Countless musicians have picked up a guitar, but only a few have been able to create magic through their playing that lives on for decades. It was a tough task, but we narrowed down rock and metal's greatest axemen to a Top 10.

We recently put together a Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time list, so be sure to check out that full list below. The Top 10, however, represent the absolute elite of both players and songwriters. It's not all about who can shred the fastest or rock the loudest, but a combination of everything that makes a legendary guitarist.

We took into account each artist's discography, influence, virtuosic imagination, technical skill and much more, but all of these guitarists possess an intangible element used to captivate and inspire generations of players. If you've ever picked up a guitar, there's a great chance you've emulated more than one shredder on this list, which spans over five decades.

Check out our picks for the Top 10 Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time in the video above!

Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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