- 1 Best Guitar Strings for metal
- 2 Aspects of buying the Best guitar strings for metal
- 3 Frequently asked questions
- 4 Conclusion
After the era of renaissance, the guitar became a prevalent instrument in the world of music. From then on, the guitar is one of the vital musical instruments in popular music like jazz and blues, which gave birth to rock and metal later on. Rock, Heavy metal, and metal became the groundbreaking genre of music among the youth from the 70s, and this legacy is still going on till today.
Rock, heavy metal, and metal music still shakes the heart of millions of people all over the world. And these heavy musical genres yet don't fail to inspire another boy or girl to pick up the guitar and play. That's why the guitar, which is a six-string instrument, became one of the most popular instruments for youths to pick up even today.
If you are a beginner and you are planning to start shredding and play some heavy riff, then one of the first things that will satisfy your ears is the tone. And it is a common idea that to have the right tone for heavy metal or metal music depends on just the amp or the guitar or the pickups, but let me tell you this; guitar strings play an essential role in playing metal music with guitar.
Now, if you are wondering what the best guitar string for metal music is, then you are reading the right article.
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Best Guitar Strings for metal
Guitar strings are one of the main components to bring out the right tone, and also comfortable, long-lasting guitar string is essential for your learning process. If you are playing rock or metal music, then you must have a wild wish to shred through the fret, along with some power chords.
In that process, the first thing that will break is your strings. So it would help if you chose your strings as per your comfort zone as well as durability. Let's check out what are the best guitar string for metal that you can easily get.
1. NYXL1052 Nickel Wound Hybrid strings
This is a light top heavy bottom hybrid string, with a high-end technological advantage. It is a string for substantial usage, break resistance made with plain steel, and high-carbon core gives the user a whole new level of experience of guitar playing.
D'Addario is one of the oldest and well-known brands. Though they are not a brand specifically producing strings for metal music, few of their series are preferable for heavy rock or even metal music. One of the best strings manufactured by D'Addario, which is preferable for aggressive playing and recording, is
- Plain Steel .010, .013, .017
- Nickel Wound .030, .042, .052
NYXL 1052 is a string set made with new engineering, and it is a high-end product of D'Addario. D'Addario is one of the oldest companies for manufacturing strings. And NYXL is a product of their reputation and experience.
Ernie Ball Not even slinky Strings uses the most advanced technology in string manufacturing. They are using groundbreaking nanotechnology that repels oils, and unwanted moisture and oils will tread all the wound strings.
This is the reason why their tone is exceptional, and they are also very long-lasting.
Ernie ball was founded in 1962 in Calfornia. This is a brand that offers a menu full of high-quality strings for playing heavy music that is affordable and durable.
.012 .016 .024 .032 .044 .056.
Ernie ball is making strings over 50 years. Without a doubt, Not Even Slinky is a string set with one of the best features. The clean and crunchy tone of it never fails to amaze guitarist.
M-steel is one of the loudest and expressive sets of stings. M-steel regular slinky strings are very well tempered; hence these strings have high durability. The steel winding in this string keeps it well-tuned makes it more durable than other strings.
.010 - .046
Ernie ball M-steel regular is prevalent for its use in Defence and Aerospace because of its loudness and expressive tonal quality. Never the less it is one of the most used ad popular strings among guitarists all over the world.
Dunlop DHCN1048 is a set of strings that are specifically designed for metal music. It has a quick attack and an impactful sound for its thick gauge. This is why it produces an excellent tone on drop D and C tuning. The quick attack of the string set provides a heavy bass and crunch in the mid-range, which is very satisfactory for shredding.
Dunlop was founded in 1965 by an engineer called Jim Dunlop in California. Since then, it is known for producing all sorts of gears for guitar. It also produces unique strings for all genres, but the one explicitly manufactured for metal music is impeccable.
.012, .016, .020, .032, .042, .054.
Dunlop is a very reputable manufacturer of strings. This string is specially engineered for metal music, but the thick gauge of it may make it challenging for the beginner. But if you are a metal lover and looking forward shred away, then this is a string for you.
5. XL Nickel Wound, D'Addario
XL nickel wound is the best selling strings. It has a distinctive bright tonal quality. They have a wound of steel that is nickel-plated on a high carbon steel core for hexagonally shaped strings. XL nickel wound is very long-lasting, which gives guitarists the comfort to practice more with ease. These guitar strings are suitable for a wide range of guitarists, along with the guitarist with an aggressive playing style.
D'Addario is making strings since 1905. They are one of the most famous manufacturers in the world.
- Plain Steel .009, .011, .016
- Nickel Wound .026, .036, .046
D'addario is making strings for more than one hundred years. They can produce strings for all sorts of musical requirements. Even here, we can see that they have high-end strings to strings that are affordable and good in quality.
Aspects of buying the Best guitar strings for metal
When you go to the store to buy guitar strings, you will find a bunch of brands providing different kinds of strings. But as a beginner, it is very challenging to find out what is suitable for you. Not all guitar strings are preferable for playing metal music. And it will not be wise and price affective to different types of strings to find out the string set that is suitable for you.
Sometimes the shopkeeper or the salesman may not have enough idea about guitar strings as per musicians. Also, you may not find your preferred brand or product in the market or the shop; then, you can just take a set of strings that fulfill all the requirements to be best for playing metal.
So let's check a few of the significant aspects and features to find the best guitar string for metal.
Gauges of a guitar string are one of the significant factors for getting suitable strings to play metal music. Different type of music requires a different number of the gauge as well as different tunning. For metal, the standard tune in drop D or even C in some cases.
This is because metal requires a tone with heavy bass, which creates a deep tonality. And strings with lower gauge fails to provide decent sound and action when the tuning is in drop D or C.
This is the reason for which metal guitarists use strings that manufactured specifically for metal music. And if not dedicated strings for metal music, they use strings with a heavy or medium gauge. The suitable gauge for metal guitarists is 0.011-0.050, a medium set, and 0.012-0.054 is a heavy set.
The vintage guitar models cannot take the pressure of these heavy strings on the guitar necks. But these have strings that have a thickness that produces high volume and sustains. And they are also very durable, which makes them very suitable for an aggressive playing style.
Playing with heavy strings can be very challenging, especially for beginners. It is tough to press the strings against the fret when strings are heavy.
Also, bending notes and play fast phrases can be a pain. But there is nothing to worry about; there are hybrid guitar strings which have a higher gauge in the bass strings and lower gauge in the lead strings, which gives the guitarist an experience of playing in both domain. Beginner guitarists can start with hybrid strings and then slowly adapt to heavy strings as heavier strings produce suitable sound and tone for metal music.
Some guitarists prefer 7 strings guitar instead of six. For seven string set gauge of string is 0.010-0.060 is preferable
The string coating is the next most essential aspect in a guitar string. Aspects such as playability and durability depend on string coating. Manufacturers use advanced technologies such as micro-fine coating to keep guitar free from unwanted moisture, dust, and rust, which gives the string five times longer life than common strings.
To satisfy the artistic side of a guitar string, some brand manufactures a guitar string that has a color coating that gives an attractive look on the string while performing. And this color coating comes along the proper gauge and thickness to satisfy all aspects of metal music.
Materials in making string are an essential aspect. The tonal quality of a string and feel while playing are heavily dependent on the material of a string. Guitarists who play metal music prefer nickel-plated steel, pure nickel, or stainless steel strings. They give a high-tend out and bright tone along with warmth.
Six-strings Vs. Seven strings
As there are plenty of guitarists in the metal scene using seven guitar strings, it is not a bad idea to use seven guitar string series. Though there is not much difference in a six-string set features and seven, the gauge of 7 string set is usually thicker than six strings, for which playing seven-string could be slightly more complicated. But if you manage to a six-string guitar with heavy-gauge, then it slowly and smoothly you will be able to cope with the gauge of seven-string guitars too.
Frequently asked questions
Guitar and guitar strings have many factors in them. Guage, material, and brands are few factors, but yet it is normal for people to be more precise in these factors; hence there are many questions that a beginner guitarist may have. Here are some frequently asked questions.
1. What string gauge is best for metal?
The best string gauge for metal guitar playing would be 0.010-0.052. But many guitarists use heavier gauge like 0.011-0.056 for a deeper tone in drop D or C tuning. Perhaps if you are a beginner playing heavy gauge strings might be challenging. Hence you can use slightly lighter strings, or you can also go for Hybrid guitar strings.
Well, if the standard heavy gauge, which is 0.010-0.052, is difficult for you as a beginner, then it is better, you use lower gauge. As you are at a beginner stage, you can practice and go ahead of your level and change your preference of gauge ones you find it comfortable to play in higher gauge.
2. What is the best tunning for metal?
Usually metal guitar player uses drop D tuning, which is D-A-D-G-B-E. Some guitarist uses drop C sharp or even drop C tuning. This is because you can get rich bass and a deeper sound in this format of tunning, which is very suitable for metal music.
3. Are Hybrid Strings good for metal?
Of course. The hybrid guitar has a heavier gauge in the bass and lower gauge in treble strings. Hybrid strings allow guitarists to play a chunky power chord, and also it will be easier to play fast solo phrases. This gives the guitarist a whole new experience to play in both domains with ease.
4. When is it Time to Change Guitar Strings?
You can tell when it is time to change guitar strings just by the way it looks. It will look discolored and rusted. But apart from that, while playing, it will lack smoothness, and it will seem dry. The tone will not sound as good as it would. Usually, people who practice long change the string monthly.
But if you are not practicing every day, then it can take three months as well. But all these also vary sometimes if the strings are not durable or if the playing hour is much higher in a day, then the strings can be changed weekly.
5. What is the best tone for metal?
Metal music is a vast genre of music. There are many sub-genres of metal music, for example, Heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal. Alternative metal and progressive metal etc. different kind of metal requires different tonal expression as each metal has its own uniqueness. It is not easy to point out what type of tone suites metal music.
But there is a common ground on which you can find a satisfactory tone for metal music. To step into the common ground, one must learn what warm and bright tone is. These two tones are also subjective. Warm tone refers to a heavy deep smooth tonal quality, and bright tone refers to sharp and more crunchy tonal quality. Most metal music has a combination of both the tone.
When it comes to riff, mostly warm tones are used along with heavy distortion, and while playing solo, bright tone suits more. But for many other metal musicians, it can just be the other way around depending on what sub-genre of metal music you are playing.
6. What are the best strings?
This is a very subjective question. For some people, the string manufactured by the most cutting edge technology can be the best like NYXL1052 Nickel Wound Hybrid strings, or Ernie ball not even slinky. This is because of their technological advantages made the string last long and give fine output along with durability.
But if you are a guitarist who doesn't mind changing strings frequently but looking for a bright sound, you can go for M-steel or even D'addario XL. They are affordable and will give you excellent sound. It totally depends upon the guitarist's choice.
Playing metal music can be very challenging, for the thickness of the string. Guitarists yet never step back to step into this journey for the love of metal music. And in this journey, a set of strings can be very crucial. In this article, we have given you a brief idea about how strings should be and what is the quality of a suitable string set for metal.
Now, as you are the one who will make the journey with your musical instrument only, you will know what is excellent for you. The best way to find out what is suitable for is by doing trial and error. Try different gauge, different coating, different material, and explore until you find the right one.
And when you find the right guitar string set keep the criteria of that strings in your mind so that you can also have alternative brands in your mind in case if you don't find the string of your favorite brand. The journey of learning music is unfinished. Only practice can take a musician from one point to another. Hope this helped, Happy playing.