very rare old guitarist can evolved then compete with millenium shredder.

I'm listening many modern metal band but if looking back in old school metal, Glenn Tipton have equal technique to compete with metal guitarist today.

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.

18 K.K. Downing

Continually creates solos that work to connect with the melody of the song. Together with KK Downing no other band can match Judas Priests mastery of solos with such dedication to detail.

I think that he should be placed at top 10 he is one of the greater guitarists in the world

He was shredding in 70', while no one knew how to play metal! (I mean the solo of Victim of Changes)

For me..K.K. Downing is in top 10. I don't agree with Gibson's top 10 list.

19 Jeff Hanneman Jeffrey John "Jeff" Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Hanneman should at least be in the Top 10. One of the all time greats! Not to mention his song writing abilities.

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

At 20 what? he is the writer of thoose evil songs he was the king he should be at number 1

20 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.

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. - Metal_Treasure

Was sweep picking back in the 1960s, way before Yngwie. A true innovator. He's slowed down now but was used all four fingers and thumb in his solos and was among the fastest for two decades.

Best...what is best? But with his combination of riffs, improvisation solos and superb technical skill, he belongs in every top 10 list. Looking at this list, who influenced these guys more than RB?

21 Zakk Wylde Zakk Wylde is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor who is best known as the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society.

All of his stuff with Ozzy, and Black Label Society is awesome.

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 Wylde should be #1 on this list. Top 3 at the very least. For one thing, many guitarists mentioned don't play Metal! The poll clearly says Metal. If your talking greatest guitarists of all-time period, he's still top 10. In my opinion, in a guitar duel, Wylde can stand with anyone whose ever held a guitar.

zakk is the best guitarist of the world is fast & have the best sound

22 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.

He reinvented guitar, he harnessed the musicality of the tapping technique and wrote some of the most popular riffs of all time.

Best on the list, Van Halen live was awesome No others could hold a candle to this man.

The problem with this list is the fact that some people do not consider Eddie Van Halen or Jimmy Page metal players, so they get less votes. If this was a best guitar player list not best metal list these two would EASILY be top three, in my opinion they are better than Hendrix so top two. They are, along with Iommi THE biggest inspiration to metal guitar players, Zeppelin were the the heaviest at the time other than sabbath, and Eddie Van Halen basically invented the metal guitar solo, with pinch harmonics and whammy dives, but with a lot of feeling(although his rhythym playing is untouchable and I wish he got more recognition for it).

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.

23 Andy LaRocque

Yes, in both King Diamond and Death he was a virtuoso. Most inside the metal scene know of his flamboyance and skill, though not publicly well-known.

Absolutely the most original guitarist on this list and also the most underrated

Better than randy Rhodes or Eddie Van Halen combined

Underrated When metalheads finally discovers him, he's a favorite every time.

24 Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

Dude. Have you EVER listened to Soothsayer? I think not, since y'all did not place him on number 1.

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...

Underrated is his nickname, I guess. I found this guitar legend, and I can say, he plays amazing. I'm a huge Metallica fan and I have listened thousands of bands but buckethead is very different. Everyone should listen and give him a chance. Nobody can say "buckethead sucks". He is great on his job.

Puts so much passion into every note, such an amazing player, should be a lot higher on the list

25 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.

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...

The most under-rated guitar virtuose!

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