Top 10 Fastest Guitarists of All Time

The Top Ten
1 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 STRONGLY AGREE! Listen to afterlife it is so awesome, of course! I like the vocals too, and if you get to the solos while trying to play it... OUCH! (exept for syn) I can punch in the equal button on a calculator a bunch of times and I almost got to a thousand(but probably not as fast as him). I say afterlife is harder to play on guitar hero than through the fire and flames on expert.

I though he is the fastest guitarist ever. But when I saw some other unpopular guitarists keep breaking the records then I realize that a lot of these guitarists aren't even close to them. Of course there are many ways to measure the speed of guitar. But Synyster Gates will probably fail in it.

What is he doing here? I listened to his solo and he was not even worth top 10. Only Sweep Picking doesn't make you fast. You must also have great taping and alternate picking speed. Herman, Malmsteen, Buckethead, Van Halen, Slash, Petrucci are the definition of speed.

Synyster Gates is simply one of the best guitar players ever. The emotion he puts in his songs are just so great, because they go so good together with the lyrics of the songs ( Of Avenged Sevenfold ), it's great that his guitar notes can really touch you.

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

Not Best, Okay not the best.. But surely the fastest.. Listen to their new song Dragonforce - Fallen World.. I bet no-one can cover it 100% and don't tell me that they fast their song on studio because' I have seen them LIVE... And they erupted the stage.. Surely needs to be higher OR surely I think he is #1..

Herman li should be the second fastest guitarist player.. And number one should be Michael angelo batio.. Because them both have the greatest skills than the others.. I cannot believe that synyster gates and buckethead on top.. What .. They are nothing!.. What .. Guys who vote them should be crazy and go death.. Suckerr!

It is agreed that Herman Li and Sam Totman are two off the fastest guitarist in the world.
The songs they played are surely fast I say. Like the Fallen World, Through the Fire and Flames, and three of their new songs: Midnight Madness, Ashes of the Dawn, and Judgement Day. No doubt, All o their songs are really the fastest!
#HermanLiForever

Him and Sam Totman have one of the most famous guitar solos in the world, and I'm no guitarist, (get it like I'm no doctor) but if you want real talent with guitar and to be good at it, you are going to need at least some speed. But Herman... is WAY beyond speed, and I know that we can all agree on that am I right. yes I am

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

This is not a vote on who is best. This is a vote on who is fastest. Quantitative data has no place for preference. You can't change the results because you don't like them. Buckethead is the fastest guitar player. There are faster pickers, but for overall speed in all aspects, nobody matches Bucky. Some come close, but ultimately fall a little short of this title.

Buckethead is definitely the fastest guitarist. Just listen to Soothsayer and the Jordan solo. Plus, not only is he fast, but his melodies are AMAZING. People argue that his music lacks soul and passion, just listen to Leave the Light On and see how completely mistaken they are. This guy can take Synyster Gates. Great guitarist.

I don't think that there is any reason why buckethead should be at #2 because in every song there is a vary large difference between Synysterter Gates. I heavily agree with the top comment in this list. It shouldn't become a "oh that's my fave player I'll vote for that guy." Type of list. The top 20 is not most liked but a "vote on who is fastest."

This was a Really A Tough Decision, You have my 2 Favorite guitarists on 1 and 2nd places, But The only reason Why I voted Buckethead was, He's Different, Unique, He's Fast, listen To Big Sur Moon, He uses Bass, Listen To Scapula, Jump Man. He's Epic! For Synster Gates he Has To Do Team Work, Where Is Work Will Only Be highlighted, when He Plays A Solo. Syn is good too!

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

I am a guitar player,and have been shredding since I was a kid (almost 50 now...). ALL these guitar players ARE outstanding, and worthy of being on this list. BUT, to pick 1 top of all time (which I do not like doing, for I love and appreciate all players and styles..), Michael Angelo Batio IS the king of all shred, and teaching shred. His speed, accuracy, and knowledge of theory, and teaching is unmatched. If you review his career, its main focus is always raising the bar on ability, AND lifting up everyone else in the guitar community as well. He only gives everyone praise, and always teaches everything he knows. He is a blessing to the guitar world. Period.

This list is a farce. "Chuck Norris" is listed above Dave Mustaine, Mustaine being a much faster playing than the #1 on this "list." If your playing experience and music taste on which to judge playing skill is using a cheap Schecter through the Insane channel on your Line 6 Spider, and listening to Avenged Sevenfold and My Chemical Romance through Apple EarPods, you should not be allowed to vote.

Regardless of his song writing skills and others, his speed and accuracy is beyond human already. His trademark, double neck guitar, has already been legendary among guitar kids and even professional guitarist. Sure, I like Synyster Gates, one of the most popular guitarists and also a great shredder, but I don't think he deserves the first place in this section.

I am a huge fan of synyster gates but seriously he does not hold a candle to MAB... Batio could play faster than gates upside down or with his opposite hand. If you don't believe that then apparently you've never seen any videos of him playing. On that note I'm willing to bet he could play two guitars at the same time faster than some of the people on this list could play one!

5 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.

I play guitar. Trust me when I say there I no one else. When you talk about speed, meaning from a more professional standpoint, is how fast your fingers are moving, and Eddie takes the cake. But all of you who don't play guitar do not understand that I am the fastest guitar player ever... If I pick the same 2 chords over and over and over again at 900 beats per minute, which is entirely possible. Fast is defined by movement, not note lengths or space between notes. So as a result, 99 percent of these guitarists do not measure up. Eddie is the best out there

Eddie deserves to be first man. HE popularized two hand tapping method on a six-string guitar, with his song "Eruption" off the album Van Halen. He created a following trend of tapping guitarists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. He is the GOD

Without Eddie, would we have all of the other shredders? And what is slash doing on here, and Synyster Gates? Where is Satriani, Vai, Rhoads, KERRY KING?

You know, once Eddie did his Eruption solo and after that Yngwie Malmsteen did the same solo with his guitar behind his back.

6 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 is by far faster than all of those listed above him. He dominates in arpeggios, legato, sweep picking and accuracy in being able to pick as fast as his legato; no body comes close. Maybe Michael Angelo Batio (over rated because of his unique "over the neck technique" but nonetheless good), Rusty Cooley (freak of nature - actually an Yngwie worshipor) or Shawn Lane should be at the top or in the same range. Shawn lane is probably the best followed by Yngwie Malmsteen and then Rusty Coley.

Honestly, half you kids probably know NOTHING about the art of playing the guitar. I agree with Buckethead, Herman Li, & Eddie Van Halen being in the top 5. But Synyster Gates? Great guitarist; not nearly the fastest. Yngwie is so fast and accurate when he plays it almost seems superhuman. Go watch 'Arpeggios From Hell' or 'Acoustic Solo' on YouTube. You'll see what I mean.

Anyone can play fast. But can anyone keep that speed while improvising? And hell, can anyone do that in classical music? People like Synyster Gates are undoubtedly good, but they can only write fast solos, and play the same riffs again on stage. Yngwie can play fast as long as you want him to, even on acoustic guitars.

Ah yes. He is amazing. I fell on love with his song Caprico Di Diablo. I am not really that old and am from 2000's so I don't really know much about him. But for me, he is the one of pioneer of guitarist. After him, there came Herman Li who was like so fast that he was made fun for being fast so Herman is faster but still. Top.3 is where he belongs.

7 Slash Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I have heard slash play, and you can definitely tell he has skill by listening his latest album, Apocalyptic Love. He might not sound fast when he's with Guns N' Roses, but in his solo career, he really shows his talent. Just listen to the song "Anastasia", and you will hear the speed.

I absolutely love Slash as a guitarist, but he is definitely not done of the fastest. I agree he has got great speed, but he is not near Synyster Gates or Buckethead or Yngwie Malmsteen. He definitely deserves a very high spot on the greatest overall guitarists list.

I know, Slash has more of melody than the speed in his music, still Slash has evolved a lot since Guns 'N Roses. For his speed samples try new "Godfather intro to Sweet Child O mine" its Blitz Krieg...

People are really dumb this is for the fastest guitarist not the most overrated.

Slash is so overrated. Fast? He is not even close there are guys in my city who can play faster than him.

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

This is horrible! Why is he down here. I can't
Believe synster gates is number 1. I would put via
Up against synster on his worst day.

9 Sam Totman

Everybody disses the guy because he plays behind Herman Li but he is a very fast and accurate rhythm guitar player. Saw Dragonforce live in Osaka in 2004 and he was very good in Valley of the Damned!

He is right behind herman li in speed which means he is the second fastest and herman li is first

He should be in second place write behind where Herman li should be

10 Ilan Ashkenazi

I have known Ilan for many years. His methodical and articulate playing is outstanding. He inspires the mind and music with his accomplished playing.

This freak of nature has the most perfect tech and is one of if not The fastest guitar player I've heard.

This man is unbelievable on the guitar, Fast isn't the word for his amazing work on the guitar.. and a Awesome friend

Ash is the definition of a child prodigy..I know him well and he lives to play guitar

The Contenders
11 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 wasn't just blindingly fast, he was melodic too. His solos were just as much speed as they were emotion. He was simply the best at what he did. Along with Jason Becker, Dimebag Darrell, and SRV, one of the biggest losses in the history of rock/metal guitar. And to those who compare him to Eddie Van Halen: look up his solo on laughing gas with Quiet Riot.

This dudes awesome and super fast, definitely not the fastest but should be up there a little more, at least number 12-10, I agree that synster is the fastest and should be but this guys should be a little higher up

12 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.

What do you mean he's the tenth fastest guitarist ever? Go listen to something like Heartbreaker or dazed and confused, or even you shook me. He plays blazingly fast! Few people know this, but van halen got his famous tapping technique that gives him his speed from watching jimmy page play Heartbreaker live! You people don't know true talent.

Jimmy Page is not really fast. His solos are somehow fast, but not really the fastest. And his riffs are mostly slow. Because he created heavy riffs (not talking about metal). And for heavy riffs, you have to strum your guitar slowly. So he is not very fast.

He's fast. Maybe not quite as fast as some of the others on this list, but keep in mind that many techniques hadn't yet been invented in the 70's

Not as fast as some of the guitarists on here... but Jimmy Page is still a top 3 all time guitarist.

13 Alexi Wildchild Lahio

His Solos Kills all.. Who can Growl & Play Guitar So Perfectly Live? One of the Best front mans Ever. No need to be Top in This List..
Who Knows how Wild his Playing Skill is Vote for Him..

My Top list Would be in Fastest Guitarist category!
Alexi Lahio (Children Of Bodom)
Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold)
John Petrucci (But the Lead Vocalist Sucks. How Bad)
Brandon Jacobs (Mutiny Within)
Nick Hipa (As I Lay Dying)
Mark Morton (Lamb Of God)
Matt Heafy (Trivium)
Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
Dave Murray (Iron Maiden)
Corey Beaulieu (Trivium)
Michelle Paget (Bullet For My Valentine)

Not The EPIC Players, But The Fastest Category.. Not in Order!

Synester gates shouldn't be at the top of of this list there are guitarist like Randy Rhoads are better than him and talking about alexi laiho well speed is his middle name. What the hell is wrong with this list. Overrated guys like A7X top this list. I respect them but they are overrated. Seriously

He should be 1st not gates... Gates plays riffs like slowest bike but guitargod alexi plays riffs like fastest bike in the world... Gates sucks.. Mark morton should be 2nd man he's great

Saw him playing live some time ago... I do not know words that could describe what I felt. You have to experience it!

14 John 5

There's a huge difference when comes to Speed and Technique. While I agree Petrucci, Jimmy Page and Steve Vai are guitarists way better than John 5, none of them can beat this man when talking of speed. And please. Synyster Gates 1st place? John 5 does what that guy does while he's sleeping... Just nonsense... Listen to Soul of a Robot and Black Widow of La Porte, then you'll see what speed really means.

John 5 should replace slash because you just can't compare these compare slash's fastest song with Black Widow of La Porte or better yet Soul Of a Robot and you will c that slash doesn't even come close. Slash will destroy his hands trying to play Black widow! Has the internet gone mad?!

Super fast and great sounding solo's, he's speed is incredible, and he is super composed whilst playing as well just to top it off.

Hands down best guitarist living.

15 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 Really like Dream Theater because of there tempo's and timing's. They have great musicianship. I also like synyster's playing but John has got to be before him he's just better and more technical.

John Petrucci is a god among men and why he is only number 10 we shall never know. Synyster Gates has nothing on him. Just listen to the Stream Of Consciousness solo at about 3 minutes in, he reaches 38 notes per second, let's just let that sink in 38 NOTES PER SECOND! Tell me that is not fast...

Alright he may not be the fastest but Synester, Slash and Herman don't even come close. And where is Rustey Cooley? He may not be that great melody wise, but you cannot deny that his speed is unmatchable.

Petrucci's speed and CLARITY is inhuman. Check out the solo in "As I Am" by Dream Theater. It's unreal how precise he plays those wicked-fast arpeggios.

16 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Hendrix is consistently ranked on lists of musicians who died too soon.

There are live versions that surpass the fastest jazz guitarists I have ever heard. Two examples: L A Forum I Don't Live Today 04-26-69 toward the end of the song, and about 60 percent the way through Woodstock Instrumental Improvisation. Many other examples, and he does almost every guitar style- very well.

WHAT! Jimi Hendrix 16 place this man is so good he can play the guitar whith his teeth and tongue

17 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.

Paul had an endorsement from Makita (who make battery powered drills) back in the day for the song where he uses one with three picks stuck in a wooden dowel. Nobody can pick as fast as a drill so he wins. In my opinion.

I don't know what! Some guys are doing at the top of this list but this guy is surely the fastest!
No one can beat PG.

You know, paul gilbert is the fast, and he also can play with stretchy fingers quickly.

Who knows about guitars, knows that Gilbert is the fastest. Also Marty Friedman should be in the Top 10

18 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.

Fact Mr. Gates does 198 BPM in Battery and Master Of Puppets Kirk does 220 Bpm 1 time Kirk did 19.8 notes per second Van Helen in Eruption does only 10 notes per second. In Afterlife he does 16.4 notes per second Kirk is the guy who made Master Of Puppets solos + Gates even said Kirk could beat him in a contest.

Why is Kirk Hammett so underrated on fastest guitar lists? He may not be THE fastest guitarist ever but he's up there... For me his is at least top five. I'm fine with Syn at 1, though

Come on Kirk might not be the most well know (Even though he should be "Metallica"!? ) He should definitely be in the top ten though.

What.. Why is he rated so low? He should be in the top 5 at least.. He made master of puppets a good song..

19 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.

He can play the fastest if he wants, he just has the clarity and soul.

Teacher of the all the masters mentioned above. He can play any speed,but most of the time he prefer melody.

Would have voted buckethead or batio, but he deserves to be higher. One of the best guitarists ever and without him, there would be no Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai or Tom Morello! He also taught Kevin Cadogan, Larry Lalonde and Charlie Hunter! And in these cases, all these students (including Kirk himself) never passed the master!

He is arguably the best humanity has ever produced.

20 Brian May Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

Go and listen to Brighton Rock live at Hammersmith, 1975. For a couple of bars he is playing with 10 notes per second. One vision tapping plays 12 notes per second. Far from world record, but I challenge you to find faster playing in the classic rock era: Clapton, Hendrix, Page...

Highly underrated; Comes, because Brian always plays what's best for the song, not what's best for his ego (like so many other guitar masturbators on this list); He MAY not be the fastest, but he CAN do pretty fast... Still that, fastness, - to me - is not a criterion for quality... ;-)

Listen to Dead on Time, Gimme the Prize intro and the solo of Princes of the Universe.

Listen to I Want It All, it has a fast paced instrumental part.

21 Chris Impellitteri

Synyster Gates?! Slash?! Kirk Hammett?! The fastest they've ever played is half the speed of Chris Impellitteri.

Impellitteri is an absolute Speed Demon!

Chris is definitely the fastest...I have watched every guitarist mentioned here and the clear answer is Chris Impellitteri.

The list says fastest. Without question Chris is the fastest of the choices offered. Check out Empire Of Lies. Says it all!

Finally, Chris Impellitteri ended the speed war!

22 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.
23 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.

I am 12 years old, I can play synyster gates solos, Michael Angelo Batio solos, and a little yngwie, but I can't top Jason in speed or melody he can play over 20 notes per second, if that tells you anything. Listen to Altitudes or Mables Fatel Fable and you'll see what I mean.

Faster than Yngwie, Batio, Gate etc.
Speed was never his priority but he chould play faster than all guitar player above. Just listen to his live solo with cacophony

Best, greatest and fastest guitar player of all time.
The real master of the fretboard.

24 Shawn Lane Shawn Lane was an American musician who released two studio albums and collaborated with a variety of musicians including Ringo Starr, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Reggie Young, Joe Walsh, Jonas Hellborg and many others.

Not just fast, ultra-fast and clean. He's a lot more unknown that the others here & that's too bad, because he (like his friend Buckethead) simply over matches the instrument. He never liked to showcase his speed, deferring to substance, tone and expression. But ever since I saw him bring down the house in Munich, Germany one night with an awesome display of speed, I'd say Shawn belongs in the top 2; no disrespect to the other talented guitarists here. Shawn Lane may not be as well known, but I'd invite guitarists everywhere to listen to his unique style.

All you need is one video of Shawn Lane and your mind will be blown. I have watched videos of many other fast guitar players, but as soon as I saw Lane, there really is no question. There has been no one else who has mastered the speed and technicality the same as him. The most impressive feature is that the solos are ridiculously clean.

After playing guitar through much of my teenage years, and then working live sound and concert production through my 20's into my 30's, I've literally seen thousands of guitarists live. I've seen and/or worked all of the greats (Yngwie, Vai, Satch, Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Buddy Guy, BB King, Tosin...). No one, and I mean no one, can do what Shawn Lane did. There is absolutely no question who the greatest guitarist in the 30 years is. It's Shawn Lane.

Shawn lane was officially clocked at 16 notes per second,
There's no argument to it it is completely offical but sadly if you look at the list its obvious that this is only a popularity contest run by morons who do not know what they are talking about I mean really Page, Hendrix and Van Halen!? What a joke!

25 Richie Sambora Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. He is known for his work with Bon Jovi from 1983 to 2013. He is a very praised guitarist who played solos for songs like Dry County, Stranger ...read more.

Since I saw richie playing his 3 necked guitar I'm so amazed. that song is wanted dead or alive.

8Load More
PSearch List