The Best Chord in Metal - Second Inversion Lesson

A lesson on the most versatile chord we can play in metal.

The Best Chord in Metal - Second Inversion Lesson
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Metal is one of those genres that tends to limit the potential of our chord work. The massive amounts of distortion make many chords, especially those containing open strings, unusable. This leads many players to rely on power chords instead, de-emphasizing the major or minor melodic qualities that can only occur in a chord that contains a third.

There are chord voicings we can use that contain a third, certainly, but so much of the time, they lack either comfort or heaviness. The second inversion is sort of the best of both worlds, retaining the heavy fourth of the power chord while adding a third.

For examples of all the things we can do with this, take a look at the following video:


Thanks for reading/watching!

By Kevin Goetz

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    ggk
    One does not simply use one type of chord in metal
    nicolas.arango.
    What? THe only chord used in metal is the powerchord! It's so ****ing overusedd it's not even funny. The only other variations may be the octave or the diminished fifth, but that's pretty much all, at least for heavy/thrash/death.
    Elintasokas
    That's what you get for distorting the guitar to shit. It's better to just let strings or some other instruments handle the harmony, but it NEEDS to be there. Listening to just fifths sounds boring and lifeless imo.
    Sixxstarr
    Even the bands that do use mostly power chords are still harmonizing with the lead to make chords
    crazysam23_Atax
    If you turn the distortion down a tiny bit, everything sounds clearer. Remember: the bass is what brings the punch, not your guitar's distortion.
    vodvvio
    somebody PLEASE shut the outro song's singer up. annoying as f**
    KevinGoetz
    Finally checked back in here - you guys bashing my singer are hilarious! Out of curiosity, do you make a living playing and teaching music? Because I do. So does she, actually. Guess quite a few people disagree with you. Thanks for the laugh - I think I'll get back to living the dream now. =)
    persianguitaris
    That's how you respond to people trashing your work. I think people are just butthurt that someone's voice fits a song better than theirs.
    ttweedle
    Just watched the video. Good lesson, but yeh the outro music is hot garbage that has been sitting in the summer heat all day. Maybe its the mix but the singer sounds like a dude singing falsetto?
    Shredder5150
    Obviously no one has ever heard of Conquering Dystopia or Obscura. they can make ANY chord work in metal. Not your average metallurgists so to speak.
    Jamma
    "The massive amounts of distortion make many chords, especially those containing open strings, unusable." Then you are using too much distortion.
    MrZEDO
    Uh-oh, who's job is it to tell Opeth and Dream Theater that you can't use complex chords in metal; they're gonna be really bummed, so it's not going to be me. Hehe, seriously though, this is a good thing for beginners to start playing with.
    NakedInTheRain
    i thought second inversion was the fifth in the bass?
    mfoxbass138
    It is. With the E minor chord, he's starting it with the top two notes of the power chord (B and E) which are the 5th and the root respectively. The third (G) is then added on top.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Since his guitar is tuned to B standard (low B string), he was playing a 2nd inversion Emin. B (the 5th) was in the bass.
    tshanemorgan
    Just... unnecessary. I don't think any chords are more versatile as the next. Why would you limit yourself like that. Have fun. Learn all the chord inversions for every scale you can and you'll be having a blast playing. Not just metal, but so many more sounds you'd never try before.
    RabidPikachu
    It says " retaining the heavy fourth of the power chord while adding a third." Does anybody see what is wrong with that sentence?
    airborne82p
    The outro music is just pitiful. Sorry. The music is fine, the singer...uh, I think King Diamond woke up with a hangover after being mouth-raped and decided to record a take.