I really wanna know.
I know its good to know all of it, but I gotta start somewhere
I already know the basic stuff.
i don't think thrash metal bands care much about music theory, look at the riffs
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
Behemoth: I only meant it in the most non-offensive sense.

visiblenoise: uhhh, if anything sounds good or very dissonant, then it uses music theory.

RCalisto: I mean, what kind of modes and scales and such

EDIT: sorry, happy face.
Last edited by AvengedFoghat at Aug 11, 2008,
Quote by AvengedFoghat
visiblenoise: uhhh, if anything sounds good or very dissonant, then it uses music theory.

No, nothing "uses" or "doesn't use" music theory. All you have to do is look at the music and analyze it using your knowledge of theory, because it's simply a descriptive tool.
i just wanna know why metal is referred to generic all the time
its as generic as any other genre
I think I can help you answer your original question.

I don't know a lot about music theory. I think I know the basics though.

Knowing what key you are in is great to know no matter what genre you play, that way you'll know what chords will sound the way you want the to sound. It also is essential to know that way you know how to solo over your progression.

In terms of metal, you should at least know how to play 5ths (powerchords) and what notes you are playing.

C5= C and G
E5= E and B


also a lot of metal uses the minor scale and the harmonic minor scale so those would be god to know when you are soloing.

Of course you can't know either of those scales until you really start to understand the major scale since those scales (and all of them) are described in relation the major scale.

I don't know what kind of metal you like the most but what might help is if you take the basic knowledge that you have and apply it to some of your favorite metal songs.

Someone else like :-D or BGC or Freepower will be able to give you much more info and such but I hope I've given you something to work with.
Quote by AvengedFoghat
ugh, I meant "normal", not "boring"

There is no such thing as normal metal.
Thrash, generally speaking, has quite a bit of roots in (minor) blues.

Melo-death is very much based around very traditional minor harmonies but "dressed up" in a metal way(hammering double bass, blast beats, growls, etc)

"Tr00" death metal is very much focused on being "brutal." This is often achieved through the use of odd tonalities. Modes, altered modes, diminished scales are just a couple things they use. For instance, the first riff in Cryptopsy's Phobophile (after the piano bit) is based on a Phrygian tonality.
*shakes head at thread*

True metal is meant to be deep, dark and bad. Not br00tal. I'm talking about everything from black sabbath to blue oyster cult to iron maiden to priest. The original musical movement was fronted by black sabbath, who tried to create "horror music."

This kind of metal has simple (but always effective) riffs, usually focused around pentatonics whilst sometimes using the b5th. It also uses powerchords instead of real chords in its riffs.
The original metal heads were slightly jazz/blues based, but could have been very classicaly trained or even folk based. Some iron maiden songs sound very folky to me.

The solos are almost always bluesy and almost always use pentatonic with the odd out of scale note. I've heard some people describe randy rhoads as using classical based solo's, but truth be told I've never heard him play.

If you want to play post '95 metal, thrash a couple of powerchords, use some 3 note riffs and crank your distortion to 12. Than play a few arpeggios for your solo.
I always associated Death, Thrash etc...with Funk..

It's all about the rhythm..I believe that its also a reason why drop tunings
are so popular in these genres. You can just relax and the beat just flows.
Either you have it or you don't.

You just pick up your guitar..choose a scale..get your Br00tal settings..
and think about something that really pisses you off...or something
you feel really strongly about..and let the guitar talk for you.

In my Opinion Death..Thrash..Punk...And Funk are all about the groove.
You dont need theory at all. These are genres that really aim at the listeners
emotions. I have to say that these genres are possibly the genres where
the loyal fans feel the most like they are a part of an show/experience...rather
than being entertained by performers.

All music can be written with theory..but a lot music along these lines is rebellious.
Nobody is going to care. You can rock out all day with 2 chords and a solo..as long
as you connect with your audience. Thats what its all about. Making people that
dont fit in..feel as thought they belong.

This is my favorite part about this kind of music. You can just be yourself and
you dont have to follow rules. Some artists in these genres can be very thorough
in their compositions with theory...but you dont have to at all. I would incorporate
intervals for dual leads..thats sounds great.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Aug 12, 2008,
Look at metallica, pantera, slayer and anthrax tabs and reverse some of the riffs or change like 2 or 3 notes its what most metal bands these days do *cough*avengedsevenfold*cough*
To bohemoth : Dont flame him for saying generic you didnt invent metal so dont take offense. If somebody said play me a "genric" blues lick you would play a little pent lick if someone said play me a generic metal riff you would play some sort chugging and power chord mix and maybe throw in a little fill or something. Any good guitarist should be able to make up a "genric" sounding riff on the fly of any genres they play. Get over yourself unless you are Tonni Iommi or some other pioneer of metal but from the fact that you take offense to this i would have to bet than instead you are a high school "kid" who needs to "check himself".

TS : You dont have to use theory like its a guidline its just there to help you. A good example would be pantera. I highly doubt dime thought about theory much in the terms your thinking. The riffs sound like they were made by jamming with his borther/drummer and remebering ones that they liked. The only theory "used"here might have been knowlage of positions/scales to solo over certain chords or riffs. Just use your ears basically but if you have something "use thoery" to come up with some ideas to play around with by analizing what you have if your stuck. Your ears are more important don't say "oh i cant play that it doesnt fit in key or thats not theortically correct". Washburn pritty much hit the nail right on the head.

Theory is still important though you should still learn what you can but just dont think of it in that way.
I really don't know much theory but what helps is looking at songs from bands you like and see how the chord structures are played and so. Thrash tbh is a lot of open-e palm muting and power chords on E/A or A/D or even D/G. But it sounds cool. Metallica's MoP and RtL songs have verses that do that on E for six bars then two bars of F# like

E|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2 you get the idea. Get bits and pieces like that and add a riff you think is cool and you have a thrash riff that sounds like good o'l thrash but it's yours. It's kinda what i'm doing now. I'm working on a thrash song and i see some Metallica, Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, and Megadeth influences but it's still me. Granted LoG isn't thrash but...
Quote by SOADrox429
'Bring me the still-beating heart of a newborn child, and the world's rivers shall run red with the blood of the innocent.'

<\/> Fleshgod Apocalypse <\/>