No, Not Heavy Metal… Well… Some Are Heavy
Finding guitars made out of solid metal is a bit rare at the very least because a really heavy guitar can be a bit impractical. The weight alone makes solid metal guitars more of a novelty than anything else, however they do exist. Usually what happens is people find a base material be it wood or plastic to set the frame of the guitar and apply metal to that.
Solid Brass Ibanez Artist
Ibanez’s brass Artist guitar was an eye catching model used back in the early 1970s during NAMM to lure people over when Ibanez introduced the Artist line. The guitar pictured here isn’t just plated with brass. It’s solid brass. Weighing in at 70 pounds this guitar is a one of a kind making it as rare as it gets. Fun fact: The brass Artist was sold on eBay for $25,000. I did some crude shipping calculations with UPS and concluded the additional shipping fee would range from $80 to $450 as long as it was a domestic shipment.
Satriani’s Chrome Boy
How’s someone gonna go and talk about metal guitars without bringing up Satriani’s Chrome Boy guitars. The Chrome Boys were a real work in progress when production began as the chrome coat had varying results depending on what the body was made of. The initial run of basswood guitars often resulted in cracking while the later plastic models didn’t quite meet Satriani’s expectations quite the same.
Liquid Metal Guitars
Liquid Metal Guitars exists to offer aluminum guitars and if requested hand etched artwork into the bodies to fully customize each guitar as requested. Because so much of their work is customized they don’t really offer many guitars that are available just because they made so many at once.
Emerald Guitars: Bahamut and Alien
From the visionary that found the way to turn Steve Vai’s Ultra guitar into an actual guitar have also come the Bahamut and Alien guitars. Emerald Guitars sculptor Alistair Hay has customized the famed Bahamut dragon guitar used by Wang Leehom as well as the Alien. Both guitars were sculpted out of foam and given a coat of chrome paint as has been becoming an increasing trademark of his to do.
I never get tired of guitars that pay some form of tribute to American beer. They just capture my attention and my imagination takes it from there. It’s like it takes the love of beer to an art form.
Granted McSwain didn’t make this guitar out of his lust for beer, but rather he saw art waiting to happen out of a bunch of old Budweiser cans. At the very least he showed that it is possible to retain a sense of taste while he was at it.
James Trussart Guitars
If I wanted to I could just flood this article with James Trussart’s guitars. James Trussart’s entire catalog of guitars includes at the very least a metal top and at the most bodies built entirely out of steel. In fact now that I think about it considering steel is their choice material it kind of surprises me the band Manowar hasn’t embraced their guitars yet.
This is another guitar that is neither solid metal nor is it actually mercury. I’m not sure many people would appreciate playing a mercury covered guitar nor would they appreciate the conditions they’d have to be in to prevent it from melting and dripping all over the place. Next thing you know you’ve got mercury soaking into your mother’s new carpet and the dog has started licking it up. Good going. You weren’t supposed to take it off the dry ice. Anyway. The Zeal Mercury is actually an alder guitar coated in steel
Brian Mock Guitars
Ok, I’m not sure if these necessarily qualify since this is just a sculpture of a guitar and not something people would really be able to play, but after approximately five seconds of vaguely careful deliberation I decided “what the hell” and threw it in anyway. After all it is compiled of any chunk of metal the guy could find and it’s only a matter of time until someone takes this idea to the next step and makes a functioning guitar like this. In the meantime all we have is this sort of blueprint. And this thing is seven feet tall by the way.