Metal Progressions

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: music styles
rating: 7.8 / votes: 32 
Hey, I'm back with another lesson. This one's on soloing over metal progressions. Typically, metal chord progressions involve unusual chord movement, like E5 to F5 (1 to b2) or E5 to Bb5 (1 to b5) or E5 to D#5 (1 to 7). These movements are illustrated in Fig 1:
Fig 1:
   E5      F5   E5    Bb5      D#5 E5   
E|------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------3--------8------------------------------|
A|-2-2-2-2-3-----2----1--------6---2--------------------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-1-----0-----------------0--------------------------|
This type of chordal movement should sound familiar if you play a lot of metal. The question is, how to play lead over it? The answer is using uncommon scales (outside of metal that is). The E diminished scale is frequently used by players like Trey Azagthoth and Kerry King (of Morbid Angel and Slayer respectively) and has a great sound as it emphasises the notes F and Bb (b2 and b5)
Fig 2:   
E|-------------------------------------9-10-12---------------------|
B|-----------------------------9-11-12-----------------------------|
G|---------------------9-10-12-------------------------------------|
D|-----------8-9-11-12---------------------------------------------|
A|-7-8-10-11-------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
Another great scale is the Phrygian-dominant which, if you're interested is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale. The Phrygian-dominant is often used by Joe Satriani, and Eric Hoffman of Deicide
Fig 3:
E|-------------------------------------------12-13-16-17-19-20-22-24-|
B|----------------------------------12-13-15-------------------------|
G|----------------------------13-14----------------------------------|
D|-------------------12-14-15----------------------------------------|
A|----------12-14-15-------------------------------------------------|
E|-12-13-16----------------------------------------------------------|
Try playing licks from these scales over your favourite metal songs and chances are you can come up with something that fits.
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