#1
So I've been trying to write trash metal songs(note the word trying) but the thing is, I can't get out of the powerchord route. Now everyone says that powerchords shouldn't be overused but I can't that kinda aggressive sound without relying on powerchords and chugging. So how do I write heavy riffs if I don't rely on powerchords? Open chords sound very meh with high gain.
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#2
Try using different types of chords, such as minor 3rds, perfect 4ths, etc. IMO, most thrash metal relies on chugging and power chords, and there aren't many other alternatives. You also try a drop tuning and stack power chords on top of each other (eg. play bare fifth chords using all or 5 of the strings).

Hope that helps .
#3
dont use open chords use like just intervals like minor thirs or flattened fiths just 2 notes like a power chord but with a more intresting second note
like at the start of orion
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#4
Hails

You can also try octaves, pinch harmonics and play single note licks.

Regards,

James Erceg
#5
Try a little run or lick in the key of say.. Em, and then chug the Em for a bit, then try a variation run of the original run and chug a bit more and let is progress as such.
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#7
Like the others have stated, Try diads(2 note chords) such as major/minor 3rds, and perfect 4th's becuase they can really help color your songs and make them the way you truely want them to sound. Also, dont forget about octaves. Instead of the usual root/5th/root power chord shape , try and just use the root/root thus making it an octave. This may not sound very effective for that thrash sound, however bands like Testement use it quite often, as well as diads.
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#8
Chugga chugga chugga and then make a fill using the notes of the chord (if you're doing the E power chord, you might want to use the E minor chord or diminished or something like that). You can also change power chord, and only use the notes/power chords of the "real" chord. You know, the chord isn't physically there, but mentally.
#9
use powerchords but harmonize them with another guitar if you have one, or the bass
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#10
Beyond being relatively easy, I think we gravitate to power chords in heavy music because of the near purity of the fifth. Distortion makes slightly sour intervals sound worse.
#11
^ and worse can mean better, look at Gorguts.

TS, every kind of interval is open to use. b6s and b5s are common in metal, but pretty much everything has been done. You need to learn more theory and listen to more metal if you're running out of ideas.

For example, Hangar 18 by Megadeth - what's going on in the intro? Look up tab, think, copy, adapt, innovate, create.
#12
[quote="'[= Tom ="]']Pedal note riffs?

this! just go mad on your powerchords, then if you want to add clean sections take some tips from metallica, major + minor chords arpeggiated [add some sus4's for interesting variation] or go nuts and add 9ths and 11ths for a prog element
#13
just experiment. Start out with a powerchord then start adding notes that sound good underneath it. Its all trial and error.
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#14
[quote="'[= Tom ="]']Pedal note riffs?
What's that?I've never heard anything like that before
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#15
Quote by Broken-pick
What's that?I've never heard anything like that before


When you have one repeated note at the bottom and play others above it, the lower note, usually the low E is repeated, with other notes, they can be powerchords or single notes above. Example include, off the top of my head; the intro to Unholy Confessions by Avenged Sevenfold, the first riff in Ozzy Osbournes Crazy Train the verse riff in in Aesthetics of Hate by Machine Head or the intro to Master of Puppets by Metallica. They're ridiculously common in metal.
#16
^ Another good one is in Amon Amarth's Valhall Awaits Me.
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#17
Quote by Broken-pick
So I've been trying to write trash metal songs(note the word trying) but the thing is, I can't get out of the powerchord route. Now everyone says that powerchords shouldn't be overused but I can't that kinda aggressive sound without relying on powerchords and chugging. So how do I write heavy riffs if I don't rely on powerchords? Open chords sound very meh with high gain.

My theory with powerchords is that they're not actually chords. Powerchords are just riffs beefed up by having a perfect fifth added to them. Perhaps you should use them as such?
So write a riff, but instead of playing the bare riff, turn each note into a powerchord. Simple.

Theres actually nothing wrong with powerchords, except (imo) they've been used poorely in the past 50 years.

You've also got to realise that in those songs with those simple thrashed powerchords, the writer actually focuses mosty on the vocal melody, which should take center stage (as this is what people listen out for). The guitar is only there to imply a harmony.
#18
I see. Can someone explain to me about minor 3rds, perfect 4ths,flattened 5ths,b6ths,b5ths, intervals? I admit it, I haven't a clue about them. How do I form them?
MY GEAR
Ibanez SA160QM
Laney HCM10
Squier Bullet Strat
MXR Carbon Copy
Zoom Tri Metal
Modtone Flanger(mini)
EHX LPB-1
Korg Pitchblack
Timtone acoustic