Technical Death Metal Power Chord Technique

This lesson will help anyone interested in refining their technical death metal method or progressive rock skills.

Ultimate Guitar
This lesson features eight exercises using your 2nd and 4th fingers to play power chords, which may be quite useful for anyone interested in refining their technical death metal method or progressive rock skills.

The main objective here is playing quickly without the extra noise that comes from your fingers sliding over your guitar strings in between chords. Tabs are included in the video - check it out below.

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16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dave Mustaine has given the name "spider chords" for this technique, but I can't imagine he is the first guitarist in the history of time to use this method, so I question whether he "invented" it. Metal, however, has evolved very much since "Wake Up Dead," which is why I made this lesson. It focuses on modern technical death metal and progressive death metal.
    Yeah, he definitely isn't the first. It's a friggin old exercise for guitar, called the spider. My teacher taught it to me, and his teacher taught it to him, so I'm purdy sure it outdates Dave.
    Great lesson, and nice riffs, too.But, and when the next power chord of the riff is at 1 tone (or more) of distance? How to play it?For example: ----- ----- ----- ----- --5--9-- --3--7-- This techinic is only for semi-tone power chords?
    Dave Mustaine "Spider Chords" shift the higher chord up a string. ----- ----- ---4- -5-2- -3--- use fingers 2 and 4 for the G chord and 1 and 3 for the B. Look up videos of how Dave plays the riff to "Wake Up Dead" if this doesn't make sense.
    Thanks for your question. It all depends on how long your fingers are and how far you can stretch up the neck with the 2 and 4 fingers (or with the 1 and 3 if you are moving down) and how well you can do it in a clean-sounding fashion. But yes, generally this technique is accomplished best moving only a semi-tone up or down the neck, just because there is less strain on the fingers and they are naturally in those positions.
    Thanks. So this technic is only with the hand stop on the fretboard, but still is very useful! I can play with a tone of diference, by the size of my hands, hehe.
    I totally agree. The high gain is due to the fact that I went from my amp to my camera directly. I have discovered that when I do this the gain is increased, probably because my camera audio input is configured for a microphone and not an instrument. I have since found a way to just record my guitar through my daw and later align it with the video. On my next lesson the guitar will sound much better. THANK YOU for your honesty and fair analysis of my video! You are an ideal critic. Do not ever be afraid to sound your voice.
    Thanks man! I'm actually looking forward to your next lesson as I feel that the basics of tight playing get forgotten far too often on this site. Besides, playing efficiently (the least movements with the greatest result - or rather, the expending the least energy possible with maximum results) is a skill in itself.
    Stuff like this is great for finger independence. Not to mention playing some cool fast riffs
    This is a cool little technique but it can really only be applied in a very specific situation (semitones up/down in powerchords) and I feel that 90% of the problem that you're trying to address can be fixed with a proper tone and doesn't really stem from the movement in your fingers to begin with. You have so much gain and so little mids going on that anything you play WILL sound muddy and scratchy as every single speck of dust that hits your strings will get picked up and amplified 99x because of DAT GAINNNNNZZZ. For example, in the 'Scream bloody gore'-type riff you hear so much pickscrape going on that the point of your exercise gets cancelled out pretty much completely. Other than that this is a cool video, please don't take my critique too harshly! It's just that you sort of cancel out your purpose (clean playing) through breaking a pretty solid rule for clean playing (next time MORE MIDS! LESS GAIN!)
    was just playing some suffocation today, and needless to say being clean is essential unless you want a sloppy mess. of course, me playing along with a telecaster didn't provide the most "brutal" tone, either... great video and good tips from this article!
    Dave Mustaine of Megadeth has been doing this for 3 decades and there's a 15 year old lesson on youtube about this, but non the less thanks anyways. cheers.
    Me: "Did you see the news today?" edmehrzad: "Nah bro, I saw it once in 1999 so I figure I'm up-to-date"
    It all depends on how long your fingers are and how far you can stretch down with the 2 and 4 fingers (or the 1 and 3 if you are moving down) and how well you can do it in a clean-sounding fashion.