Death Metal Lesson

author: sidereal9 date: 04/04/2012 category: for beginners
rating: 5.6 / votes: 15 
This is not meant to be an overly in depth lesson but if it is appreciated and liked I will further expand upon the concepts. The structure of this lesson is in semi song form so that you can see how to connect the various peices and styles together into a flowing form. Part 1 Gtr I (E A D G B E) - 'Untitled'
 4/4
  Gtr I
  PM------------------------------------------------------------------|
  S S S S S S  S  S S S S S S S  S  S   S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|-------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
|-------------------8-8-8-8-----------|----------------------------------|
|---------9-9-10-10---------9-9-------|---------7-7-7-7---------4-4-5-5--|
|-7-7-7-7-----------------------10-10-|-5-5-5-5---------5-5-5-5----------|
|-------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
This little riff is a major component of death metal whether melodic or brutal style. Single note trem picking is utilized throughout the death metal genre. You can alter this to fit your tastes by choosing a different scale or by simply going more chromatic. You can also alter the rhythmic placement of the notes to make the riff busier and more technical sounding of slow the change of the notes to get a slower ride on each scale tone. Both can be used in the same song to fit certain moods that you want to create. Turn on your metronome for this entire song and try them both once you know all the parts
      PM|   PM|    PM  PM      PM|
    E S S E S S  S S S S  Q    E E E E E E E E
||---------------------------|------------------||
||o--------------------------|-----------------o||
||---------------------------|------------------||
||--5-----7------9---7-------|-----5-----4------||
||o-7-----9-----10---9---10--|-5-4-7-----5-----o||
||----0-0---0-0----0---0--8--|-3-2---0-0---0-0--||
The next riff in the piece can be used as a verse riff or or a hook. The melodic context makes it easy for a listener to grasp but is also very suited for vocals over it. Again you can change the scale base for this riff to try different melodic motif's. also take this as a starting point and try shifting your accent chords and your low e pedal tones to different places to change the feel. For example, try starting out with the low e pedal tone instead of the chord.
  S S S S Q     Q     Q      S S S S S S S S S S S S Q   4x
|------------------------||------------------------------||
|------------------------||o----------------------------o||
|---------------------5--||------------------------------||
|-----4-5-------------5--||------------------------------||
|-4-5-2S3-3tr6--2tr5--3--||o-4-5---4-5---4-5---4---5-2--o||
|-2S3--------------------||--2-3-0-2-3-0-2-3-0-2-0-3-0---||
The next riff shifts gears into a more brutal and thrash style to create a moment of tension in the song. you could use it as an instrumental section or a vocal section. its all about planning how you want your song to sound. perhaps here you want the instruments to breathe while the drums grind... Or you could go with some high pitched vocals in the style of old deicide. That is the point of this lesson more than anything else is to show you some of the basic death metal techniques and stylistic elements.... but to think in a songwriting format as well.
  Q  E E E E Q    Q  S S S S S S S S S S S S   Q  E E E E Q
|---------------|----------------------------|---------------|
|---------------|----------------------------|---------------|
|---------------|----------------------------|---------------|
|------------7--|------------5-5-----2-2-----|------------7--|
|-5--5-----5-5--|-3------3-3-----3-3-----3-3-|-5--5-----5-5--|
|-3--3---0-3-5--|-1--1-1---------------------|-3--3---0-3-5--|
 
 
  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S     Q  T T T T T T E E T T T T T T E
|---------------------------------||------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------||o-----------------------------------|
|---------------------------------||--7--------------7-6-------------9--|
|---------7-7---------6-6---------||--6--------------6-5-------------8--|
|-0-0-5-5-----0-0-5-5-----7-7-----||o-5--------------5-4-------------7--|
|-----------------------------0-0-||-----0-0-0-0-0-0-----0-0-0-0-0-0----|
 
 
  Q  T T T T T T Q  E T T T T T T
|----------------------------------||
|---------------------------------o||
|-7--------------5--4--------------||
|-6--------------------------------||
|-5--------------3--2-------------o||
|----0-0-0-0-0-0------0-0-0-0-0-0--||
These next two riffs could be thought of as a chorus followed by a bridge. The guitar parts slow down a bit so that you could put the focus on your chorus message... ver similar to the band Death in its later days. The following riff that we will call the bridge riff is similar to Morbid Angel, Emperor or even Cynics less jazzy or technical moments.
  PM------------------------------------------------------------------|
  S S S S S S  S  S S S S S S S  S  S   S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|-------------------------------------|---------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------|---------------------------------|
|-------------------8-8-8-8-----------|---------------------------------|
|---------9-9-10-10---------9-9-------|---------7-7-7-7---------4-4-5-5-|
|-7-7-7-7-----------------------10-10-|-5-5-5-5---------5-5-5-5---------|
|-------------------------------------|---------------------------------|
 
 
      PM|   PM|    PM  PM      PM|
    E S S E S S  S S S S  Q    E E E E E E E E
||---------------------------|------------------||
||o--------------------------|-----------------o||
||---------------------------|------------------||
||--5-----7------9---7-------|-----5-----4------||
||o-7-----9-----10---9---10--|-5-4-7-----5-----o||
||----0-0---0-0----0---0--8--|-3-2---0-0---0-0--||
 
 
  S S S S Q     Q     Q      S S S S S S S S S S S S Q   4x
|------------------------||------------------------------||
|------------------------||o----------------------------o||
|---------------------5--||------------------------------||
|-----4-5-------------5--||------------------------------||
|-4-5-2S3-3tr6--2tr5--3--||o-4-5---4-5---4-5---4---5-2--o||
|-2S3--------------------||--2-3-0-2-3-0-2-3-0-2-0-3-0---||
 
 
    Q  S S S S S S Q S S   Q  S S S S E E E  E
||-----------------------|----------------------||
||o----------------------|---------------------o||
||-----------------------|------------------10--||
||-----------------------|----------------8-----||
||o--------3-------6-----|-5------3-----6------o||
||--0--0-0-1-0-0-0-4-0-0-|-3--0-0-1-0-0---------||
The song repeats from the beginning then has an outro which is similar to older dm bands like Obituary. If you are new to death metal this should help you quite a bit. Whether you like the music this lesson creates or not doesnt matter. what does matter is the fact you have just been taught quite a few various rhythmic, melodic and chordal ideas that are involved within the genre. Take your time learn the examples and then jam on them until you create something of your own. By the way this song lesson was written in powertab without a guitar in around ten minutes lol enjoy --------------- Duration Legend --------------- W - whole; H - half; Q - quarter; E - 8th; S - 16th; T - 32nd; X - 64th; a - acciaccatura + - note tied to previous; . - note dotted; .. - note double dotted Uncapitalized letters represent notes that are staccato (1/2 duration) Irregular groupings are notated above the duration line Duration letters will always appear directly above the note/fret number it represents the duration for. Duration letters with no fret number below them represent rests. Multi- bar rests are notated in the form Wxn, where n is the number of bars to rest for. Low melody durations appear below the staff Tablature Legend ----------------
 h   - hammer-on
 p   - pull-off
 b   - bend
 pb  - pre-bend
 r   - bend release (if no number after the r, then release immediately)
 /\  - slide into or out of (from/to "nowhere")
 s   - legato slide
 S   - shift slide
 - natural harmonic
[n]  - artificial harmonic
n(n) - tapped harmonic
 ~   - vibrato
 tr  - trill
 T   - tap
 TP  - trem. picking
 PM  - palm muting
\n/  - tremolo bar dip; n = amount to dip
 \n  - tremolo bar down
 n/  - tremolo bar up
/n\  - tremolo bar inverted dip
 =   - hold bend; also acts as connecting device for hammers/pulls
 <> - volume swell (louder/softer)
 x   - on rhythm slash represents muted slash
 o   - on rhythm slash represents single note slash
Misc Legend -----------
 |  - bar
||  - double bar
||o - repeat start
o|| - repeat end
*|  - double bar (ending)
 :  - bar (freetime)
 $  - Segno
 &  - Coda
Tempo markers - = BPM(8/16=s8/s16), where s8 = swing 8ths, s16 = swing 16ths --- ** Generated using Power Tab Editor by Brad Larsen: The Official Power Tab Web Site
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