Best Metal Guitars For Beginners

If you are a metalhead, you might start to recognize your favorite metal guitarists carrying the same guitars repeatedly. Some certain guitars and brands give you the perfect metal sound.

So, where can you find the best metal guitars for a beginner? What are the best materials? How thick should the strings be? How much will you have to pay for a metal guitar? These questions are those you might have.

If you are looking for the right metal guitar, keep reading. This is a list of the best metal guitars you can currently find.

Best Metal Guitars For Beginners

Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 Satin Black
Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat, Full (GRG121DXWNF)
ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar, See Thru Purple Sunburst
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 Satin Black
Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat, Full (GRG121DXWNF)
ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar, See Thru Purple Sunburst
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 Satin Black
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 Satin Black
Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat, Full (GRG121DXWNF)
Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat, Full (GRG121DXWNF)
ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar, See Thru Purple Sunburst
ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar, See Thru Purple Sunburst

Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 DKA

Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 Satin Black
  • JS Series Solidbody Electric Guitar with Arched Basswood Body
  • Bound Amaranth Fingerboard
  • Tremolo – Satin Black
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups
  • Maple Neck

If you seek those crunchy tones of hard rock and metal, you can’t go wrong with our first guitar. This easily supports the epic tones of a metal ballad. You can also expect a clear sound that will not sound too sludgy and will delineate each note – introducing the Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 DKA.

This Jackson guitar comes with very smooth playability. You might also appreciate a satin-style neck that is easy to run your hand up and down on. The guitar also comes with low action strings, making it easier to play notes, which is great for beginners. You can also shred a lot quicker with this guitar for that very reason.

This guitar comes with some great hardware, with the ability to plug in and play at a moment’s notice. The Jackson JS is also a versatile guitar, allowing you to switch tones from hard rock to metal easily. 


  • This guitar is not only great sounding, but it looks incredible. You can be sure that you’ll be the envy of all the other metal players with this one.
  • It comes with classic metal tones.
  • It has an excellent finish.
  • This guitar is awesome for fast playing, as the lacquer on the guitar itself is very smooth. If you like shredding at 100mph, this is a great first guitar.


  • This guitar has quite a thick neck, making it challenging to grasp and play the more intricate notes.

Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

Ibanez GRG 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat, Full (GRG121DXWNF)
  • Product Type :Guitars
  • Package Dimensions :10.16 Cm L X41.91 Cm W X105.41 Cm H
  • Country Of Origin :China
  • Package Weight :11.4Lbs

The Ibanez GRG has an excellent build quality with a flat fretboard allowing you to pick out the finer notes. If you want speed and clarity, then this is a great guitar. This guitar can help improve your playing, bringing you from beginner to pro with relative ease.

This guitar is simply divine when it comes to fast playing. We all know bands like Mastodon and Lamb Of God often like their riffs heavy and fast. So, if you are looking to learn some of their tunes, this is a great guitar to start with. It will help you with barre chords.

The GRG comes with 24 massive frets with sharp edges that can be difficult to negotiate. Once you get through that, you’ll have no problem getting pleasant clear notes. But it’s not all about shredding: if you want to switch between clear and harsh notes, this is another great guitar.


  • A hefty guitar that will undoubtedly help you when you are shredding. You’ll be able to pick out the individual notes and hit those heavy tones.
  • This guitar is great if you frequently switch between heavy distortion and clean notes. Metal is about subtlety too!
  • This guitar will often not go out of tune either. You can play the strings much harder without switching tones when you don’t want to.
  • The guitar has a decent build quality and will last you for a long time. So if you are gigging a lot and want to preserve your guitar, we would suggest this model.


  • The distortion on this guitar is slightly dry, which is not always great for a solid metal sound.

ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar, See Thru Purple Sunburst
  • An affordable and popular guitar with many similarites to some of the most highly-regarded guitars in history
  • Features a comfortable Mahogany body and 3 pc. neck, as well as roasted jatoba fingerboard and flamed maple top
  • Also features covered passive pickups, set-neck construction, and 22XJ frets
  • At home on blues, classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, fusion, and much more

Next up, we have another guitar with larger frets, a wonderfully playable fretboard, and smooth action. This guitar will be able to pick out individual notes, which is great if you are a budding soloist. You can reach the upper fretboard nicely with this one, which is great if you like to wail – introducing the ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar.

This guitar will stay in tune no matter what during a show or when practicing. If you are new to guitars, it might be good not to retune every few minutes. Having a guitar that helps maintain tuning will be very helpful.

This guitar’s build quality is also decent, although some people have complained that it is quite harsh around the edges. This issue makes playing for longer a lot more difficult. However, this guitar is one of the cheapest that you’ll be able to find on the market. Plus, a little practice will help you get used to this.


  • This guitar is a great performer and will deliver some of the best metal tones.
  • The finishing is great, and it will not cut into your hand or cause you a great deal of hassle.
  • The guitar is very chunky sounding, with great pickups. You will be able to identify all the different tones that you might get on a decent machine like this.
  • You can easily access the higher notes on this guitar’s fretboard, which is great if you want to perform some crisp solos.


  • Some people have complained that the wooden fretboard on this guitar feels slightly cheap. This is not what you’ll want if you will be playing publicly.

Jackson JS Series Rhoads JS32

Jackson JS Series Rhoads JS32 6-String Electric Guitar with 24 Jumbo Frets and Dual Jackson High-Output Humbucking Pickups (Right-Handed, Ivory)
  • Solidbody Electric Guitar with Poplar Body
  • Vibrato Tailpiece – Ivory
  • Amaranth Fingerboard
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups
  • Maple Neck

This next guitar is another one from the Jackson series. You’ll be able to tell just by looking at it that it’s a metal guitar. With its flying V shape, this guitar is perfect for the showman. However, it also has the hardware to back it up. So you get that nice crunchy sound with the Jackson JS Series Rhoads JS32.

This guitar comes with 24 frets that you’ll be able to access very easily. The short frets will make shredding easier, which is great if you only attempt faster licks.

This guitar sounds like one of the more expensive ones that the pros use. It has hardy pickups that you can be sure will give you that crystal clear sound quality. This is one of the best guitars for live playing. Expect a consistent sound and strings that will last throughout an entire show.


  • The perfect guitar for speedy playing allows you to navigate the fretboard with ease. It will improve your guitar skills.
  • This guitar is amazing for playing on stage. It gives you that reliable and crunchy sound and looks fantastic with its flying V shape.
  • It’s very inexpensive compared to other comparable guitars.
  • You can access the upper fretboard with this one, making it perfect for playing those Iron Maiden solos.


  • The flying V shape might be a little too flashy for a beginner
  • The V shape makes it difficult to play sitting down

Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR Electric Guitar

Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR Electric Guitar, Black Cherry
  • Original Floyd Rose Tremolo System
  • Mahogany body with quilted maple top
  • EMG Active 81tw/89 pickups
  • Tone Pros Tune-O-Matic Bridge
  • Abalone binding

Finally, we have a mahogany guitar that will deliver you a solid performance time and time again. It comes with single-coil pickups that will ensure a meaty and mean sound that is ideal for metal music. 

You can also play some hard blues licks with this beast, making it a very versatile instrument – introducing the Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR Electric Guitar.

The Hellraiser comes with a decent crunchy sound that you can be sure will lift your noise over the drum and the bass. This guitar is one of the best live guitars on this list. Expect a solid sound that will be reliable and not cut out.

The single-coil pickups result in a very crunchy guitar sound, which is great if you are looking for a more traditional metal noise. It has a smooth neck, so you can be sure that it will pick out all the right notes that you’ll need.


  • It comes with a solid tuner, meaning that you can keep your guitar in tune, even when you play those hard notes.
  • We would recommend this guitar for live playing, as it will raise the sound of a metal band, which often shreds hard and loud.
  • The narrower neck makes this guitar very easy to play, with a smoothness on the back that you can be sure will give you everything you require to pick out individual notes.
  • This has a split-coil that will allow you to switch between clean and distorted guitar without losing the quality of your sound.


  • It comes with some thicker strings that can be hard on beginners’ fingers. It might also impede your progress when trying to play things higher up the fretboard.

Buyer’s Guide

If you want to have a fantastic guitar for your metal journey, you’ll need to have certain features that will help you get the right sound and enable you to play those fast and brutal riffs. When you are shopping for your next metal guitar, these are some of the things you should be looking for:

How Heavy Are The Strings?

Having heavy strings will be very important, especially if you play very hard and fast. Metal music requires a lot of endurance from a guitar. You should be sure that your guitar comes with a hard body and can withstand plenty of pummeling.

Also, having low action strings (close to the fretboard) will give you the ability to press them easier into the fretboard and play a lot faster. Metal riffs are often the hardest to play, so you need a fretboard that will not push back against you.

How Smooth And Narrow Is The Neck?

Having a smooth neck is also a crucial factor in helping you to play hard and fast riffs. Smoother necks are easier on your hands, and having a decent fretboard to wrap your hands around will make the process a lot easier.

How Good Are The Pickups?

Having good pickups will be important for delineating the notes on your guitar. This is especially important for live playing as very often. You’ll want to reduce that muddiness, and a good pickup will help the notes travel a lot clearer to the amp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Defines The Metal Sound?

Metal is often defined by how hard and loud it is. Players often describe the sound of metal guitar playing as ‘chugga chugga,’ as this is the sound a lot of metal guitars make. Metal also makes frequent use of palm muting and drop D tuning. Palm-muting is when you put the note that you play with your palm on the down stroke.

How Much Should You Have To Pay For A Metal Guitar?

You should be looking at anywhere between $100 and $400 for your first metal guitar. The more you spend on your guitar then, the more quality features it will have. The build quality on an expensive guitar will also be more durable than a cheaper one.

Our Final Say

We hope that our rundown of some of the best guitars for beginners playing metal music has helped you find what kind of guitars you want for your playing style. If you are learning in your house, then maybe a less durable and less expensive guitar will be your style, whereas professional live players will venture into more expensive territory.

Eli Smith

I'm the managing editor for this website. I like being a dad, writing, and listening to angry music. Thanks for visiting.

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