Top Ten Greatest Guitarists of the Thrash Metal Big 4


The Top Ten

1 Dave Mustaine 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 more.

Not only is Dave a great lead player he is an even better rhythm player, with that combination I think he is the best of the big four, Marty Friedman is a better lead player but lacks a bit in the rhythm dept, making Dave the better of the 2.

Did anyone doubt he would be in the number one spot? No. And if you though anyone else would be number one on this top ten list, think again or hang your head in shame. He would play a pentatonic guitar lick in his solos, and keep repeating it, but take it up/down a semi-tone and keep doing that, with a lot of shredding. His riffs are also as fast and heavy as anyone else on this list, and any thrash metal guitar players. He is just the ultimate thrash metal guitar player. M/ - gemcloben

Mustaine is the best guitarist ever. He also had an eye for good guitarists, like Jeff Watters, Dimebag, Chris Poland, and Marty Friedman. All of those are as good as, if not better than anyone from Slayer or Metallica.

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

Hanneman (and King) could not even play a decent solo, the riffs were okay. So to put Hanneman in the top 10...HELL NO!

It actually blew me away to realise how brilliant he actually was. His solos were always good, but I always prefer rhythm guitar/riffs. But this guy actually WROTE all their riffs, and plays them all in choruses/verses and plays solos while Kerry plays riffs HE wrote! Rest in piece. - gemcloben

He gets my vote because he's very underrated in general. Yeah, Kerry played stuff that Jeff wrote, for the most part.
Things are simple - no Jeff, no Slayer.
And it breaks my heart seeing that Kerry is usually higher than Jeff on many other lists. - Metal_Treasure

3 Marty Friedman 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 more.

I can describe marty friedman in 3 very simple, yet very amazing words: tornado of souls. Who knew a song about the weather would be so amazing? Anyway, his solo in that had everything: classical influence, shredding, melody, passion, and pure epicness! And all of his solos are that standard. He had neo-classical influence in thrash, but shines much more in his solo work listen his solo album inferno and you will understand what I mean. - gemcloben

Nice solos 8)

Why is he not 1 or at least 2? (because mustaine is as good pretty much) I just don't understand, I really don’t, like do people even listen to the music? Like how tf is hanneman and hetfield better lmao, really don’t get it

4 James Hetfield 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.

It was incredibly close between James and Jeff for silver, but I realised how great his riffs are. OK, maybe he doesn't play the best of guitar solos, but his rhythm playing and riffs are revolutionary! The guy completely nailed the down picking and palm muting while still being seriously fast. - gemcloben

5 Kerry King Kerry King Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Kerry king is a brilliant rhythm guitarist, and a shame he happened to be last on this list, as he plays the songs that Jeff Hanneman wrote, but he puts his own energy and twist into the music, he doesn't play the riffs how it is wrote down, but how he feels is best to be played, and he plays it like a complete boss! Before you start complaining, there were only 8 possible items, so there! - gemcloben

I hate Kerry but he's a good guitarist

6 Kirk Hammett 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 is not the best guitarist ever, in fact the most overrated of all time. But that doesn't make me hate him anymore, it isn't his fault. What I like about his solos is that, most guitarists slow the music down and then build up to the solo, or even have a short instrumental before it, or a pause, but this guy goes straight from the music to the solo. And he is VERY distinctive, although 90% of that is through a wah-wah pedal... But, he is good. At solos at least... - gemcloben

7 Scott Ian Scott Ian Scott Ian is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining original founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums.

Listen to his riffs, they are, fast, heavy, distorted and him alone could make the big 4. - gemcloben

8 Gary Holt Gary Holt Gary Wayne Holt is an American guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a guitarist, the bandleader, and the main songwriter for the American thrash metal band Exodus and is also a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Holt being a member of Slayer and mentioned in this list kinda makes Exodus the fifth band in The Big 5, where Exodus rightfully belongs.

Great guitarist, but he doesn't belong in Slayer, he belongs in Exodus!

Underrated guitarist!

9 Dan Spitz

Listen to a song called madhouse if you are not familiar with anthrax, because it was the song I started with and I listened to anthrax ever since, but his solo in that was amazing. - gemcloben

10 Kiko Loureiro Kiko Loureiro Pedro Henrique "Kiko" Loureiro is a Brazilian Heavy metal guitarist, best known as a member of the bands Angra and Megadeth.

The Contenders

11 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.
12 Chris Poland
13 Glen Drover Glen Drover Glen Drover is a Canadian heavy metal musician from Missisauga, Ontario, Canada, where he currently resides.
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List Stats

100 votes
13 listings
4 years, 45 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Jeff Hanneman
2. Marty Friedman
3. Dave Mustaine
1. Dave Mustaine
2. Jeff Hanneman
3. Kerry King
1. Dave Mustaine
2. James Hetfield
3. Jeff Hanneman

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