Shopping for Shred: Three Guitars that Hit the Spot

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 9 – Autumn 2019 – Ladies of Metal

Alright, you’ve been practicing your sweep picking and writing riffs in dropped tuning. It’s time to bring home a guitar that will help facilitate the heavy sound you are trying to achieve and take your shredding to the next level. Before you run to your nearest music store, let’s talk about some of the options and price tiers out there.

Ibanez RG Series

If you’re just starting out and not looking to spend a lot of money right away, the high-performance Ibanez RG series is probably the way to go. The RGRT421 model is a great starting point for new players. The exclusive Ibanez Quantum humbucker pickups provide accelerated bass response for crispy low-end riffs. The 5-way switching system contains split single-coil and parallel wiring options that give players a brighter, more versatile sound. The Wizard III neck-through design is ideal for players looking for a little more sustain. This comfortable, simple, yet flexible instrument makes for a great entry-level axe for new shredders.

Price: $429

ESP Sparrowhawk

Next up is the Sparrowhawk. This guitar is a part of the ESP family, which has supplied players with quality instruments since 1975. Originally designed for Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, the Sparrowhawk has gone on to develop a vibe all its own. The Lace Sensor Divinator humbucker pickups include a push-pull coil-splitting option that is wired separately for each pickup, giving the player a variety of tones. The smooth heel joint grants players fast – and comfortable – access to the highest frets. The TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece provide additional stability and sustain. The ebony fingerboard offers smooth and sleek playability. To top it all off, the cool offset body is sure to catch the audience’s eye at every show.

Price: $1,249

Music Man JP15

Our final guitar is the Music Man JP15. Founded by the string giant Ernie Ball, the Music Man company designs top-tier instruments that are played by such respected artists as Steve Lukather and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). The JP15 is the signature model for legendary Dream Theater shredder John Petrucci. The JP15 is powered by twin custom DiMarzio Illuminator humbucker pickups with a dynamic piezo bridge system that emphasizes string articulation and clarity. The onboard 20db gain boost allows players to increase their output for a naturally high-driven tone. This sleek, comfortable, one-of-a-kind gorgeous guitar comes in a variety of quilt and flame maple tops for a superb onstage presence.

Price: $3,249


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