Beginners Guide To Playing Hardcore

This will give you a brief description on how you can make hardcore music with melody, on guitar.

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Chiodos, Underoath, Killswitch Engage, many people wonder how to get music like there's. I hope to help you out with some of my techniques. Intro. The intro should have either a catchy metal riff or just a straight up chord progression to catch the listeners attention. To come up with these riffs, you can listen to bands and listen to there intro riff and get a feel of what that song is like, so intro can be the most important part. Here are some examples:
Catchy intro riff: Left Without A Purpose's "All Was Lost"
e|---8p7-8p7----8p7-8p7|  |---13p12-12p12---13p12-13p12|
B|---8p7-8p7----8p7-8p7|  |---13p12-12p12---13p12-13p12|
G|---------------------|  |----------------------------|
D|000--------000-------|x2|000-----------000-----------|x2
A|000--------000-------|  |000-----------000-----------|
D|000--------000-------|  |000-----------000-----------|

Chord Progression riff: Chiodos' "There's No Penguins In Alaska"
e-----------------------------------|
b-----------------------------------|
g---777-777-777-7/5-33333333-5555---|
d---777-777-777-7/5-33333333-5555---|x3
a---555-555-555-5/3-11111111-3333---|
d-----------------------------------|
Verse. The verse can range from a heavy riff or a melodic riff. You want the verse to have power to put into the chorus. It can also be called pre-chorus. For rhythem guitar you can lay down a barre chord riff too for harmonization. Examples.
Melodic riff: From First To Last's "Secrets Don't Make Friends"
e|----------------------|
b|----------------------|
g|-----2h3p2------------|
d|-2h3-------3p2p0h2h3--|x8
a|----------------------|
D|----------------------|


e|-----10~-----10~----------10~-----|
b|-----x~------x------------x-------|
g|-----7~------7--9~s10-----10~-12~-|
d|-0-0-0~--0-0-0~-------8-8-8--{8}~-|x2
a|-0-0-0~--0-0-0~-------8-8-8--{8}~-|
D|-0-0-0~--0-0-0~-------8-8-8--{8}~-|
PM... 

Chord Progression verse: Chiodos' "Baby, You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek"
|-----------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------|
|-7777------7777------3333333-999999999999------------------|
|-xxxx-0000-xxxx-0000-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx------------------|
|-5555-0000-5555-0000-1111111-777777777777------------------|
|------0000------0000---------------------------------------|
p.m...
Chorus. The chorus is the heart of the song, it usually contains powerful lyrics with a rhythmetic sequence of riffs and powerchords.
Left Without A Purpose's "Walk In My Door"
Chorus G1
e|----------------------|
B|----------------------|
G|-6-6-9-999-2-22222-2-2|
D|-6-6-x-xxx-2-22222-2-2|X3
A|-4-4-7-777-0-00000-0-0|
E|----------------------|

Chorus G2
e|2-1-421-421-421-421-421-|X4
B|------------------------|
G|------------------------|
D|------------------------|
A|------------------------|
E|------------------------|
Breakdown. This is the core of the hardcore, the death defying breakdown, where it's all out mosh fist fight, crunching screams, the bass is pounding right in your face, and then the guitar comes out with a killer riff.
From First To Last's "Secrets Don't Make Friends"
|------------------------------------------------| 
|------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------|
|--0-0-----7p0--0-0-----7p0--3x-3x-3x-3x-3x-3x---|
|--0-0-5p0------0-0-5p0------3x-3x-3x-3x-3x-3x---|
|--0-0----------0-0----------3x-3x-3x-3x-3x-3x---|
PM...
That's pretty much all I can think of, it all just depends on how much your determined to do what you want to do.

95 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Nosf3ratu
    Hardcore music roots from the technical, melodic side of metal, and thrash.
    Jesus! It's amazing how many uninformed people there are out there. Watch the documentary "American Hardcore", for all the details ... Hardcore came from Punk Rock. It's nothing but punk, but faster, and more aggressive. "Hardcore" isn't even a style, really. It's actually called "Hardcore Punk". Kids, today. Yikes.
    Sam Rulez D00d
    this is like scene metalcore or something. Hardcore is bands like Terror, Bane, Madball, etc. Metalcore is bands like Underoath, August Burns Red, etc. Hardcore punk is also a genre, that would be bands like H20. BUT a lot of people use the term 'hardcore' for pretty much every band that screams and has breakdowns. thats what this guy was doing. theres really no problem with that.
    sev945
    i wouldn't call these bands hardcore, no offence there more emo, hardcore in my opinion is like circle jerks and black flag stuff
    XxArtemesiaxX
    I actually found this worthwhile, since I make music in my spare time. This has given me a good general idea of what the Chorus should sound like...since thats always the hardest part to create for me. Anyway, nice job!
    lilphil1989
    none of those bands are hardcore haha... hardcore is minor threat, black flag, dead kennedys, sick of it all etc
    humpacow6
    "hardcore"...Chiodos, From First To Last, Left Without A Purpose? they must be the 3 best "hardcore" bands ever its called punk, and you should really watch the "American Hardcore" documentary ups to nosf3ratu
    kdcisgod
    no matter what genre you said the bands are in people would still complain anyway so don't listen to them but the lesson wasn't good either lol
    speedmetal777
    Nosf3ratu wrote: Hardcore music roots from the technical, melodic side of metal, and thrash. Jesus! It's amazing how many uninformed people there are out there. Watch the documentary "American Hardcore", for all the details ... Hardcore came from Punk Rock. It's nothing but punk, but faster, and more aggressive. "Hardcore" isn't even a style, really. It's actually called "Hardcore Punk". Kids, today. Yikes.
    THANK YOU! okay, chiodos is not hardcore, neither is from first to last. you want a real hardcore band? go listen to minor threat.
    absinthedemon22
    Unless there is a guidebook that states what exactly is or isn't a genre, i think people should lay off... not a great guide, but at least someone's trying, if everyone that has bashed this lesson could post their own guide to playing "hardcore" it would be greatly appreciated
    distortion4116
    absinthedemon22 wrote: Unless there is a guidebook that states what exactly is or isn't a genre, i think people should lay off... not a great guide, but at least someone's trying, if everyone that has bashed this lesson could post their own guide to playing "hardcore" it would be greatly appreciated
    I agree for the most part. But even, and this is to all the people claiming what IS and isn't hardcore, if there was a 'guidebook' genres and tags can evolve with the bands that play those genres. The meaning behind a name for a musical style can completely change if enough people begin using it differently, just look at emo.
    learninclutch
    I am starting a new genre, its countrycore. And the singer will scream his vocals and its countrycore screamo. I never heard anything more hardcore than sick of it all and minor threat. black flag, too. It has evolved since the 80s and early nineties but I think Agnostic Front and Crowbar are more modern hardcore today than anything else mentioned here. Kids, learn the meaning of coothe!
    learninclutch
    I was kidding about the countrycore if your oblivious to sarcasm. I hope I spelled coothe right. I wouldn't hear the last of it. Hardcore that grooves: Groovecore,as follows hahaha Clutch- Passive Restraints - Impetus - Rats - Juggernaut - Wicker - many more
    thelonesoldier
    It doesn't ****ing matter how you personally define genres that are too similar to be clearly distinguished, posting one or two short tabs for each example isn't really going to help anyone.
    learninclutch
    I was kidding about the countrycore if your oblivious to sarcasm. I hope I spelled coothe right. I wouldn't hear the last of it. Hardcore that grooves: Groovecore,as follows hahaha Clutch- Passive Restraints - Impetus - Rats - Juggernaut - Wicker - many more
    skinny g
    ye we know how a song is structured what about the actual hardcore part of it!!! SG
    Regression
    Why does everyone have to bitch about the genre, times change, back in the 70's Led Zeppelin got called metal, as you can see times change, it's impossible to keep up with genres, and very easy to be misinformed, some people obviously do consider this music hardcore, and they will be looking for a lesson on hardcore, and will find this and be delighted, alot of you probably label bands incorrectly too, such as using the term emo. As for the guys who say breakdowns are excuses for solos, we aren't all egomaniacs who think every song needs a solo, sometimes breakdowns are better, they work awesome live, and as mentioned before give you a boost of adrenaline, and sometimes solos are better as they can add an element which makes a song a whole lot better, I hate how some guitarists see solos as a prerequisite for a song.
    nickfinn
    NICKS GUIDE TO PLAYING HARDCORE MUSIC: 1. throw on a cd. 2. dont even bother looking the tab up on UG because its most probably not on there if its "real" hardcore... 3. figure the song out for yourself. its as simple as that
    315Hardcore6895
    i agree with humpacow6, these bands all blow, if you read this and want some real hardcore influence, check out some suicide file tabs, bane tabs, comeback kid tabs, etc.
    Regression
    Sorry for the lack of fullstops there btw. And I forgot to say the lesson is ok, but you could have added tips on theory you could use to create similar songs.
    Shaggy7935
    those are not hardcore at all...try listening to some of the red chord..
    SkAsupafly wrote: want real hardcore, here's a lesson Listen to these songs, Learn these songs, Love these songs: Tough Guy - Beastie Boys Dead Bodies - Rancid My War - Black Flag Hardcore Punk - Minor Threat they are very basic hardcore music isn't that challenging at all. throw some unison runs in root 5 of course and go up the neck for a sick breakdown.
    Shaggy7935
    none of those bands u named were hardcore at all.thats pussy metal/pussy-core
    CrimsonG
    keywork2389 wrote: Hardcore music roots from the technical, melodic side of metal, and thrash.
    Thrash is actually a mix of Hardcore and Metal. Hardcore came before thrash.
    Cameronrobson
    SilentGhost wrote: Horrible lesson, and none of that stuff is hardcore. Go listen to Earth Crisis, Gorilla Biscuit, and real hardcore
    Earth Crisis isn't a hardcore band.
    BesideTheThrone
    ftbstrd95 wrote: its crap... the music... thats not hardcore... its post-hardcore... its poppy crappy screamo shit... a panty-waist of time... quit getting you music from hottopic and listen to some real music... listen to real hardcore...
    Dam scene kids and their Hottopic lol Chiodos is not hardcore. Underoath, Killswitch? You've got to be kidding me. Listen to some good stuff. Underground Hardcore like Trapped Under Ice, CDC, Barricade, not that crap.
    DarkDigivid13
    Terrible guide, and plus one to Nosf3ratu hardcore is punk not metal, you don't hear anyone talking about hardcore metal now do you. Sheesh.
    zakk61839
    distortion4116 wrote: absinthedemon22 wrote: Unless there is a guidebook that states what exactly is or isn't a genre, i think people should lay off... not a great guide, but at least someone's trying, if everyone that has bashed this lesson could post their own guide to playing "hardcore" it would be greatly appreciated I agree for the most part. But even, and this is to all the people claiming what IS and isn't hardcore, if there was a 'guidebook' genres and tags can evolve with the bands that play those genres. The meaning behind a name for a musical style can completely change if enough people begin using it differently, just look at emo.
    amen bro
    zakk61839
    Shit people; really how many of you guys were actually around to go to shows like minor threat, ect.? Hell if you were old enough to even enjoy the music when it was actually being played then why on earth are you wasting your time with an ignorant kid? Seriously I think its like there is some kind of ****ing system..."lets see how many scene points I can get for naming off a bunch of dead, written off bands that nobody listens to or has even heard of" Either way quit bashing the poor kid. Nobody cares about your scene-genre-holier-than-tho authority. I love hardcore music, but I hate pretentious bastards who think just because they read a article on wikipedia about what hardcore really is makes them the ****ing dali-lama of edgy music. You know, hardcore isnt even that great anyways. Noise is where its at...listen to botch or better yet destroyer destroyer...that shit is raw.
    Garageking1479
    normally, when someone says Hardcore refers to bands like MInor Threat, Dead Kennedys, etc. Underoath and the other ones are Metalcore, not Hardcore
    lmenagewcis
    Really? Enough with the genre battle. In the words of Rob Halford "...in the end it's all heavy metal." (Seattle, 2011) \m/ I feel like there was some basic instruction but it didn't get very far into the analysis of what it is that actually makes these examples good ones in your opinion or even what they mean to the audience... You could lengthen the article by going into what it is that makes a heavy breakdown feel amazing. This can be done without heavy use of music theory, however it would be greatly appreciated. Please consider revamping this article. =)
    dwelly
    so you dont use standard tuning when playing metal/hardcore and stuff?
    BaxtorBurgandy
    it all depends on preference. Harm's Way, for instance, was using Drop C for their NGNM album, but used a Drop B tuning in Isolation. Expire uses a mixture between Drop D and Drop C. It just depends on what kind of sound they wanted. Most literal Hardcore bands play in Drop D/Drop C. But if you get into the heavier Hardcore/more Power Violence (NAILS, SNAKES, etc.) then you will be seeing more Drop B and Drop A.
    lmenagewcis
    ...also do that for the other parts as well. Consider the verse-chorus-verse, the verse-verse-chorus, aspects, etc...
    AbyssInAttica
    listen to emmure or something.....i would say born of osiris but i see them as agressive instead of hardcore or deathcore wich most people label them as
    outlaw metaler
    jamsea wrote: You took some tabs from different hardcore songs and pasted them into an article... I can't believe people would rather play breakdowns rather than guitar solos. Heck I can't believe people would rather LISTEN to breakdowns... The music industry is moving more and more backwards everyday.
    guitar solo's are really only interesting if your are a guitar nerd 90% of people aren't break downs are catchier and also allow teh guitarist more room to rock out
    XxDre09xX
    this is the kind of music I want to play, i really wish someone could make a really good article about it, not just give tabs
    BANE05489
    yeah no offense but this is a terrible guide. chiodos is not a terrible band, but is in no way hardcore. this has nothing to do with hardcore. im not trying to be mean, at least you tried, but seriously.... now to try to be a bit constructive, instead of bitching at people for making bad guides why doesnt someone write a good guide about hardcore? there needs to be a guide with examples like BANE(how can you write a guide about hc without bane), have heart, shai hulud!!, verse, comeback kid, in the face of war, minor threat, etc.... or even some grindcore like converge or dillinger please anyone with a good knowledge of music who likes these bands or bands like them, you have to write a guide im learning to play guitar right now pretty much only so i can play some hardcore
    TW909
    I opened up lesson and expected to find some HATEBREED!!! Thats the "hardcore" band we all love
    xFrontalx
    man, I thought I was gonna see a lesson about playing hardcore music like Swron Enemy, Earth Crisis, terror, Death Before dishonor etc. But all I see is a couple of post-hardcore tabs. Nonetheless, it's an OK tutorial
    Boxy Brown : First Off a breakdown is just an extremely horrible excuse for a solo.
    guitar solos aren't really a "requirement" for a music to be good, Now try playing "cool" guitar solos in a hXc show and see if people would mosh like hell to your solo. So stop criticizing Breakdownds
    JMerr1212
    why can't you play a solo that goes INTO a breakdown...now thats bad ass music! haha...and i think hardcore is more like shai hulud, poison the well, refused, and shit like that..and if u wanna consider them, then as i lay dying, between the buried and me, trivium, 36 crazyfists and messugah...genre's are all conceptual anyway...just like music is all together..music is all conceptual and subjective...just like i think hardcore had nothing to do with punk..however most rock music does originally derive from punk cuz punk came first, but i dont feel hardcore relates to punk...see what i mean..its all conceptual...one person's idea of hardcore can greatly differ from anothers
    handbanana
    Too bad not a single band you used as examples are hardcore bands. They're all scene pop metalcore
    Cameronrobson
    JMerr1212 wrote: why can't you play a solo that goes INTO a breakdown...now thats bad ass music! haha...and i think hardcore is more like shai hulud, poison the well, refused, and shit like that..and if u wanna consider them, then as i lay dying, between the buried and me, trivium, 36 crazyfists and messugah...genre's are all conceptual anyway...just like music is all together..music is all conceptual and subjective...just like i think hardcore had nothing to do with punk..however most rock music does originally derive from punk cuz punk came first, but i dont feel hardcore relates to punk...see what i mean..its all conceptual...one person's idea of hardcore can greatly differ from anothers
    The idea that music genres are subjective doesn't really hold up. In fact, it's just plain not true.
    JMerr1212
    oh yeah...and old school underoath...im talkin OLD SCHOOL, is pretty hardcore..their new stuff is all pussyfied...listen to the song "the last" by underoath..pretty wicked stuff
    ftbstrd95
    its crap... the music... thats not hardcore... its post-hardcore... its poppy crappy screamo shit... a panty-waist of time... quit getting you music from hottopic and listen to some real music... listen to real hardcore...
    xdolmayan
    Jesus F*cking Christ. Leave him alone. He listens to Chiodos, which is a good band. And nobody can keep up with the thousands of genre's idiots make up everyday. I liked it, in spite of everyone else's bitching.