Metal Guitar Gods:  The Top 5 to have Ever Walked the Planet

With the changing face of music through time, it seems that what is considered rock and metal has seemingly evolved.  Here are the top five Metal/Rock guitarists of all time.




5. Dimebag Darrell


Darrell Lance Abbott who also goes by the names of Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell was a founding member of the metal band Pantera.  Dimebag began playing the guitar when he was 13 and it seems that he never really looked back.  Forming Pantera in 1981 with assistance from his brother Vinnia Paul on the drums, the band quickly made a name for itself touring with big names such as Slayer, Metallica, and Megadeath.  It wasn’t until the early 90’s that Pantera began to see major mainstream success with the release of their album Cowboys from hell.

Dimebag was murdered on December 8, 2004 when a crazed fan rushed the stage with a gun and targeted him for execution.  Dying while doing what he loved, needless to say, he did not survive the incident.

4. Synyster Gates


Brian Elwin Haner Jr. who also goes by the names of Synyster Gates or Syn is still shredding his way to the top.  Being a self-taught guitar player through the beginning of his career, Syn went on to study at the musicians Institute in Hollywood as part of the Guitar institute of technology program.  Here he studied jazz and classical guitar.

Synyster Gates is most known for his performances in the band Avenged Sevenfold.  Avenged sevenfold was started in 1999 and has continued to see growing success to this day.  Still in progress and shredding hard, this guitar god still has room to climb the rankings. 

3. Randy Rhodes


Randall William who also goes by the name of “Randy” Rhodes began playing the guitar when he was just 7 years old at his mother’s music school.  Quickly becoming unable to take local lessons because of his exceptional guitar practice which now exceeded his instructors, Randy began taking piano lessons with his mother in order to improve his grasp on music theory.

Building his way up by performing mainly cover songs, Randy eventually made a name for himself by performing in some well-known bands such as Quiet Riot and Black Sabbath. 

Rhodes died in a plane crash in 1982.  Attempting to sweep over the tour bus containing the rest of the band members, one of the wings clipped the bus and sent the plane spiraling into a nearby structure.  All occupants were killed instantly.

2. Jimmy Page


James Patrick also known as “Jimmy” Page began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and is most famously known for his success and leadership in the band Led Zeppelin.  Beginning his career as a studio musician in London, he quickly became one of the most sought after guitarists in the UK.  Page was actually inducted into the hall of fame not once, but two times.  Once as a member of the Yardbirds, and another as a member of Led Zeppelin.

Page continues to write autobiographies, play reunion concerts, and make random appearances throughout the music world.  

1. Eddie Van Halen


Edward Lodewijk  A.K.A “Eddie” Van Halen began playing the guitar seriously only because his brother was better than him at the task.  Playing the piano and drums for a long time, Eddie suddenly made the switch and began locking himself in his room for hours on end while practicing.  Forming the band that started out playing pop and disco covers and eventually earning the name Van Halen, the band soon changed its style and began working its way to the top.

Having trouble forming as a functional band, Eddie considered quitting the band and possibly joining Kiss as their lead guitarist.  Convinced otherwise, he stayed with the band Van Halen and began producing number one hits such as “Jump” and “Hot for Teacher”.  The album quickly jumped to the number two spot behind Michael Jacksons “Thriller” on which he also played.

Still collecting revenue from his countless contracts, patents, and products, Eddie continues to make appearances and performances today.  There is no question that when combining his unique sound, fast technique, and successful practice, Eddie Van Halen has set in stone his number one spot for a long long time.