Introducing Metal to a Beginner the Right Way

Metal can be a very difficult genre of music to understand, but with the right mentality, anyone can get into it.


Anthony Colavito, Sports Editor

In these times, hip hop and rap are the dominating genre of music on the charts all around the world. It is all you hear on the radio, and some people are getting sick of it. Some people are fine with this, and some people need a change in sound yet don’t know where to turn. At this point, people want to experiment with other genres of music, but don’t know what exactly to listen to. This is when I, a metal head, will suggest they start listening to metal. And of course, they start naming the stereotypes of metal such as, “it is all Satan worship” or, “all they do is scream how can you understand it.” These stereotypes only apply to some sub genres of metal. Black metal is usually the Satan worship, with bands like Mayhem and Behemoth (Behemoth isn’t black metal, but they are open satanists). And some genres like death metal do include screaming lyrics, but that kind of vocal style is the only thing that fits the instrumentals of that sub genre. Therefore, with that out of the way, this is how to introduce a beginner to metal.

The first step to introducing someone to metal is don’t play the craziest song you know. Chances are, they aren’t going to like it because it is way too much for them. For some reasons when metal heads do this, it makes them feel superior to others because they believe their music is the best of all. Playing a crazy death metal song right off the bat is most definitely going to turn someone away from the genre. Instead, play them something more mellowed down in a way. Start off with something like Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Yes, Led Zeppelin. Most people who first start listening to metal have heard of Led Zeppelin, but they never knew they were a metal band, in fact they were one of the first to do it. When people think of Led Zeppelin, they think of “Stairway to Heaven” and associate them with hippies and tie dye shirts. Though this may be some fans of the band, you can’t deny that they are one of the first metal bands to emerge in the 1970’s. But when introducing metal to someone, your best bet is to go with Black Sabbath. And play a song they know by the band like “Iron Man.” At this point, everyone has heard that iconic and simple riff. And if that happens to be too much for them, start off with an 80’s hair metal band like Guns N’ Roses or Mötley Crüe. 80’s metal bands hands down have the catchiest songs that will hook anyone into the genre. 

Once you have established with the beginner that this is something that they would be into, start introducing them into some faster paced metal. Classics like Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer are some starters. Almost everyone has heard of Metallica, and it shouldn’t be hard to get someone to listen to them. And do not first introduce them to songs off of albums like St. Anger. Introduce them to classics off of the albums Master of Puppets, or any of the first four albums for that matter. You can’t go wrong with any of them. And to change it up a bit, throw the other thrash metal giants in there like Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Though some may see Slayer and think they are satanic, you must clarify with them that they are the opposite of that. That could be the ultimate repellent to someone and metal. From my own personal experience, I thought the band Slipknot was satanic at first. But after looking into them, I found out they weren’t. Reassuring someone that a band isn’t satanic is big. Especially bands that may seem like it. 

One other crucial step of getting someone to become a metal head is introducing them to different kinds of metal. This does not mean play the craziest thing out there, once again. Go through the history of metal and introduce them to the different kinds. Start off with early bands then go into the newer bands like Parkway Drive and Bring Me the Horizon. There will be a style that the person likes somewhere in there. Thrash metal, new wave British metal, nu-metal, and power metal are some of the many sub genres you could introduce them to. 

The most important step in introducing someone to metal is to not force it down their throat. If you do everything listed above and they still aren’t into it, chances are metal just isn’t for that person. That is just the way it is sometimes. There are always other people to introduce to the genre. If you aren’t sure what exactly to show someone getting into metal and don’t want to play your favorite music because it falls under the “ too crazy for a beginner category,” feel free to leave a comment on this post and I would be happy to point you in the right direction.