Top 100 Guitarists of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal of All-Time

Dear Millennial EDM Expert Still Living with Parents Because the System is Rigged Against You,

It’s time to put down your glow sticks, neon tights, and molly so you can finally do something useful with your lazy existence. Try popping this list of guitar gods from the Gears of Rock before walking down to your corner vape shop. Because here, you will find the most valuable guitar players in hard rock and heavy metal history. This listing is not necessarily ranked according to technical prowess or neoclassical shredding ability. We take into account the role of the guitarist within his or her band; the quality of songs and albums released; longevity of career; stage presence and persona; lasting legacy and reception; and finally, whether or not they are a d*ck.

Without further ado here is the Top 100 All-Time Best Guitarists of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Please spew your bloody vomit below. Tell us how terrible this guitar god list is, how your opinion is better than everyone else’s, then frenetically wait to see if any other trolls care to spit on your spew. I know my dog’s sphincter is dying to hear all of your thoughts.

Insincerely up yours,

The Management

P.S. Certain guitar tandems are counted very close to one another on the list while others are arbitrarily ranked further down, or not at all. Either way, this listing of amazing guitarists of rock falls somewhere between space garbage and martian dung. Godspeed.

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  1. Tony Iommi – Black Sabbath
  2. Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen
  3. Angus Young – AC/DC
  4. Adrian Smith – Iron Maiden
  5. Dave Murray – Iron Maiden
  6. Zakk Wylde – Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society
  7. Randy Rhoads – Ozzy Osbourne
  8. Jimmy Page – Led Zeppelin
  9. Dave Mustaine – Megadeth
  10. Slash – Guns N’ Roses
  11. Kirk Hammett – Metallica
  12. Dimebag Darrell – Pantera
  13. John Petrucci – Dream Theater
  14. Joe Perry – Aerosmith
  15. Paul Gilbert – Mr. Big and Racer X
  16. Jeff Hanneman – Slayer
  17. Kerry King – Slayer
  18. Brian May – Queen
  19. Steve Vai – David Lee Roth
  20. Ritchie Blackmore – Deep Purple and Rainbow
  21. Marty Friedman – Megadeth and Cacophony
  22. James Hetfield – Metallica
  23. Synyster Gates – Avenged Sevenfold
  24. Nuno Bettencourt – Extreme
  25. Joe Satriani – Chickenfoot
  26. Adam Jones – Tool
  27. Yngwie Malmsteen – Yngwie Malmsteen
  28. Ace Frehley – Kiss
  29. Michael Schenker – UFO
  30. John 5 – Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and David Lee Roth
  31. Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson – Thin Lizzy
  32. Chuck Schuldiner – Death
  33. George Lynch – Dokken
  34. Alex Lifeson – Rush
  35. Uli Jon Roth – Scorpions
  36. Rudolph Schenker – Scorpions
  37. Gary Holt – Exodus and Slayer
  38. Frank Hannon – Tesla
  39. Paul Stanley – Kiss
  40. Tom Morello – Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave
  41. Jake E. Lee – Ozzy Osbourne
  42. Ty Tabor – King’s X
  43. Mark Morton – Lamb of God
  44. Alex Skolnick – Testament
  45. Vernon Reid – Living Colour
  46. Jason Becker – Cacophony and David Lee Roth
  47. Alexi Laiho – Children of Bodom
  48. Daron Malakian – System of a Down
  49. Jeff Loomis – Nevermore and Arch Enemy
  50. K.K. Downing – Judas Priest
  51. Glenn Tipton – Judas Priest
  52. Glen Buxton – Alice Cooper
  53. Phil Collen – Def Leppard
  54. Malcolm Young – AC/DC
  55. Ted Nugent – Ted Nugent
  56. John Sykes – Whitesnake
  57. Andreas Kisser – Sepultura
  58. Jim Root – Slipknot
  59. Mick Thomson – Slipknot
  60. Michael Wilton – Queensryche
  61. Chris Degarmo – Queensryche
  62. Brad Whitford – Aerosmith
  63. Janick Gers – Iron Maiden
  64. Mike McCready – Pearl Jam
  65. Vic Johnson – Sammy Hagar
  66. Andy LaRocque – King Diamond
  67. Jerry Cantrell – Alice in Chains
  68. Will Adler – Lamb of God
  69. C.C. Deville – Poison
  70. Mikael Akerfeldt – Opeth
  71. Peter Lindgren – Opeth
  72. Eddie Clarke – Motorhead
  73. Sammy Hagar – Sammy Hagar
  74. Scott Ian – Anthrax
  75. Mick Mars – Motley Crue
  76. James Shaffer and Brian Welch – Korn
  77. Richie Sambora – Bon Jovi
  78. Zacky Vengeance – Avenged Sevenfold
  79. Dean DeLeo – Stone Temple Pilots
  80. Warren DeMartini – Ratt
  81. Phil Demmel – Machine Head
  82. Rich Ward – Stuck Mojo and Fozzy
  83. Stephen Carpenter – Deftones
  84. Eddie Ojeda – Twisted Sister
  85. Dino Cazares – Fear Factory
  86. Kim Thayil – Soundgarden
  87. Ronnie Montrose – Montrose
  88. Jim Martin – Faith No More
  89. Rob Caggiano – Volbeat, Anthrax, The Damned Things
  90. Akira Takasaki – Loudness
  91. Mark Tremonti – Tremonti and Alter Bridge
  92. Woody Weatherman – Corrosion of Conformity
  93. Pepper Keenan – Corrosion of Conformity and Down
  94. Dan Donegan – Disturbed
  95. Dave Sabo – Skid Row
  96. Scotti Hill – Skid Row
  97. Kenny Hickey – Type-O-Negative
  98. Wes Borland – Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burns
  99. Mike Mushok – Staind, Newsted, and Saint Asonia
  100. Jay Jay French – Twisted Sister

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Thank you for reading the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Guitarists of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Are there any glaring omissions? Yeah, thousands. Are any misplaced? About 99 percent of them, but we’ll take that 1 percent smidgen of perfection in stride. Later days Willie Mays Hays.

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