Whether you’re a bass player or guitarist, one of the most important aspects of playing is Selecting your musical gear. Gear that suits you, and more importantly the sound you’re after.
If you’re starting out and you don’t know exactly what kind of metal you want to play some great brands that make cool gear at a modest budget are YAMAHA, SQUIRE (fender offshoot), IBANEZ, ESP (LTD) and EPIPHONE (Gibson offshoot) you can generally get a pretty decent axe at an entry level to mid level build for under $400 USD
$400 might sound like a lot for a guitar but if you go too much under that level you basically risk getting a peice of crap that is hard to play, slow your progress and will ruin your love of the instrument.
If you can’t stretch the budget to that point speak to your local music shop about a guitar/amp package their cheap but have reasonably good gear, if you decide you want to take your music more seriously you WILL need to upgrade all your gear from that point.
If you decide that you don’t want your instrument for whatever reason (ie: you quit playing or upgrade to a more suitable instrument) you can generally get at least half your money back on these on the second hand market as these brands are well regarded.
If you’re looking at amps, my basic advice is to spend as much as you can reasonably afford. Some brands like ASHTON / LINE 6 make reasonable (not excellent) gear that you can buy a loud amp and still jam with a band … But if you can stretch the budget to a Marshall, Randall, Peavey or such you’ll be much happier. you might want a 20-40 watt amp to practice at home without disturbing your neighbours but I would say you’d need at least 80-100watts to jam with a band, especially metal bands as they tend to be loud! if you’re just starting out be sure to buy something with an inbuilt distortion, so you can get that beef without having to buy more gear such as pedals and effects units… You want to get started as cheap and as fast as possible!
If you’re on a budget (and lets face it many of us are) I’d recommend you check out your local for sale listings online (ie: facebook etc…) and second hand shops, but take a more experienced metal musician friend with you so you don’t get ripped off or sold a dud…!!!
Be sure to check out http://www.how2metal.com on a regular basis for more cool articles!