Best Metal Guitarists

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Jeff Loomis 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.

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 - Nevermore

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. - audiobyrne

Jeff > Kirk - EliHbk

Absolutely. Kirk Hammett is very overrated. Also Dave Mustaine. - zxm

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22 Jimmy Page 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.

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!


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23 Glenn Tipton 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.

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.

Get well soon, Glenn!

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24 K.K. Downing

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) - ShahryRKnoT

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

Should be in Top Ten. Totally underrated.

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25 Alex Skolnick 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.

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.


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26 Daron Malakian Daron Malakian Daron Vartan Malakian is an Armenian–American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

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?

Like the rest of the band his sounds and riffs are so original! Though I have no technical ear for guitar play what so ever, I can just sense that he is really good! And the whole bands ensemble is just great!

don't care about his low difficulty level music (as some guys say)! he is a great guitarist and he just don't want to write difficult songs.. I don't really care about these stuff! Daron is the best

Awesome guitarist and super cute.

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27 Ritchie 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. - Metal_Treasure

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!

You Fool No One - Made in Europe 1975. Utterly amazing! And what about Child in Time Made in Japan 1973. Richie Blackmore is tops!

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28 Jason Becker Jason Becker Jason Eli Becker (born July 22, 1969) is an American neoclassical metal guitarist and composer. At the age of 16, he became part of the Shrapnel Records-produced duo Cacophony with his friend Marty Friedman. They released the albums Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988. Cacophony broke up more.

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.

Jason becker is like malmsteen plus emotions

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29 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

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

30 Mikael Akerfeldt Mikael Akerfeldt Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. more.

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.

We must not forget the contributions by Peter Lindgren. He may not have written many riffs but he masterfully preformed them at Mikael's direction.

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31 Jeff Waters 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, 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 - deadlydawn

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...

Sadly he plays in not well known band... after I listened to "Alice in Hell" album, I was completely shocked. Deserves to be in top 4 with Dave Mustaine, Dimebag Darrell and Tony Iommi

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32 Paul Gilbert Paul 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.

Kirk hammett and dave should not be in top ten if u compare them with paul you would say get out of my yard

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33 Gary Holt Gary Holt

Gary is a very talented guitarist being one of the early pioneers of thrash in exodus, he literally shreds, I believe he should be at least 15 or less. Good work Gary my hat off to you. M/

Gary Holt is a thrash giant, that's what he is.

Thrashes with the best, very underrated

Gary is a monster on guitar...🤘💪💪💪the best thrash metal guitar player of all time...

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34 Joe Satriani 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 more.

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

Peep surfing with the alien then change your vote to joe

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35 Steve 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. -

36 Jack 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.

Randy Rhoads would wreck jake e lee but he should probably be a little higher

It is jake not jack

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37 David Davidson

Listen to the second solo of the song Witch Trials by Revocation. This guy's musical knowledge is better than most any one out there. Has been doing guitar his whole life and went to Berkley college of music for Jazz Guitar.

38 Tosin Abasi Tosin 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...

Progressive metal at its finest. No sound compares to his experimental techniques which he created. One of the craziest and greatest guitarist I've ever seen.

Best guitar player ever

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39 Chris Broderick Chris Broderick Christopher Alan Broderick is an American musician, best known as the former lead and rhythm guitarist of the American heavy metal band Megadeth.

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

The individual who likes Marty Friedman is better than Kirk Hammett. Go read his verbose autobiography: it's called 'Looking For Hire'.

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40 Michael Amott Michael Amott Michael Amott is a British-born Swedish guitarist, songwriter, founding member of the bands Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, and Carnage, as well as a former member of the grindcore band Carcass.

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

I think he should be The best one

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List Stats

25,000 votes
277 listings
11 years, 33 days old

Top Remixes (108)

1. Adrian Smith
2. K.K. Downing
3. John Petrucci
1. Dave Mustaine
2. Chuck Schuldiner
3. Marty Friedman
1. Dave Mustaine
2. Tony Iommi
3. Chuck Schuldiner

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