is it an unwritten rule that metal riffs always have to be palm-muted chugs on the bass strings of the guitar? why don't the players write riffs on the top strings or even mix it up with the bottom strings?
there's no rule as such, however it's genre specific, "metal" covers a broad spectrum of genres. A lot of these riffs may be palm muted, chuggy riffs, some may be more melodic. I've heard metal bands with riffs as high up as the 15th fret on the D G and B strings... as long as what you write works with the genre you are playing then there are no rules/guidelines on how to write riffs. Use your own creativity and play what you think works
Listen to more metal. You are wrong.
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Sure, a lot of bands do that a lot because they're boring and generic, but not all bands are like that. Zaphod pretty much won the thread by saying you need to listen to more metal.
Last edited by vayne92 at Apr 24, 2014,
Holy crap. You need to listen to some Ozzy to change your mind.
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If you listen to Meshaggah, then yes, but that's a different story.
Listen to Mastodon and Opeth and you'll come to a different conclusion.

A lot of metal riffs are low and chuncky because that 'sounds metal'. But The only rule in music is that there is no rule, I can't really think of unwritten rules... (Well, maybe that nu-metal doesn't have solo's but I'm not an expert)
A lot of metal has the chugging open riff because a lot of older metal was heavily influenced by blues music. It was common to ride the open E chord while singing if you were writing simple blues songs. You would throw some chords or leads in between lyric phrasing.
Just one explanation.
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