Metalcore - The Basics. Part 1

I am teaching on how to play Metalcore music. I give some examples of different ways on how to improve and become a better player in the subgenre of Metalcore.

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Ultimate Guitar
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Introduction Metal music and Hardcore have mixed together over the years to bring this subgenre called Metalcore. Usually Metalcore music has large, slow breakdowns which include lots of moshing and hitting. Metalcore usually has two guitars which play the same riffs harmonized. I'm not saying Metalcore sucks. To be honest, my favorite genre is Metalcore. Metalcore Bands Some DECENT Metalcore bands that i would look into are Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. Tuning I personally like to use Dropped tunings for this genre. Although you can use Standard, but i wouldn't reccomend it. some tunings to try that sound good are: [B] D A D G B E, C G C F A D, D G C F A D, or B F# B E G# C#[/B]. You don't need to use these tunings, but I prefer them. What I usually use is Dropped D (D A D G B E), but it's really your preference. A Technique That I Use What I usually do before I start practicing is that I take my right index and thumb finger, and I put it between my left index and middle and strech out my finger so that I have a better reach across the fretboard. This is very helpful. Believe me. Starting Out All I'm going to do in Riff #1 is teach you how to mute the bottom string, then play a note on another string. You need to practice this a lot inorder to get a nice fast metalcore sounding riff. Example 1
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----5-----7-----8^------5-----7-----8^------8-----7-----5---|
|-0-0---0-0---0-0-----0-0---0-0---0-0-----8-8---8-8---8-8-----|
pm. .   . .   . .     . .   . .   . .     . .   . .   . .
It's ok if you can't do this riff right away. Keep practicing and you'll get the hang of switching strings back and fourth. Example 2
Killswitch Engage - My Curse
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------10--------------10---------------6------------6--------|
|---10--------10----10--------10------5-------5----5-------5----|
|-8----8----8-----8----8----8-------8---8---8----8---8---8------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
pm.    .    .     .    .    .       .   .   .    .   .   .
 
|--------------------0---------------------------0--------------|
|-------6----------------6----------6----------------6----------|
|---5-------5----5--------------5-------5----5------------------|
|-7---7---7----7---7---7------7---7---7----7---7---7------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
pm.   .   .    .   .   .      .   .   .    .   .   .
This is riff is really good to build your finger strength, and how far you can reach. Just remeber to take your time and to hit each note clearly. The Most Important Part, The Intro The intro riff is probably one of the most important riffs in the whole song. it has to be catchy, yet not having so much notes that we cant even hear the riff. The intro sets the feeling for the whole song. And if you make a nasty intro, the audience will think the whole song is nasty. But thats ok for now. Here are some really cool intros that are worth listening to and learning. Three Days Grace - Riot BFMV - Tears Don't Fall Atreyu - The Crimson Atreyu - Honor Killswitch Engage - Rose Of Sharyn Killswitch Engage - My Last Serenade Childrean of Bodom - Downfall As I Lay Dying - The Darkest Nights Example 1
BFMV - Hand Of Blood
**ALTERNATE PICK**
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-0-7-8--0-5-7--0-3-5--0-2-3--0-2-5-4~--0-7-8--0-5-7--0-3-5-0-2-3-2h3p2h3-|
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Dosen't this intro just get you lost into the song? Example 2
Saosin - They Perch On Their Stilts Pointing And Daring Me To Break Custom
E|------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-2-2-2-2-2-2-----------------2-2-2-2-2-2--------------------|
D|-0-0-0-0-0-0-3-3p2p0-2-2-2h3-0-0-0-0-0-0-7-7h5/3-5-5-5h7----|
A|-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0--------------------|
D|-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------0-0-0-0-0-0--------------------|
 
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-8-8-8-8-8-8--3-3p2p0-2-2-2h3-10-10-10-10-10-10-7-7h5/3-5-5-5h7--|
A|-8-8-8-8-8-8------------------10-10-10-10-10-10------------------|
D|-8-8-8-8-8-8------------------10-10-10-10-10-10------------------|
Verses Verses usually have alot of screaming and hardcore riffs in them with muting, powerchords, and such like that. Here's an example just so you can get an idea. Example 1
Killswitch Engage - My Curse
D|----------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------|
F|----------------------------------------------------|
C|-5-----3--------------------------------------------|
G|-5-----3-----------------------------5--------------|
C|---0-0---0-0-/6-0-0-5-0-0-3p0-0-0--7---7-6-5-0-3-5--|
pm  . .   . .    . .   . .     . .              

D|--------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------------|
F|--------------------------------------------------|
C|-5-----3------------------------------------------|
G|-5-----3-----------------------------3------------|
C|---0-0---0-0-/6-0-0-5-0-0-3p0-0-0--5---5-4-3-0-3--|
pm  . .   . .    . .   . .     . .
Chorus In my opinion, I like it when they sing during the chorus because it gives you some relaxation time to soak in the verse and just kinda chill a little before it starts again, I really wouldn't wanna listen to someone scream for like 3-4 minutes. Example 1
Killswitch Engage - Arms Of Sorrow
|--------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------|
|-1-1-1-1--3-3-3-3--5-5-5-5--0-------0-------|
|-1-1-1-1--3-3-3-3--5-5-5-5--0-------0-------|
|-1-1-1-1--3-3-3-3--5-5-5-5--0--0-0--0--0-0--|
pm                              . .     . .
Breakdowns You can do anything in a breakdown. You can make palm-muted open string riffs, you can just stop playing and let the singer sing, you can make a little solo, you can do about anything! So, I'l leave that up to you. What I would do is palm mute some chords or make a tapping solo. Conclusion Thanks for reading my lesson and I hope that this helps you on your way to metalcore music! Most people might think that metalcore is really stupid and the riffs sound the same, but with a little creativity you can make a peice of art. I might make a part 2 to this.

73 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    shnurs
    i really like how down to earth this is, and yet so informative. cheers mate.
    Nano556
    richwatkinson wrote: this lesson is just... its like you've basically taken the tabs for your favourite metal riffs and gone 'this is a riff.this is a breakdown.breakdowns are heavy'. Too simple to glean any kind of useful information from
    richwatkinson wrote: seriously, WTF UG? quality control!
    Harsh but true, and Children of bodom are NOT metalcore, thye're melodic death metal.
    Scrubb
    METAL + HARDCORE = METALCORE It doesn't matter if its Thrash metal, death metal, speed metal, black metal...even hair metal, if you please...ITS ALL METAL!!! QUIT BEING A BUNCH OF IMMATURE CRYBABIES OVER WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG! We are all here to appreciate our love of music and guitar. Some of you guys are turning the whole "metalcore" thing into a civil war, you just sound like a bunch of jack asses! There now that is off my chest...its an ok lesson, definitely for beginners but Im sure it has helped someone...somewhere....and thats really all that matters.
    ratracekid111
    this is your average metalcore riff.... ----- ----- ----- ----- ----8---7---10---12- --5--- 0-0---0---0----0----0----- nuff said
    madeoin
    You said I wouldn't reccomend Standard tuning... but DGCFAD is just Standard 2 steps down. However your article is informative and includes the basics for a metalcore song.
    MetalLove666
    id have to say i am def unimpressed if i was a beginner readin it id be so confused after the first half of the article id probably quit guitar right then and there you needed to elaborate alot more on what things meant(as was already said such as palm muting and the different tunings) also your tabs should have been checked for accuracy before you put them in and they should have been labeled for there appropriate tunings, also most of the bands you said are metalcore....AREN'T. Please bring clear and correct information next time or dont bother at all
    Nascar_48
    hey. im new to guitar so this really helps, is it possible for further help in all aspects of guitar? im a BIG fan of BFMV, and would like to get as good as matt tuck, however im unclear of some things to do, and my hands wont strect far enough to hit certain notes?
    Strungout187
    Thanks for taking the time to write this lesson, screw the negative comments! 90% of them are about genres. . . LOL! Please remember to link the "lesson you made" when u guys make your fail ass comments!
    Oc3lot
    Its good but the genre itself has been overflooded with so many crap bands
    saitenslayer
    bb_rock wrote: Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. KSI is NOT metal core none of those emo bands are metal core your joking right. you need to put actual metalcore bands in like, Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Oceano, and more dude. learn ur metalcore
    You just named deathcore bands my friend and devil wears prada isn't metalcore there christian metal or god core,
    DesolationJD
    TDG Tabs wrote: guitarmaniac182 wrote: Three Days Grace is not metalcore. Children of Bodom is not metalcore. it would be hard for someone who isnt familiar with metalcore to learn how to play it from this. i listen to a lot of metalcore so i know how it works and how to play it. but its not really suited for beginners. i already know that guys. i know CoB arnt metalcore and i know TDG arnt either.
    umm then why give their examples as metalcore stuff ?!
    Racid
    Horrible band examples... Look into Earth Crisis, Between the Buried and Me, Intergrity, Converge, etc... I really don't even want to consider any of the bands you posted metalcore, you're the new scene I'm assuming.
    AHW-ATL
    i would like to say thanks to the guy who mentioned Earth Crisis and BTBAM. You are very right. If you want to hear a band that has shared the stage with the old like agnostic front and Earth Crisis, and new such as dragon force and BTBAM, check out A Heroes Welcome from atlanta.
    Oxidation_Shed
    bb_rock wrote: Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. KSI is NOT metal core none of those emo bands are metal core your joking right. you need to put actual metalcore bands in like, Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Oceano, and more dude. learn ur metalcore
    Well all of the bands you are so adamantly insisting are not metalcore are "melodic metalcore" - this by far now the most popular sub-type of metalcore. You have listed deathcore bands which is equally another type of metalcore and anyone who thinks that is not is an idiot. The others are thinking "metallic hardcore" this was the first type of metalcore. They are all metalcore; just like death, black and thrash are all types of metal.
    Warlock-Revenge
    Kelly1991 wrote: I really like BFMV - Hand Of Blood sounds so bad ass i think going to go learn this song
    BFMV, bad ass? HAH!! Good one, try cannibal corpse or vader then tell me whats bad ass.
    skull_king
    Well, early BFMV is bad ass in a Metalcore kind of way, plus Cannibal Corpse is not that great anymore. Regular Death Metal is kind of boring unless it's mixed with another subgenre of metal like Metalcore or if you added melodies to it like Melodic Death Metal. Deathcore is awsome!
    Vennin
    Mrhardcorex wrote: Thanks dude. Know anymore simple yet sick sounding songs?
    Try All That Remains' "Six" I absolutely love playing that song and I'm a complete noob at this type of style.
    XxIBiHIxX
    Thanks dude i actually did practice some examples, and now i am way better at palm muting and alternate picking
    Igamikun
    Nano556 wrote: richwatkinson wrote: this lesson is just... its like you've basically taken the tabs for your favourite metal riffs and gone 'this is a riff.this is a breakdown.breakdowns are heavy'. Too simple to glean any kind of useful information fromrichwatkinson wrote: seriously, WTF UG? quality control! Harsh but true, and Children of bodom are NOT metalcore, thye're melodic death metal.
    I would also say killswitch isn't really metalcore, they're pretty much nu-metal.
    ninjagayden777
    bb_rock wrote: Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. KSI is NOT metal core none of those emo bands are metal core your joking right. you need to put actual metalcore bands in like, Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Oceano, and more dude. learn ur metalcore
    Those are Deathcore bands, mate.
    gvarg69
    bb_rock wrote: Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. KSI is NOT metal core none of those emo bands are metal core your joking right. you need to put actual metalcore bands in like, Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Oceano, and more dude. learn ur metalcore
    FAIL V_V
    fuzzymunkee
    gvarg69 wrote: bb_rock wrote: Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and Avenged Sevenfold. KSI is NOT metal core none of those emo bands are metal core your joking right. you need to put actual metalcore bands in like, Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Oceano, and more dude. learn ur metalcore FAIL V_V
    +1
    sydeshowbob
    Music is about creativity and passion presented in a format to be taken in by the soul. you want to get into bashing and genre wars.. how bout go back to Romper Room. If a lesson helps one more person on there way up to being a better musician then its worth its weight in gold.. and i see that it has.
    )Eric(Draven
    You guys can get butthurt about genres all you want, but if someone is looking on UG to figure out how to play metalcore, they're probably listening to bands like this anyway. I'm not saying it's right, but for what it is it's a good start.
    Metal-McTwist
    MetalLove666 wrote: id have to say i am def unimpressed if i was a beginner readin it id be so confused after the first half of the article id probably quit guitar right then and there you needed to elaborate alot more on what things meant(as was already said such as palm muting and the different tunings) also your tabs should have been checked for accuracy before you put them in and they should have been labeled for there appropriate tunings, also most of the bands you said are metalcore....AREN'T. Please bring clear and correct information next time or dont bother at all
    Is English a second language to you, sir? If so, I can understand your inability to type in a sophisticated manner... Idiot.
    thehardcoreguit
    It's funny how no one seems to know what Metalcore is, yet you're all here bitching about it. It's not Metal and Hardcore mixed together, cause then that would be Hardcore Metal. Metal=Heavy, Core=Poppy, catchy, melodic singing. Architects(UK)=Metalcore, Shaped by Fate=Metalcore, Bring me the horizon=Metalcore. As you can see, metalcore is prodominantly from the UK. If ever you here a kick ass band that's heavy and out of nowhere a cheesy pop filled chorus pops in... You guessed it, it's METALCORE!!!
    diego2400
    Bro, Hand of Blood is playd on the D String... & has I last remember, with Drop D tunning... I Love Bullet for my Valentine
    skull_king
    Actually it is played in Drop C. But you're right on what string the intro is played on.
    Rockdude95
    This is the basis of metalcore. A lot of bands have their own styles. For example, Bring Me The Horizon sounds nothing like August Burns Red. This just opens up a pathway of discovering a sound that the inspired guitarist will play. And really there is no real definition for "metalcore" really. It's a combination of hardcore and metal, but that is so watered down that people mix it up, hence crabcore, punkcore, mathcore, etc. And most of those bands this guy listed arent really metalcore anyways. Just cuz you throw in a few screams here and their typically dont make you metalcore. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters screams a lot but they arent metalcore. A7X hasnt been metalcore since Waking The Fallen. Some real metalcore bands would be Of Mice & Men, Suicide Silence, Asking Alexandria, Attack Attack!, The Word Alive, We Came As Romans, August Burns Red, Bring Me The Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada (I know this guy said that already), A Day To Remember (not entirely), and Miss May I, just to name a few. But they all have their own style, which really makes the term "metalcore" such a vague/general term. Good lesson though.
    kay-kay
    AWSUM. good lesson but i got the killswicth engage tab that ive ben looking for, so sweet
    mino123
    kmohr93 wrote:....WHat? this aint no metalcore. These bands are just American new metal. Bands like Suicidal tendencies and Stormtroopers of death fall under the Metalcore genre. It seems liek you just took a bunch of bands that you like and called them metalcore because you like metal and hardcore. Stop the misinformation jack ass.
    panterafever
    I would recommend this for someone like me or someone not considered a beginner but not really expert like a intermediate player like on my lesson which you read *thanks* break it down most people want to know what it is since they are reading it and cant see what you are doing.
    xLegendary
    Nice lesson, It'd be nice to know how chords can be used in metalcore instead of just powerchords. So maybe move onto that side of things in the next lesson. Also, putting lyrics on top of a riff can be tricky and the song can feel empty if it's not done properly so maybe cover that aswel? NOTE: Odd time signatures and polyrythms are where the music is heading off and it is what sounds bettter (in my opinion anyway) so keep that in mind.
    richwatkinson
    this lesson is just... its like you've basically taken the tabs for your favourite metal riffs and gone 'this is a riff.this is a breakdown.breakdowns are heavy'. Too simple to glean any kind of useful information from
    lukegjpotter
    This is a great article as its the basics. I'm really getting into this genre, I love Bullet, AX7 and Fightstar
    Wezz.
    ._. So Let's see if we can start a flame war over genres. Unless you're trying to market it a new band, does it really matter what genre it is? It's the same sound no matter whether I describe it as "shiny gold coins of destiny" or "badger droppings of fail" Anyways, this guide is good for BEGINNERS. Might want to elaborate on the techniques (muting, alternate picking, and other things people who just picked up a guitar wouldn't know) because it's only good for VERY beginners. Decent enough guide =]
    wasssup
    its quite good, but for bands like bfmv, they always have a bridge type thing, like in take it out on me and hand of blood.
    defenderobanana
    Nice guide, but one thing I would suggest is that (since this is for beginners) since we are assuming that the person reading this is brand new with guitar, you should teach them more techniques, such as how to palm mute, or how to use pinch harmonics, because I didn't know how to do these things when i first started. Also, you should point out that the tunings are Dropped D, Dropped C, and Dropped B, so that they can apply that to their music life.