How to Get a Good Metal Tone on Guitar

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Getting a great metal tone on your guitar is easy. But before you can start playing like a metal god, you need to have the right equipment and know the right settings necessary to dial in the perfect metal sound. This article will set you on the path to sounding like a metal guitar pro.

Things You'll Need

  • Guitar with humbucking pickups
  • Amplifier

Getting a Good Metal Tone on Guitar

  • Buy a humbucker guitar. If you have a single coil guitar, it's going to be hard to get a killer metal sound. Single coil pickups don't deliver the punch of humbuckers. Most metal guitarists stay away from single coil, so you might want to reconsider before you bring your tele or stratocaster on stage with you to a metal concert.

  • Turn up the gain. The start of a great metal sound is to crank up the gain on your amp very high. Basically, turn it up as high as your ears (or neighbors) can take. If you have an amp with a master gain things will be a bit easier. You can fully turn up the first gain stage and turn the master volume to a more tolerable level.

  • Turn up the highs. Turn up the treble knob on your amplifier. The treble knob will give you the bite that you hear in a metal tone of a great guitarist. The treble will start to blend with the cymbals giving you the classic ear splitting metal sound you're used to.

  • Turn up the bass. Turn up the bass on your amplifier. This will make your tone blend with the bass drum and bass guitar.

  • Scoop the mids. This is the most important aspect of the classic metal sound. Scooping the mids means to turn down the midrange knob on your amplifier. The guitar will no longer cut through very well, but with your treble and bass knobs turned up you'll blend in with the rest of the band creating a thick and heavy metal sound. That's all there is to it. You now know the basics of getting a good metal tone on your guitar!

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