#1
hello, me yet again. this guy is in a death metal band and they are desperate for a bassist. so he asked me to do it.(i am noooooooooooo way even good enough to play death metal) but he says he doesnt care they are so desperate they will take whatever they can get. so what i need to know is, what do i need to do to improve necessary skills for death metal? anything, particular scales, exorcises to increase my speed and accuracy, if it helps i would love to know please.
#2
Speed and accuracy is probably the most important part of death metal. You will most likely just follow the guitars so you have to be able to play with them. As you play the genre longer you will learn how to play around what they're playing but in death metal it's usually important to play the same/similiar lines to help give it that extra heaviness.
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#3
there is usually quite a bit of Drop D (or even more dropped strings) and a lot of straight 8ths/16ths. I dont know any scales to recommend because i have only started playing a lot of death metal (more screamo tho) about a month or so ago.

Good luck man, i envy you!
#4
Quote by C_had
there is usually quite a bit of Drop D (or even more dropped strings) and a lot of straight 8ths/16ths. I dont know any scales to recommend because i have only started playing a lot of death metal (more screamo tho) about a month or so ago.

Good luck man, i envy you!


haha thanks, its gonna be pritty amazing
#5
At the moment, I am learning Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse, and it is giving me a real lesson in string skipping and accuracy. In general, being able to play highly chromatic lines consistently at high tempos without tiring is the most key aspect of playing death metal.
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#6
Yeah, lots of drop D will do the trick. Pedal tones can work also, like figuring out a minor sounding line on your A string while consistantly chugging on the drop string will give nice metal lines. Try this as an example:

G|---------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------|
A|-----5-----3-----6-----5-----3h5-|
D|-0-0---0-0---0-0---0-0---0-0-----|


Stuff along those general lines. It doesn't necessarily have to be the drop string as the pedal tone, in fact if you use it too often you'll start to have boring sounding riffs. Try it with all 3 of your bottom strings, pedaling (chugging) off of one note while playing a melody line on the string above/same string. With enough variation you'll have an arsenal of cool sounding metal licks.

Good luck!
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#7
Nice dude. Learn to tremolo pick as you will use it when playing 16th and 32th notes.

Learn some scales!
Harmonic minor, diminished scales, and phrygian dominant to name some.
Dimished arpeggios sound sick!
And the phyrgian gives a really cool sound.
You could play a whole riff just using a phyrgian dominant scale.
Just play around with the scales and like Sharp or Flat something and it will sound death-metal-ish.

Oh yea, throw in some chromatic stuff.


Listen to Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Cattle Decapitation, Morbid Angel, and Dying Fetus.

Have fun!
#9
If you aren't good, don't try to be amazing. It is OK to play roots if you have to. Perhaps learn how to carve out your own counter melodies and such. Learn how to groove with your drummer. I'd still say to learn scales and chords and harmonies, but don't try to bass solo and play ridiculously fast and follow impossible guitar if you can't do it; that will only make you sound worse than you think you are.
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#10
^^Great point. Above all else, just do what you do well and show them where you're at. Save the overly-complicated stuff for the woodshed if you aren't comfortable doing it yet.
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#11
Focus on staying in tune with the guitarists. If you doubt your skill, play minimally. Stick to the root note and just hit it as hard and as fast you can. If you really wanna add something flashy, learn the basic scale shapes and how the note you're playing fits into that shape. Otherwise you can just do octaves to stress the note you're playing...
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#12
Quote by Garou1911
Yeah, lots of drop D will do the trick. Pedal tones can work also, like figuring out a minor sounding line on your A string while consistantly chugging on the drop string will give nice metal lines. Try this as an example:

G|---------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------|
A|-----5-----3-----6-----5-----3h5-|
D|-0-0---0-0---0-0---0-0---0-0-----|


Stuff along those general lines. It doesn't necessarily have to be the drop string as the pedal tone, in fact if you use it too often you'll start to have boring sounding riffs. Try it with all 3 of your bottom strings, pedaling (chugging) off of one note while playing a melody line on the string above/same string. With enough variation you'll have an arsenal of cool sounding metal licks.

Good luck!

Death metal is very, very, very rarely ever in dropped tunings (Nile is an exception here though). Sounds like you're talking about deathcore/metalcore here. Death metal doesnt have that many pedaling riffs. Do you even listen to death metal?
Last edited by Pingis_Or_Death at Mar 28, 2009,
#13
Quote by Pingis_Or_Death
Death metal is very, very, very rarely ever in dropped tunings (Nile is an exception here though). You're talking about deathcore/metalcore here. Death metal doesnt have that many pedaling riffs. Do you even listen to death metal?

This is what I was thinking. Everyone here is thinking of metalcore.

Start checking out Death for a lesson in death metal bass playing.
#14
Quote by bass-boy-garith
hello, me yet again. this guy is in a death metal band and they are desperate for a bassist. so he asked me to do it.(i am noooooooooooo way even good enough to play death metal) but he says he doesnt care they are so desperate they will take whatever they can get.


So what if you're not exactly Alex Webster? You'll improve. I'd start out just following the guitar, then work up to the other stuff. For the tryout, play the fastest/most complicated thing you can play comfortably. And BTW, if that isn't very fast or complicated, it doesn't matter much. If they're that desperate, you'll probably get the gig. And honestly, most death metal bass isn't that hard, just fast. Work on speed, endurance, and chromatic stuff.
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#15
Quote by kugelspot
So what if you're not exactly Alex Webster? You'll improve. I'd start out just following the guitar, then work up to the other stuff. For the tryout, play the fastest/most complicated thing you can play comfortably. And BTW, if that isn't very fast or complicated, it doesn't matter much. If they're that desperate, you'll probably get the gig. And honestly, most death metal bass isn't that hard, just fast. Work on speed, endurance, and chromatic stuff.


The trouble is, often following the guitar parts is damn hard. Just speed you say? I applaud you if you can keep up with something like Frantic Disembowelment. The speed makes some of the lines really quite tricky, as a single stutter can take a hell of a lot of skill to recover from quickly.

Still, I am working on my first of the more challenging death metal songs I have set myself to learn, and I am finding a metronome really is your best friend. Take it half speed, (hell, I am doing some of Hammer Smashed Face's riffs at less than that to try and get my muting down well) and get it tight. That means every note is perfect every time, and you don't have any strings ringing out when you aren't playing on them. It may sound cool alone, but in a group, it will sound muddy as hell with a low string ringing out when it shouldn't.

Once you have it perfect, increase the speed a little. Then, get the same level of perfection you had before at this new tempo. Repeat until you can play at full speed. Hell, maybe try and be able to play it up to 20 bpm too fast, so in the band, you have it comfortable enough that you can really listen to everyone else rather than struggling to keep up.
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#16
i see my threads active again for whatever reason lol i got in to the band, we haven't been playing very much though because the guys in the middle of moving. but i played with them and its not that bad. its like super duper progressive advanced death metal. but they said because that i have never played death metal or even really listened to it b4 they are gonna take me under their wings, so for now i am just following the rythm guitar and they are in the middle teaching all their songs. thanks for all the help and advice, it has been most useful
#17
If you need good examples of "super duper progressive death metal," check out Cynic, Atheist, and Death. Coincidently they also all have great bassists. And even though they're really more thrash than death metal, Sadus would also be worth listening too as well.
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#18
Congrats TS
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#19
Quote by Pingis_Or_Death
Death metal is very, very, very rarely ever in dropped tunings (Nile is an exception here though). Sounds like you're talking about deathcore/metalcore here. Death metal doesnt have that many pedaling riffs. Do you even listen to death metal?

I agree death metal or any good metal should not ever be played in drop tuning listen to the band Death or early Sepultura and Morbid Angel
#20
Quote by aquagrave
I agree death metal or any good metal should not ever be played in drop tuning listen to the band Death or early Sepultura and Morbid Angel


Well, Doom metal relies of the heaviness low tuning provides. Tuning does not make any music better or worse. Why would drop tuning hinder the music at all? It is just other ways to play the same notes, or to get more range.
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#21
I think everyone in this thread is getting confused between drop tuning and down tuning. Most of the bands listed above downtune, like early Cannibal Corpse (which is down a half step) and Death (which is down a full step). Drop D and D standard aren't even close to the same.
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#22
Dam a death metal band in need of a bassist? Man i wish i could join :P
Anyways the ways of death metal, Depends how you want to play. If you just want to do enough to get by then ull end up mirroring the guitars. What you generaly want to do is work on your speed, use the chromatic scale... as fast as you can, melodic minors, any thing that gets your fingers moving. Also on that topic tripple fingering is a skill becoming more and more in demand these days, learn how to do that, both galloping and straight.
#24
There's a great thread on Talkbass about death metal technique, and good eq to cut through in a death metal band. here http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=378173

Death metal is no cake walk. Although it's hard to give advice on because a lot of how you play depends on your own style. Just approach it with your own voice.