#2
There's music theory specific to heavy metal, death metal, black metal, etc?
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#3
Quote by duncang
There's music theory specific to heavy metal, death metal, black metal, etc?


There is not. If you know theory properly, you will know what is applicable to making the sounds of extreme metal genres
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#4
Quote by chimpinatux
If you know theory properly, you will know what is applicable to making the sounds of extreme metal genres


That's correct, but I'm interested in that subset specifically.

Sort of like this resource.

How to compose and appreciate metal. Surely you wise elders of the metal community can help a struggling myspace Garage Band mp3 bedroom metal act out?
#6
Step 1: Go to library.
2: Gather all books on music theory
3: Look for all the parts about dissonance/weird scales/diminished whatever
4:educate yourself
5:?????
6:Profit
#7
Just the "normal" music theory I guess, like intervals, chords, scales and so on.

I think most metal musicians "educate" themselves by learning the songs of their favorite artists and copying them shamelessly. At least that's how I would go about it.
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#8
Quote by Conservationist
That's correct, but I'm interested in that subset specifically.


There is no 'subset', theory is theory.
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#9
well yeah theres always the route of shamelessly biting every different style you can find but ive tried to learn alot myself just by using online resources, looking at scales and then playing them out and such. the most ive learned about music theory is from looking at songs and just noticing structure and so forth, not necessarily biting it, but by studying certain songs in immense detail. but honestly all of music theory will help you in metal. are you playing black metal? use diminished scales. NWBHM style stuff? examine orchestral composition.

tl;dr-
look at the sheet music tabs/ it depends on what kind of metal.
#10
I don't think there are books on how to make a riff sound "heavy". Yet, at least. But I think a lot of that also stems from tone, more than intervals and all that.

However, a thing I found useful is some knowledge about building tension, and releasing it in compositions.
#12
Quote by destroy_techno
I don't think there are books on how to make a riff sound "heavy". Yet, at least. But I think a lot of that also stems from tone, more than intervals and all that.

However, a thing I found useful is some knowledge about building tension, and releasing it in compositions.


That's because 'heavy' isn't something about which there are really any rules; look at it for a minute and try to define exactly what 'heavy' really is and realize how futile it is.
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#13
heavy has nothing to do with theory IMO. to some heavy is more distortion and muddy tone, to others its downtuned everything.
#14
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
That's because 'heavy' isn't something about which there are really any rules; look at it for a minute and try to define exactly what 'heavy' really is and realize how futile it is.


Especially in terms of theory. Half of it's in the tone and mix.
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Alright, I'll give them a try, Japanese Black Speed rarely disappoints.

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#15
I learned an interesting thing about dissonance last week.

Its only dissonance if there is something consonant to compare it to.
otherwise its just A tonal

I dont know if its well known, or ive just never been told untill now.
#16
Quote by duncang
Especially in terms of theory. Half of it's in the tone and mix.

What I said..

Also, I think a lot of it lies in the rhythm, more than the basic tone material as well

EDIT:
^I'm pretty sure a playing a b9 interval sounds pretty damn dissonant no matter how you twist it
Last edited by destroy_techno at Nov 24, 2009,
#17
Really? Sounds interesting. Hm... if I was playing only tritones for ten minutes, wouldn't it sound dissonant all the way through?
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#18
I wouldn't call what you're looking for theory, it would be better to say technique. Certain subgenres of metal have certain riffing techniques and motifs. But metal itself is so varied you can't narrow anything down enough to make a definitive set of "rules".

I'll just go on examples I am familiar with. I don't know if you're familiar with the band Ektomorf? They can take a riff which has little more than 2 notes and give it enough rhythm to make it sound "heavy". The same partly applies to Meshuggah. Then take a look at groups like In Flames or Dark Tranquillity (I am referring to the earlier works of both). Their music has a lot of melodic variation, and still can achieve a sensation of heaviness.

"Heaviness" itself is subjective: There are no defining factors for it. A blazing trem picked riff with double bass drumming can be just as heavy as a slow, two-note-per-bar riff carried on 8th note hihats or whatever.

If you wanna compose metal, first of all observe how other groups go about it, the more diversity of what you listen to the better. Then, sit down with a guitar and start improvising. It's possible to compose good metal with 0 knowledge of theory, but you have to experiment.
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#19
Yeah but most of it doesn't require training to actually use. For instance, before I took lessons I was playing heavy metal and would naturally play scales and intervals that I didn't understand because it fitted. I don't even use theory for solos, I just think about the interval and go for it. Maybe that's a bad idea but it works for me because if it's fast I remember basic shapes or patterns and play them. Of course I hit the odd dodgy note but i'm getting better and eventually i'll wipe them out.
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#20
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Really? Sounds interesting. Hm... if I was playing only tritones for ten minutes, wouldn't it sound dissonant all the way through?

The Piece would then be A tonal. and even though it would sound dissonant, it wouldnt technically be dissonance as you have no consonance. You'd have no set key.
#21
I believe this is what your looking for
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#22
Quote by AnnihiSlateR
The Piece would then be A tonal. and even though it would sound dissonant, it wouldnt technically be dissonance as you have no consonance. You'd have no set key.

OK, fair enough.
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#25
Quote by Conservationist
That is a good resource, thank you!

Other areas of interest:

* Song structure
* Riff structure
* Use of counterpoint
* Modal and chromatic composition


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Last edited by Senor Kristian at Nov 25, 2009,
#26
My guide to writing metal:

1. Be passionate
2. Write good songs

The End.
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I want to try that while playing the opening riff to "Tempting Time".

0-0-0-13-0-0-0-0-13 or something like that alalalala but It;s so heavy and off time and awesome and you could not f**k anyone to it.


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