If you are after a fine beginner guitar for a young metal shredder, we believe that the GRGM21BKN six-string from Ibanez is possibly the best choice you can make. Packed to the gills with some of the company’s most iconic design and tonal features, the guitar comes with a reduced 3/4 size, making it perfect for smaller hands and travelling.
We took the fella out for a little spin around the ole block and were quite pleased with the performance for the listed price. You can check out our summary below.
Body & Neck
As the very first small-body Ibanez guitar ever, the GRGM21BKN utilizes a solid 3/4 mahogany body combined with a 22-inch scale maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, 24 frets and signature sharp Ibanez inlays.
First of all, fitting 24 frets onto a short neck was an impressive feat. Secondly, using mahogany at this price is also impressive. And of course, the guitar features that signature slim Ibanez neck perfect for beginners and young ones.
Overall, this is a light instrument with a compact size, making it perfect for small hands or frequent travellers who like to carry an instrument onboard. It comes in elegant black color and setup configuration adjusted to match the full-size GRG models. Note that left-handed models are also available.
We’ll kick things off with electronics: a pair of two humbuckers packed with rich gain-driven sound perfect for shredding. Additionally, the guitar features a three-way switch for pickup selection and tonal adjustments, as well as a Tone knob for additional sonic control. An obligatory Volume knob has also been included in the mix, of course.
Other notable features include a hard-tail bridge, a set of six die-cast tuners, a classic Ibanez headstock, and a black pick-guard.
In the sonic department, the mahogany wood secures a very rich sound for this price range, led by a strong low end with punchy middles and bright trebles to round up the audio output.
The humbucker configuration secures a loud and beefy perfect for metal and metal soloing. Chugging riffs will be a breeze on this one, but it’s the solo spots that really shine through. If you want to shred from the get-go, get this guitar; ’tis as simple as that!
What’s great about this guitar is that the tonewood and build quality are really high level and on par with all the quality standards of much more expensive Ibanez guitars. So if you want to reach the next level, just replace the stock pickups with a pair of killer metal pickups – a set of Seymour Duncans for example – and take that sonic attack to the next level.
Apart from that, the intonation is high-level, and so is the tension. Fret noise is pretty low for a budget guitar, and this is generally a guitar you can play right out of the box.
For the listed price, this is a very good deal. Not only is the guitar practical, but it offers a sound quality that’s above the sonic needs of the majority of newbie players. Additionally, hooking this fella up with better pickups will transform it into a bonafide intermediate axe, which is awesome. If you want a killer metal guitar for young beginner player, this is it!