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#1
I compose lots of soft rock music, but my mate wants me to compose some metal music, does anyone have any tips on how to get a metal sound, or what sort of stuff to put in metal pieces. Other than tuning to dropped D or C, and speed picking.....
#2
Dropped D tuning doesn't make you metal...
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#3
firstly, playing fast and downtuning do NOT automatically mean good metal, they can make it more interesting but arent strictly necessary.

Although obviously distortion is good

Theory-wise, use lots of darker sounding things, such as minor scales, and even phrygian or locrian modes to make it even more evil
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#4
If you're gonna be making a solo i always find that harmonic minor scales are good.
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#5
Quote by duncang
Dropped D tuning doesn't make you metal...


Ok...
So what does?
#6
another thing would be to go right now and actually listen to some decent metal and empaphise with the aggression that is needed to write good stuff

EDIT:

Quote by Lum
Ok...
So what does?


being angry as **** and putting it into sound form
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#7
I like to do alot of triplets on the D string. (If you're tuned to drop D) Also I like to do alot of bouncy playing. Just for a refrence, look at the intro riff for As the Palaces burn by Lamb Of God. Not only are bouncy riffs fun to play, they sound really good.
#8
Well, lets see what we know about metal;

Riff driven music
Usually has a dark mood and the songs are often angry
Rhythm is much more important than the melody and harmony
Power chords are used rather than proper chords for a tight sound that's not muddy with distortion
The tritone interval is very overused
Vocals are usually shouted (screamed) rather than sung
The drums have a larger role than in most other genres of western music


That's just a few things to be thinking about. Listen to songs in the style you write and analyse them to see what other features commonly appear. Then begin applying what you know to the music you're writing.
#9
By tritone you're talking about the 1 - 3 interval... right?
#11
Quote by Lum
By tritone you're talking about the 1 - 3 interval... right?


no the diminished fifth, its 3 tones(6 semitones) from the root

and isnt necessary, but does give you instant dissonance, and is useful
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#12
Turn the gain up so high that no distinguishable notes come out, it just sounds like screeching. That would be really metal in my book.
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#13
Well, I had never heard of it called a tritone before....
Anyways, you mean played at the same time, like a Thin Lizzy 2 guitar thing going on, or played as intervals in a one guitar lick?
#14
Quote by Lum
By tritone you're talking about the 1 - 3 interval... right?


No, a tritone is an interval of three whole steps (6 half steps) so if you play an open E and the play the Bb at the 6th fret, the interval between the notes is a tritone.

Quote by chimpinatux
another thing would be to go right now and actually listen to some decent metal and empaphise with the aggression that is needed to write good stuff

EDIT:


being angry as **** and putting it into sound form


Not all metal is angry and aggressive. Take Pantera for example; a lot of their work (especially the early stuff) has more of a fun feel to it than an angry feel. Would you describe Cowboys From Hell as being angry as ****?

When a lot of people try to force anger and aggression into their music it can have the tendency to not sound metal at all and become like hardcore/screamo stuff.
#15
Quote by Eirien

Not all metal is angry and aggressive. Take Pantera for example; a lot of their work (especially the early stuff) has more of a fun feel to it than an angry feel. Would you describe Cowboys From Hell as being angry as ****?



And on top of that, it's in standard tuning. Cowboys from Hell is a good example of a metal song that has more of a bad ass style to it, and it's also a good example of how Drop D is not cruise control for metal.

On top of all the other tips, here's a good one: inspiration. Go listen to some metal! Hit up the metal forum in the bands & artists section. You'll find some great bands and riffs to uise as inspiration.

Also, metal gets so much **** these days, it's good to know what's fact and what's fiction. Metal is NOT drop D gallop-rhythms with emo people screaming about their depression. That's the most common stereotype I've heard. Metal includes older heavy metal bands like Iron Madien, Metallica, and Pantera. Or, you can look at some heavier forms of metal, like death metal, melodic death metal, or industrial. Just have a look at it first to get a good idea of what you're looking for, then check out some of the bands to get a good feel for the sound you're loking for, and to find some riffs and licks as inspiration.
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#16
^+ 1 to industrial, it's kind of the bastard child of heaviness people often overlook. albums like

NIN-broken (wish)
KMFDM- Angst (a drug against war)
Ministry - Psalms 69 (the symbols album) (tv2)
Fear Factory (pick any album)

all these albums are just absof#ckinglutely great.
these are just the tip of the industrial iceberg that shows metal isn't limited to ozzy and pantera.

really metal is a combination of things. what i think is heavy someone else might think isn't so its really a matter of opinion. when i think of metal i think of stuff like "master of puppets" and "vulgar display of power". Just try to write something heavy that has a good catchy melody, also a general rule of thumb is that no 2 songs should ever sound alike. thats not very brutal.
#17
Quote by Eirien

Not all metal is angry and aggressive. Take Pantera for example; a lot of their work (especially the early stuff) has more of a fun feel to it than an angry feel. Would you describe Cowboys From Hell as being angry as ****?

When a lot of people try to force anger and aggression into their music it can have the tendency to not sound metal at all and become like hardcore/screamo stuff.


yeah i guess i take that back, ive been listening to far too much death and thrash recently though so musically im seeing red in this phase

and oh god the TS interpreting that wrong and going off and writing some screamo would have been a disaster...
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#18
Metal is usually very simple and very heavily rhythm based. Learn lots of syncopated rhythm patterns and use scales like phrygian and harmonic minor. Most riffs are comprised of just a few single notes on the low E and maybe some dyads thrown in. Chromatic lines work really well too
#19
Quote by Lum
I compose lots of soft rock music, but my mate wants me to compose some metal music, does anyone have any tips on how to get a metal sound, or what sort of stuff to put in metal pieces. Other than tuning to dropped D or C, and speed picking.....



There really isnt a specific recipe for metal. You can try to mimic some of the superficial aspects, but that usually comes across as being disengenuine.

What you need to do is listen to metal, learn some metal songs / riffs, and if you have the background for it, study metal.
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#20
I don't listen to metal but if I had to guess I'd say it changes time sigs a lot. You might be better off just playing some covers. Playing in drop c doesn't make you cool, it makes you a fool.
#21
Quote by Free Time
I don't listen to metal but if I had to guess I'd say it changes time sigs a lot. You might be better off just playing some covers. Playing in drop c doesn't make you cool, it makes you a fool.


If you don't listen to metal then why bother replying? Douche.

TS, there's no trick to composing metal. Either you write something and it's brutal, or you write something and it's not. And if you're not a metalhead to begin with, it's gonna be a real hurns for you to try and write a metal song.
#22
Yeah thats pretty much it, you have to truly appreciate metal in order to play it. Listen to some metal albums, learn some songs showcasing techniques evident within heavier music then writing just flows into place.
#23
Learn the Phrygian Mode on guitar and buy yourself a six pack for motivation, the rest should just flow out.
#24
Quote by Wonthefu
If you don't listen to metal then why bother replying? Douche.
Am I wrong? Does or doesn't metal change time sigs a lot?
#25
Quote by Free Time
Am I wrong? Does or doesn't metal change time sigs a lot?


Metal has a myriad of various genres. Some are very simple, and riff driven. Others, however, such as Technical Death Metal, does often feature drastic time signature changes.
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#26
Quote by Free Time
Am I wrong? Does or doesn't metal change time sigs a lot?


some of it does.

LOL at the avatar! good 1
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#27
Well, it all depends on how heavy you want it....if you want bone shattering riffs, then by all means, drop tune. Metal to me is all in the ear's of the beholder. Some of the intrumental's metal band's write wouldnt be considered metal, but they are. And they're beautiful, I'm just adding this to what everyone else has said....have fun with that.

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#28
There's about 15 different distinct styles of metal, probably more, but I'm not really thinking about it. If you want to learn how to create metal music, or any other type of music for the matter. Transcribe some of your favorite songs (I think that's the key). Listen to how the interstruments interplay, figure out common chord progressions (because even if its a change from a E5 to G5 to a F#5, its still a chord progression).

Songwriting is not hard if you study and do your homework.
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#29
Quote by Free Time
Am I wrong? Does or doesn't metal change time sigs a lot?


Some of it does. A lot of it doesn't.

So... yeah, you're wrong.

I dislike when people talk about things they don't know about. And that bit about drop C... it's not the tuning, it's the usage.

Maybe I was being kind of a dick calling you a douche, but what the hell, it's the internet. It's not like it's serious business.
#30
IMO, just write lyrics about vikings. Then you're set.
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#31
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IMO, just write lyrics about vikings. Then you're set.


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#32
Quite simple, TS, go listen to some metal. Thrash is a good entry point -

Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden (not necessarily thrash...) a bit of Slayer.

That's the kind of thing that's pretty common for entry level metalheads. Also, check out Dream Theater, Meshuggah and Dream Evil for some more inspiration.

Try to assimilate the sound and get the feel. It's all about rhythm and right hand control.
#33
Using drop tunings don't necessarily make you havier, and IMO can make riffs sound boring, depends, of course, on the musician. As guidelines, this is a typical metalcore riff, so if you wana sound like Trivium or Avenged sevenfold etc. this would be a good starting point:


e|--------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------------------------------------------------
D|--------------------------------------------------------
A|------5---7---8-----10---8---7-------8-8-8-------7-3-3--
D|--0-0---0---0---0-0----0---0----0-0--8-8-8--0-0--7-3-3--


If you wanna sound heavier, thrashy maybe, like Metallica for example, tune up to stardard (or any standard tuning for that matter) and try and think of ideas something like this:


e|-------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------
G|-------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------
A|----------------7---------------7---------------7---7-6-5----------
E|--0-0-0-0-0-6-5---0-0-0-0-0-6-5---0-0-0-0-0-6-5---0-------7-6-5-3--


Or if you wanna go to extreme metal (my personal favourite), for example Death Metal, you'll need to use notes like this example riff:


e|-------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------4h7----------------------------------
D|--------------------------3h6--------------------------------------
A|----------------------2h5------------------------------------------
E|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1h4-------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0h1h4p1-0-5-4-1--

e|-------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------4h7----------------------------------
D|--------------------------3h6--------------------------------------
A|----------------------2h5------------------------------------------
E|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1h4-------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-5-4-1-0-4-3-1--


I tried to cover as many aspects of metal as I could quickly, hope this helps, tell me if you were thinking of a Metal sub-genre I haven't covered.

EDIT: by the way, are you planning on making solos?
Last edited by \m/Gaz at Jun 12, 2008,
#34
Quote by thefreshman
Turn the gain up so high that no distinguishable notes come out, it just sounds like screeching. That would be really metal in my book.

Yea thats what you hear when randy rhoads is belting out a nasty solo? What do you listen too that is better? RandyRHoads > You + Your fav guitarist

TS just listen to some metal that the kid is into and get an idea. You can make metal in standard most metallica and ozzy is standard and many pantera songs are standard but a step down. Just check some music.
#35
Saying "I want to write metal" is very unspecific. What type of metal? Thrash metal? Death metal? Power metal?

It's going to be hard for us to teach you how to play metal if you don't listen to it.

Quote by Captain Garry
Metalcore is usually very simple and very heavily rhythm based. Learn lots of syncopated rhythm patterns and use scales like phrygian and harmonic minor. Most riffs are comprised of just a few single notes on the low E and maybe some dyads thrown in. Chromatic lines work really well too


fixed. You = fail if you think metal is usually like that.
Last edited by Masonpwiley at Jun 10, 2008,
#36
Some tips for making metal:

Open string pedal tones (the chug-chugs),
Using intervals such as the minor second, diminished fourth (as in the harmonic minor scale),
Fast, dissonant fills.
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#37
-Use E minor (Possibly Eb if downtuned)
-Harmonic and melodic minor scales in solos
-Chromatic scale in riffs
-Triple bass pedal
-Two bars of clean guitar in the beginning
-Pinch harmonics
-Tremolo picking

You could also change tonality, time signature and tempo in the middle of the song and call youself progressive.

Also the harmonic minor has a sharp seventh, not a diminished fourth, if I'm not mistaken.
#38
Quote by Captain Garry
Crappy Metalcore is usually very simple and very heavily rhythm based. Learn lots of syncopated rhythm patterns and use scales like phrygian and harmonic minor. Most riffs are comprised of just a few single notes on the low E and maybe some dyads thrown in. Chromatic lines work really well too


Quote by Masonpwiley

fixed. You = fail if you think metal is usually like that.


Fixed.

Not all metalcore is compromised of bands who try and rip off As I Lay Dying and play simple melodies between chugs on the low E string (often detuned to D or lower).
#39
the best things in life are peace love and HEAVY METAL wat u wanna do 2 be good at metal is look up lessons on scales and arpegios and look at tabs on metal songs like walk or down with the sickness you wanna use the harmonic minor and the diminshed arpegio and scale and listen 2 oter people play and remembe kick ass and rock on
#40
Im sorry but im not the best at theory iv been goin by what sounds good for the past 3 years can somebody please explaine the consept of the tritone interval please?
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