Best Nu-Metal Guitarists

The Top Ten
1 Brian 'Head' Welch

He is such an inspiration to me. I too was addicted to meth and other things. Seeing someone else experience true deliverance is such a blessing. I love his music. I love hearing someone not be ashamed of where they come from and how it has shaped them.

Plus, he has the opportunity that I only wish I had: to scream to the world how Jesus saves and is still in the miracle business!

Danielle Bennett

Listen to Korn from before 2006 and then listen to Korn's newer work. Then listen to any of Brian's work with Love & Death or his album "Save Me From Myself." It has the edge and intensity that Korn is missing.

Aside from the fact that he is a role model to thousands and an extremely nice person, based on talent alone, Head wins hands down!

2 Mick Thomson 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.

My inspiration, my favorite guitarist. He is probably the best metal guitarist alive. Let's not forget his famous riffs and technique, and his low B tuning. Slipknot has found one talented musician. I wonder how he feels about being #1.

Of course he is. One of the fastest guitarists and the best at pinch harmonics.

He deserves number one, not just for his techniques, which are brilliant. Slipknot is still one of my favorite bands thanks to Mick Thomson, and his stage presence is awesome.

3 Wes Borland Wesley Louden "Wes" Borland is an American rock musician and artist. He is best known as the current guitarist and backing vocalist of the nu metal band Limp Bizkit and as the lead vocalist of the industrial rock band Black Light Burns.

Such a creative guitar player with an amazing look! More talented than most in this genre. Only Wes can go from a 4-string, 7-string, and a 5-string and still write brilliant hooks while keeping it heavy.

It is hard to find a more creative guy than Wes. Just listen to his Black Light Burns stuff!

Seriously? Korn's guitarist over Wes? Super creative riffs, good technical ability. Not only that, but as stated, his riffs are some of the most creative I've heard, and he's able to play different types of music. Best nu-metal guitarist by far.

4 Jim Root James Donald "Jim" Root, also known by his number #4, is an American musician known for being the rhythm/lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Slipknot, and the former lead guitarist for alternative metal band Stone Sour.

He is in my two favorite bands of all time: Slipknot and Stone Sour. What more can I say? He truly is a very talented and amazing guitarist and an awesome riff master.

He is an incredible guitar player. His solos are amazing, and the speed at which he plays is unbelievable. One of the best guitar players around these days, in my opinion.

Sorry to Mick, but Jim is much better.

5 Daron Malakian Daron Vartan Malakian is an Armenian–American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He's best known as the main songwriter, guitarist, and co-vocalist for Armenian/American rock band System of a Down. After System of a Down's hiatus in 2006 he began to release music through... read more

Daron is definitely one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. He has incredible creativity, his riffs are really powerful, and he is a giant inspiration for me and many others.

He is just the best. His solos and riffs are really creative. He is surely the best guitarist of nu-metal.

Good riffs and their live performance is awesome.

6 Brad Delson Bradford Phillip Delson is an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park.

Well, you may find it weird that I'm voting for him, but Brad Delson is one of the best guitarists I've heard. I've listened to System of a Down, Slipknot, and all the others. Just hear the ending riff of "A Line in the Sand" and you'll know why. It's kinda sad that they didn't use his talent in their previous albums.

Seriously? Sixth place?! Linkin Park defined nu-metal, and this guy is behind it. Best nu-metal guitarist ever. So what if he can't sing? His skill with the axe speaks loud and clear.

Are you kidding? The man behind Linkin Park's guitar playing!

7 James 'Munky' Shaffer

Munky is a great inspiration for all guitarists, especially those who play 7-string guitars. He makes playing the guitar with all its effects more fun and creative. He shows that music goes beyond the standard and basic, reaching far if you are creative.

Many people think the things Munky plays are easy, but that's not always the case. He may not make a lot of solos, but playing the guitar is not only about mastering solos. You can also create a good distortion base and be an inspiration to other guitarists by making a cool riff.

8 J.R. Bareis

Awesome guys (Love and Death), and I love their transparency. It can't be easy to always be exposed to people and have them see your personal life. I'm looking forward to meeting them one day.
Mark Rosin
Edmonton, Alberta

This guy is more than just a great guitar player. His ability to last as long as he has in a very active band and still remain a cool dude shows his passion for what he does.

He plays in an insanely amazing band, is so young and is such a skilled guitarist, yet he is one of the most humble guys I've ever met! He's proof that hard work pays off!

9 Mike Mushok

It was a hard choice, but I have to go with Mike. Listen to his brilliant work on Staind's 'Tormented.' He doesn't really show much of this raw energy on the other albums, and you can hear him playing solos (which were absent from the band until their self-titled 2011 album).

Most creative and energetic guitarist, period. Unique style with a virtuoso background!

He creates some pretty complex chords with his odd tunings and is also quite the shredder!

10 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.

I love LP, but Brad is overrated. Synyster can solo, for god's sake. You don't hear that a lot in LP, unfortunately.

I'd love to see anyone else on this list play the M.I.A. or Dancing Dead solos.

This guy is definitely the best guitarist on this list!

The Contenders
11 Tom Morello Thomas Morello is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave.

Tom Morello should be near #1. His unconventional and innovative techniques deserve better.

12 Dan Donegan 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.

Despite being the only guitarist, Dan really hits the two guitar tones with his overdubs. He is also the keyboardist and synthesizer player. How cool is that?

13 Miguel Rascón

His riffs are very powerful and simple. This creates a very heavy sound, but one that is distinct and perfect for the vocals of Coal Chamber.

Visceral and energetic, sounding like a non-stop rolling steam engine!

14 Greg Tribbett
15 Ben Moody Benjamin Robert "Ben" Moody is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor.

Awesome and very underrated guitarist. Listen to Fallen and its lyrics. Beautiful.
Evanescence forever.

Ben Moody should be in the top 10 and is better than Brad Delson. Sorry, Linkin Park!

Ben is a great guitarist. Also, Evanescence is my favorite rock band.

16 Tom Maxwell
17 Twiggy Ramirez
18 Tony Rombola

Tony is one of the most underrated musicians of this generation!

19 Stephen Carpenter

Ambient and dark but brutally heavy and creative as well. Great guitar tone too.

20 Trent Reznor
21 Marcos Curiel

Only one guitarist and still gives a complete sound to the band. Curiel rocks!

22 John 5
23 Mike Shinoda Michael Kenji "Mike" Shinoda (born 11 February 1977) is an American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, graphic designer, manager and film composer. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and is the band's rhythm guitarist, primary songwriter, keyboardist, producer, and co-lead vocalist... read more
24 Adam Jones Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and visual artist, best known for his position as the guitarist for Tool.

Harbinger for the nu-metal guitar style, as Tony Iommi was to heavy metal, in a more latent fashion. The general vibe and prosaic feel of his style went on to define the nu-metal style.

The modern progressive nu-metal master!

25 Paul Gray Paul Dedrick Gray, also known as The Pig or by his number #2, was an American musician, best known as the bassist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning metal band Slipknot.
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