Seeing as last week I made a top 5 on my favourite metal drummers, I thought it was time to make a list on my favourite guitarists. Metal guitarists are arguably the most technically proficient amongst other genres such as jazz and fusion. They are responsible for a large number of the greatest riffs, solos and are inspiring musicians all around the world. So here goes nothing...
5. Tosin Abasi
Having only recently become a fan of Animals as Leaders I've always known about Tosin Abasi and loved his work. I have a weakness for technical ability and Tosin has everything you could want in a technical guitar player. His tapping technique, thumping and melodic playing makes for some of the greatest and most technical music I've heard. He will only continue to build his legacy as one of the great all time technical guitar players.
4. Tony Iommi
Would a list be complete without the creator of metal? Probably not.. But having grown up on Black Sabbath, every riff and solo to come from Iommi's magic hands has stuck with me to this day, and will for the rest of my life. His ability to create the heaviest riffs known to man will forever be unmatched. When I first started playing guitar Iommi's solos where some of the first I attempted to learn. They may be simple and not necessarily technical, however they are memorable and will forever be the blueprint for metal guitar playing.
3. Dimebag Darrell
Dimebag definitely drew a page from the Iommi handbook. Creating some of the heaviest riffs and best solos ever, Dimebag will always be one of my favourite guitarists. His tone, specifically on Far Beyond Driven is one of the heaviest guitar tones ever produced and one of my favourites. His ability to make his guitar cry, scream and everything in between is something that others haven't managed to do. Not only was he down to earth and respectful of fans, but also had a signature sound which he poured his soul into, and every recording of him is a reflection of that. His career was short, but similar to Jimi Hendrix, his music and influence will live on forever.
2. James Hetfield
When it comes to personal heroes, James Hetfield would be up there for me. Meeting him was probably the most excited I've ever been and is a life highlight. However, his ability to compose riffs out of nothing, create rare but interesting solos and rhythm ability is something I've always admired. In terms of the modern guitar player Hetfield has influenced and inspired a countless number of people. His riffs will forever remain as classics and staples in the genre of metal and his skill cannot be ignored. Hetfield's ability to engage the crowd and energy places him amongst some of the greatest frontmen ever.
1. John Petrucci
I am pretty sure that John Petrucci and the rest of Dream Theater weren't born on Earth... it's a conspiracy. He will forever remain my favourite guitar player ever, regardless of genre. His technical ability is astounding but he is one of the few shredders out there who can play with passion and melody, and he also has a stunning ability to produce slow and emotionally driven solos. Across the Dream Theater discography Petrucci's ability to not only compose pieces of art, but strong riffing and solos, which challenge even the most skilled guitarist, is something that ranks him amongst the greats. Seeing Dream Theater live and also meeting the man himself was a game changer, I was hoping his powers would rub off when we shook hands, but it didn't happen. He will forever have the guitar and metal world's admiration and continue to solidify his legacy as one of the greatest guitarists ever.