#1
Hey guys,

A little while ago I started writing some Black Metal stuff and made a little shitty demo, etc. Since then Ive become a little bit more serious about my project, and have been writing material for a spilt demo with another local band.

Heres my dilemma:

Since Ive started writing stuff for the split I havent been able to come up with hardly any decent riffs for it.

Im not asking anyone to write riffs for me, I was just wondering if anyone could give any pointers on writing Black Metal Riffs.
Do you have a taste for awful Black Metal? If you do check out Cryptic Gates and let me know what you think!


Quote by senor_penguin
its like a girl having dicks where her nipples should be, you digg?
#4
a) - listen to black metal riffs

b) - break them down, analyze how they get their sound, and why a particular note choice, rhythm, or texture was used

c) - use your knowledge from part b) to write your own.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
Arrange a Harmonic Minor scale with whatever degrees, sounding melodic and dark to you, and tremolo pick it all the way through. It's a staple of Black Metal but I say experiment with the rhythm to thicken the sound.
#7
I suppose it depends on what you like. personally i don't play much of the very "heavy" or brutal black metal, but prefer the more melodic stuff.

Like with any music theres many ways to go about it, but for most of this you'd find a base-riff, which in most cases is a very catchy or nuanced riff. Most use tremolo picking to get that eerie sound between chord or notechanges. and well. I guess the core of it is finding one good thing and the nuancing it. In Black Metal, tons of good tracks have no more than a few or even a single riff in them, instead they build the atmosphere around the base. It's like simplistic to the point where it gets complicated if you ask me.

Of course theres many nuances, again. I suppose its just about finding something that sounds really good, catchy or droning, whatever you like - just the way it is, so that it will be easy to build upon.

That would be the more artsy stuff. The more brutal black metal (in the vein of Dark Funeral, Marduk and such) is often based around powerchords tremolo-picked, often hitting irregular note, working one halftone or one-and-a-half tone progressions, it is alot easier to do but requires a higher production to actually sound decent. But, to be honest.. Black Metal has become on of those shitty-ass-trends now, and the typical way of making it is ranging now from one end of stupdity to the other. I've seen a fella bang an acoustic guitar and shriek like an owl, calling it Black Metal. if you think punk is dead, you've never seen Black Metal. Thats .... DEADEST!

However, decent stuff is still out there, it just requires the patience to dig through a thousand different bedroom project to find something real. Nonetheless - good luck with it and CUT YOURSELF ON STAGE.. we like that.
FUCK YOU ALL!

666 BLACK METAL HOLOCAUST!!!!!
#8
Alright, Thanks guys! I guess I have some studying to do.
Do you have a taste for awful Black Metal? If you do check out Cryptic Gates and let me know what you think!


Quote by senor_penguin
its like a girl having dicks where her nipples should be, you digg?
#9
#I dont know what you have done só far! the clischee is:
stay minor...!!
shift every chord to minor. you cant go wrong. there is also cool stuff to create with a minor second dissonats like g:9 h:6 let ring....

black metal is one of the rawest genres. Depending on what style you do...like
dark funeral...keep of kalessin...immortal...alcest...shining...etc... you have different ways to play....

Tell me or us what you heading for. To play blackmetal says nothing about what blackmetal...


there is no real fixed consensus about it.


Tell the bands you like and I ll give you my point of view what they do...
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#10
Hello thar. A while ago I was in the same area that you were in. Wondering how to write black metal and make it sound pretty good. I'm not sure what kind of black metal you are going for, but take a look on my profile and check out "A Great Tribulation." If you are going for something like that, then I can explain how to get that powerful sound.
------------------------------------
1. Although black metal does not usually follow a scale, usually minor scales would be used. Like "Aminor,Aharmonic Minor, Diminished" for example. Notes are usually tremolo picked in tuplets (1-2-3-1-2-3) ect.
Play this chord in Standard Tuning

e-7
B-8
G-9
D-9
A-7
E-7

You will notice that it gives that grim feeling while bright as well. (Hence, this is why norwegian black metal is so awesome)
Now pick apart the notes in that chord and experiment with what sounds right for you.
Now if you want to create atmosphere, Using that same chord (or somewhere else on the fretboard in that same shape) strum the 3 bottom strings, and while those strings are still ringing, pick the three top strings as if you were sweep picking but keep your finger(s) on them so they all ring.
Im going to say this again, Learn the diminished scale's basic pattern. It fits perfectly into black metal and any other kind of metal that you might want to experiment with. (Technical Death metal and so fowarth)

Bass:
Not so much of a big thing, just keep the notes in harmony with the rhythm guitar. Whether they are on the same pitch or if the bass is one octave lower.

Drum:
AAAh, the back bone and maker of black metal.
For interesting black metal, mix up tuplet note sessions with non tuplet sessions.
I'll upload a Guitar Pro file explaining what I mean on this, since I'm no drummer.
Blast Beats are essential, so keep a good use of them in there and keep them tasteful, but it is ok if you do have moments when you are not blasting.

Keys/Chior ect:
Keep it all minor

A good reference you can always look at if you have Guitar Pro is the tab to "10 Genres of Metal in 3 minutes" That tab helped me out a lot with understanding drumming and lead guitar in this area of music. (There is a section just for black metal in the tab)
I think that will do it for now until I get a change to upload some Guitar Pro files to this post, when I get back from looking at places to go fishing.
And if you need a logo for your project, send me a message and I'll happily create one for you. Just nothing Satanic or anti-religious is all I request.
If you're serious about needed some Design or Motion Graphics done for your band, youtube, or literally anything else you should email me at CoreGraphics@live.com. My services are quite affordable for the quality I deliver.

Youtube: CoreGraphics
#11
As has been said in this thread before, you should tell us a bit more of the style you want to go in. And even then, the best thing we could do is recommend some bands in that style, and for you to analyze them (analyzing can be as thorough as you want, don't be scared if you don't know a lot of music theory yet).

Here are some bands you could check out:

Ne Obliviscaris (progressive black metal)

(I really can recommend these guys, emotive, interesting, complex with out being wanky, lots of parts/harmonizations and great song writing skills. It has a violinist in the band, who also does the clean vocals (with an amazing range), who graduated with honors from his musical university, so you know he knows his sh*t. Also, the violin doesn't sound cheesy in any way, but adds so much atmosphere. The bassist has insane chops, can tap incredible multiple lines at the same time, but at the same time remains tasteful. The drummer has won the contest for Australians fastest feet, and the guitarist is also an amazing player. Eeeh, this is getting a bit too long :P )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8PNAyN5quM


Darkthrone ('standard' norwegian black metal, you probably know this already):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBwu83RR6ZU

Wolves in the Throne Room (Cascadian black metal)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07XF5uKZlgw

Krallice (avantgarde/experimental black metal)

(very interesting music, a lot of tremolo picked counterpointesque lines, but with still a lot of black metal like repitition, with great atmosphere, IMO)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBeJO6rZX9A
#12
answer TS! what style are you heading for...?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#13
Sorry for the really delayed reply guys, I was at school all day, haha.

With the stuff Ive been writing latley, What ive been doing is trying to keep it simple, and base most of it around if around powerchords, and ocassionaly using a strange note placement to keep it interesting.

Although thats what Ive been doing, Ive been trying to make more atmospheric and hypnotic Burzum style riffs, but I really havent been able to come up with anything (Probably due to the fact that I know no therory what so ever). In the future Id like to be able to make use of light orchestration, but that probably wont happen for awhile, haha.


If you want to hear the first demo, just check my signature for link (excuse the sloppy playing on it, I threw it together and recorded it in like 2 hours, and its not on a time signature either). Ive also cleaned up my tone alot since then as well.


As far as the bands the bands I listen to I usually stick to the Norweigian classics like Darkthrone. Burzum, Mayhem, Marduk, Emperor/Ihsahn, Immortal, etc. As far as newer bands go, I enjoy Watain, Xasthur, Krallice, and Wolves in the Throneroom.


@kcorkcar
Your song "The Great Tribulation" is basically what Im going for, but maybe a bit slower, and with more atmosphere (its still an awesome track though!). Ill also check out that gp tab as well.
Do you have a taste for awful Black Metal? If you do check out Cryptic Gates and let me know what you think!


Quote by senor_penguin
its like a girl having dicks where her nipples should be, you digg?
#14
Quote by Ruination
Although thats what Ive been doing, Ive been trying to make more atmospheric and hypnotic Burzum style riffs, but I really havent been able to come up with anything (Probably due to the fact that I know no therory what so ever). In the future Id like to be able to make use of light orchestration, but that probably wont happen for awhile, haha.

There's your first problem to tackle. Learn theory and start understanding how notes and chords work together. Most Black Metal musicians probably scoffed at the idea of theory but, to gain the upper edge, the possibilities opened up to you will be endless. Until then, just keep playing whatever comes to mind and determine whether or not it sounds good to you yourself and the atmospheric sound you're aiming for. Research your target music (Emperor/Ihsahn is a black wizard at guitarwork - excuse the pun) and transcribe what you hear in your head.

You may be able to learn how to arrange orchestration depending on how far a Theory class, I recommend you take, dwells in. I posted a thread yesterday about arranging and got a lot of questions answered so I encourage you to read what was said.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1440568
Last edited by Mathedes at May 10, 2011,