'Bending' Open Strings - Metal Riff Basics

You can get a unique sound if you pick an open string hard enough to "bend" its pitch up a half-step.

Ultimate Guitar
Hey, guys. We're looking at another basic metal riffing technique, something extremely popular in djenty music lately. At its core, the technique is nothing more complex than taking your lowest string, usually ranging from a B down to somewhere around F#, and picking it really damn hard.

This causes the open string to be "bent" up a half-step by the initial force of your pick stroke, which creates a very heavy sound. This is one of very few ways to make "binary riffing" interesting. 

To hear this technique in action, and to get some additional tips on how to build riffs using this idea, check out the following video:

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Thanks for watching/reading, and I'll see you guys next time.

By Kevin Goetz

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    one can also push the string above the nut.A bit different though,in both sound an usage.
    You can really get desired effects by playing with your D above the nut, and its just awesome.