Whether you listened to heavy metal music when you were younger, or have grown to love it as an adult, it's never to late to learn how to start playing. There are tons of beginner guitars on the market, how do you find the best starter guitar for metal music? Look no further! We've got the 3 guitars that you'll love to learn on and continue to play!
If you want to skip to the good stuff, check out Coustii's suggested metal guitars below.
Guitars for Beginner Metal Players
What should I look for?
The first thing you need to consider is your budget. When choosing the right guitar to suit your preferences, you need to consider the amount of money you are willing to spend. There are some retailers who sell basic guitars at friendly prices. However, in most cases, such basic guitars do not offer much in way of deluxe appointments and what-not. If your budget is either medium or premium, you can get guitars which will give you the ultimate 'metal feel.’
You should also aim at getting a first look at your guitar of choice. This basically means studying a guitar for its specifications. There are some guitars whose specifications are particularly geared towards a metal player. Most metal players go for guitars with Humbucker pickups. Although single coils are good, most metal players crave a thicker tone which can only be achieved with Humbuckers. Humbuckers are also good because they eliminate the noisy hum which single-coil guitars are known to produce.
You should also look at the length of the scale. 24.75 inch scales offer deeper fundamentals and easier playability. 25.5 inch on the other hand offers tighter shimmery response, chime-y even. Extended range guitars are however difficult for players with small hands because they have longer scales.
What about the wood?
Generally, there are a number of elements one needs to consider in a guitar suitable for a metal player. To begin with, you need to look at your tone wood preferences. Mahogany, with its deep, resonant tones, is quite perfect for metal. Basswood, which offers amazingly deep sounds and balanced resonance, is also good and pocket-friendly.
What about hardware?
Secondly, you need to consider pick-ups. You should go for Humbuckers if you aim for thicker, beefier output. Active pickups are known to offer higher gain options and overall control. Passive pickups on the other hand can function without batteries and still offer a wide range of awesome metal tones.
Playability is another key element. Flatter neck radiuses and thinner necks provide some players with more accuracy for playing.
Electronics are also a key element in selection. More knobs and pickups give one a bit of control over the sound. Other options aside from volume and tone will include phase switching, EQ, kill switches and coil tapping.
Range is yet another important factor. Of late, most metal guitarists opt to play 7-string and 8-string guitars which offer a greater range of notes which are popular in extreme metal guitar styles. Baritone guitars, which are rather popular, make playing in low tunings possible, particularly on a 6-string. Remember, more strings and extended note ranges translate to a wide neck and longer scale lengths.
You should also consider tuning and bridge hardware. These are divided into two; these are tremolo and fixed bridges, tremolo bridges are attached to the body with springs to control string tension thus allowing players to lower the general pitch at a go with a tremolo arm which is also referred to as a 'whammy bar’ in some contexts. Fixed bridges on the other hand, offer more tuning stability and are less likely to be confusing to beginning players.
Cosmetic factors should also be placed under consideration. Although this will not in any way affect sound production or playability, some shapes are more attuned to metal players than others.
Editor's Choice for Best Starter Guitar for Metal Players
We are now going to look at a few guitar models I would recommend for the beginning metal player; to set us off; we have the Schecter OMEN-6 Electric guitar. This is one of the most reliable, fastest, best-sound guitars in the market. The design, to begin with, is comfortable as well as compatible with most guitar cases the tuners and pickups stay in tune even with frequent tune change. It delivers excellent metal distortion sounds with any amplifier. Although it has a fixed bridge, meaning you cannot use a tremolo, the designers seemingly made up for this shortcoming with its outstanding sustain and tuning ability.
The second beauty is the Jackson JS22 Dinky Electric Guitar. It comes in a variety of colors which are metallic red, satin black, fluorescent green and transparent blue burst. I however prefer metallic red because it’s hot and sultry. The guitar is incredible to play and stays in tune without a lot of effort. The neck with a small diameter is user friendly and quite light therefore you can play it for extended periods of time without feeling any strain. The Humbuckers have a deep crunch. The only downside to this model would be the fact that it has a floating tremolo; this means that once you tune it up, the strings can’t be locked down.
Lastly, we have the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL II Electric Guitar. It comes in ebony, cherry sunburst and Olympic white. The tune-o-matic bride, pickups and stop piece are identical to the ones on Epiphomne’s premium-priced models. The model has light strings which can easily bend and is quite a darling with teens guitar aficionados. This guitar is particularly designed for the beginner and is equipped withal basic essentials. The amp is small but really powerful with bass and treble settings and an input-output jack. This is a recommendable model at an affordable price.