#1
Hey guys, I've been noticing a lot recently that my soloing and improv whilst playing metal has become really stale and almost obsolete to the kind of metal I'm playing now.

I play a lot of metalcore (Killswitch and such) but I used to play a lot of Metallica. For awhile now though I've really grown out of that style of lead playing and I'm stuck with that similar pentatonic kind of lead playing that now doesn't suit my playing style and it's holding me back.

I'm looking for some more scales and styles of lead playing that would now suit my style of music/playing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated
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#2
It's not really about scales, rather how you use them. I'd suggest you browse through various solos of other artists and learn them to get to add more licks to ye' arsenal
#3
For metalcore learn the guitar modes: http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/music-theory/guitar-modes-the-guitar-modes-of-the-major-scale/

Read that article .

90% of metalcore is composed in the minor scale (which is the aeolian mode - the 6th mode)

Killswitch Engage, As i Lay Dying, Parkway Drive, I killed the Prom queen (bands that i love !! ) compose their songs mainly in the minor scale.

I suggest that you devote 30 minutes a day to practicing those modes, go from one to each other until you can play them effortlessy then it's easy.

Find a key in a scale and you will know in what mode you are in and what to do from there
#4
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​Im surprised most suggestions on these forums are always to learn other peoples songs or licks, nothing wrong with building up your arsenal but always using other people licks is not a good approach especially if you looking for originality.

Llearn the melodic and harmonic scales (and actually all the scales you can), after you memorize them, experiment with them to your hearts content, different tempos, vibrato, string skipping, the possibilities are endless, exhaust them and find your own sound. You wont want to learn other people licks when you discover what you can create.

Of course the more tools you have in your arsenal, the better, but any scale or anything will do. exhaust the possibilities! :P
#5
All of this scale business is silly. A scale is a way of naming and categorizing a collection of notes. It's not the answer you want.

What you want is phrasing. Look at the artists whose solos you want to emulate. Look at their phrasing and what approaches they take to playing. Really try to analyze their music and their style. Learn some theory and learn how to apply it to get the sound you want.

Essentially, in three steps:
1. Listen
2 Learn
3. Abuse
#6
Quote by Geldin
All of this scale business is silly. A scale is a way of naming and categorizing a collection of notes. It's not the answer you want.

What you want is phrasing. Look at the artists whose solos you want to emulate. Look at their phrasing and what approaches they take to playing. Really try to analyze their music and their style. Learn some theory and learn how to apply it to get the sound you want.

Essentially, in three steps:
1. Listen
2 Learn
3. Abuse


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#7
Quote by ArreatsChozen
Scales *are* what you need to do. But scales are not all you need to do.

If you wanted an eastern sound but didn't know the harmonic minor scale, you would only ever get that sound by accident. If you want a dissonant and strange sound a perfect scale would be the diminished scale, but again, you would only discover this by accident.

This simply is not true. Notes are what you need to do. Scales are a nice way of categorizing and organizing collections of notes, but a scale is not what gets you a specific sound. A scale is a collection of notes.

For example, if you wanted an Arabian sound, the harmonic minor scale might be your first inclination, but what really gets you that Arabian sound is understanding more than just a scale, but rather how various note and time intervals interact with one another to produce a certain effect. That minor sixth to major seventh interval is all well and good, but it alone is not the entirety of that Middle Eastern feel (properly speaking, Middle Eastern music actually would have more to do with microtonality and possibly sub-Saharan inspired polyrhythmic drums, but you get my point).

Another example is the in scale seen in Japanese music. Simply using a prescribed set of notes does not automatically grant a passage that "Japanese" sound, since you're completely ignoring the timbre and phrasing of Japanese music that gives it that sound. The song Complex Terms by The Human Abstract features a guitar melody that uses a scale identical to the in scale, but it does not sound remotely Japanese. Meanwhile, the intro to the song Blade in the Snow sounds very Japanese because of the timbre and phrasing of the instruments as opposed to merely using a collection of notes commonly found in Japanese music.

The rest of what you said is valid, but a scale is not a prescription of what notes to play when. The reason that players get trapped in a "box" is because they get it into their heads that simply learning to play a scale up and down is the end-all of music theory and ignore the vastly more important concepts of phrasing and melody.

By focusing on the kind of phrasing and stylistic elements you want as opposed to simply learning a scale, you do much more for yourself as a musician. Millions of players use the pentatonic scale, but Kirk Hammett sounds nothing like Clapton and neither sounds a thing like David Gilmore. Millions of players use the minor scale extensively, but Adam D sounds nothing like Jason Becker, and neither sounds like Muhammed Suicmez.

Think of it this way: there are only twelve notes and a finite number of scales can be composed from them. There are an infinite number of permutations of how you can possibly string those notes together and what order they come in. Would you rather limit yourself to a prescription of notes or an infinite number of possibilities?
#8
That was good stuff geldin, I'm going to start looking more into phrasing!
#9
rhythm thats all im gonna say use rhythm when composing licks and put feeling into them, stop playing your standard hammer and pull pentatonic licks those get boring after awhile, their a great crowd pleaser because there very simple and you can play them fast, but trry to learn the modes, if you're confused, you might want to start looking for a teacher

you'll just confuse the hell outta yourself.
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#10
Everything is actually a scale.. depends on the way one looks at it.
Legend has it Holdsworth wrote all the possible scales by hand, around 20.000 possible combinations.. then reduced it to 15.000.. he probably practiced them all...

I find this pointless, but im just a mortal.
Nevertheless just like i wouldnt recommend someone to think that sales are the ultimate musical tool.

I wouldn´t let them develop the misconception that scales will limit them.. i often see lots of players who justify their lazyness to learn scales, because "scales will limit their creativity".

i dont know how "unique" or creative you guys consider Steve Vai to be, but in my list he is a beast his advice:


To make the best use of these columns, I feel it's important to have a good amount of theory and chops under your belt. It's not absolutely necessary, but you will find it beneficial. Although these columns deal more with discipline of the mind than of the fingers, you should be well educated in the following:

SCALES:

All major scales and modes and the theory behind how they relate to each other; Pentatonics; Melodic and harmonic minor scales; Whole-tone and diminished scales. You should know these scales in every position on the neck, and also starting from the low E string and climbing to the highest available note. You should have the sound of these scales memorized. Practice them with melodic patterns based on seconds, thirds, fourths etc.


The sooner you have scales down, the better, because you can focus on the creative process and your playing will be much more satisfyin, thinking outside the box or only in the box is up to every player.. you can give one a pentatonic shape and he will create a thousand different songs, you can give the other 10.000 and he will just run them up and down like a robot, at least he will be a robot who has lots of scales to his disposal
creativity and uniqueness are also skills that need to be cultivated.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 10, 2011,
#11
Quote by Slashiepie
/scale business

All of that is well and good, but recall that a scale is descriptive, not prescriptive. A scale is a means of describing what you played, not a means describing what to play.

Knowing theory doesn't limit creativity. Learning limited theory and not understanding what you're learning limits creativity. See my above points on scales vs. phrasing.
#12
Quote by Geldin
All of that is well and good, but recall that a scale is descriptive, not prescriptive. A scale is a means of describing what you played, not a means describing what to play.

Knowing theory doesn't limit creativity. Learning limited theory and not understanding what you're learning limits creativity. See my above points on scales vs. phrasing.


Wise words indeed, Amen
Quote by Hail
i'm the internet equivalent of ripping the skin off my face and strangling you with it right now


Quote by Steve Albini
Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone.
Last edited by Slashiepie at Nov 10, 2011,
#13
I play a lot of metalcore (Killswitch and such) but I used to play a lot of Metallica. For awhile now though I've really grown out of that style of lead playing and I'm stuck with that similar pentatonic kind of lead playing that now doesn't suit my playing style and it's holding me back.
#14
Take a selection of music you want to play over, and listen to it a few times without playing anything. Then just sing or hum a melody over it, start with that and then twist it around a bit when you start playing. Your vocal melody will most likely be way off from the usual things you are used to playing because you aren't relying on the same patterns and stuff your hands are used to going to.
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#15
Quote by Geldin
This simply is not true. Notes are what you need to do. Scales are a nice way of categorizing and organizing collections of notes, but a scale is not what gets you a specific sound. A scale is a collection of notes.

For example, if you wanted an Arabian sound, the harmonic minor scale might be your first inclination, but what really gets you that Arabian sound is understanding more than just a scale, but rather how various note and time intervals interact with one another to produce a certain effect. That minor sixth to major seventh interval is all well and good, but it alone is not the entirety of that Middle Eastern feel (properly speaking, Middle Eastern music actually would have more to do with microtonality and possibly sub-Saharan inspired polyrhythmic drums, but you get my point).

Another example is the in scale seen in Japanese music. Simply using a prescribed set of notes does not automatically grant a passage that "Japanese" sound, since you're completely ignoring the timbre and phrasing of Japanese music that gives it that sound. The song Complex Terms by The Human Abstract features a guitar melody that uses a scale identical to the in scale, but it does not sound remotely Japanese. Meanwhile, the intro to the song Blade in the Snow sounds very Japanese because of the timbre and phrasing of the instruments as opposed to merely using a collection of notes commonly found in Japanese music.

The rest of what you said is valid, but a scale is not a prescription of what notes to play when. The reason that players get trapped in a "box" is because they get it into their heads that simply learning to play a scale up and down is the end-all of music theory and ignore the vastly more important concepts of phrasing and melody.

By focusing on the kind of phrasing and stylistic elements you want as opposed to simply learning a scale, you do much more for yourself as a musician. Millions of players use the pentatonic scale, but Kirk Hammett sounds nothing like Clapton and neither sounds a thing like David Gilmore. Millions of players use the minor scale extensively, but Adam D sounds nothing like Jason Becker, and neither sounds like Muhammed Suicmez.

Think of it this way: there are only twelve notes and a finite number of scales can be composed from them. There are an infinite number of permutations of how you can possibly string those notes together and what order they come in. Would you rather limit yourself to a prescription of notes or an infinite number of possibilities?


Good post +1.

I would also say that in the end the most important thing is to be able to reproduce on your guitar what it's in your head.

That's the thing ear training does.

Ear training starts with intervals.

Here is a blueprint of how i do it (as a result of trying more methods) :

http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/ear-training/ear-training-intervals/

As for the advice i gave earlier there is one more important that you have to keep in mind.: The level of understanding.

We like to know why why do some things, and guitar playing is a thing of DOING in order to get the UNDERSTANDING.

You can know all the music theory until you know what it FEELS like it's not good for anything.

I gave that advice because that worked for me. My teacher told me to take those modes and practice the hell out of them and then voila : i knew how to play solos. No more bad notes and such because i know knew the positions and how to make the most out of them

That's what i like a about music it teaches you one of the most important things in life: it teaches the power of setting an example of showing what you know not just talk about it.

You are judged (don't take it in a negative way, feedback is the key to success if you have an positive mindset) as a guitar by how you play not by the diplomas or the schools of music you went to.