Best guitars for shredding: unleash your inner guitar god with these supersonic six strings

Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas guitar on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

So you’ve been bitten by the need for speed? With those super fast legato runs, smooth sweep-picked licks, and efficient alternate-picked scale runs, it’s easy to see the attraction of playing shred guitar. It’s a bug that gets most guitarists at some point in their careers, but playing fast requires more than just countless hours of practice – you'll also need one of the best guitars for shredding.

A guitar purposefully designed for shredding will make achieving your speed goals that much easier, so we’ve brought together the top choices for those on the quest for lightning-quick licks. Whether you’re a vintage Vai enthusiast or prefer the modern tones of bands like Intervals, Plini, and Animals As Leaders, these guitars will all ensure an excellent playing platform for all your speed needs.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer here at Guitar World. He regularly tests and reviews music gear with a focus on guitars, amps, pedals, modelers, and pretty much anything else guitar-related. Responsible for over 60 buying guides, a large part of his role is helping guitarists find the best deals on gear. Matt worked in music retail for 5 years at Dawsons Music and Northwest Guitars and has written for various music sites including MusicRadar, Guitar Player, Guitar.com, Ultimate Guitar, and Thomann’s t.blog. A regularly gigging guitarist with over 20 years of experience playing live and producing bands, he's performed everything from jazz to djent, gigging all over the country in more dingy venues than you can shake a drop-tuned guitar at. When he's not holed up in his home studio recording new songs or tweaking with pedal settings, you’ll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS