Best Technical Guitarists

Yeah now we all know there is a Greatest Guitarists Ever List, but a lot of them are not very technical compared to some other guys. Vote for the best technical guitar player. Who's technique is awesome?
The Top Ten
1 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.

I've never heard of Tomo Milicevic, so I won't say anything about him. Petrucci not only plays fast, he uses the right techniques at the right time. His well-placed arpeggios and screaming pinch harmonics add that extra bit to his songs.

He also does all this while changing time signatures every couple of bars.

This guy should be on the top. As far as technicality and discipline, he is the best. He shows his mastery in music theory, and the tone of his guitar is just awesome in every song he plays. And again... who the heck is Tomo Milicevic?

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

A master across all styles of music and probably has more creativity than any other guitarist, which is evident by his ~300 albums. He can shred with the best of them or play peaceful melodic pieces that tell a story without words.

He improvises his leads live, so he does make some mistakes in his live performances. Check out Hold Me Forever, Look Up There, Soothsayer, Binge and Grab, Coats of Claude, and Crack the Sky. Those are some of my favorites among his thousands of songs.

Most of the guys on here are shredders or virtuosos in a certain genre. Buckethead beats all of them in their respective branch.

You will never find a guitarist that is as proficient in as many different styles of music as Buckethead.

3 Ron Jarzombek Ron Jarzombek is an American metal guitarist hailed as one of the most influential progressive metal guitarists and has been called "the Godfather of Technical Metal". He's best known for his work with WatchTower, Spastic Ink, and Blotted Science, featuring Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse. His older... read more

My favorite. He does things that you only imagine doing. All of his music is creative and gets the brain juices flowing. He destroys everyone on this list. He can tap on every genre and not have it sound silly or lame.

I liken his music to the classical greats that many don't know or have forgotten. He is at the top of my favorite guitar players. From elderly to young, when you play people the music that he has done, everyone enjoys it.

I can't think of a more accomplished player when it comes to writing, playing, and creativity. My favorite stuff he's done is his Blotted Science material. When is the new album coming out?

4 Steve Vai Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

People often pick guitarists from their favorite bands, and while they might be good guitarists, technically they are often not even close to Steve Vai. I am certainly not a Vai fan. I have my own favorites, but this is about being technical whether you like the music or not.

Steve Vai is in control of his instrument, but what he actually does might not always be clear to everybody. His amazing skills often go unnoticed.

Saw Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and John Petrucci live in a G3 concert. Steve Vai could play whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, with ease.

John Petrucci was very good but was obviously putting a lot of effort into things. Joe Satriani was a step up from Petrucci, just a pity that the guys he had in his band were just like background noise.

5 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

When it comes to technical guitar, he is a contender for the number one spot. It definitely shows that there are quite a few amateur guitar players voting on this post. The question is about the best technical guitarist, and Joe is trailing players like Hammett and Buckethead.

Good guitarists as they are, they will not go down in history as guitar gods. Joe will hand you your ass on a silver platter.

Without Satriani, half these guys probably wouldn't be here. He's the father of technical guitar and he's taught some of the best in the world. There are plenty of mindless shredders out there, but Joe is less interested in showing off than he is in making good music.

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

God took him away from us because he knew he couldn't let him become more powerful. Otherwise, God would lose in a guitar contest. Good chance God lost because we all know death is inevitable. R.I.P Chuck.

From brutal riffs to the sheer speed of his solos, this guy has it all. He is the godfather of death metal for a reason.

He is the god of technicality along with Trey. He deserves to be number 1.

7 Tomo Milicevic Tomislav "Tomo" Miličević is an American musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars from 2003 to 2018.
8 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 came after the greats Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, and Marty Friedman to develop their style and music. Very fast and the Einstein of metal music.

9 Muhammed Suiçmez Muhammed Suiçmez was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, to Turkish immigrants. He is the frontman and guitarist of the German technical death metal band Necrophagist.

#27? Are you kidding me? This guy outplays everyone else on this list. The complexity of his riffs, the amazing tone and lightning-fast precision of his solos, paired with his inhuman consistency (I challenge you to find a mistake in any live show he's ever played)... he is technically unparalleled.

Then again, if you leave anything up to popular vote, you're going to get a popularity contest, I suppose.

My gosh! This guy is THE most technical guitarist that ever stepped on earth! He made one album by himself and played guitar on Necrophagist's Epitaph... Like a boss. People should appreciate the master skills of Mr. Muhammed Suiçmez.

10 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... read more

The Newcomers

? Peter Lennodo Peter Lennodo is a British musician. He is also a composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the vocalist, lead guitarist and main songwriter of the rock band The Arcana.
The Contenders
11 Trey Azagthoth

Unsung hero of death metal. Unbelievable skills shown in both rhythm and lead structure.

One of the fastest guitarists in the world.

12 Michael Angelo Batio Michael Angelo Batio also known as Mike Batio or MAB, is an American heavy metal guitarist and columnist from Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Angelo has the highest level of skill of anyone on this list. No one else can ever reach his level in the world. A child prodigy, he was better than his teachers in just a few years. Not only is he the fastest in the world, but he can also play right- or left-handed equally fast and flawlessly.

Even Steve Vai, being one of the best ever, said Batio is a freak and beyond anything he can ever do, yet Vai is higher on the list. Not only can Michael Angelo beat anyone on this list, he can battle the two best below him at the same time with each hand.

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.

Yngwie Malmsteen is easily as technical as the majority of the people on this list. He is only really nearly equaled by the likes of John Petrucci, Ron Jarzombek, Joe Satriani, Chris Broderick (although Chris is much lower on this list), and Fredrik Thordendal (depending on the song).

The only guitarist on this list who actually plays more complex pieces of music (and only for brief moments, usually less than one minute at a time) is Muhammed Suicmez.

How Yngwie Malmsteen is behind Synyster Gates is completely beyond me.

I'm not saying he should top the list either, nor is he my favorite guitarist (that would be someone like Christian Muenzner or Jari Maenpaa), but he most certainly deserves to be above at least 99% of the players on this list.

I'm also shocked that Kirk and Dimebag even got a mention on this list. Sure, you could argue they make great music, but neither of them play anything as complex as your average modern metal band. Half of the metalcore and deathcore bands these days even play wildly more complex material.

Really, Jason Becker didn't get a mention on this list? Nor Jeff Loomis.

14 Paul Masvidal

One of the most underrated guitar players ever. Paul's technical solos are the reason Death's "Human" was such a monster of an album. His own band, Cynic, is criminally overlooked. "Focus" and "Traced in Air" are masterpieces of technical metal utilizing complex jazz chords, time signatures, and lead techniques.

Paul is the whole package, and he sings while playing insanely technical licks. Having a genius-level IQ doesn't hurt either.

15 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... read more

Well off the radar, up there with the best. Listen to his solo album and Cacophony with Friedman. If ALS hadn't taken his hands, he would be the best ever.

Between Gilbert and Becker, that's tough. Jason Becker is a legend and one of the best in the world.

He transcribed Paganini at age 15.

16 Ihsahn Ihsahn is a Norwegian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist. He is best known for his work with Norwegian black metal band Emperor.
17 Tosin Abasi Oluwatosin Ayoyinka Olumide "Tosin" Abasi (born January 7, 1983), is a Nigerian American musician, best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. Before founding Animals as Leaders, he was the guitarist for the technical metalcore band Reflux... read more

The only reason this guy isn't number one is that he isn't particularly well-known. Google Animals As Leaders and listen to a song or two. He is one of the most insanely, ridiculously technical guitarists ever, along with Jeff Loomis and Ron Jarzombek.

If we are talking pure technicality, this guy has to be number 1. He can sweep pick like a god, tap like a god, and play the most intricate rhythms. Overall, he is even more technical than Petrucci.

Just watch him. Please. Do yourself a favor. Doesn't get any better than Tosin.

18 Karl Sanders Karl Sanders is an American musician, most widely known as the founding member of the American ancient Egyptian-themed technical death metal band Nile.

I really appreciate Karl's guitar playing and the music he makes. His note choices, phrasing, tone, and touch are unique and heartfelt. Those string bends and vibrato are like no one else's.

How Karl plays some of the things he plays, I don't know. I have to pick tremolo just to reach his normal picking speed. If Yngwie was death metal and more song-oriented.

19 Eddie Van Halen Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) was a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor. He was best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

Eddie Van Halen is the best technical guitarist of all time. He can do things that only a few others can do. Steve Vai is right up there with him, but Eddie gets the crown by a nose.

Greatest guitarist of all time. Most influential.

EVH. Half the people in the world play guitar because of this guy.

20 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.

I admit I can't believe that Paul wasn't part of the best list until now. He's among the best out there, both in technique and songwriting.

His alternate picking is near unmatched. Plus, his string skipping arpeggios are scary. This dude is the real deal.

Paul is the most technical guitarist in the world. No one can beat him. He's a guitar god.

21 Guthrie Govan Guthrie Govan is an English virtuoso guitarist and guitar teacher, known for his work with the bands The Aristocrats, Asia, GPS, The Young Punx and The Fellowship, as well as his solo project Erotic Cakes.

Guthrie Govan at 28... he is quite literally the most technically proficient guitarist on Earth right now. Tosin Abasi has even said, He is the most complete guitarist on the planet. He rejected an album recording offer from Steve Vai. Surely that should be enough to at least put him in the top ten.

Well, Guthrie should not be included in this list. Firstly, he is a guitarist's guitarist. He has reached a robotic level not comparable to humans. He is easily the scariest guitarist alive! He has mastered every possible style and surpassed it. He is in a league of his own.

22 Fredrik Thordendal Fredrik Thordendal (born February 11, 1970) is a Swedish musician, best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah. He's considered the originator of the djent technique. Thordendal was rated No. 35 by Guitar World in the top 100 greatest heavy metal... read more

This man needed to be on the list! He deserves to be in the top ten lists! Listen to Vanished, Sane, and Soul Burn. The main reason to listen is the great technicality of Meshuggah.

23 Alexi Laiho Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho (April 8th 1979 - December 29th 2020) was 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. He was also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band, and Kylähullut... read more

Compare Laiho to other fast-playing guitarists. Hear how cleanly Laiho plays those complex riffs.

24 Herman Li Herman Li is a Hong Kong-born, British Chinese musician, record producer, and lead guitarist for the British Power-Metal band Dragonforce.
25 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.

I agree. The ability that he had to use harmonics to make a guitar squeal was amazing.

Just cover some of his songs, and you will understand!

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