Good Metalcore Lesson

Basic chord structures and riffs.

12
Intro: okay, so just about everyone and their mom can play generic hardcore and metalcore but incorporating other styles is what sets you apart from the throng of shitty guitarists playing stale d-minor riffs. first off, you will probably want to learn the minor and harmonic minor scales respectively.
e------------------------------0-1-3- D-Minor
b--------------------------1-3-------
g--------------------0-2-3-----------
d--------------0-2-3-----------------
a-------0-1-3------------------------
D-0-2-3------------------------------

e------------------------------0-2-3- D-Harmonic Minor
b--------------------------1-3-------
g--------------------0-2-3-----------
d--------------0-2-3-----------------
a-------0-1-4------------------------
D-0-2-3------------------------------
I believe these are right. if not studybass.com has an amazing scale finder tool. RIFFAGE: Okay so this is the meat and potatos of this genre. usually performed with palm muted pedal notes on the low D string. Mostly open but throwing in other notes from the scale breaks the monotany. EX 1. EXTREMELY generic riff
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d-----------------------------------
a-----8---7-----10---8-----7--------
D-0-0---0---0-0----0---0-0---0-8-10h p.s. alternate pick for speed.
  . .   .   . .    .   . .   .
EX 2. Lets build on that riff and make it more unique. while still extremely generic it has more character due to different pedal notes and rapid hammer on pull offs.
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------10------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-3h5p3p0
D-000---0---0-0----0---0-0----------
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------10------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-7h8p7p0
D-888---8---8-8----7---7-7---------- 
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
EX 3. Lets throw some harmonic minor variations in as well.
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------11------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-3h5p3p0
D-000---0---0-0----0---0-0----------
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------11------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-7h8p7p0
D-888---8---8-8----7---7-7---------- 
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------11------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-5h8p5p0
D-000---0---0-0----0---0-0----------
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
e----------------------------------- 
b-----------------------------------
g-----------------------------------
d---------------11------------------
a-----8---7----------8-----7-4h7p4p0
D-888---8---8-8----7---7-7---------- 
  ...   .   . .    .   . .
You should now have the tools to start creating your own riffs now. CHORUS: Arguably the easiest in this stagnant genre. They usually feature dropped power chords with a second guitarist playing octave chords over them. EX 4.
e------------------------------------------- Rhythm part
b-------------------------------------------
g-------------------------------------------
d-0000000000000000-88888888-1010101010101010
a-0000000000000000-88888888-1010101010101010
D-0000000000000000-88888888-1010101010101010 

e----------------------------------------------- Lead part
b-----------------------------------------------
g-----------------------------------------------
d-77777777999910101010-1212121212121212-55557777
a-XXXXXXXXXXXXX-X-X-X---X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-XXXXXXXX
D-5555555577778-8-8-8--1010101010101010-33335555
BREAKDOWN: the staple and also most cliche'. these are open palm muted notes played in a complex pattern and should be used sparingly and usually only for the height of energy in the song. EX 5. Typical breakdown
e--------------------------------------- 
b---------------------------------------
g---------------------------------------
d---------------------------------------
a-00--00--0000-00---------00-00-00-00-00
D-00--00--0000-00---------00-00-00-00-00
  ..  ..  .... ..         .. .. .. .. ..
  B         S         B         S
  1    2    3    4    1    2    3    4
ps. the last 2 chugs run right into the first two making a quad and not two doubles. B-1st beat in the measure S-3rd beat. snare accent. CHORDS: there are a lot of chords that can be pulled from these scales that aren't powerchords. alot of which will increase dynamics in your riffs or choruses. EX 6. imperfect consonant/consonant chords
e-0--0--5--0---X--X
b-3--3--6--10--X--X
g-2--3--7--10--10-5 Just some basics
d-0--0--0--0---8--2
a-0--0--X--X---8--3
D-0--0--X--X---8--2
EX 7. dissonant chords
e-X--X--X------
b-X--6--10-----
g-X--9--9------
d-6--X--8------
a-5--X--7---0-4
D-4--X--7---1-0 these last two are often used in breakdowns.
            . .
HARMONY: the two most common harmonies in this genre are the perfect fifth (basic power chord) and the minor third. Sounds better when played with a friend. The third is basically the next third note from the note you are playing whether it be up the scale or down it so if you're playing 5 (d) on the 5th string the harmony would be 1 or 8 on the same string. So if you play
e----------------
b----------------
g----------------
d----------------
a-----5---7-----8
D-0-0---0---0-0-- 
  - -   -   - -
the harmony would be:
e-----------------
b-----------------
g-----------------
d-----------------
a-----8---10----12
D-0-0---0---0-0---
  - -   -   - -
I hope you found this useful.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    I will be using EX. 6 and 7 a lot for my metalcore music. The chords helps me a lot more now. For EX. 4 I'll be playing them on the G and high F strings. I play in drop C# now. Though you should fix EX. 6 and 7 because they are typed out of line and kind of hard to read to write down and all. Just thought I'd point that out. Other than that those 2 exercises helped out a lot. My main influences are August Burns Red and Blessthefall mostly. Too many to name though. Lol.
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    Not to multiple post but I'd like to see you do more of a lead style metalcore riff next time. Look up some Blessthefall for ideas. They have good music.
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    Also check out some Blessthefall stuff, not your usual metalcore Extremely explosive stuff I think. If you haven't listened to them yet anyway
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    Nice lesson. This actually helps alot because I suck at writing my breakdowns for metalcore. I can write the usual riffs but I sometimes have troubles with the breakdowns. Maybe I can start coming up with more stuff now.
    Weaponxclaws
    First off, sir, you shouldn't put 'Good Metalcore Lesson' unless it truly is one or else you just seem cocky. I didn't really see any lesson in this, just a mere explanation of the stereotypes of metalcore. I didn't learn anything other than the fact that you kinda sorta know what metalcore is.
    BREAKDOWN: the staple and also most cliche'. these are open palm muted notes played in a complex pattern and should be used sparingly and usually only for the height of energy in the song.
    Breakdowns are staple, I will agree with that, but they do not represent the highest energy point in the song. At all. In fact, they are generally slowed down passages in half time that lead to the guitar solo (this is your peak of energy usually) which is in double time.
    rob0067
    Great lesson man, its preety much what ive been playing but at least i know some theory behide it as well as some ideas using all those chords. Would have thought that most metalcore bands tune to drop C and lower though. P.s I see that riff everywere! (Shot in the dark-ATR, The last episode-AA, Sorry your not a winner-ES)
    Sizzlor
    Pretty awesome lesson, some thing pretty cool which I like to use is sixth intervals on the low D and A strings, it sounds a bit better when they are thrown in now and again rather than just hearing power chords all of the time. A|-0-3-5-7-8-10-12-| D|-0-1-3-5-7-8--10-| Also in EX.4 you mentioned octave chords, but have tabbed out a 9th interval, looks like you just forgot about Drop D lol. just a nit pick haha sorry! You could have totally made a lesson like the guitar magazines "Play like Lamb of God" or something and ripped off one of their songs.