Anyone can learn to shred on a guitar.
Unfortunately, not everyone can master it as legendary shredders like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani do.
For most people, shredding is musically magical if done in the right context.
One can do this by using a guitar designed for shredding.
My 15-plus years of guitar-playing encourage me to share my view on the world’s best electric guitars for shredding.
Of the eleven electric shred guitars I reviewed, the Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-S tops all others.
The Hellraiser has a lightning-quick neck, superb pickup systems, and a venerable tremolo system for electrifying metal riffs and gut-wrenching bends.
Of course, this is my opinion, and I am confident everyone has his vote on the best electric guitar for shredding.
Join me in discovering which electric guitars make the perfect rig for wowing the crowd.
11 Best Electric Guitars for Shredding
- Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-S – Best Overall Shred Guitar
- ESP LTD EC-1000 – Best Shred Guitar with Les Paul-style Body
- Ibanez Premium S1070PBZ – Best Shred Guitar with Killer Sustain
- Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash – Best Value Shred Guitar
- Strandberg Boden Standard 6 – Best Headless Shred Guitar
- EVH Striped Series Frankenstein Relic – Best Premium Shred Guitar
- Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 – Best Shred Guitar with Floyd Rose System
- Fender Jim Root Stratocaster – Best Stratocaster-style Shred Guitar
- PRS SE Mark Holcomb – Best Shred Guitar for Heavy Metal
- Ibanez RG550 – Best Shred Guitar for Small-handed Players
- Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy – Best Budget Shred Guitar
The Hellraiser C-1 FR-S is one of the best metal guitars Schecter ever designed.
This elegantly crafted musical instrument features some of the best electric guitar technologies on the planet without making you scratch your head because of its prohibitive price.
With its classic Strat-style mahogany body, shredding this electric the guitar is a cinch as it is enjoyable.
The elegant rosewood fretboard mated to a super-slim mahogany neck allows for lightning-quick finger movements, empowering you to deliver soaring top ends and hard-hitting lows.
The neck is a joy to hold, with its exemplary Ultra Access heel design for effortless access to its 24th fret.
It features the legendary Floyd Rose 1000 series tremolo system and the cutting-edge Sustaniac pickups for a wicked lead tone and endless sustain.
The Floyd Rose tremolo is a venerable technology for optimum tuning stability, allowing you to retain your guitar’s tuning even though it was days ago.
In addition to the Floyd Rose locking tremolo system, these guitars also have Grover tuners and EMG-81 active pickups.
Some people might prefer Seymour Duncan pickups, but these best metal guitars remain some of the best guitars for shredding.
Although the Sustaniac pickup system requires a bit of a learning curve, you will be glad to master it for delivering the most electrifying guitar-shredding performance.
- Rock-solid construction
- Extra-slim and ultra-fast guitar neck
- Revolutionary appointments
- Unparalleled sustain
- Exceptional value
- Pickup system requires getting used to
The Gibson Les Paul-style guitar remains a favorite among aspiring hard rock guitarists and seasoned shredders alike, making the ESP LTD EC-1000 one of the best shred guitars on the market.
The ESP LTD marries a timeless classic with revolutionary electronics to give you a musical instrument ready to wow the crowd.
The ESP LTD also has a mahogany set neck, a slightly arched guitar top, and a single-cutaway design, providing optimum playing comfort and epic sustain while ensuring a solid body construction that will last a century.
Shredders will love the dual EMG pickups of the ESP LTD at the neck and bridge, enabling guitarists to play as mean a rock star as they want or produce clean tones for their adoring fans.
While not everyone may like the humbuckers, the EMG-81 and EMG-60 have exceptional tone definition, hot output, and aggressive tone.
You will never miss the power in this guitar even though you tuned it days ago.
People also love the TOM tailpiece/bridge system, Tune O Matic bridge, neck thru joint, locking tuners, two master volume knobs, and 24.75-inch scale length.
Anyone aspiring to play the best metal guitar with lightning speeds should seriously consider this Les Paul-style shred guitar.
- Solid construction with a classic look
- Super-fast and smooth guitar neck with neck-thru joint
- Stable and dependable tuning
- Aggressive tone and exceptional sustain
- Dual humbucker pickups
- Not everyone might appreciate EMG
If you are shopping for a shred guitar with killer sustain, I suggest the Ibanez Premium S1070PBZ.
These guitars may not have the brand following of a Fender or Gibson, but Ibanez can blast the competition with its exemplary electronics, lavish style appointments, and superb construction.
True to the philosophy of Ibanez, these best metal guitars are ready to make a shredder out of anyone who has the commitment and passion to learn the tricks of the trade.
The ultra-fast Wizard-7 guitar neck features 11 layers of premium-quality tonewoods forming the base of its panga-panga fingerboard.
Guitarists will never run out of room because of the guitar’s 24-fret, 24.75-inch scale length design, allowing anyone to belt higher-than-usual notes with ease.
It also helps them retain their tunings made from several days ago. This Ibanez shredding guitar features two active humbuckers for exceptional sustain and tonal qualities and a single-coil pickup for clean and bright tones.
The neck has the DiMarzio Air Norton that delivers warm and deep tones, while the Edge-Zero II guitar bridge features a DiMarzio Tone Zone for outstanding dynamic range and high output.
It has a master volume, locking tuners, and a pickup switch. This Ibanez shred guitar is an absolute joy to play and control with itsdouble locking tremolo system.
- Dependable durable construction
- Ultra-fast guitar neck
- Versatile pickup system
- Unique tonal qualities
- Exceptional articulation, sustain, and stability
Some folks may prefer an ebony or rosewood fingerboard
The Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash is the best metal guitar with ultra-modern features and a sleek styling that will leave performers and audiences breathless.
The sandblasted ash body gives these best metal guitars an eye-grabbing design and a stellar blend of mid-tones, warm notes, and bright melodies.
The compound radius fretboard atop the three-piece neck allows for lightning-quick runs, effortless low-action, and surprisingly wide string bends.
The Fishman Fluence humbuckers provide shredders with three selectable voices.
It has locking tuners, an admirable price, and high-performance pickups.
Unsurprisingly, this shred guitar’s cutting-edge electronics eliminate inductances and noise issues common among guitars with wire-wound pickups.
While this rock and metal guitar comes with a solid ash body, it is surprisingly lightweight for playing ease and enjoyment, increasing its overall value.
Mastering the art of shredding the guitar is a cinch with the best metal guitars in your hands.
- Solid and lightweight construction
- Produces exceptionally bright and warm mids
- Multi-voiced pickup system
- Fast and slim guitar neck
- Eye-grabbing finish
- Pickups require mastery
With its patented EndurNeck technology, the Strandberg Boden Standard 6 is ready for the sleaziest shredding one can ever execute.
These best metal guitars have a headless design, giving them a characteristic look made more stunning by their unusual body shape.
It has the characteristic upper horn of a Strat, but with a heavily modified base and lower horn to give the guitar a one-of-a-kind silhouette.
The unique design improves overall playability, empowering guitarists to play marathon sets without complaints.
These guitars have a classic tonewood combination and an unheard-of five-way pickup system to give guitarists exceptional control.
It has passive humbuckers to provide shredders with bone-rattling crunch tones, savage high gains, and chimney cleans for superb guitar playing.
Adding to its exceptional playability is its aerospace-grade aluminum-reinforced maple neck, moving the weight to the body for more precise fingerpicking.
- EndurNeck technology
- Elegant look
- Exceptionally comfortable to play
- Robust and lightweight construction
- Five-way pickup system
- Some issues with the nut design
- Passive pickups
Fans of Eddie Van Halen will love the EVH Striped Series Frankenstein Relic as one of the best metal guitars for shredding.
It adheres to the legendary design of EVH’s classic metal Frankenstrat but with seriously upgraded electronics to make shredding a piece of cake.
While this metal guitar comes with a Floyd Rose bridge and a compound radius neck, EVH customized it with the D-Tuna technology to allow effortlessly Drop D tuning while making dive-bombs look hassle-free.
It has lightning-fast playability, endless sustain, surprising snap, and a killer tone that all aspiring shredders want.
The basswood body is a welcome departure from the typical mahogany, giving the guitar rock-solid mids, growling tones, and warm sounds.
The Wolfgang humbuckers also mimic the classic tone of EVH’s
Frankenstat, turning anyone with the guts into a metal demi-god. The price might be steep, but it is worth it.
- Legendary design
- Effortless soloing and chording
- Rock-solid mids
- Fast-playing maple neck
- Pain-free drop D tuning
- Design is not for everyone
The Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 is a clean-looking metal guitar with exceptional features for unsurpassed tonal quality and playability.
The San Dimas neck features a urethane finish and rounded fretboard edges to make lightning-quick guitar-playing as effortless and comfortable as possible.
The Pro Mod has a Floyd Rose tremolo system to deliver unmatched pitch control and rock-solid tuning.
It has a three way pickup selector, allowing guitarists to choose between six distinctive sounds.
It has a Floyd Rose double-locking nut material complementing its high-performance Seymour Duncan pickups for metal and hard rock fans.
These guitars have Seymour Duncan SH1N and Seymour Duncan JB TB4 active pickups, making them the best guitars for shredding.
San Dimas guitars for shredding come with a heavenly pairing of maple neck and alder body, ensuring outstanding tonal balance, regardless of the song.
People admire this metal guitar for its outstanding tuning stability straight off the box, as if the company knows you will perform right away.
Add a whammy bar, and you are ready for the performance of your life.
- Ideal for highly technical playing
- Cutting-edge electronics
- Exceptional playability
- Multiple tones
- Clean styling
- Only 22 jumbo frets
Becoming a rock master or heavy metal legend is a breeze with the Fender Jim Root Stratocaster.
This Fender Jim Root Signature guitar has all the elements of a classic Strat but with 21st-century technologies to make rocking the stage as effortless as singing a lullaby.
The solid mahogany body provides a reliable anchor for its maple neck and ebony fingerboard, ensuring the fastest guitar playing one can execute.
The tone is thicker and deeper than the classic Strat, giving shredders another ammo in their guitar-playing arsenal.
It has a pair of EMG pickups for the maple neck (EMG 60) and bridge (EMG 81).
At the bridge is an EMG-81, favored for its high-output, high-gain, and consistent tones with tight attack and focused mids.
Although the Jim Root Signature model only has 22 jumbo frets, guitarists still love it for its exceptional controls.
Its black satin finish with a silver outline projects an image of pure power.
This shred guitar is more than ready to bask in the spotlight, making it one of the best guitars for shredding.
- Slim and ultra-fast neck
- Classic Strat shape
- Reliable electronics
- Superb tone
- Stunning looks
- 22 jumbo frets
A dependable shred guitar does not always have to come with a steep price.
Take the PRS SE Mark Holcomb Signature guitar, for example. Although this guitar is one of the most affordable shredders you can find, it never forgets its promise to heavy metal enthusiasts.
With several proprietary technologies embedded into its astonishing design, this signature model guitar for shredding is as phenomenal on the center stage as it is in home recordings.
Slashing your way to the different heavy metal greats is a cinch with its super-fast neck, low-tuning stability, and outstanding tonal definition.
The ebony fretboard has a sleek feeling, complementing the integrity of its three piece maple neck.
These guitars also have a string through body, and arrive in Drop C tuning, ready to play.
Its neck and bridge pickups provide superior sound amplification at this price point.
The Omega Seymour Duncan humbucker delivers aggressive and focused lows and mids with sufficient punch.
On the other hand, the Alpha Seymour Duncan neck pickup makes it a breeze to hand-phrase the frets while offering enough pick attack with glassy and fat sounds.
Toggling is easy with the integrated pickup switch, while the master volume is effortless to tweak.
- Slim, smooth, and fast-playing neck
- Proprietary guitar technologies
- Delivers clear and muscular tones
- Drop C tuning
- Good value
- Some issue with nut
Perfect for small hands, this Ibanez shredding guitar is big in tonal qualities, endless sustain, high-output, and high-definition sounds.
Ibanez Guitars reinvented its 1987 single-piece Wizard neck with a five-piece engineering masterpiece featuring maple walnut tonewoods.
The result is powerful hammer-ons, commanding arpeggios, and lightning-fast runs.
It also has a double locking tremolo system for superb intonation and control.
The Ibanez jumbo frets make playing big note bends as effortless as one can imagine.
Ibanez combined solid basswood and Wizard III neck design to give this guitar exceptional resonance.
Three pickups amplify the guitar’s tonal attributes.
A V7 neck pickup is perfect for rhythm and chording, while the middle S1 is suitable for high-output traditional sounds.
- A reinvented classic
- Exceptional resonance
- Limitless sustain
- High-definition sound
- Fast-playing guitar neck for small hands
- Bright neon colors are not for everyone
Epiphone may appeal more to budget-conscious folks, but the Les Paul Prophecy is anything but an economized shred guitar.
This metal guitar is one of the best with its excellent playability, astounding sound, and ultra-modern, minimalist style.
It retains the classic Les Paul silhouette but with several 21st-century electric guitar technologies.
The front and center of this shred guitar are the multi-voice Fluence humbucking coils, producing an excellent blend of modern tones and vintage sounds.
There is a single-coil pickup for those who want bright and crisp tones without the annoying hum.
The SlimTaper mahogany neck is an absolute pleasure to hold, while the contoured heel has a smooth feel you will never want to stop shredding the guitar.
The Grover tuners ensure tuning stability, while the Graph Tech NuBone provides endless sustain and incredible clarity.
It also features the Tune O Matic bridge, cementing its claim as one of the best metal guitars for shredding.
- Modern style in a classic Les Paul design
- Fast-playing neck
- Multiple pickups
- Stable tuning
- Friendly price
- Some issues with the fret ends
Buying the best metal guitars requires understanding specific elements that allows for ultra-fast fingerplays, extra-wide bends, and robust controls to create music that transports listeners to another realm.
Overall Build Quality
While it is not unusual to see some guitarists shred a hollow-body or semi-hollow body guitar, your best choice for shredding is a solid-body guitar.
Their solid build lends exceptional playability, structural soundness, and ultra-fast finger styles.
Most shred guitar manufacturers use solid mahogany for the body, while other brands prefer rare tonewoods to give their products better tonal qualities and structural rigidity.
While price is a good indicator of a guitar’s quality materials, it is not always the case.
Some famous brands manufacture their shred guitars overseas because of a cost-friendlier manufacturing environment, allowing them to lower the price without sacrificing quality.
It would be best to inspect the shred guitar before buying it to assess its overall build quality, including the materials used in its creation.
Although they may differ in materials, a shred guitar must always have a slim and fast-playing guitar neck, allowing for effortless hand and finger movements across the fretboard.
Many shred guitar manufacturers use a solid mahogany neck or a combination of tonewoods, such as the Ibanez Premium S1080PBZ Cerulean Blue
Burst’s maple, purpleheart, walnut, and panga panga.
The fingerboard is almost always ebony, although some brands use maple because of its brighter tone.
Humbucker pickups produce smoother, deeper, and thicker sounds without the annoying hum of single-coil pickups.
It does not mean single-coil pickups are worthless when shredding the guitar.
Single coil pickups produce a crisper and brighter sound than humbuckers, making them the choice of soloists.
You will be happy to learn that many shred guitars feature both pickups, splitting the humbucker into two single coils.
Some shred guitar manufacturers have their proprietary pickups, such as the Schecter Hellraiser’s Sustaniac humbucker with infinite sustain.
The average guitar has about 21 frets, although 22 is not uncommon.
Seasoned shredders love guitars with at least 24 frets, giving them the freedom to showcase their shredding proficiency.
Everything boils down to your playing style.
You can pick a 24-fret shred guitar if you prefer playing ridiculously high and unusual notes or choose a standard 22-fret guitar to get you started on shredding a guitar.
A shred guitar’s body style is more about personal tastes than it is about functionality.
Most people cannot get enough of the quintessential Strat-style or Les Paul-style electric guitars.
Some aspiring rock artists love Gibson body styles, such as the Flying V, Explorer, and Firebird.
You might want to pick a shred guitar with a body style that reflects your music philosophy and playing style.
You can get an entry-level guitar for a low price of $100 to $400, although they might not be excellent for shredding.
Many decent shred guitars can have a price tag of $800 to $1,200, with spectacular rigs costing at least $2,000.
My suggestion is to buy a shred guitar with a reasonable price tag and swappable components.
You can always upgrade as you progress in your guitar playing or as you save enough money to accommodate a shred guitar’s price tag.
Also Read: 10 best electric guitars review
Can you shred on any electric guitar?
Yes, it is possible to perform lightning-speed fingerstyles and ultra-wide bends on almost any electric ax.
However, it will be challenging to shred on guitars with wide and rounded necks and a limited number of frets.
The guitar’s overall comfort levels will also be a crucial factor because shredding is highly technical.
The guitar must also have a mix of high-output Humbuckers and single coils to give shredders clean tones and high gain.
Is Stratocaster good for shredding?
Yes, Strats are always good choices for shredding, particularly models with high-output pickups and scalloped fretboards.
Of the eleven shred guitars I reviewed, the Schecter Hellraiser S-1 FR-S earned the top spot for its phenomenal playability, terrific systems, rock-solid construction, and classic aesthetic.
It is also worth checking reviews made several days ago.
They might have recommendations on where you can find the best deals for this shred guitar.