Best Metal Guitarists

Metal is something that requires all members of the band perform on the edge of their physical and mental capabilities. Have you ever seen a live concert by metal bands? Each member is half-dead from exhaustion and yeat pumped and happy to play in front of a crowd. Some artists claim that they enjoy playing even for one fan if they know that he is a loyal supporter. This requires hard work and big determination to bring the highest possiblу quality for their music. One of the biggest parts goes to the guitarists. These guys smash their strings and cut their fingers in order to get the best sound possible. In the constant struggle for better music and more awesome performances, true talents of guitar playing were revealed and became top metal guitarists over time.

They enjoy fame from all sources and are a number one target for fangirls. RankTopTen can sometimes be called a club of metal fangirls, so we have decided to bring you the list of metal guitarists that made us yell, jump and try to replicate guitar solos with our lips. Yeah, stupid, but we loved doing that. Kirk Hammett, Randy Rhoads and much more, this list contains true legends of guitar art when it comes to metal sound. Groundbreaking riffs and soul-tearing solos are just a small part of how you can describe each participant of this chart.

Who are your best metal guitarists? Make a vote and leave a comment describing your love and devotion for a particular musician that is present on the list.


Tony Iommi

He is famous as one of members and founders of the legendary band Black Sabbath. One of the best metal guitarists who had a decisive influence on the development of metal as a music style. He had a serious injury to his fingers, which, however, could not prevent him from continuing his musical activity.


Dave Mustaine

This musician passed through fire and water to become one of the most recognized metal guitarists of our time. He used to be a participant of Metallica but was expelled from it because of problems with drugs and persistent conflicts. Everybody who cooperated with Dave Mustaine describes him as a very talented musician with an intolerable character. He is a leader of founded by him band Megadeth.


Dimebag Darrell

Dimebag Darrel was a member and co-founder of Pantera and Damageplan bands. A lot of fans consider him as the best among top metal guitarists in the world. He possessed impressive technical abilities in music. His career was rapid, and his death was dramatic. In 2004 a fan who suffered from schizophrenia killed him at Pantera’s concert.


Kirk Hammett

Kirk Hammet took the 11th place in the list of the best metal guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. He was a co-founder of Exodus band, which was one of the first that started to play thrash metal. In 1983 he replaced David Mustaine in Metallica, and since then he is the lead guitarist in the band.


Randy Rhoads

Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who plaRandy Rhoads is one of metal guitarists who had a great influence on many famous musicians’ music style. He died young because of airplane explosion, being a member of Ozzy Osborn’s band. In spite of Randy’s young age, he was considered to be an extremely talented musician. yed with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot.


Chuck Schuldiner

One of top metal guitarists, who created death metal on his own hands. Chuck Schuldiner, a member of Death band, which first album Scream Bloody Gore became a classic representative of death metal and the starting point of the style development. He died of cancer in 2001.


James Hetfield

James Hetfield is a real rock icon. Rolling Stone magazine included him in the list of top metal guitarists of all time. His manner of communication with fans and strong vocal made all the concerts of Metallica unforgettable. His childhood was difficult; in the period of Metallica’s prosperity, James suffered from alcohol dependence, but that didn’t stop him from being the one who inspires metal fans around the whole world.


John Petrucci

It is hard to find someone so skilled in guitar playing as John Petrucci, even among the best metal guitarists. He repeatedly held the highest positions in various kinds of musical ratings. In addition to his high proficiency in the main occupation, John Petrucci also sings and writes great song lyrics.


Dave Murray

It is hard to imagine Iron Maiden without Dave Murray, its member and one of the best metal guitarists in the world. His childhood was hard because of poverty of his family, but all the difficulties strengthened him. Dave had some misunderstandings with other members of Iron Maiden, but he has remained their constant guitarist almost from the very beginning to the present day.

Marty Friedman

Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith is one of those metal guitarists, who succeed after long years of hard work; he really deserves his success. The musician is a member of legendary Iron Maiden, but he started his musical way as a vocalist of Evil Ways band with no guitar playing skills. Along with this, Adam mastered the guitar until he became a professional.

Yngwie Malmsteen
K.K. Downing
Jimmy Page
Alex Skolnick
Jeff Loomis
Steve Vai
Eddie Van Halen
Jason Becker
Zakk Wylde
Jeff Hanneman
Kerry King
Synyster Gates
Paul Gilbert
Daron Malakian
Mikael Akerfeldt

Mikael Akerfeldt, the Rhythm / Lead Guitarist, Songwriter and Singer of Opeth. He did not only invent his own rhythmical timing, which is essential to his playing, but he also includes many different playstyles, like fingerpicking acoustic / clean guitars, syncopated riffing and very diverse harmonic lead playing. He pushed the boundary of dissonant chords, by writing harmony around them, in a very disginguishable way. He's one of the founders of melting heavy distorted extreme metal riffs with soothing clean sections, which a lot of bands nowadays take inspiration from. His riffs are extremely diverse and sometimes technical, but they never lose their sense in the big picture of the songs.

Alexi Laiho
Jeff Waters
Gary Holt
Glenn Tipton
Andy LaRocque
Bobby Gustafson
Richie Blackmore
Steve Belong