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The 16 Best Pointy Guitars and the Legends Who Wield Them

29/04/2024

Featured image: Creative Commons License by Al Case

Ever felt the need to strike out from the crowd with a guitar that screams, “Look at me!”? Then dive into the edgy world of pointy guitars with us! These instruments defy the norm with their wild and outrageous shapes, befitting artists who love to flout convention with a piercing style.

In this guide, we celebrate 16 of the best pointy guitars, whether that’s through sheer cool factor or their reputation for quality, spotlighting the iconic designs and the legendary musicians who have mastered them.

In a hurry? Check out our top 3 picks!

Gibson Flying VThe classic choice for rock royalty
Jackson Randy RhoadsA favourite for shredders
Goran Malmberg’s Waterloo GuitarBecause not every pointy guitar has to be metal!

The best pointy guitars

1. Gibson Flying V

Pioneering the pointy guitar trend, the Flying V is more than an icon; it’s a staple in rock music with a tone as rich as its history. First launched way back in 1958, it took a while for this radical shape to catch on, but boy did it ever! This classic V-shaped design has been beloved by legends like Albert King and Dave Mustaine; it’s exceptional for lead and rhythm guitarists.


2. Jackson Randy Rhoads

A name that’s synonymous with the pointy guitar, Randy Rhoads’ revolutionary style and peerless reputation have inspired an entire product line of Jackson guitars, not just a simple one-off signature! It’s bold in shape, precise in sound, and a favourite for intricate solos and heavy riffs.


3. Malmberg ABBA Star Guitar

Replacing the Brutal with the Bombastic, this custom-built ABBA axe from the ‘70s shows that the radical design has its place in pop too! With a wicked star design, twin humbuckers, and a TOM bridge paired with a Strat-style neck and headstock, it’s a real mishmash of guitar breeds.

Malmberg ABBA Star Guitar

Creative Commons License by BugWarp


4. ESP James Hetfield Snakebyte

The longstanding Metallica man needs a guitar that’s as sharp as his riffs, and ESP delivered this venomous signature. Inspired by a classic Gibson shape, this custom axe cranks up the gain with EMG pickups and a thinner neck that’s ripe for riffing.


5. Harlem X Electric Guitar by Gear4music

Pointy guitars are great, and our Harlem X combines that striking design with affordability, bringing the mosh and the menace to every player, regardless of budget. With a free gig bag and lead, it’s ideal for newcomers to the rock and metal scenes.


6. Dean Dimebag Razorback

A legend in the realm of pointy guitars, Dimebag Darrell’s Razorback is one of the pillars of this angular world. Super sharp and equipped with Dean’s ridiculously large headstock that helps balance the weight of the guitar, this is a metal machine with a reputation.

Dean Razorback

Creative Commons License by Karl Jonsson


7. Mick Thomson’s MTM100 Ibanez

Based on the Ibanez Glaive series, this signature weapon was a popular step into the nu-metal world. Some of its defining features were the super serious “Seven” fretboard inalys, signature Seymour Duncan blackout pickups, and a super stable Fixed Edge III bridge.


8. EVH’s Star Guitar

In ’77 Eddie hacked his Ibanez Destroyer with the intent of making it look more like a shark. The result? The birth of the Star Guitar. It’s pointy, but not as extreme as others, and boasts a single pickup with killswitch and Floyd Rose with D-Tuna.


9. Minarik Inferno

Whipping up a firestorm of intense looks and even hotter sounds, the Inferno is a standout Pointy that cranks up the heat. Its eye-catching body design and warm tonal quality are great for lead guitarists seeking attention on stage.

Minarik Inferno

Creative Commons License by Derek K. Miller (1969-2011)


10. Jackson Phil Demmel Signature

Designed for thrashing, this guitar bears the hallmarks of Machine Head’s guitarist with a sound as intense as their music. With custom inlays and high-output pickups, it’s built for metal.


11. Wayne Charvel Hydra

Another ‘out there’ instrument played by Van Halen, the Hydra’s unusual blocky frame puts you more in mind of mathematics than metal but deserves a mention for its almost Tetris-like form. This is a rare design and a collector’s item, but it’s versatile enough for various music styles.


12. Gibson Zakk Wylde ZV Custom

A blend of Zakk’s favourite V and SG features, this model combines raw power with a mesmerising paint job, and may be the perfect halfway point for traditionalists and metalheads.

Gibson Zakk Wylde ZV Custom

Creative Commons License by MorganaPhotolive


13. Dean Annihilator

The hallowed sonic machine of Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, the Annihilator looks like a giant shuriken with strings attached. Absolutely lethal. There are extreme angles, a tapered fretboard, and a sharp headstock match with a single pickup and locking trem.


14. Abstract Rockingbird

Curvy and wavy as well as pointy, the Rockingbird will cut the skin if you’re not careful! Paul Crook of Meatloaf championed this enchanting axe; it’s highly customisable, has a bold aesthetic, and is suitable for diverse musical genres.


15. Steve Vai’s triple neck Hydra

Three necks. It has three necks. An abomination creation that lives up to its name, Steve Vai’s Hydra combines a pointy steampunk vibe with an insane amount of versatility. How does he carry this thing!?

Steve Vai’s triple neck Hydra

Creative Commons License by Rock Radio And More


16. John Entwistle Foundation Bass

This pointy bass brings the low end with style, offering a deep growl and standout design. It’s great for bassists who want to stand out.

The history of pointy guitars

From the radical 1950s designs like the Gibson Flying V and Explorer to the metal scenes of the ’80s and ’90s, pointy guitars have always been more than just their looks. They’re built for performers who demand attention – not only from their audience but from their gear as well.

Icons like Randy Rhoads and bands like Metallica have wielded these axes, shaping the sound and aesthetic of heavy music.

FAQs

What are spiky electric guitars called?

Spiky electric guitars are commonly referred to as “pointy guitars”. This term highlights their sharp, angular designs, which are popular in genres like metal and hard rock.


Why are some guitars shaped differently?

Guitar shapes vary to suit musical styles, ergonomics, and aesthetics. Shape affects sound, playability, and comfort. For instance, larger bodies enhance tones for blues or jazz, while sleek, pointy designs are preferred in metal for their aggressive look and playability.


What is the most famous pointy guitar shape?

The most famous pointy guitar shape is the Gibson Flying V. Introduced in the late 1950s, its radical “V” shape was unlike anything seen before, quickly becoming iconic in rock and heavy metal music.

Final thoughts

True statements of style and musical intent, pointy guitars have earned their place with both ostentatious and reserved players. Don’t think they’re just for the extreme metalheads!

With the right pointy guitar in your hands, you can really make a mark on stage – regardless of genre. And let’s be honest, you can have a curvaceous single-cut or luxuriously contoured S-shape, but you’ll stick in the memories of audiences much better with a guitar that says, “Hell yeah!”

 

Content Writer (Guitars)

Mark has been a guitar aficionado for around twenty years. A lover of all things 6-string, he spends his days putting pen-to-paper about all manner of interesting instruments. From entry level Squiers to the most coveted Custom Shop desires, Mark's written about them.

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