I am posting this seeking advice. A guy I once met that could play amazing acoustic guitar was teaching me. I dont care about making "Buckethead" covers or any of that stuff. I just want to be able to make original thrash/metal music, but struggle with many things. Everytime I improvise; the solos sound like shit, and alot of the riffs I cannot get to blend together very well. This guy said he knows nothing about writing metal, but that the methods to guitar are all relative. That the best place to start out is learning is chords and scales.

So I have recently learned the G, C, D, E, Em, A, Am, B, and F chords. Along with the 5 patterns to the "minor pentatonic scale". This is what he recommended, however. I moved since then and can't find him on facebook or any other way to contact him. "Monkeying" around with these I have made up a couple cool chord progressions, and the scale patterns I haven't found a whole lot of use out of yet because if I try to improvise with them I end up either playing them exactly, or stepping into a wrong note.

I don't really see how Mustaine, Waters, Holt, Hammett, or Skolnick used these. Maybe thats just because I don't know enough yet, but I am trying to learn more. What should my next steps be to learning how to use and apply these chords and scales? (unfortunately a teacher is not a viable option at the moment)
I think he left a very important part out. Of course you should know your chords and scales, but you practice them so you can actually recognize them when they are actually used. A big part of your practice should be learning actual music, and then if you want compare it with these chords and scales from a theoretical point of view and see how it works.

For example, both Mustaine and Hammett use almost exclusively the minor pentatonic when soloing. How do i know that? Cause i know the theory behind the scale, and i have compared it with Metallica and Megadeth solos i've actually learned. You know it's kind of learning to drive a car, you need to both be able to actually drive and know the traffic rules.

In music you have to learn actual music, but then you are recommended to see how it works theoretically.

Now i would recommend that you keep learning and practicing your chords, but perhaps doing so through learning actual songs to strum along to. And then if you want you can look at really really simple metal stuff and start working on that. Just make sure you are always practicing everything relaxed and accurately, you don't want to teach yourself to play things incorrectly or teach yourself bad habits.
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Have you practiced songs at all? To see what the guitarist you cited do in practice?

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Have you practiced songs at all? To see what the guitarist you cited do in practice?

Yes. And thats why I said I dont see the relation. Every now and then I catch like two notes that look like they are from one of the patterns, but then there is some that I have no idea where they came from.

I have played songs from all these artists. The riff writing I am getting a little better at. But more than often I feel like I am panning for gold. 99% of it is trash but every now and then I get a little nugget that I save for later. But most of these nuggets dont work so well together so that leaves me with unfinished songs.
I used to have trouble exaclty just like you're having. It was hit and missed.
I tried to play like Kirk lots. A cry baby helps....

You need to know what the root notes are. There's maj and minor pentatonic.
There's also the blues scale (please look it up) with option notes.

Lot of mattalica songs or riffs are going to make sense to you more if you
learn the blues scale. There's 4-5 songs on Kill em all.
i personally like No remose, seek and destroy, jump into the fire and the 4 horse men.
And some of the songs from the Creeping death EP.
They're heavily blues or pentatonic influence. It's Mustange on rhythem on Kill em all.

Anyways...I practice playing maj pentatonic over maj chords. Minor pentatonic over
minor chords...At least I wasnt hitting quirky notes anymore.

K.... the major pentatonic is gonna sound quirly if you play from root to 2nd.
Thats why there's an option note inserted between the 2nd and 3rd

The blues scale has that exact same note inserted. It's just between the 4th and 5th
in the minor pentatonic.

Then break it down even more. Learn the basic triads.
The maj and minor triads....alot of the metal riffs are off of that.
You're just playing the 4th in between. Hammer on or pull off..ect
Sometimes you're hit the octive.

When you get familar with those maj or min triads. Then just play a flat 5th
in a minor triad to get a diminisn.

If you take the notes from the major pentatonic scale and play them as arpeggios.
You'll get Cmaj6add9...which is a very beautiful sounding chord.

The samething with the minor pentatonic. Amin7add11

Hope this helps. He has alot of cool lessons
Last edited by smc818 at Feb 12, 2014,
Start with triads then find patterns within that and so on m8.
Also trying another tunning mabe.
all in all best of luck.
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