When it comes to playing metal on your guitar, having the right strings can make all the difference. Guitar strings for metal are specifically designed to produce a bright, cutting sound that can stand up to heavy distortion and aggressive playing styles. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start.
The most critical thing to consider when choosing metal guitar strings is the gauge. Heavier gauges will produce a thicker, more powerful sound that’s ideal for drop tunings and low-end riffing. However, they can also be more challenging to play, requiring more finger strength and dexterity. Lighter gauges, on the other hand, are more comfortable to play and better suited for lead playing and intricate solos.
Another factor to consider is the string material. Nickel-plated steel is the most common material for metal guitar strings, offering a bright, balanced tone that’s suitable for a wide range of styles. However, if you’re looking for a more aggressive, cutting sound, you may want to consider stainless steel or titanium strings.
Ultimately, the best guitar strings for metal will depend on your playing style and personal preferences. In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top options on the market, so you can find the perfect strings to take your metal playing to the next level.
Best Guitar Strings for Metal
If you’re a metal guitarist, you know that the right set of strings can make all the difference in your sound. Whether you’re looking for a bright, cutting tone or a deep, heavy sound, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a list of the best guitar strings for metal, so you can find the perfect set to suit your playing style and preferences.
- Played by guitar legends around the world, including Slash, Jimmy Page, and Metallica
- Hybrid set gives you the best of both worlds: a skinny top for enhanced shredability and a heavy bottom for thicker chords and rhythm
- Element Shield Packaging prolongs string life and keeps strings fresh
- The gauges for this brand are .010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .052, making them perfect for metal guitarists who need to switch between heavy chords and high-pitched solos
- May not be suitable for those who prefer a heavier gauge for all strings
- Some users may find the plain strings to be too bright
- May not be ideal for those who prefer coated strings
- The hexagonal core wire and nickel-plated steel wrap wire make for a strong, durable string that can handle heavy use.
- The Stringlife molecular bonding liquid polymer treatment helps to protect the strings from corrosive elements, extending their lifespan.
- As the signature strings of Dimebag Darrell, these strings are designed to handle big string bends, whammy bar dives, and heavy riffing.
- Some users may find the medium to heavy gauge of 10-52 to be too thick for their playing style.
- The treatment may affect the tone of the strings, which may not be to everyone’s liking.
- These strings are well-made and durable, so you won’t have to worry about them breaking or wearing out too quickly.
- They produce a nice chunky sound with good highs, making them great for metal and heavy rock.
- The strings feel great out of the box and are easy to shred on.
- Some users have found that the strings can be a bit too heavy for their liking, so they may not be the best choice for everyone.
- The packaging could be improved, as some users have reported receiving strings that were tangled or otherwise damaged.
- The strings may not stay in tune as well as some other options on the market.
- The OPTIWEB Coating provides a natural feel, while protecting against corrosion and debris buildup.
- The nickel-plated steel wrap wire gives you the same crisp tone as an uncoated string.
- The anti-rust plating on plain steel strings ensures longer tone life for the entire set.
- These strings are perfect for metal players who want to achieve that crisp tone without sacrificing longevity.
- Some users may find them a bit pricey compared to other brands.
- If you prefer lighter strings, the heavy gauge of this brand may not be for you.
- If you’re used to uncoated strings, the coating may take a little getting used to.
- The fusion twist technology assures NYXL electric guitar strings stay in tune 131% better than standard strings, while the NY Steel core wire makes them up to 40% stronger.
- The premium nickel-plated steel wrap wire used for NYXLs provides accentuated frequency response in the 1 – 3.5 kHz range, so you get more presence and crunch to cut through the mix.
- The reformulated nickel plated string windings have greater magnetic properties resulting in higher output and enhanced mid-range frequency response for more presence and crunch.
- They are a bit pricier than other guitar strings.
- They may not be suitable for players who prefer a softer tone.
- They may not be ideal for beginners.
- The roundwound Nickel-Plated Steel on a Hex Core provides a bright and powerful tone.
- NitroPack singles ensure that each string stays fresh and lasts longer.
- GHS Strings are manufactured in a state-of-the-art, climate controlled facility using precision equipment and only the purest of materials.
- Some users have reported that the strings break easily.
- The strings may not stay in tune for long periods of time.
- The price of the strings may be higher than other options on the market.
- Superior magnetic attraction providing the most expressive strings ever created
- Dynamic frequency response with increased output and added strength
- Element Shield Packaging prolongs string life and keeps strings as fresh as the day they were made
- A little pricey
- Some users have reported issues with breakage
- Not suitable for those looking for a more traditional sound
- Focused low end, aggressive mids, and crisp highs
- Excellent string-to-string balance
- Dynamic responsiveness that lets you express yourself
- May take a while to settle in
- Wounded third string may make it difficult for soloing and bending
- Some users may prefer a softer tone
When it comes to buying guitar strings for metal, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
The gauge of a guitar string refers to its thickness. For metal rhythm guitarists, you’ll want to choose a thicker gauge to produce a heavier, more powerful sound from palm muting. However, keep in mind that thicker strings can be harder to play and may require more finger strength. If you are playing a lot of lead, then I would go a tad lighter.
Coated strings have a layer of polymer or other material that helps protect them from corrosion and prolong their lifespan. However, some players find that coated strings have a duller sound and less sustain than uncoated strings. It’s up to you to decide whether the benefits of coating outweigh the potential drawbacks.
In the past, I used premium high dollar strings, but as I started collecting guitars, I just can’t do that. Since I play a variety of music from metal to lead, I prefer 9-11-16-24-32-42 Ernie Ball Super Slinky’s.
They have been around forever, played by many famous musicians and they offer 10 packs. Right now you can get the 10 packs with a bonus 2 strings.