#1
Hey Guys, I was wondering what exercises you do to improve metalriffs in general. I already practice some alternate picking exercises (Like that part on One sped up) or downpicking (MASTER OF PUPPETS HELLYEAH). But I see many variety on riffs instead of these two (like galloping or rythms such as Poison was the cure in which you go through a scale).

Any advice?
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#2
Triplets. Raining Blood by Slayer.
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#3
Depends on what subgenre of Metal you want to play rhythm for. Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, etc, which one are you trying to get better at? If it's just metal in-general, then the simple answer is to listen to a variety of bands and attempt to emulate them (Don't look up tabs). Play what you hear/think they're playing, and you'll develop new rhythm styles on your own basically. Works for me anyway lol.
#4
Mainly Thrash, Speed and Heavy xD
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#5
While covering a metal album I noticed that this band in particular has some pretty rough alternate picking and string skipping riffs that can be used as excercises.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNU2H1beoUc 2:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8XheCsITnU

Im not suggesting that you should like their music but after covering their albums my alternate picking increased significantly rhythm wise.

It might be worth your time trying to learn a few of them.
#6
This is going to seem a bit bizarre at first, but learn some funk. Funk is what made me a good rhythm player.

The key to playing rhythmically tight is to get all your down and up strokes and accents in the right place. This applies to metal as much as any other style, but that fact is be over looked to often.

funk is the most rhythmically demanding guitar style in my opinion, and if you get it right you will gain a whole new understanding and feel for playing rhythm.

Try it and you will see what I mean.

Obviously practice your picking and palm muting to. But funk. try it!
#7
Quote by Strat'z
Hey Guys, I was wondering what exercises you do to improve metalriffs in general. I already practice some alternate picking exercises (Like that part on One sped up) or downpicking (MASTER OF PUPPETS HELLYEAH). But I see many variety on riffs instead of these two (like galloping or rythms such as Poison was the cure in which you go through a scale).

Any advice?

http://martingoulding.com/lessons/riffs/

This site has some great riffs from quite a few styles of Metal. Also a well respected teacher.
#10
The rhythm parts from Rust in Peace by Megadeth are very good and quite challenging. Try learning Take No Prisoners
Also someone mentioned Slayer. Their stuff is really fast so is good for building up pure power/speed/stamina in the right hand.
#11
Matt Heafy had a great video on here all about how he developed his (insanely good) rhythm skills. Not sure where to find it anymore, though.
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#12
What they said, plus tremolo picking. It pays to have good, even tremolo technique, especially in terms of endurance. Tremolo picking in metal is mostly used in black metal (which is an acquired taste) and death metal (not to mention black/death hybrids like God Dethroned and Behemoth).
#13
Well there are many things you can do to become a better rhythm player.

The most obvious one is to learn songs that you like, seeing that you listen to thrash you will gain lots of stamina in your right hand from that. But you might also want to check out other styles of metal and music in general aswell. Groove metal, progressive metal and djent have the most odd rhythms i believe. Funk as said is also great.

Bands i would recommend to give a shot that have good challanging rhythms are (Not in any order of difficulty at all):
Dream Theater, Symphony X, Periphery, Meshuggah, Pantera, Lamb of god, Veil of maya, even some megadeth. (These are of my favorite bands, check em out and see if you like any of em)

Then you can always learn rhythm in other ways of practice, that will make you much better aswell!

Check this video, it's quite helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sw_trDFJw8&list=FLJEq14_SsBF9kiKcH_6p-1g&index=10&feature=plpp_video (Yes, he's a bassist. And he kicks ass, and it can be applied to any instrument)
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#14
(@ Cavalcade) Yep, can't forget tremelo picking. And while it is a staple of black metal, other genres such as death metal, thrash, and even metalcore use it in a lot of instances. Plus, depending on how you use it, it's a technique that can blur the lines between rhythm and lead - ie - if you're playing single string runs.

I use it more often in a black-metal style where it can provide a kind of "wall of sinister sound" by tremelo picking rapidly over chord progressions.
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Last edited by KailM at Nov 26, 2011,
#15
METRONOME...it's a no brainer!!!! Get one, live by it, die by it!
Seriously, if you want to see all aspects of your playing improve rapidly get with a metronome as sooooon as possible!

Now onto some technique things:
The following is really only meant as a right hand/timing exercise.

O.k. This is coming from a purely theoretical standpoint. ie - things you can consider/practice/rehearse in all aspects of music, NOT just metal.

Firstly - one of the things that you are probably doing anyway is accenting the strong beats of the bar - the majority of mainstream Metal is in 4, so you end up playing the strong beats with a slightly emphasized feel. one TWO three FOUR etc. of course, rarely do you play your rhythms with only four notes but you get the idea.
So for an 8th note pattern you'd be playing: one-and TWO-and three-and Four-and.
Where only 2 out of the three notes you are playing are stronger than the rest.
16th note pattern: one-e-and-a TWO-e-and-a three-e-and-a Four-e-and-a, again you see you've only got 2 out of 16 notes accentuated and they are always the same beats.

SO - to improve your playing/versatility couple of things you can do:
FIRSTLY WITH A METRONOME:
try accentuating MORE notes try the first beat of every 16th note grouping.
on a single string, just palm muting for definition:
ONE-e-and-a TWO-e-and-a Three-e-and-a Four-e-and-a
Making sure that you are staying in time. Going fast is NOT important with this exercise!
Slower is better, especially at first. You will be able to speed it up eventually, but this is a case where you will be concentrating and training your body to do something that will feel different/new/weird.

Practice doesn't make perfect - practice makes PERMANENT...that's why a metronome and careful ears are so important to your practice regime...practice TRAINS your muscle memory to play and do certain things as a "reflex". If you practice WRONG, you engrain bad habits and make them perfect - habits that will hurt your playing, and plateau your progress and you'll only be able to break them with LOTS more hard work than it takes to do it right the first time!

Then try more random accent points:
One-e-and-a two-e-AND-a THREE-e-and-a four-E-and-a
Something like that.

Then there are triplets and sextuplets...playing them STRAIGHT over the constant 4 is a challenge, and I garuntee that once you get that clean, your other rhythms will improve!
You can also do the accentuated beat exercise with the triplets/sextuplets etc.!

Look for songs and rhythm examples to learn and practice that are outside of your metal genre!
A great example is Nuno Bettencourt - someone mentioned funk - he's a perfect example of demanding funk rhythms played in a rock/metal context!
Look for pieces with different/odd metres!
12/8 15/16, 5/4 etc.
Simply practicing some new stuff will also give your picking hand/wrist/arm and head some new things to think about!

I've rambled long enough!

I hope that helps a little!

Rock on!
SF
#16
If it's just metal in-general, then the simple answer is to listen to a variety of bands and attempt to emulate them (Don't look up tabs). Play what you hear/think they're playing, and you'll develop new rhythm styles on your own basically.
#18
For stamina, look into Jed from Strapping young Lad. He's a machine. I believe the song "aftermath" is a good one to get the forearm burning
Last edited by Maximo33 at Nov 28, 2011,
#20
The Human Abstract - Nocturne and Digital Veil (albums)
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#21
Thanks for all the tips. I train with a metronome frequently scales and now I'm starting to train everyday a bit of speed picking on one string, galloping(despite being slow) and other rhythmic sections. I attend a music school so they really provide lots of riffs and exercises to practice one. However I need a lot more to get good.


Thanks again

Strat'z
Love the Guitar
Gear:
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- Alhambra 2C Classical Guitar
- Tortex .88mm/Jazz III 1.38mm
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#22
Learn all the Metallica songs :P
Haha.. not all of them, but they're x-ellent exercises.
#23
The Frayed Ends of Sanity (Metallica) has a tough galloping run in the middle of the song which works wonders for rhythm skills. Another good Metallica song for strict E-string work is Disposable Heroes.
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#25
+1 for the funk suggestion
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