Updated by Bobby
Updated on March 18th, 2022
Checked each metal guitar course link to make sure they were still available. No courses were removed or replaced.
Best Metal Guitar Lessons (our top pick)
The metal course catalog from Guitar Tricks is well-organized and covers a wide range of skill levels for anyone who wants to focus on metal. This is a particularly good starting spot for beginners who are coming out of the beginner phase and want to narrow in on their favorite style of music.
In this roundup we're going to focus on finding metal guitar lessons that give you the most quality for what you pay (in some cases you pay nothing). Since most online guitar programs have a broad spectrum of styles and areas of study, there are a handful of really good programs that also give metal guitarists some courses to work with.
These courses vary in skill level and teaching style but, I'm highlighting those that I've tested and have found to be the best quality. They're also what I would consider most useful and applicable to metal guitar players.
I'm measuring quality by the following markers:
- Broad coverage of metal technique
- Separation of the rhythm and lead side of metal
- Competent guidance, explanation, and illustration from talented instructors
- Easy to use course navigation and topical ordering
Here are the courses we'll highlight:
Best Metal Guitar Lessons Comparison
Guitar Tricks Metal Course Section
Tosin Abasi's Metal Courses on JamPlay
Cybernetic Shred: Stephanie Bradley's JamPlay Course
Guitar Tricks Metal Song Lessons
Angus Clark's Rock Rhythm TrueFire Course
To simplify, we're looking for a well-organized course that comprehensively covers metal guitar. This is what we'd want to see in any guitar course, regardless of topic. However, when it comes to metal as a style, it can be easy to gloss over and difficult to teach because it's not always taken seriously as a genre and musical discipline.
But, there are courses that do take it seriously and present the content really well.
This article is where you'll find them.
1. The Guitar Tricks Metal Course Catalog
The metal section in Guitar Tricks is considered intermediate to advanced content and is easier to move into if you've already covered the Guitar Fundamentals I and II courses (also in Guitar Tricks).
It covers a wide range of material that encompasses lead and rhythm, guiding you into artists studies and a few niche courses. There's a lot of content here, though it would be nice to see this area built up in years to come.
Artists studies material, like the Randy Rhodes course, are quite long while the lead and rhythm studies sections feel a bit shorter and brief in certain parts.
Read the full review: Guitar Tricks
IDEAL FOR: A broad overview of metal
2. Cybernetic Shred by Stephanie Bradley on JamPlay
Stephanie Bradley's course titled "Cybernetic Shred" is a fairly new JamPlay offering and can actually be downloaded as a standalone course for a one-time cost.
For those interested in the lead side of metal or looking to focus particularly on their picking technique, this is a great course with a lot of content. Earlier material focuses on some really elementary aspects of metal to help bring in beginners, which might be less relevant to more intermediate or advanced players.
Yet, the second half of the course picks up with a lot of interesting and nuanced approaches to lead metal. It'll get you playing a lot faster.
IDEAL FOR: Focus on picking and incremental speed building
3. Tosin Abasi's JamPlay Metal Courses
While Tosin Abasi focuses a lot on the disciplines of extended range guitars (seven and eight strings), the material he covers is heavy on intricate metal technique and can be applied to six string guitars as well.
IDEAL FOR: Technique and extended range (7 and 8 string) guitars
4. Guitar Tricks Metal Song Lessons
The metal section of the Guitar Tricks song database doesn't get updated quite as regularly as other categories, but it's still the best licensed metal and hard rock song lesson resource available.
Korn, Disturbed, Pantera, Tool, Metallica, and a ton of other popular bands/artists are well-represented. All songs are fully licensed and include all guitar parts with fully tracked solos (if applicable).
For those that just love playing metal songs - like myself - it's a fantastic resource.
I've been using it for years.
IDEAL FOR: Learning metal songs
5. Angus Clark's Hard Rock Survival Guide via TrueFire (rhythm edition)
Angus Clark separates his hard rock courses out into two editions, lead and rhythm.
While it's true that these courses sound more rock and less metal, the concepts he's covering are distinctly applicable to metal, perhaps more than any other course I've seen.
The way Clark explains chords and timing gives you a clear understanding of the rhythmic foundation that metal was born out of, even if he seems a little more interested in the '80s and '90s examples.
Read the full review: TrueFire
IDEAL FOR: Foundational learning
It should be mentioned:
There are a lot of other metal guitar lessons available that don't come from these companies. We tend to focus on these three - Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, and TrueFire - because they're what we're most familiar with, and the most popular in the industry.
When selecting an online program for a specific style, you need to get into the content and figure out how strong it is for the style you want to work on.
Since the metal style isn't foundational, but builds off blues and rock, you've only recently started seeing professional content released, like Tosin and Stephanie's courses. But with metal getting some history behind it, I think you'll have more courses like this to look forward to in the future, especially since the online format is making it so easy to publish and access.
Your Experience with Metal Guitar Lessons and your Questions
Have you taken guitar lessons that were specifically tailored to the metal style? If so, what was your experience like?
Was it in an online or offline format?
If you want to share your story, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below and I'll respond. The same goes for any questions you might have about the metal guitar courses I've mentioned here or something I didn't mention.