Metal Basics

Ok, in this lesson i'm going to teach you the basics on how to play metal. This will cover palm muting (down picking and alternate picking), Tremolo picking and how to play some basic Power Chords.

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In most all metal a technique that which is widely used is Palm muting, and what that is, is placing the palm of your strumming hand on top of the strings near the bridge. Doing this will create a sound of a somewhat muted note, kinda like a "thud". Ok now your going to try this on your Lower E string 6th string (the thickest one on a standard 6 string guitar) using the downpicking method which is picking in a downward motion. In tab its portrayed as an "n" or a bracket. Were gonna do this using 8th notes, now you can use a metronome or you can just count in your head as, 1 an 2 an 3 an 4 an. Play this palm muting using down picking in 8th notes
    n n n n n n n n  n n n n n n n n
E|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0| Repeat twice
Now, using the same method do this on your Open A sting (5th string on standard guitar)
    n n n n n n n n  n n n n n n n n
A|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0| Repeat twice
Now Open D string (4th string on standard guitar)
    n n n n n n n n  n n n n n n n n
D|--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0| Repeat twice
Once you feel like you got the hang of that try alternating between the string.
   n               n               n               n
D|-------------------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---
A|-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------------------------
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-------------------
   n               n               n               n
D|-------------------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---
A|-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------------------------
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-------------------
Ok now were gonna cover the same as before but using alternate picking, which is strumming in an up and down motion. Up strumming is portrayed in Tab as a ^. Were gonna do this in 16th notes, just like before you can use a metronome or if you dont have one 16th notes are counted like this, 1 ee an da 2 ee an da 3 ee an da 4 ee an da. Do this using Palm muting and alternate picking in 16th notes
   n^n^n^n^n^n^n^n^
E|-0000000000000000--- repeat twice
Now on the A string.
   n^n^n^n^n^n^n^n^
A|-0000000000000000--- repeat twice

Now D string
   n^n^n^n^n^n^n^n^
D|-0000000000000000--- repeat twice
Now alternate between the strings using palm muting and alternate picking
   n^
D|------------------0000000000000000-----------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------0000000000000000------------------
E|-0000000000000000-----------------------------------0000000000000000-
   n^
D|-0000000000000000-----------------------------------0000000000000000
A|------------------0000000000000000-----------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------0000000000000000------------------
Ok after you have Palm muting and the down picking, alternate picking down, were gonna try "tremolo picking. What tremolo picking is, is alternate picking as fast as you can, but not to the point where its very sloppy. In Tab its usually portrayed as a slash with three lines running through it but unfortunately we cant portray it so in this lesson ill us a "+" for tremolo picking. Try this on your open e string first string (your thinnest string on your guitar). Alternate pick each note as fast as you can.
   +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +    +  +   +   +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
e|-0--1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10--11-12--11--10--9--8--7--6--5--4--3--2--1
On this part were gonna go over some basic power chords. What are Power Chords? Power chords are a note played a 5th above and usually portrayed as a 5, such as in a C5 cord or E5 chord. Here are some power chords were gonna use the E5, A5, D5 and G5.
Normally          E5 by taking         it can be played 
the E chord       the 5th is           like this too
is played like    played like this
this.
---0---           ------                 -----
---0---           ------                 -----
---1---           ------                 -----
---2---           ---2--                 -----
---2---           ---2--                 --2--
---0---           ---0--                 --0--

this is           A5
A chord            
-------          ------------
--2----          ------------
--2-----         --2---------
--2---           --2---OR--2-
--0----          --0-------0-
------           ------------

D chord           D5
---2----         -------------
---3----        ---3----------
---2----         --2---OR--2--
---0----         --0-------0--
--------         -------------
--------         -------------

G chord           G5
---3-----        --3-----
---0-----        --3----
---0-----        --0----
---0-----        --0----
---2-----        -------
---3-----        --3----
Thats all for for this lesson if you have any questions you can contact me on this website. Thanks for reading this.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Namzu
    The tremolo exercise is way to hard for people that just started alternate picking, it's wayy to fast.
    Angel Of Sin
    tremelo picking is pretty common, I suggest learning how alternate pick and to get to know how to play power chords, knowing your fretboard is essential
    Armagedden66
    it was alright actually, good work, my only problem is i tend to palm mute to hard and not get any sound
    SaiNt adEL #13
    Armagedden66 wrote: it was alright actually, good work, my only problem is i tend to palm mute to hard and not get any sound
    try just barely laying your hand on the strings. Hardly touch 'em. Balieve me, dude, if you wanna play metal, you're going to NEED to be able to palm mute.
    SaiNt adEL #13
    I think your G5 should be: G|----- D|-5----- A|-5--0r--5- E|-3-----3- And you might wanna include information about different keys. Like the fact that alot of metal songs are in Em, Am, Dm, and Bm. Also, beginners should learn about variations in tuning. Why don't you teach a little about Drop D, Drop B, and 1/2 Step Down?
    SaiNt adEL #13
    ...and while your at it, teach 'em some famous and/or commonly used metal riffs. Metallica riffs are great examples. Oh! and who could forget the "gallop"? E|-0---0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0... and what about triplets? [-3-] [-3-] [-3-] [-3-] e|---9h7---9h7---9h7---9h7 B|-7-----7-----7-----7--- -... You left out a lotta shit man! C'mon, they wanna learn metal, you gotta teach 'em!
    heretic-clown
    SaiNt adEL #13 wrote: ...and while your at it, teach 'em some famous and/or commonly used metal riffs. Metallica riffs are great examples. Oh! and who could forget the "gallop"? E|-0---0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0... and what about triplets? [-3-] [-3-] [-3-] [-3-] e|---9h7---9h7---9h7---9h7 B|-7-----7-----7-----7--- -... You left out a lotta shit man! C'mon, they wanna learn metal, you gotta teach 'em!
    lol its all in my next lesson as soon as i finish it, its gonna be a good one this time. and it should cover just bout everything possible