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What to Look For When Buying a Guitar For Heavy Metal

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Are you planning to buy a guitar for playing heavy metal? When you want to play metal guitar styles there are several factors you need to consider in your guitar of choice. While you can play metal on almost any good electric guitar, there are several brand names that are suited for the style and these guitars will be easier to play. Your choice of guitar can make a world of difference is factors such as speed which is a big requirement for metal guitar music. This article looks at several of the factors you should consider when buying a guitar for playing heavy metal.

The Guitar Neck Matters for Playing Heavy Metal

The guitar neck is an important factor when you want to play heavy metal. The neck needs to be comforatable so you can move up and down the neck quickly. You don't see too many metal players using a big clunky jazz style guitar because those types of guitars just don't work with the style. Guitars such as Ibanez, Jackson, and ESP have fast guitar necks which make it easier to gain the speed needed for playing metal guitar.

The other factor that you need to consider is the number of frets. For most metal you'll need a guitar that has twenty-four frets. Most Fender guitars don't have twenty four frets and while they are great for hard rock, they are not used much for metal unless you're Yngwie Malmsteen who could play fast on a twig. Gibson makes incredible guitars but there are only a couple of models that have 24 frets which limits you some. In general you'll want a fast neck and 24 frets so you can play all styles of metal and have a well-rounded guitar for the style. Some player can play on anything so sometimes it's just a player preference as to the neck and guitar they like.

Locking Nut Tremolo For Playing Metal Guitar

If you want to do all the crazy tricks associated with metal you'll need a guitar with a locking nut tremolo system like a Floyd Rose. This is one reason guitars like the flying V shape, Ibanez, and ESP are so popular for metal guitar is because of the locking nut. This helps keep your strings in tune for longer periods. A locking nut can be a royal pain at times but they keep the strings in tune which is what you want. You can install a locking nut in some guitars but this can get expensive. It's just better to buy a guitar for heavy metal that already has a locking nut system.

Seven Strings

Seven string guitars are popular for the new advanced metal styles but don't buy one if you're a beginner. Learn on a regular instrument first and then move over to the seven string guitar. I don't classify a seven string as a beginner instrument and you will be disappointed if you buy one. For an established metal player, these instruments won't pose a problem and are recommended. Don't buy one on name alone, go out and actually play one.

Cutaway Body

ESP Kirk Hammett KH-2 SE Special Edition
You'll want a guitar that gives you full access to all the strings with a cutaway body. This is one of the main reasons a regular Stratocaster style guitar isn't popular with metal players is because your hand gets cramped at the higher positions. Buy a guitar that has a nice cutaway so you cana ccess all the notes for sweeps, tapping, and other advanced playing. The easier it is to hit all the notes and have room for your hand, the faster you'll be able to play without tension and cramping. You don't want to fight the neck, so make sure your guitar has the space to play on.

Find a Comfortable Guitar For You

Steve Vai Jem

Your choice of guitar is going to be different than the next person. It's important to try several brands and models and see which guitar fits you the best. For example you may love a Flying V for metal but the next person can't stand them. Some players use one or two brands while others use a wide variety of guitars for different situtations. The guitar needs to fit your hand and play smoothly. If you're not comfortable with the guitar then you're just wasting your money on it. Don't buy a guitar just on the "name" itself, go out and actually play one before you make that ultimate decision. Spend time ina guitar shop and play through as many guitars as possible until you find the right one. Don't be in a rush when trying to make your decision when buying a guitar for heavy metal.



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