#1
I'm trying to write some songs for me and my friend to jam to and I was wondering what are some nice scales/modes for metalcore and new wave metal e.g. Lamb Of God, Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium etc..

Any help appreciated.

Cheers.

(:
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#4
Ok thanks for that but it doesn't really help..
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#5
Quote by tomisfatt01
Ok thanks for that but it doesn't really help..


He's saying your question's intent is irrelevant to the true answer.

Which it is.
#6
Quote by pwrmax
A scale does not define a genre.


This is true.

However, minor scales would help.

It was the only task I would undertake...

I P R O G
...to reap the harvest that was mine


- [ P R O G - H E A D ? ] -
#7
Actually, better idea:

Go learn some theory. There are plenty of lessons on this site.
#8
They play in open minor keys. So if you are in Drop D play Dm, if in C standard play Cm etc.
#9
I know theory.. I just wanted to know if anyone knew a good mode or scale to write metal in.
I'm quite aware of the fact that a scale doesn't define a genre. Music would be pretty **** if that was true.
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#10
Thanks Matt
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#11
Quote by tomisfatt01
I know theory.. I just wanted to know if anyone knew a good mode or scale to write metal in.
I'm quite aware of the fact that a scale doesn't define a genre. Music would be pretty **** if that was true.


If you know theory you would know that most metal songs, including the bands you have listed, employ modes extremely rarely.
#12
I'm only grade 4 lol
Should I know that? :s
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#13
He is saying that most metal writes in non-exotic scales, and don't exert themselves to play in keys other than open major or open minor. If you looked into any of the above mentioned bands' tabs you'd see that almost all of A7X is in Dm. Not saying they never break key but that is definitely home row for the genre.
#14
Alright thanks then Matt.
Quote by Brian 1.0
Don't listen to him, he likes rap.

Quote by napalm_monkey
i like to drink washing up liquid, it makes my throat feel fresh and smell like plates.

Quote by thomaserak
kill yourself, that'll show 'em.
#15
Quote by Avedas
Actually, better idea:

Go learn some theory. There are plenty of lessons on this site.


where? someone message me prehaps? i really want to learn something about theory
#17
Metalcore is VERY heavy on use of some form of the minor scale.

Metal, on the other hand, is a big genre. Opeth, Suffocation, and Metallica are VERY different tonally, among other things.

Also, if you want to know more about the tonalities in X genre/subgenre, learn/look at some form of notation of a song and try to analyze the harmony.

EDIT: Okay, I just reread the OP and realized you gave example bands. Use my description of metalcore.
#18
Quote by grampastumpy
Metalcore is VERY heavy on use of some form of the minor scale.

Metal, on the other hand, is a big genre. Opeth, Suffocation, and Metallica are VERY different tonally, among other things.

Also, if you want to know more about the tonalities in X genre/subgenre, learn/look at some form of notation of a song and try to analyze the harmony.

EDIT: Okay, I just reread the OP and realized you gave example bands. Use my description of metalcore.



Oh geez...
#21
Quote by Matt Chavie
lol, I agree, but still.

nm just lol.
I actually have no idea what's going, but ok. before we drag this out and end up spamming.
#23
Quote by :-D
You took issue with this why?


I didnt it was more of a "here we go again."

I agree with what he said.
#24
While no scale defines a genre, Metalcore makes frequent use of the Phrygian scale for riffs.
#25
Your best bet is to just learn theory and apply it. Using what every other band uses will just make you generic. When you get there, try using some exotic scale. It'd be interesting to hear.
#26
Try using minor scales and modes

Minor Pentatonic
Natural Minor
Harmonic Minor
Phrygian
Locrian
Phrygian Dominant
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#27
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Try using minor scales and modes

Minor Pentatonic
Natural Minor
Harmonic Minor
Phrygian
Locrian
Phrygian Dominant

Phrygian Dominant has a major 3rd, hence the "dominant" part.

I have a sickness...

Okay, the next MT Awards need one for the biggest smartass.


Edit: I know you know but I just felt like pointing it out anyways.
Edit2: +1 to your post. natural minor can go a long way.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

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#28
I knew someone would point it out
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#29
Hehe.


...


“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#30
If you want to write metalcore like BFMV and Trivium, here are a few hints.
Metalcore relies on heavy riffs and melodic hooks more than any other metal genre. Drop tuning is often used.
All scale formulas are written in comparison to the major scale btw
Metalcore often uses minor modes and scale so here you go-
1. THE PHRYGIAN SCALE
Formula-1 flat2 flat3 4 5 flat6 flat7 1
For riffs, this scale works well, and many bands like Killswitch Engage use the flat 2nd and the root to create some pretty heavy rhythm parts, particually combined with Drop C and distortion. This works well in the

background of screamed vocal lines. But unless you want a very unoriginal song, dry adding in some extra notes around the powerchords like the 3rd and 6th. You don't want to just be chugging on C and D flat forever. A

good example is this riff by KSE from 'Rose Of Sharyn', which includes trills and minor 6ths and 7th powerchords.


D---------------------------------------------------------------|
A---------------------------------------------------------------|
F---------------------------------------------------------------|
C-0----------0-8-7------0-1-0--------8-7h8p7p0------------8/10-|
G-0----------0-6-5------0-1-0------------------8h10p8p0---8/10-|
C-0-00000-0--0----00000-0-1-0-0000000--------------------- 8/10-|


And here is E phyrgian in standard-

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------0-2---------|
A-------0-2-3-------------|
E-0-1-3-------------------|


Here's D phyrgian in Drop D-

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D---------------0---------|
A---------0-1-3-----------|
D-0-1-3-5-----------------|



2. THE LOCRIAN SCALE
Formula 1 flat2 flat3 4 flat5 flat6 flat7 1
This can create some really dissonant riffs, but since Metalcore is a fairly melodic genre I wouldnt use it too often because of it's dissonance and how unsettling it is. For a very evil sound, use the flat5.
This scale is common in jazz, and occasionally used in death/thrash metal. This can work well for riffs, but not as much for catchy tunes. Approach with caution!

Heres E locrian in standard-

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------0-2---------|
A-------0-1-3-------------|
E-0-1-3-------------------|


Heres D locrian in Drop D-

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D----------------0--------|
A------------1-3----------|
D-0-1-3-6-----------------|


Sad But True by Metallica, whilst not being metalcore, is in a locrian and is very heavy but surprisinly catchy for a locrian tune. Its in D standard DGCFAD

D-------------------------------|--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
A-------------------------------|--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
F-------------------------------|--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
C-------------------------------|--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
G--2-------2--2--5p-0-1p-0------|--2-------2--2--5p-0-1p-0-------|--2-------2--2--5p-0-1p-0------|
D--0-------0--0------------3p-0-|--0-------0--0------------3p-0--| --0-------0--0------------3p-0-| 

D----------------------------|              
A----------------------------|             -
F----------------------------|     
C----------------------------|            
G--2-------2--2--5p-0-5-5~--|         
D--0-------0--0--------------|       

thanks to Menkel 77 for that tab

Diminished chords are often linked to the locrian scale, because the chord construction of a diminished chord fits within the locrian scale (1 flat3 flat5).
Diminshed arpeggios sound great in heavier music while soloing to create an unsettling feel, but be careful not to create any harmonies that you're not looking for.
Heres the diminished arpeggio shape (Its C diminished in standard tuning but this position works in Drop tunings too)

E------2h5p2-----------|
B----4-------4---------|
G--5-----------5-------|
D----------------------|
A----------------------|
E----------------------|

Melodeath band Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho makes great use of diminished arpeggios in his solo on Living Dead Beat-

D--11-8-------8-5--------8h-11p-8----------11h-14p-11-------|
A-------10--------7---10----------10----13------------13----|
F----------11-------8----------------11------------------14-|
C-----------------------------------------------------------|
G-----------------------------------------------------------|
C-----------------------------------------------------------|
                      
D------14h-17p-14-----------17h-20p-17-------17g20b---------|-------------------|
A--/16------------16----/19------------19-------------------|-------------------|
F--------------------17-------------------20----------------|-------------------|
C-----------------------------------------------------------|-------------------|
G-----------------------------------------------------------|-------------------|
C-----------------------------------------------------------|-------------------|


3. NATURAL MINOR (AEOLIAN) SCALE
Formula 1 2 flat3 4 5 flat6 flat 7 1
This scale can be used to create some great sounding riffs, melodies and solos. This scale is the most common in metalcore. For riffs, I find that the 3rd, 6th and 7ths of this scale give it's colour so using them during

palm muted passages brings out the dark minor sound.

Heres E minor in standard

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------0-2---------|
A-------0-2-3-------------|
E-0-2-3-------------------|

D minor in Drop D

E---------------------------|
B---------------------------|
G---------------------------|
D--------------0------------|
A--------0-1-3--------------|
D-0-2-3-5-------------------|


Her Voice Resides by BFMV has a great riff in C minor-

D-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
A-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
F-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
C----0---------------------------------7-5------------------------------|
G----0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-------------7-8---8-7-8--12-10-12----|
C----0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----0-0-----0-8-7-8--12-10-12----|


The minor scale can also be used in soloing to create a sad sort of sound, and it is probably the most used scale for solos in metal. The 3rd, 6th and 7th notes are the minor sounding notes so keep that in mind while

soloing.
The 3rd solo in Trivium's Detonation is a good example of melodic soloing in F sharp minor (thanks georgeow for this tab)

E-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B----------------------------------10-15-14-12--------------------|
G-------------------14-13----------------------14-13h14p13----13=-|
D----------11----11-------14-11-14-------------------------17-----|
A----11-12----12--------------------------------------------------|
E-14--------------------------------------------------------------|

E-/14----14/16----16-16-----------16-17bbr-17bbr-17--|
B-----------------------17-----17--------------------|
G-----14-------16----------18------------------------|
D----------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------|

              
E-21p17------------------12-16----------------------------|
B-------19------------14----------------------------------|
G----------18\13---14-----------12\9---9h11h13-9--------|
D------------------------------------------------21-11-9--|
A---------------------------------------------------------|
E---------------------------------------------------------|

E----------------------------------------------------|
B----------------------------------------------------|
G------------14--14-13-13-13-13-11-11-11-11-9-9-6-6--|
D-6=h9-p6--------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------|

E---------------------------------------------------|
B-------------------------------------------7-9-10--|
G-------------------------4-6-7-6-4---6-7-9---------|
D-------------------4-6-7-----------7---------------|
A-------2-4-5-4-5-7---------------------------------|
E-2-4-5---------------------------------------------|

E-12-10-9---------14-12-10-----------------------------------|
B---------12-10-9----------14-12-10--12bbr-12b-12b--17bb===--|
G------------------------------------------------------------|
D------------------------------------------------------------|
A------------------------------------------------------------|
E------------------------------------------------------------|
#31
4.THE DORIAN SCALE
Scale formula- 1 2 flat3 4 5 6 flat 7 1
The dorian scale is like the minor scale, but it has a major sixth, giving it a brighter, or as Joe Satriani calls it 'a light at the end of the tunnel' sort of sound. It is not as common in metal because of it's brightness but can

be a great scale when used effectively.
Heres E dorian in standard

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------0-2---------|
A-------0-2-4-------------|
E-0-2-3-------------------|

D dorian in Drop D

E---------------------------|
B---------------------------|
G---------------------------|
D--------------0------------|
A--------0-2-3--------------|
D-0-2-3-5-------------------|

The introduction to In The Presence Of Enemies by Dream Theater, whilst nowhere near metalcore, is a great example of dorian usage and the 'sort of major, sort of minor' dorian sound.

E|-5-----------------------------------------------|
B|---6-8-5---6---5---------------------------------|
G|---------7---7---5---7-----5---------------------|
D|-------------------7---7-5---5-3-2---------------|
A|-----------------------------------5-----3-------|
E|-------------------------------------5-3---3-1-0-|

E|----------------------------------------------------------|
B|----------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------------------------------------------------------|
D|-0-0-0-7-0-5-0-7-0-10-9-0-5-0-7-0-14-10-0-12-0-7-0-10-9-0-|
A|----------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------|

E|--------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------|
D|-0-0-0-7-0-5-0-7-0-12-10-0-5-0-7-0-10-9-0-3-0-7-5-0-2-3-|
A|--------------------------------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------------------------------|

E|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-0-0-0-7-0-5-0-7-0-12-10-0-5-0-7-0-10-9-0-3-0-7-5-0-2-3-3-2-0-3-2---|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------3-|
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------|

thank you Mega-Tallica for that one

5.THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE
Scale formula-1 2 flat3 4 5 6 sharp7 1
This scale has a cool classical sound that some player use quite often, like Yngwie Malmsteen. Its great for playing lead.
E Harmonic Minor in standard

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------1-2---------|
A-------0-2-3-------------|
E-0-2-3-------------------|

D harmonic minor in Drop D

E---------------------------|
B---------------------------|
G---------------------------|
D--------------0------------|
A--------0-1-4--------------|
D-0-2-3-5-------------------|


I can't think of any examples, but this scale is not that common in metalcore, but works great in those neoclassical shred moments you mind decide to include.

6.PHRYGIAN DOMINANT
Scale formula-1 flat 2 3 4 5 flat 6 flat 7 1
This scale has also been used by Yngwie and can sound very dark and evil like the locrian scale when used right. Playing F-Gsharp-E sounds very unsettling.
E Phrygian Dominant in standard

E-------------------------|
B-------------------------|
G-------------------------|
D-------------0-2---------|
A-------0-2-3-------------|
E-0-1-4-------------------|

D phrygian dominant in Drop D

E---------------------------|
B---------------------------|
G---------------------------|
D--------------0------------|
A--------0-1-3--------------|
D-0-1-4-5-------------------|


A great riff in this scale is in Buried Alive by Otep.

D-------------------------------------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------------------------------------|
F-------------------------------------------------------------------|
C-1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--0--1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
G-1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--0--1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|
C-1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4--0--1-1-1-1-1-1--4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|



Sorry if anything is wrong (Im only 13...), but hopefully this gives you some tools to write with.
#32
Minor Scales in general, though guitarists tend to use harmonic minor too.
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#34
Okay Myung....

Sad but true isnt locrian. The main chord in that riff is a power chord, meaning a natural fifth. Locrian, as you know, has a flat fifth. Just because a riff uses out of key notes doesn not automatically mean its modal.

And phrygian riffs are sort of arguable about whether they're modal or not. I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on...

And the solo's you assumed were modal may or may not be modal. For a solo to be modal, it's completely dependant on the harmonic content behind it (chords riffage and so on, basically stuff played underneath). Alot of guys (namely friedman, as seen in his video melodic control) would use diminished arpeggios and minor b9 arpeggios in their solos, doesnt mean its modal (especially when its like a B diminished thing over a C chord or something).

Quote by Andy
Try using minor scales and modes

Minor Pentatonic
Natural Minor
Harmonic Minor
Phrygian
Locrian
Phrygian Dominant
Lol andy. Locrian isnt a minor mode either
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#35
Quote by mike
Just because a riff uses out of key notes doesn not automatically mean its modal.
Just because a riff uses out of mode notes doesn not automatically mean its not modal.

Quote by mike
Lol andy. Locrian isnt a minor mode either
I don't think you can prove that is what I meant in that post. Ambiguous (actually, non-existent) punctuation.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#36
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Just because a riff uses out of mode notes doesn not automatically mean its not modal.
Well, what makes a riff modal than?
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#38
Quote by :-D


Oh no.
Oh shi-

what did I start now?
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#39
Quote by mike
Well, what makes a riff modal than?
It uses the intervals found in a mode(s).
If it's sometimes 1 m2 m3 P4 d5 m6 m7 and sometimes 1 m2 m3 P4 P5 m6 m7 then it's sometimes phrygian and sometimes locrian. Pitch axis.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#40
Quote by tomisfatt01
I know theory.. I just wanted to know if anyone knew a good mode or scale to write metal in.
I'm quite aware of the fact that a scale doesn't define a genre. Music would be pretty **** if that was true.


the best way to advance in songwriting is to write by ear. This meaning that you write what sounds good and flows well as opposed to being stuck in a mode/scale. It also helps with your relative pitch.