Best metal guitar is subjective, but popular choices include the Gibson Les Paul, ESP Eclipse, and the Ibanez RG series. When it comes to choosing the best guitar for playing metal, there are a few key factors to consider.
Metal music often requires a guitar that can deliver heavy tones with excellent sustain, while also providing fast and precise playability. We will explore some of the top choices for metal guitars, including the Gibson Les Paul, ESP Eclipse, and the Ibanez RG series.
Each of these guitars has its own unique features and qualities that make them highly regarded among metal guitarists. So, if you’re looking to shred some heavy riffs and unleash your inner metal god, read on to find the best metal guitar for you.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Metal Guitar
When selecting the best metal guitar, factors such as the guitar’s pickups, body construction, and neck profile should be considered. Additionally, factors like the guitar’s tonal range and overall playability are essential in choosing the ideal metal guitar.
If you’re a metal enthusiast looking for the perfect guitar to shred your way through powerful riffs, there are several crucial factors to consider. From the price range and body type to pickups and electronics, each aspect contributes to the overall performance and tone of your metal guitar.
Let’s explore these factors in detail:
Price Range And Budget Options:
- Determine your budget: Before delving into the world of metal guitars, it’s essential to set a realistic budget. This will help you narrow down your options and prevent you from overspending.
- Entry-level guitars: If you’re just starting out or on a tight budget, entry-level metal guitars are worth considering. These guitars offer decent quality at an affordable price point.
- Mid-range options: Players with some experience and a slightly larger budget can explore mid-range guitars. These models often provide better build quality, improved hardware, and increased playability.
- High-end guitars: For serious metal enthusiasts seeking top-tier craftsmanship and exceptional performance, high-end guitars are the way to go. These instruments are equipped with premium features, advanced technology, and superior tonewoods.
Body Type And Materials:
- Solid-body guitars: The most popular choice for metal players, solid-body guitars offer excellent sustain and tonal clarity. Their construction ensures minimal feedback when playing at high volumes.
- Mahogany: Renowned for its warm and rich tonal characteristics, mahogany is commonly used in metal guitar bodies. It provides a thick, beefy sound with strong sustain.
- Maple: Maple is another popular tonewood used in metal guitar construction. Known for its bright and articulate sound, maple adds clarity and definition to heavy riffs.
- Alder: This lightweight tonewood offers a balanced and versatile tone, making it suitable for a wide range of metal subgenres. Alder guitars provide a well-rounded sonic profile with good sustain.
Pickups And Electronics Options:
- Humbucker pickups: When it comes to metal guitars, humbucker pickups are the preferred choice. These dual-coil pickups generate high output and produce thick, heavy tones ideal for metal.
- Active pickups: Active pickups are known for their boosted signal and enhanced sustain, making them a popular option among metal guitarists. They offer tight low-end response and sharper attack.
- Pickup configurations: While many metal guitars feature a dual humbucker configuration, some models offer additional versatility. These guitars may include single-coil pickups or a combination of humbuckers and single coils.
- Coil-splitting option: Some metal guitars provide coil-splitting capabilities, allowing you to achieve a broader range of tones. This feature gives you access to both humbucker and single-coil sounds, providing versatility for different playing styles.
Remember, selecting the right metal guitar depends on your personal preferences, playing style, and budget. Consider these factors carefully to ensure you find the perfect instrument to unleash your metal prowess. Happy shredding!
Top Metal Guitar Brands And Models In 2021
Discover the top metal guitar brands and models of 2021 for the best metal guitar experience. These guitars offer powerful tones and durable designs that are perfect for shredding and headbanging.
Metal music requires powerful and distinctive guitars that can withstand the intensity of the genre. If you’re in the market for the best metal guitar brands and models in 2021, look no further. We’ll explore the top options that deliver the perfect blend of aggression, tone, and playability.
So, whether you’re a seasoned shredder or a beginner looking to unleash your inner metalhead, these guitars will undoubtedly deliver the raw sound and precision you crave.
- Iconic in the metal scene, the Ibanez RG550 is a true beast that offers exceptional playability and a sharp cutting tone.
- Equipped with DiMarzio pickups, this guitar delivers explosive and punchy sound with distinct highs, tight lows, and a well-defined midrange.
- The RG550’s thin and fast Wizard neck ensures effortless shredding, allowing you to explore the fretboard with lightning speed.
- With its aggressive look, versatile pickups, and excellent build quality, the Ibanez RG550 is a top choice for any serious metal guitarist.
Esp Ltd Ec-1000
- The ESP Ltd EC-1000 combines striking aesthetics with unparalleled performance, making it a go-to option for metal guitarists.
- This guitar boasts a mahogany body, providing excellent sustain and a resonant tone that’s ideal for heavy riffing and chugging rhythms.
- With its powerful EMG pickups, the EC-1000 delivers high-output and tight distortion that’s perfect for crushing metal tones.
- The thin U-shaped neck profile allows for comfortable and speedy fretting, making intricate solos a breeze on the ESP Ltd EC-1000.
Gibson Les Paul Standard
- A legendary name in the guitar world, the Gibson Les Paul Standard is no stranger to the metal genre, providing a warm and thick tone that cuts through with authority.
- With its solid mahogany body and maple top, this guitar offers exceptional sustain and resonance, while the Burstbucker Pro pickups deliver a punchy and fat tone perfect for metal.
- The Les Paul’s slim taper neck ensures easy access to all frets, allowing for smooth and effortless playing, making it an excellent choice for shredders and riff masters alike.
- For those who appreciate classic design and timeless tone, the Gibson Les Paul Standard is a reliable and iconic option for metal enthusiasts.
Jackson X Series Soloist
- The Jackson X Series Soloist is a modern metal machine designed to deliver explosive performance and effortless playability.
- With its sleek double-cutaway design and sculpted body, this guitar offers excellent balance and comfort during extended playing sessions.
- Equipped with high-output Seymour Duncan pickups, the X Series Soloist produces a searing and articulate tone perfect for shredding, sweeping arpeggios, and blistering solos.
- The compound radius fretboard allows for easy bending and fast playing, making it an exceptional instrument for technical metal players.
When it comes to choosing the best metal guitar brands and models in 2021, Ibanez, ESP Ltd, Gibson, and Jackson have proven their worth time and time again. These guitars provide the power, tone, and playability necessary to dominate the metal genre.
Whether you prefer the aggressive and lightning-fast Ibanez RG550, the dark and menacing ESP Ltd EC-1000, the timeless classic Gibson Les Paul Standard, or the modern and versatile Jackson X Series Soloist, you can’t go wrong with any of these top choices.
Take your metal playing to the next level with these exceptional instruments and unleash your true sonic fury.
How To Set Up Your Metal Guitar For Optimal Performance
Enhance your metal guitar’s performance with these essential setup tips. Maximize your playing experience and achieve optimal sound quality for your best metal guitar.
Metal guitarists know that having a well-set-up instrument is crucial for achieving optimal performance. Whether you’re shredding on stage or recording in the studio, taking the time to properly adjust your metal guitar can make a world of difference in your sound.
In this section, we’ll explore three key areas to focus on when setting up your metal guitar: adjusting the action and intonation, choosing the right string gauges, and properly adjusting the tremolo system.
Adjusting The Action And Intonation:
- Lowering the action: A lower action allows for faster and more precise playing, especially for intricate metal riffs. To adjust the action, use an Allen wrench to raise or lower the bridge saddles until they reach your desired height.
- Setting the intonation: Proper intonation ensures that each string plays in tune with the others up and down the neck. To adjust the intonation, use a tuner and adjust the saddles forward or backward until the open note and the 12th fret harmonic are perfectly in tune.
Choosing The Right String Gauges:
- Gauge selection: The right string gauge can greatly impact your tone and playability. Metal guitarists often prefer heavier gauges for their thick, powerful sound and ability to handle down-tuning. Consider experimenting with different gauges to find the perfect balance between tension and ease of playing.
- Down-tuning considerations: If you plan on playing in drop tunings or lower, you may want to opt for thicker strings to maintain proper tension. Thicker strings also offer more sustain and a more defined low-end response, which is ideal for metal playing.
Properly Adjusting The Tremolo System:
- Balancing the tremolo: A well-balanced tremolo system is important for smooth dive bombs and accurate return to pitch. Start by loosening the bridge’s spring tension and adjusting the claw screws in the back until the bridge sits parallel to the body. Fine-tune the balance by adjusting the spring tension and retuning as needed.
- Locking the tremolo: Consider investing in a locking tremolo system for added stability, especially if you frequently use dive bombs or extreme whammy bar techniques. Locking systems prevent the strings from going out of tune during aggressive tremolo use.
Remember, setting up your metal guitar is a personal preference that may require some trial and error. Take your time, experiment with different adjustments, and trust your ears to find the setup that suits your playing style and sonic preferences.
With a properly set-up metal guitar, you’ll be ready to unleash your inner shred beast and achieve optimal performance on stage or in the studio.
Essential Metal Guitar Techniques For Shredding
Master the best metal guitar techniques for shredding with these essential tips. Elevate your playing with techniques like sweep picking, tapping, legato, alternate picking, and palm muting for maximum metal impact. Unleash your inner shred god with these powerful techniques.
Are you ready to take your metal guitar playing to the next level? Shredding like a pro requires mastering a range of essential techniques that will make your solos scream. In this section, we’ll explore three key techniques that every metal guitarist should have in their arsenal: alternate picking, sweeping arpeggios, and tapping.
To achieve lightning-fast speed and precision, you need to master alternate picking. This technique involves playing each note with a combination of downstrokes and upstrokes, alternating between the two. Here’s what you need to know:
- Start slow: Begin by practicing alternate picking at a comfortable tempo, ensuring each note is clear and distinct.
- Downstroke followed by upstroke: Alternate between downstrokes and upstrokes, starting with a downstroke and following it with an upstroke for every note.
- Maintain consistent rhythm: Keep your picking hand’s motion steady and evenly spaced, maintaining a consistent rhythm throughout the exercise.
- Gradually increase speed: As you become comfortable with alternate picking, gradually increase the tempo, challenging yourself to play faster while maintaining accuracy.
Sweeping arpeggios are a staple of metal guitar playing, allowing you to create rapid-fire, cascading soundscapes. This technique involves playing through a series of notes on adjacent strings using a continuous motion of the picking hand. Here’s how to get started:
- Perfect your pick angle: Hold the pick at a slight angle, aligning it with the strings to smoothly glide across them during the sweeping motion.
- Economy of motion: Keep your picking hand movements as economical as possible, minimizing excess motion to achieve fluidity and speed.
- Muting unwanted strings: Use your fretting hand to mute any strings that you’re not playing to prevent unwanted noise and ensure clarity in your arpeggios.
- Start slow and build up: Begin with slow, controlled sweeps, and gradually increase the speed as you gain proficiency. Focus on maintaining accuracy and clarity throughout.
Tapping is a dazzling technique that adds a unique flavor to your solos, allowing you to unleash lightning-fast runs and dazzling melodies. This technique involves using your picking hand to directly tap the fretboard and create notes. Here’s what you need to know:
- Hammer-on and pull-off motion: Use your picking hand’s fingers to hammer-on or pull-off onto the fretboard, producing clear and articulate notes.
- Coordinate with your fretting hand: Coordinate the tapping finger with your fretting hand to create fluid and precise melodies.
- Experiment with tapping patterns: Explore different tapping patterns to create unique and intricate phrases. This technique offers endless possibilities for creativity and expression.
- Integrate with other techniques: Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of tapping, experiment with incorporating it into your alternate picking and sweeping arpeggios to create seamless transitions and dazzling solos.
Mastering these essential metal guitar techniques will set you on the path to becoming a shredding virtuoso. Practice diligently, start slow, and gradually increase speed and complexity to unlock the full potential of these techniques. Happy shredding!
Must-Have Gear And Accessories For Metal Guitarists
Discover the essential gear and accessories every metal guitarist needs to create their best sound. From powerful amplifiers to versatile pedals, equip yourself with the tools that will take your metal guitar playing to the next level.
Guitar Pedals For Achieving Heavy Tones
Looking to achieve those heavy, face-melting tones that are the hallmark of metal music? Look no further than these must-have guitar pedals. These pedals are specifically designed to add depth, power, and intensity to your sound, taking it to the next level.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these pedals can help you create the signature heavy tones that make metal music so unique.
Here are some essential guitar pedals for achieving heavy tones:
- Distortion pedal: A distortion pedal is a staple for any metal guitarist. It adds grit and crunch to your sound, giving it that aggressive, distorted quality that is synonymous with metal. With a distortion pedal, you can dial in the perfect amount of saturation and unleash the beast within your guitar.
- Overdrive pedal: An overdrive pedal is another great option for adding depth and richness to your tone. While it’s not as intense as a distortion pedal, an overdrive pedal can still provide that extra punch and drive that makes your notes stand out in a mix. It’s perfect for adding sustain and harmonics to your playing.
- Fuzz pedal: If you’re looking for a massive, wall-of-sound type of tone, a fuzz pedal is a must-have. Fuzz pedals produce a thick, saturated tone that can fill the room and shake the ground. It’s a key component in creating that classic sludgy, doomy sound that metalheads love.
- Wah pedal: While not directly associated with heavy tones, a wah pedal can add a unique and expressive element to your playing. By manipulating the pedal, you can create sweeping, vocal-like sounds that can enhance the emotional impact of your solos and riffs.
Amplifiers For Powerful Sound
In the world of metal guitar, having a powerful and reliable amplifier is crucial. It’s the foundation upon which your heavy tones are built. Whether you prefer a classic tube amp or a modern digital model, finding the right amp can make all the difference in your sound.
Here are some popular options for metal guitarists:
- Tube amp: Tube amps are known for their warm, organic tone and responsiveness to dynamics. They can produce rich, harmonically complex sounds that are perfect for metal music. Many metal guitarists swear by the tonal qualities of tube amps, as they offer a natural and dynamic feel that is hard to replicate with other types of amplifiers.
- Solid-state amp: Solid-state amps are favored by many metal guitarists for their durability, affordability, and reliability. They offer a consistent tone, even at high volumes, and are often equipped with built-in effects and features that cater specifically to metal players. Solid-state amps can provide the power and clarity needed to cut through the mix in any live situation.
- Modeling amp: Modeling amps are a popular choice for metal guitarists who value versatility and convenience. These amps use digital technology to emulate the sounds of various vintage and modern amplifiers, allowing you to access a wide range of tones with the turn of a knob. They often come with built-in effects and can be easily connected to recording software for seamless home recording.
High-Quality Cables And Connectors
While gear like guitar pedals and amplifiers often take center stage, it’s important not to overlook the importance of high-quality cables and connectors. The cables you use to connect your guitar, pedals, and amp can have a significant impact on your overall tone and signal clarity.
Invest in the following accessories to ensure a reliable and noise-free connection:
- Instrument cables: Use high-quality instrument cables with low capacitance to minimize signal loss and interference. Look for cables with sturdy connectors and durable shielding to ensure a long-lasting and reliable connection.
- Patch cables: Patch cables are essential for connecting your guitar pedals together on a pedalboard. Opt for short, high-quality patch cables to minimize signal degradation and keep your pedalboard tidy and organized.
- Speaker cables: When connecting your amplifier to a speaker cabinet, it’s important to use speaker cables designed specifically for this purpose. These cables are built to handle the high power levels required for amplifiers and provide a clean and reliable connection.
- Connectors: Pay attention to the connectors you use to ensure a secure connection between your cables and equipment. Look for connectors with gold-plated contacts for improved conductivity and corrosion resistance.
By investing in high-quality cables and connectors, you can ensure that your signal remains clean and untouched, allowing you to fully unleash the power and intensity of your metal guitar setup.
Resources For Learning Metal Guitar Techniques And Songs
Discover the best resources for learning metal guitar techniques and songs, perfect for aspiring metal guitarists. Enhance your skills with easy-to-follow lessons, tutorials, and tabs that cover a wide range of metal genres.
Are you ready to shred on the best metal guitar? Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the ropes or an experienced guitarist wanting to master new techniques and songs, this blog post has you covered! In this section, we will explore some valuable resources for learning metal guitar techniques and songs.
From online guitar tutorials and courses to metal guitar tablature websites and influential metal guitarists to study, you’ll find everything you need to take your metal guitar skills to the next level. Let’s dive in!
Online Guitar Tutorials And Courses:
- Guitar Tricks: With a vast library of video lessons and a dedicated metal guitar section, Guitar Tricks is a go-to resource for players of all levels. Their step-by-step approach and comprehensive curriculum make it easy to progress and learn various metal guitar techniques.
- JamPlay: Known for its diverse range of guitar lessons, JamPlay offers a dedicated selection of metal guitar tutorials. From beginner lessons to advanced techniques, their courses cover everything from palm muting and power chords to advanced shredding and sweeping.
- TrueFire: Offering a wide range of online guitar courses, TrueFire has a dedicated collection of metal guitar lessons to suit different skill levels. With interactive video lessons and learning tools, you can hone your metal guitar skills at your own pace.
Metal Guitar Tablature Websites:
- Ultimate Guitar: A popular choice among guitarists, Ultimate Guitar provides a vast library of metal guitar tabs. From classic metal anthems to the latest releases, you can find accurate tablature for your favorite metal songs.
- Songsterr: Another great resource for metal guitar tabs, Songsterr offers an intuitive interface and a large collection of user-generated tabs. With playback functionality and the ability to loop specific sections, it’s an excellent tool for learning metal guitar songs.
- Guitar Pro: Not only does Guitar Pro offer high-quality metal guitar tabs, but it also provides advanced features like speed control and solo isolation. You can enhance your learning experience by adjusting the tempo, studying intricate solos, and mastering specific sections of metal songs.
Popular Metal Guitarists To Study And Learn From:
- Dimebag Darrell: Known for his powerful riffs and lightning-fast solos, Dimebag Darrell of Pantera is a legendary metal guitarist. Study his techniques and incorporate his aggressive playing style into your own.
- James Hetfield: As the rhythm guitarist and vocalist of Metallica, James Hetfield has left an indelible mark on metal music. Learn from his precision palm muting, tight rhythm patterns, and masterful songwriting.
- Eddie Van Halen: While primarily associated with rock, Eddie Van Halen’s innovative guitar playing has influenced generations of metal guitarists. Study his tapping techniques and incorporate his blistering speed and tasteful phrasing into your metal playing.
- Kerry King: As one of the founding members of Slayer, Kerry King’s aggressive and intricate guitar style has made him an icon in the metal community. Learn from his mastery of tremolo picking, fast alternate picking, and intense whammy bar dives.
By exploring these online guitar tutorials and courses, utilizing metal guitar tablature websites, and studying influential metal guitarists, you’ll have a treasure trove of resources to help you improve your metal guitar skills. Whether you’re seeking to learn new techniques or master your favorite metal songs, these resources will guide you on your journey to becoming a metal guitar virtuoso.
Keep practicing and unleashing your inner metal god!
Maintaining And Caring For Your Metal Guitar
Maintain the longevity of your metal guitar with proper care and upkeep. Learn essential tips on cleaning, storing, and handling to ensure your best metal guitar stays in peak condition for years to come.
Metal guitars are not only powerful instruments, but they also require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned metal guitarist, here are some essential tips to help you maintain and care for your metal guitar.
Cleaning And Polishing The Guitar:
- Regularly clean the guitar body, neck, and fretboard using a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dirt, oils, and fingerprints.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or household cleaners as they can damage the guitar’s finish. Opt for guitar-specific cleaning solutions.
- Use a guitar polish to restore the shine and protect the guitar’s finish. Apply the polish with a clean cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Don’t forget to clean the metal hardware, including the bridge, tuners, and pickups, using a mild cleaner and a toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas.
- Wipe down the strings with a cloth after each playing session to remove sweat and oils, which can cause them to corrode faster.
Proper Storage And Humidity Control:
- When not playing your metal guitar, store it in a sturdy guitar case or gig bag to protect it from dust, accidental bumps, and temperature changes.
- Avoid exposing the guitar to extreme temperatures, such as direct sunlight or a cold, damp environment. These conditions can warp the neck or damage the finish.
- Invest in a guitar humidifier to regulate the humidity levels in the case or room where you store your guitar. This is particularly important if you live in a dry climate or during the winter months.
- Maintain a relative humidity level of around 40-50% to prevent the guitar from drying out or swelling, which can affect its playability and tone.
Regular String Changes And Maintenance:
- Metal guitar strings can become worn and lose their tone over time. It’s recommended to change them every 2-3 months, or more frequently if you play extensively.
- Clean the strings regularly using a string cleaner or a soft cloth to remove built-up dirt, oils, and sweat. This can help prolong their lifespan and keep them sounding fresh.
- Check the guitar’s intonation and action regularly. If you notice any buzzing or the strings feel too high or too low, consider adjusting them or seeking professional assistance.
- Inspect the guitar for any loose screws, nuts, or bolts. Tighten them gently if necessary, but be cautious not to over-tighten and risk damaging the guitar’s hardware.
By following these simple maintenance and care practices, you can ensure that your metal guitar stays in great shape, performs at its best, and continues to inspire your heavy riffs and shredding solos. Take pride in providing your instrument with the attention it needs, and it will reward you with years of great sound and enjoyment.
Frequently Asked Questions For Best Metal Guitar
What Are The Top Features To Consider When Buying A Metal Guitar?
When buying a metal guitar, it’s essential to consider features like the guitar’s pickup type, body material, and neck construction. Look for guitars with high-output pickups, solid wood bodies for maximum sustain, and fast-playing necks for shredding solos.
Which Brands Make The Best Metal Guitars?
Some top brands known for making excellent metal guitars include ESP, Jackson, Ibanez, Schecter, and PRS. These brands have a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality instruments specifically designed for heavy metal music.
What Is The Ideal String Gauge For Metal Guitarists?
For metal guitarists, the ideal string gauge is usually on the heavier side. Many metal guitarists prefer using 10-52 or 11-56 gauge strings for their guitars. These thicker strings provide better tension and allow for better control and accuracy when playing fast and aggressive metal riffs.
To sum it up, finding the best metal guitar for your needs is crucial in unleashing your full potential as a metal guitarist. With its distinct features and powerful sound quality, a metal guitar can help you create those crushing riffs and blistering solos that define the genre.
By considering factors such as the guitar’s construction, pickups, and overall playability, you can ensure that you find the perfect instrument to bring your metal music to life. Whether you prefer the classic sound of a Gibson or the modern versatility of a ESP, there is a metal guitar out there that will inspire and elevate your playing.
So, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Invest in a high-quality metal guitar and prepare to take your metal shredding to new heights. It’s time to unleash your inner metal demon!