I write music using guitar pro 6 for my band and I also use it for my solo act. In my solo act I usually just make multiple lead parts but for my band I need to start writing rhythm guitar. I wrote a few songs but the rhythm just seems too easy, I'm not sure how hard rhythm guitar should be for melodic death metal and I know the main thing is that it sounds good but I just think it's way too easy. On one song I wrote for my band the rhythm guitar is only 4-5 different chords throughout the entire song. What are your thoughts on this? Do you guys think this is too easy?
Why does it matter just wrte wahat sounds good

For example some of our songs the rhytm part is a couple powerchrds or just diads and the bass and lead partschangeto make theharmony mkre ibteresting

Excusethe typos
Last edited by supersac at Jul 23, 2013,
Do you wish you could write cool rhythm guitar riffs for rock and metal?
Putting aside all of the rules for writing music, the one thing that will give you a song that your audience will remember is having a few awesome riffs.
It doesn't matter how hard it is to play it, if the part matches the song and sounds good, it's a part that should be kept. Also, the rhythm guitar part doesn't have to be JUST chords, the rhythm and lead can play the exact same thing in parts to really make a part stand out, or take the Def Leppard approach and make the rhythm part COMPLETELY different from the lead. Whatever sounds good. Best of luck
Are you saying it's impossible to write a good song with 4-5 chords? Bullshit.
In metal it's probably going to be a bunch of 5 chords anyway.
I think the best way to go about this is to look at the great rhythm guitarists who lend themselves to staying in the background:

Ben Moody (Early Evanescence, We Are The Fallen); Brad Whitford (Aerosmith, he was more of the guitarist than Joe was if you ask me), The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello's folk alter ego, he solos a lot but they are very well placed and based around his rhythm in the rest of the song), Emppu (Nightwish, he sacrifices his inner power metal shredder to allow the keys to lead)

These guys all play some crazy rhythm that seem simple at first glance, and most of em are simple, however, they can easily carry the whole song themselves if need be.
Also, check out some more punk music. I know it's still relatively easy but after realizing my favorite band, Rise Against, is not he best way to start learning guitar haha that stuff is a lot more difficult than I expected from a punk band, especially rhythm and bass. I swear, Punk Lead Guitarists and singers have it easy compared to the rest of the band.

Now lastly, check out the signature below by MaggaraMarine. This is my mantra and should be any musician's. The song is more important than anything else trying to be achieved, I mean, I recently read that a solo is no more than a musician's way of masturbating in public. Now I'm not telling you to change your views, if difficulty level is your forte, go for it, I just disagree that it should have so much pull.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
I was going to say what my signature says but eric_wearing was faster.

I really hate overplaying and playing complex parts for the sake of playing complex parts. I know I do it sometimes and I have some recordings of me playing that I really hate. But I have noticed that you don't need to show off your skills all the time. You need to make music. The audience doesn't care about how complex the parts are. Too complex and it sounds like a mess. I have started appreciating "space" in music. The sound needs to have some space, some breaks and all parts need to support each other. Complex parts have their place but you need to do them well. Same with "show off" licks and fills - they do have their place but they only work in the right place.

So if the song needs me to play 8th notes on the low E string throughout the whole song, I'll play them if it makes the song sound good. You want the song to sound good.

So the question is, do you like the way your songs sound like (if we don't think about how easy it's to play them)?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


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The absolute beauty of rhythm guitar is that it doesn't have to be super complex. I've written good (read: it satisfies me and fits the song) rhythm parts using like 3 chords. But, see, since it is rhythm, you can spice it up a little bit.

As much as I hate Djent, a lot of those guys are quite good at using rests, changing up the rhythm combinations, etc. -- all while using just a few chords. At face value, it doesn't look complex, but it makes it interesting and gives it more punch. One of the favorite riffs I've written is just playing a D5 chord for 3/4 of the riff, but the rhythmic value of the chord (that being whether it's held for a Quarter, an eighth, sixteenth, etc.) changes on every beat. My point is, keep in mind that spicing up the rhythm by adding rests, palm mutes, etc. is all very useful in rhythm.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jul 26, 2013,
I try to do what's best for the song. You gotta be aware of what else is going on at the time. I've found that if there's too many things up front in the spotlight jostling for attention it becomes messy real quick. Well, for me at least. What's the saying? Too many cooks spoil the broth?

I'm really into a "Less is more" type thing these days. Like, If I have a really sweet vocal melody, or a really badass riff, I've been trying to really simplify everything else that's going so that it's sort of up front and in the spotlight.
If you're bothered by it try using some inversions, substitutions and syncopation. Also you don't have to separate the rhythm and lead...
Have a look at this. This is a playlist of a couple dozen Youtube lessons I've done on writing progressive metal. A lot of the genre-specific stuff may not apply to you, and your band dynamic may not have you writing all the instruments, but I'd imagine most of this to be quite useful for what you're trying to learn. Scroll through the list and see if any of the titles catch your eye.

Also, it's been said a lot, but: Play what sounds good with the song. If it's a simple song and you're wanking away polymeters, it's gonna sound bad. But this series will help you learn to distinguish what a song needs.

Some specific episodes you might benefit from based on your genre and role: Episodes 3, 4 (both parts), 10, 11, 13, and 18-20.

Edit: And guys, he said he's playing melodic death metal. That...tends to feature some at least moderately technical playing. When was the last time you heard a melodeath song that was just a few power chords?
Last edited by KevinGoetz at Aug 6, 2013,
most melodeath songs I hear have a really strong melody played by the rhythm and lead until the verse starts...not to pigeonhole it though. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are pretty much the main mobs when it comes to twin guitar so that's a possibility.

The point still remains, though. You need to do what's best for the song. Unless you're Avant-Garde or Math or whatever, you should avoid adding difficulty as a song asspect...(and I left out Prog on purpose. The point of most prog as I understand is to make the best musically appealing sounds in weirder formats rather than pushing the human limitations like the other two)
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!