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Best Electric Guitars For Metal (2023 Update)

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If you're looking for the best electric guitars for metal, there are certainly some factors you'll want to consider before making a decision. Of course, your budget will be a primary consideration. However, beyond that, you'll want to consider factors such as the tonality of the guitar, the action of the strings, and the overall build quality of the instrument.

When shopping for an electric guitar for metal, it's important to consider your own playing style and preferences. Some players prefer guitars with multiple pickups that can produce a wide range of tones, while others may prefer a more streamlined instrument with a single pickup. The action of the strings can also have a big impact on your playing experience, so be sure to try out multiple guitars to find one with an action that feels comfortable and natural to you.

If you're serious about metal guitar playing, you know that your instrument is more than just a tool – it's an extension of yourself and your creative vision. That's why it's so important to take your time when selecting an electric guitar. Ask yourself questions like: What kind of metal sub-genre do I like to play? What tonal qualities am I looking for in a guitar? What is my playing style, and what features will help me achieve my best performance? By asking these questions, you'll be well on your way to finding the best electric guitar for your metal music.

10 Best Electric Guitars For Metal

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1

It is ideal for guitarists looking for a high-quality signature model with excellent sound and sleek design, including a protective case.

2

Ideal for musicians looking for a high-quality 7-string electric guitar with a fixed bridge and walnut finish.

3

Ideal for musicians seeking a high-quality, signature electric guitar with a sleek black satin finish and included case.

4

Ideal for musicians seeking versatile electric guitar with advanced tuning stability and iconic sound, complete with protective carrying case.

5

Ideal for musicians seeking a high-quality and versatile electric guitar with a striking design and durable carrying case.

6

The product is ideal for electric guitarists who want a high-quality, metal-friendly instrument with a sleek design and excellent tone.

7

Ideal for beginners or intermediate guitar players looking for an affordable, high-quality electric guitar with versatile tone options.

8

The product is ideal for rock music lovers and comes with all the necessary accessories to play electric guitar.

9

This product is ideal for rock and metal guitar players looking for a high-quality electric guitar with a unique design.

10

The product is ideal for musicians looking for high quality electric guitars with a unique and iconic design.

It is ideal for guitarists looking for a high-quality signature model with excellent sound and sleek design, including a protective case.

Ideal for musicians looking for a high-quality 7-string electric guitar with a fixed bridge and walnut finish.

Ideal for musicians seeking a high-quality, signature electric guitar with a sleek black satin finish and included case.

Ideal for musicians seeking versatile electric guitar with advanced tuning stability and iconic sound, complete with protective carrying case.

Ideal for musicians seeking a high-quality and versatile electric guitar with a striking design and durable carrying case.

The product is ideal for electric guitarists who want a high-quality, metal-friendly instrument with a sleek design and excellent tone.

Ideal for beginners or intermediate guitar players looking for an affordable, high-quality electric guitar with versatile tone options.

The product is ideal for rock music lovers and comes with all the necessary accessories to play electric guitar.

This product is ideal for rock and metal guitar players looking for a high-quality electric guitar with a unique design.

The product is ideal for musicians looking for high quality electric guitars with a unique and iconic design.

1. Esp Ltd Gh-600 Signature Series Gary Holt Electric Guitar With Case, Black

The Gary Holt signature guitar is a must-have for any musician who wants to take their playing to the next level. Designed by the legendary guitarist himself, this guitar is built to handle the most aggressive, fast, and powerful playing you can throw at it.

Featuring an EMG 89R neck pickup and an EMG 81 bridge pickup, the Gary Holt signature guitar delivers a wide range of tones that will satisfy even the most discerning musician. The coil splitter controlled by a volume knob pull switch allows for even more tonal options, giving you the flexibility to create the sound you want.

The guitar's set-thru neck design provides terrific stability and smooth access to the highest frets. This design is accentuated by red binding on the body, neck, and headstock, which contrasts perfectly with the glossy black finish.

The Gary Holt signature guitar also includes a Floyd Rose tremolo and Grover tuners, which ensure that your guitar stays in tune no matter how hard you play. The 3 pc. mahogany neck and body are based on the ESP Eclipse, which is known for its durability and sustain.

2. Ibanez Rg Series Rg7421 Fixed Bridge 7-String Electric Guitar Flat Walnut

The Ibanez RG7421 is a high-performance 7-string guitar that is perfect for metal enthusiasts. This guitar model boasts a classic and recognizable design that has been honed over the years for maximum speed and strength.

Crafted with a solid mahogany body and a Wizard II-7 neck shape, this guitar offers unparalleled comfort and playing speed. The rosewood fretboard features 24 jumbo frets that allow for bigger note bends and greater tonal range.

The Ibanez Quantum pickups, paired with a 5-way switch, offer an impressive range of tonal variation that makes the RG7421 ideal for a variety of playing styles. The guitar also features a fixed bridge and black hardware, adding to its sleek and modern aesthetic.

3. Esp Ltd Snakebyte Signature Series James Hetfield Electric Guitar With Case, Black Satin

The guitar is a specially designed model for James Hetfield, the renowned lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Metallica. It is built with set-neck construction at a scale of 24.75 inches and features a sturdy mahogany body and a three-piece mahogany neck. The ebony fingerboard is equipped with 22 extra-jumbo frets and a snake inlay at the 12th fret, adding to its unique and distinguished character.

This guitar is powered by James' own EMG JH SET active pickups, delivering an authentic tone that is synonymous with James Hetfield's sound. The guitar also includes a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, ensuring that it remains in tune even during the most intense performances.

Available in two finishes, Black Satin and Snow White, this guitar also offers a left-handed version. It has been crafted to meet the highest standards of the industry, making it an ideal choice for professionals and aspiring musicians alike.

4. Esp Ltd Sh-7 Evertune Signature Series Brian "head" Welch Electric Guitar With Case, See Thru Purple

The Brian "Head" Welch Signature 7-String Guitar is a powerful and innovative instrument designed especially for guitar enthusiasts by the founding member of nu-metal icons Korn, Brian "Head" Welch. This guitar features a body style with streamlined and thinned horns, which gives it a sleek and menacing look. The design is comfortable and contoured to fit any playing style.

The EverTune constant tension bridge system is a standout feature that provides excellent tuning and intonation in nearly any condition. It ensures the guitar stays in tune for extended periods, making it perfect for long jam sessions and performances.

The Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups installed in this guitar are unique and innovative. The Alnico in the neck and Ceramic in the bridge provide an exceptional range of great tones, making it an excellent choice for musicians who want to experiment with various sounds. The push-pull tone pot also allows players to access different voicings, providing even more versatility.

The guitar's neck-thru-body design is another impressive feature that enhances its overall performance. It has a flamed maple top in See Thru Purple finish, which adds to its aesthetic appeal. The three-piece maple neck has a 25.5" scale and an ebony fingerboard, making it comfortable to play for extended periods. The guitar also has glow-in-the-dark side markers, making it easy to navigate in low-light settings.

5. Esp Ltd Kh-602 Signature Series Kirk Hammett Electric Guitar With Case, Black

The ESP LTD KH-602 Electric Guitar is the perfect choice for professional musicians who desire high-end features at an affordable price. It offers almost everything that its higher-end counterpart, the ESP KH-2, provides, making it an excellent option for serious players who want a top-quality guitar without breaking the bank.

Constructed with neck-thru-body construction, the guitar has a comfortable alder body and a 3 pc. extra-thin U-shaped maple neck, making it easy to play for long periods. The pau ferro fingerboard features 24 extra-jumbo frets and Kirk Hammett's skull-and-bones inlays, providing a unique and eye-catching look.

The ESP LTD KH-602 Electric Guitar boasts a set of EMG Kirk Hammett Bone Breaker Signature pickups, delivering a powerful and clear sound with excellent sustain. The Floyd Rose bridge ensures perfect tuning stability and allows for extreme whammy bar action.

Designed for professional recording and performance, the ESP LTD KH-602 Electric Guitar is perfect for any serious player of intense music. It is ideal for those who require a high-quality instrument that can deliver a powerful and consistent sound in a variety of musical styles.

6. Esp Ltd Arrow Nt Arctic Metal Electric Guitar – Snow White Satin

Introducing the Solidbody Electric Guitar with a stunning Mahogany Body in a sleek Snow White Satin finish. This guitar is a perfect choice for guitar players who are looking for a high-quality instrument that delivers exceptional sound and performance.

The guitar is equipped with a powerful Humbucking Pickup that ensures a rich and warm sound. This pickup is perfect for players who love to experiment with different genres of music. The pickup is strategically placed to capture the full range of sound from the strings, making it perfect for solos and rhythm playing.

The Ebony Fingerboard is another highlight of this guitar. It adds to the guitar's overall appearance and provides a smooth playing experience. The fingerboard features a comfortable and ergonomic design that ensures that players can play for an extended period without experiencing any discomfort.

The Tonepros Bridge is another feature that sets this guitar apart from its competitors. The bridge helps to ensure that the strings stay in tune, providing a consistent sound quality. This makes it an excellent choice for gigging guitar players who need a reliable instrument that can deliver night after night.

Finally, the Maple Neck adds to the guitar's overall durability. The neck is strong and sturdy, ensuring that the guitar can withstand the rigors of touring and frequent playing. It is also easy to maintain, making it an excellent choice for musicians who need an instrument that is easy to care for and maintain.

7. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed, Black (Grx20zbkn)

The guitar being reviewed boasts of high-quality features and specifications that make it an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals. The guitar features 2 power sound hum bucking pickups that deliver powerful and clear sound, making it ideal for various music genres.

The body of the guitar is made of Alder, a high-quality wood that is known for its durability and excellent sound quality. The Alder body contributes to the guitar's overall sound quality, making it a great instrument for both recording and live performances.

In addition, the guitar comes equipped with a FAT 6 bridge that provides excellent stability and tuning accuracy. The FAT 6 bridge is designed to provide a comfortable playing experience, making it easier for players to execute their techniques without any issues.

The guitar has 22 medium frets that are perfectly spaced to provide a comfortable playing experience. The medium frets make it easy for players to execute bends and other techniques with ease, making it an excellent choice for players of all skill levels.

The guitar's fingerboard is made of rosewood, a high-quality wood that is known for its excellent sound quality and durability. The rosewood fingerboard provides a smooth playing surface, making it easy for players to execute their techniques without any issues.

8. Donner Metal Electric Guitar Kit With Accessories

The DMT-100 electric guitar boasts an H-H pickup combination that is tailored for heavier rock songs, making it perfect for the most popular new metals of today. This combination produces a powerful sound that can also play granular melodic words, allowing for a wide range of musical expression. The offensive tone of the guitar enables the player to generate the most potent roar on stage.

The electric guitar tone control system features 3-way switches, a tone knob, and a volume knob. This allows for dynamic modifications to the tone in different sections of a song, making performances more vivid and energetic. The system is easy to use and can be adjusted at any time during a performance.

The guitar's classic black and white aesthetic is simple yet wild, highlighting the guitar's design without being too flashy. The paint coating method is highly wear-resistant and scratch-resistant, ensuring that it will withstand the test of time. The angular corner design extends through the entire guitar body, giving it a unique and edgy look. Regardless of whether you are a new or seasoned player, the DMT-100 will make you the most aggressive core on stage.

The DMT-100 electric guitar is designed with ergonomics and aesthetics in mind. The curved body has undergone 30 processes of polishing to enhance the beauty of the guitar's shape and optimize the body fit of the curve on the back. This makes it easier to play the high register of the neck, minimizing tiredness from standing and playing for an extended period of time.

In addition to the electric guitar, the DMT-100 comes with a strings dampener, Donner's original design guitar bag, cable, strap, and a complete set of strings. These accessories make it easy to transport the guitar and keep it in good condition while not in use.

9. Esp Ltd Snakebyte Signature Series James Hetfield Electric Guitar With Case, Snow White

The guitar is specifically designed for James Hetfield, who is known as one of the most respected rhythm guitarists in the music industry. It features set-neck construction at a 24.75" scale, which provides excellent stability and sustain. The guitar's body is made of solid mahogany, and the three-piece mahogany neck adds to its durability and strength.

The ebony fingerboard has 22 extra-jumbo frets, which allows for easy playability and a wide range of tonal options. The snake inlay at the 12th fret adds a touch of personality to the guitar's design.

The guitar is powered by James Hetfield's own EMG JH SET active pickups, which produce a clear, high-quality sound that is perfect for any musical genre. The TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece ensure that the guitar stays in tune and provides excellent intonation.

The guitar is available in two finishes – Black Satin and Snow White – as well as a left-handed version. This makes it accessible to a wide range of players with varying preferences. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced musician, this guitar is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a high-quality instrument that delivers exceptional performance and durability.

10. Esp Ltd Iron Cross James Hetfield Signature Electric Guitar With Case, Snow White

The ESP LTD JH-600EC James Hetfield Signature Electric Guitar is a top-of-the-line instrument designed for James Hetfield, the renowned frontman of Metallica and a highly respected rhythm guitarist in the music industry. This guitar is based on James' custom design, with a set-neck construction that provides exceptional stability and smooth access to the highest frets.

Crafted with a mahogany body and maple cap, the ESP LTD JH-600EC boasts a 3-piece mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard and 22 XJ frets featuring an Iron Cross inlay. This guitar is powered by James' own EMG JH SET active pickups, which deliver a wide range of tones suitable for various music genres. It also includes a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece that offer unparalleled tuning stability and sustain.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or a novice player, the ESP LTD JH-600EC is an excellent choice for anyone who takes their craft seriously. This guitar's superior craftsmanship and attention to detail make it a top-of-the-line instrument that is sure to impress even the most discerning musicians.

In addition to its superior sound quality and performance, the ESP LTD JH-600EC also comes with an ESP EC form-fit guitar hard case, which provides maximum protection for your new instrument during transport. This way, you can rest assured that your guitar is safe and secure whenever you're on the go.

Best Electric Guitars For Metal FAQs

Are there any affordable electric guitars that are good for playing metal?

Yes, there are many affordable electric guitars that are suitable for playing metal. However, it is important to keep in mind that the sound of a guitar is not solely determined by the instrument itself but also by the amplifier and other equipment used in the signal chain.

Some good options for affordable metal guitars include the Jackson JS32 Rhoads, Ibanez RG421, ESP LTD EC-10, and Schecter Omen-6. These guitars typically feature humbucker pickups, which are ideal for producing the heavy and distorted sound associated with metal music.

It is also worth considering used guitars, as they can often be found at a lower price point and may have already been modified with pickups and other upgrades for metal playing.

Ultimately, the best guitar for playing metal is one that feels comfortable to play and produces the desired sound when paired with the appropriate equipment. It is always recommended to try out different guitars and equipment before making a purchase.

Are there any specific pickups that work best for metal guitar playing?

Yes, there are specific pickups that work best for metal guitar playing. In general, high-output pickups are preferred for metal as they produce a more aggressive and powerful tone. Humbucker pickups are the most common type of pickup used in metal, as they offer a thicker and heavier sound compared to single-coil pickups. Some popular humbucker pickups used in metal include the Seymour Duncan Black Winter, EMG 81/85, and DiMarzio X2N.

In addition to high output and humbucker design, other factors to consider when selecting pickups for metal include the EQ profile, clarity, and sustain. It's also important to match the pickups to the specific guitar and amplifier being used to ensure the best possible tone. Ultimately, the best pickups for metal will depend on the player's personal preference and playing style.

Can a beginner play metal music on an electric guitar, and if so, what kind of guitar should they choose?

Yes, a beginner can play metal music on an electric guitar. In fact, many metal guitarists started out as beginners with little to no experience. However, it is important to choose the right guitar that suits the style of music you want to play.

When it comes to metal, a guitar with a solid body and humbucker pickups is ideal. This is because humbuckers produce a thicker and more aggressive sound compared to single-coil pickups, which are more suited for genres like blues and rock.

Some popular guitar models for metal include the Gibson Les Paul, ESP LTD EC-1000, and the Jackson Soloist. However, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a guitar as a beginner. There are many affordable options available that still provide a good sound and playability.

It is also important to note that while having the right equipment is important, practice and dedication are key to improving as a guitarist. So, with the right guitar and a lot of practice, a beginner can certainly play metal music on an electric guitar.

How important is the guitar's weight for playing metal music?

The guitar's weight can play a significant role in playing metal music, particularly during live performances and extended playing sessions. A heavy guitar can lead to fatigue and discomfort for the musician, hindering their ability to play at their full potential. This is especially true for guitarists who incorporate a lot of movement and jumping around on stage.

However, the weight of the guitar can also affect the tone and sustain of the instrument. Heavier guitars tend to have longer sustain and a deeper, richer tone, which can be desirable for certain genres of music, including metal. In this case, the weight of the guitar may be seen as an advantage rather than a hindrance.

Ultimately, the importance of the guitar's weight for playing metal music will vary depending on the individual musician's playing style and preferences. It's important to find a balance between the weight of the guitar and its tone and playability to ensure the best possible performance.

Should I choose a solid body or a semi-hollow body electric guitar for metal?

When it comes to choosing an electric guitar for playing metal, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is whether to go with a solid body or a semi-hollow body guitar. Both options have pros and cons, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and playing style.

Solid body guitars are generally better suited for heavier genres like metal. They offer more sustain and can handle high-gain distortion without feedback issues. They also tend to have a brighter, more cutting tone that can help your guitar stand out in a mix. Some popular solid body guitars for metal include the Gibson Les Paul, the Fender Stratocaster, and the Ibanez RG series.

Semi-hollow body guitars, on the other hand, have a softer, more mellow tone that is well-suited for blues and jazz. They have a hollow chamber that adds warmth and resonance to the sound, but this can also lead to feedback issues when playing at high volumes. However, some metal guitarists still prefer semi-hollow body guitars for their unique tonal qualities and playing comfort. Some popular semi-hollow body guitars for metal include the Gibson ES-335, the Epiphone Sheraton, and the Gretsch Electromatic.

In the end, it's important to try out both types of guitars to see what works best for you. Consider factors like tone, sustain, comfort, and feedback resistance, and choose the guitar that feels and sounds right for your playing style.

What are the best electric guitars for playing heavy metal music?

When it comes to playing heavy metal music, the electric guitar you choose can make a significant difference in the sound you produce. There are several factors to consider when selecting the best electric guitar for playing heavy metal, such as the type of pickups, the body material, the neck profile, and the overall playability.

Some of the best electric guitars for playing heavy metal music include the Jackson Soloist, the Gibson Explorer, the Ibanez RG series, and the ESP LTD series. These guitars are known for their high-output pickups that deliver a thick, aggressive tone, and their sleek, modern designs that offer excellent playability.

Another important consideration when choosing an electric guitar for playing heavy metal is the type of amp you will be using. A high-gain amplifier with plenty of distortion will bring out the best in these guitars, allowing you to achieve the crushing, heavy sound that is synonymous with heavy metal music. Ultimately, the best electric guitar for playing heavy metal is one that feels comfortable in your hands and produces the sound you desire.

What are the key features to look for in an electric guitar for metal?

When looking for an electric guitar for playing metal, there are several key features to consider. Firstly, a solid body guitar is preferable to a hollow or semi-hollow body as it provides greater sustain and a heavier sound. A guitar with high-output pickups is also important as it allows for a more aggressive and distorted tone. Additionally, a guitar with a slim and fast neck profile is ideal for playing fast and complex riffs commonly found in metal music.

Another important feature is the guitar's tuning stability. Metal often requires using drop tunings or alternate tunings, so a guitar with a locking tremolo system or locking tuners can help keep the guitar in tune even with heavy use of the whammy bar. Finally, a guitar with a durable and sturdy build quality is important for withstanding the physical demands of playing metal.

Overall, when looking for an electric guitar for metal, it is important to prioritize features such as solid body construction, high-output pickups, a fast neck profile, and tuning stability, to ensure the guitar can deliver the heavy and aggressive tones required for the genre.

What brands make the best electric guitars for metal?

When it comes to electric guitars for metal, there are several brands that are well-known for their high-quality instruments. One of the most popular brands is Jackson, which has been making guitars designed specifically for heavy metal since the 1980s. Jackson guitars are known for their fast necks, high-output pickups, and sleek, modern designs that are perfect for shredding.

Another top brand for metal guitars is Ibanez, which is known for their precision craftsmanship and innovative designs. Ibanez guitars often feature extended-range necks and pickups that are specifically designed for heavy distortion and high gain.

ESP is also a popular choice for metal guitarists, with their guitars being used by many prominent metal bands. Their guitars are known for their aggressive tone and sharp, angular designs.

Other brands that are worth considering for metal guitars include Schecter, PRS, and Gibson. Ultimately, the best electric guitar for metal will depend on your personal preferences and playing style, so it's always a good idea to try out different models and brands to find the one that works best for you.

What is the best electric guitar for shredding and playing fast-paced metal riffs?

When it comes to shredding and playing fast-paced metal riffs, there are several electric guitars that are well-suited for the task. One popular choice is the Ibanez RG series, which is designed specifically for fast playing and features a thin, flat neck profile that allows for lightning-fast fretboard work. Another option is the Jackson Soloist, which has a similar design with a compound radius fretboard that makes it easier to play intricate solos and fast riffs.

For those who prefer a more classic look, the Gibson SG is a great choice. Its thin neck and lightweight body make it easy to play fast, while the dual humbucker pickups provide a powerful, high-gain tone that's perfect for metal. Other options include the ESP LTD M-series, the Schecter Hellraiser, and the PRS SE Mark Holcomb.

Ultimately, the best electric guitar for shredding and playing fast-paced metal riffs will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. It's important to try out different guitars and find one that feels comfortable and allows you to play at your best.

What is the ideal neck shape for a metal guitar?

When it comes to metal guitars, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the ideal neck shape is. However, there are a few factors that can influence the neck shape preference for metal guitarists.

Firstly, comfort plays a significant role. Many metal guitarists play for extended periods, and a comfortable neck shape can help prevent fatigue and injury. A neck shape that fits comfortably in the player's hand and allows for smooth movement up and down the fretboard is ideal.

Secondly, playability is also crucial. A neck shape that allows for fast and precise playing is desirable for metal guitarists. A slim profile and a flat or compound radius fretboard can facilitate speed and accuracy.

Finally, personal preference is a significant factor. Some metal guitarists prefer thicker necks for a more substantial feel, while others prefer thinner necks for ease of playability. Ultimately, the ideal neck shape for a metal guitar will depend on the individual player's preferences and playing style.

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