Heavy Metal Style - The Basics II

Learn some basics of heavy metal.

Ultimate Guitar
This lesson will teach you how to become the next Kerry King or Mick Thompson! Here we go. Heavy metal involves alot of distortion and fast fingering so this could be a tough one to learn for poeple who have just started guitar. Here are the points we will be looking at in this lesson: 1. Tuning 2. Powerchords 3. Palm Muting 4. Hard Hitting Riffs 5. Fast Solos All the tunes on this lesson must be played with distortion. 1. Tuning. If you want to play Heavy Metal you need the correct tuing or it will sound shite. Here are the main Heavy Metal tunings: Drop C Drop B Normal tuning down a tone (P.S you will need a electronic tuner because getting to these tuning by ear is hard!) 2. Powerchords. Heavy Metal is based upon heavy sounding powerchords. Once youve got youre guitar tuned try some of these tunes: 1) |---------------------| |---------------------| |---------------------| |---------------------| |--0-0-0-3-3-3-6-6-6--| |--0-0-0-3-3-3-6-6-6--| 2) |------------------------------------------| |------------------------------------------| |------------------------------------------| |------------------------------------------| |--12-12--11-11--15-15-14-14------0-0-1-1--| |--12-12--11-11--15-15-14-14------0-0-1-1--| 3) |----------------------------| |----------------------------| |----------------------------| |----------7-----5--------2--| |--0-0--5--0-0-3-0-0--0------| |--0-0-----0-0---0-0---------| Try learning Slipknot: Duality for some really awesome powerchords. 3. Palm Muting. To palm mute you must place your palm near the bridge. If you slightly touch the stings that is light palm mutiing (pm) and if you push down hard (not to hard) that is heavy palm muting (PM). Try these exercises to get your palm muting up to scrath. 1) |-------------| |-------------| |-------------| |--5-5-2-2-2--| |--5-3-0-0-0--| |-------------| pm . . . . . 2) |---------------------| |---------------------| |---------------------| |---------------------| |--0-0-1-1-4-5-0-0-0--| |--0-0-1-1-4-5-0-0-0--| PM . . . . . . . . . 4. Riffs Heavy Metal guitar riffs are so cool so I wanted to teach you some! Usually a heavy metal guitar riff is very fast and complicated. Kerry King from Slayer is the heavy metal riff master. Try learning Reign In Blood. 1) |--------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------| |---------------5-------------6-----------0--| |--0-0-0-0-0----1-1-1-1-1-----0-0-0-0-0------| 2) |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| |------------------------------5-5-5--------------| |------------------0-0-0-0-0----------------------| |--7-7-7-7-7-7-------------------------0-0-0-0-0--| 5. Fast Solos. Solos are what make guitar so cool. Do do fast solos you need fast fingers. There are lots of types of fast soloing: 1. Speed Picking 2. Apreggio 3. 3 finger apreggio (and so on) Hammer ons and pull offs are also very important 1) |--3-2-0-3-2-0-3-2-0-3-2-0--| |---------------------------| |---------------------------| |---------------------------| |---------------------------| |---------------------------| 2) |--5-h3--------5-h3------------| |-------h5-0-------------h5-0--| |------------------------------| |------------------------------| |------------------------------| |------------------------------| x as many times as you want This may not of been a good lesson but I'm hungry so I stop here.

89 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mustaine 4 Prez
    Dude, this lesson was WEAK. You don't need to tune don't 850 steps to sound heavy. Listen to Megadeth or something like that and tell me you can't sound heavy in standard. All these clowns who have to tune down to sound heavy are just ****ing weak. If your tuning down to explore new territories, it's fine, but holy ****, to say you need to tune down to sound heavy is ****ing bullshit. This is not how to play metal. It's how to play trendy nu metal. Better off to learn a few Megadeth, Pantera, Slayer, and old Metallica tunes, which will make you 10x the guitar player this guy is.
    ckyrockes wrote: wow... u guys dont have to be ass holoes to the writer ervyone like there own thing and everyone has differnt thoughts so if u like cool if u dont go find something u do like
    I AGREE. if you don't like it, instead of saying how much it sucks, go and find a lesson you like instead. It shows the basics well, and you are saying that it is crap.... THATS BECAUSE IT'S THE BASICS YOU IDIOTS! the very basics of metal. if you sat my Dad (a Blues and Rockabilly player) in front of it (i would have to bribe him though, he hates metal!), he would have learned the basics of metal, and learned a few riffs. although i must say that the tabs are not very good, but that's not to say they are crap, just slightly poorly done. also, i would recommend adding in a Speed Picking section, i might add one myself sometime. I also like his recommendations: Slayer Reign In Blood is a classic Metal song that everyone should know. So think twice about thoughtlessly insulting this guy, i'm sure he would feel bad about it. I know I would if i wrote a section. in fact, i'm going to write a couple now: one on speed picking, and one on how to get a good metal tone.
    wow... u guys dont have to be ass holoes to the writer ervyone like there own thing and everyone has differnt thoughts so if u like cool if u dont go find something u do like
    RIGHT... thats it! 1. Slipknot is metal and they do have talent. its a fact: you just havent seen mick thompson shred. i have. 2. About drop tunings: sure, you don't need them, but when you drop tune you have a much larger bass response therefore your guitar tone sounds more dark and evil. so in a sense, it makes the songs sound more heavy (if the vocals and drums are also heavy). about the megadeth comment: listen to Fear Factory then Megadeth. Fear factory's guitar sound is MUCH heavier, because they droptune! also, drop D,C and B mean that you can play a power chord all on the same fret. on the 3 lower strings, which makes it much easier to play. 3. this dude is making an effort and all you guys do is say "this sucked balls" like the bastard that you really are. it is quite informative on how to play metal heavily, but is incomplete. also, these techniques that he has pointed out are used in every subgenre of metal, so dont just shout at him. 4. about that comment on Malmsteen and petrucci: you dont have to shred to be a metal player! Hetfield doesn't shred, Hammet does, and hetfield is an awesome rhythm player! 5. drop tunings are not just for nu metal!!!!! Pantera, some metallica, shadows fall, opeth, all use drop tunings and are not nu metal!!!! 6. Metallica. their heaviest song is Sad But True. it uses drop tuning.
    ^agreed. Power Chords are actually like this -3----- -3----- -1----- The lesson was on nu-metal, and the lesson just was not informative at all
    y'see standard tuning is for pussies who can't be bothered to take the time to figure everything out a different way, or think "ok, i'm 1 1/2 steps down from drop d, so i move down three frets, ok, that was easy enough"
    i am a guitar
    wow you guys really know it all, but wait why are you looking up guitar lessons online, homos, wait why am i, oh no i was looking up really whiny bitchy bloggers are found you. you guys are probably 2 year rookies who's fingers are still sore hahahaha, but me.....I am rock and roll
    Talented Noob
    is this lesson actually finished? dude eat something and get on with it! the others are great, im disspointed now . BTW everyone drop d is the only down tuning i've used in any metal not that much. But riffs i havent played just heard about have all been drop d, by far the easiest to use. WHats the point in tuning down to c or something ridiculous? just makes it HARDER to play. I want to know what scales to use for metal soos, sure everyone SAYS blues minor and natural minor, but it sounds crap when i play it! help please!
    racistbassist16 wrote: god ***ing damn, you people are idiots, the whole thing is a matter of opinion, now yes its has been every ones opinion that this "lesson" sucked more balls than a $10 hooker. Now with all the tuning arguement. I myself dont know the diff between Nu-Metal and all that shit, its just music, if it sounds good it kicks ass, if it doesnt it doesnt, oh well dont listen to it. You cant say that a band that has been signed to a record label has no talent and sucks, because apparently they have more talent than you do. I listen to all forms of rock, but metal is my favorite for the fact of the guitar riffs ans solos. But it doesnt ***ing matter what tuning a band uses, you can make the same sound in n e tuning you want it may just be a bit more difficult. Whether or not the so called Nu-Metal or heavy metal use a certain tuning it doesnt ***ing matter, they can get the same sound doing it with another tuning but they, like everyone else in the world, would like to do everything the easy way, so they change their tuning to do it. If someone would list the diffences between all the different forms of metal i would appreciate it, and also some bands that go with each one, so i might be able to tell the difference. The reason i dont know the difference it because i dont give a *** i just enjoy listening to people play, but that way i can hold a conversation with someone and prove to them that it makes no ***ing difference. gracias punto
    wtf are you doing posting on this site, you obviously cant play guitar and don't know the difference between tunings because you can definitly not play the same notes from Standard E to drop anything due to the fact its dropped you farkin ars
    i am sorry to say that that was really crappy...it really wasn't all that helpful...but i am not all that good a writing lessons anyway...
    Try learning Slipknot: Duality for some really awesome powerchords. Powerchords come in handy and are used all the fricken time, but "really awesome powerchords" are 3 words that shouldn't go together
    met alhorse wrote: I don`t really understand why you call this shit a heavy metal lesson , so you think that playing power chords is playing metal , hey dude did you get the chance to hear Yngwye, Petrucci , Michael romeo and so on..your advice can be just fine for a ramone fanatic
    I agree with what he said
    heres some other things:
    StoneR usty wrote: you guys are ****en *****s, if this guy showed this to your face and asked you what you thot you wouldnt be such dicks about it to his face. thats the power of the internet, it lets losers feel big about themselves and lets them make fun of people constantly. **** you give the guys some tips and ideas to make it better, or better yet, make your own ****in forum and then people can make fun of your cock suckingness
    i like that word...cock suckingness... its my new word. Thanks for having morals Stone Rusty.
    14GreenDay wrote: greenday is punk, not metal, plus i only like their old songs, American idiot sucks and the songs are overplayed
    okay..greenday isnt bad, but its not really punk, its like emo-folk. and if your a guitarist, look at the tab for a greenday song, then look at the tab for a slipknot song. whats the difference with the slipknot song? MORE NUMBERS AND RIFFS. anyway greenday pisses me off sometimes when fags like you get on metal forums
    If anyone has stated this yet, i apologize, but here: slipknot is metal, and they arent just random playing(listen to the blister exists) anyone who acually listened to metal would know that. also, he was showing powerchords, but in drop tunings, a powerchord is made from a bar chord. and furthermore, if you were dissing slipknot and went to this lesson anyway, you listen to pretty light stuff, and im gonna have to call you a pussy
    I don`t really understand why you call this shit a heavy metal lesson , so you think that playing power chords is playing metal , hey dude did you get the chance to hear Yngwye, Petrucci , Michael romeo and so on..your advice can be just fine for a ramone fanatic
    greenday is punk, not metal, plus i only like their old songs, American idiot sucks and the songs are overplayed
    14GreenDay : greenday is punk, not metal, plus i only like their old songs, American idiot sucks and the songs are overplayed
    Since when did punk bands sell out to labels? Punk is still underground and on independant labels man Wake Up.
    metal sucks, when the singers "sing", they make low,grunting, retarded sounds that suck
    Drop tuning is helpful, but isn't necessary. and not only death metal bands use it. protest the hero is a sick metal band that uses Dgcfad tuning. and bullet for my valentine uses the same tuning for most of their songs. killswitch engage uses Cgcfad
    so u guys say a guitar in standard sounds just like a guitar in drop C? BS! of course you the same notes but you wont get that dark heavy sound! this board is filled with *****s and people who live in a box. or just a bunch of old guys whos afraid of something new. thanks for the post.
    Attention: A tuning is just a tuning. Drop B and Drop C and Drop D and Drop WHATEVER are exactly the same, just transposed down. Like a couple of notes. Really, a tuning is just a tuning, I can get the same variety of notes in Drop D and D standard etc, but Drop D is the dropped version of E standard and your scales will be based off E Standard balalalalalablah blah blah. probleM?
    finger placement has nothing to do with classifying a power chord. yes ---5--- is a power chord... ---5--- ---3--- but so is ---3--- ---3--- ---3--- in drop tuning. A power chord is a root note, the 5th, and the octave. (For example, a G power chord consists of the notes G, D, and the octave G.) So weather it's played in standard as ---5--- ---5--- ---3--- or in drop D as ---5--- ---5--- ---5--- it's is still a G power chord
    Really these are pretty easy riffs to begin metal with. But they are way too short and random to create something complete out of them.
    i will agree with many people who've commented, this wasnt all too helpful, i've taught myself more than this. but on the other hand, he IS using power chords when he tabbed out those barres. bc a power chord is the first and fifth note of a major scale. (the reason why some call them fifth chords) so if he is in drop tuning, say drop D, the tuning i prefer, and plays a barre on the 3rd fret on the 6th and 5th strings, he's playing the notes F and C, which are the same as playing, in standard tuning, the 1st fret of the 6th string and the 3rd fret of the 5th string. this is part of the reason drop tunings are easier, they provide a little help with the use of power chords (fifth chords). i also agree with tylerbasshc because this lesson be somewhat helpful to someone just beginning guitar, and/or metal.
    [quote]Camdon wrote: Metallica- Media twisting the minds of youth (Master of putppets ringin any bells?) - master of puppets is about drug abuse and addiction. sir, you fail.
    Heavy metal is a broad term that incorpoates all the subgenres of metal. This was simply a basics guide for people new to this style of music seeking to learn something new. Though incomplete it does provide some information beneficial to people looking to explore and expand their knowledge of guitar styles. The need to act tough over the internet is pointless, words are just that and you do not impress anyone with you show of harshness and intent of fronting that you're superior. He gave a good try and that's that. The tuning arguement that has rose from this is also pointless. Drop b and drop c are common tunnings for modern metal genres where as eb and standard are more common to the genres of metal that emerged in the late 80s and early 90s. If you play something different, that's cool. If you prefer standard over a dropped tunning or vice versa, that's cool too. Don't be a douche and hate on everyones opinions on music styles and other things. I personally prefer drop c. I like the tone it produces over drop d and drop b. Standard tuning is not used in my style but I don't put down those who use it. Don't use forums to "act" like you're something bad, I'm not impressed by your angry, degrading words.
    "wow... u guys dont have to be ass holoes to the writer ervyone like there own thing and everyone has differnt thoughts so if u like cool if u dont go find something u do like" Exactly!! dont like slipknot? then go listen to something else.
    Come on guys, we all make mistakes sometimes, Like the guy who said you could shatter your neck by over-turning the truss rod? What the hell were you thinking? Anyway this dude was just trying to help, and one other. What some of you are calling "metal" is actually NWOBH and if you do not know what that is just google it and expand your mind. All of the bands listed here are metal, metal is general label put on this kind of music, it wasn't untill the mid 90's when all of the differen't labels were put on it. Just kick a@# and keep playing what the fu#$ does it matter what label you put on it
    SelfImmolation wrote: Yes. I have to agree. This "lesson" was nothing but a selection of favorite licks thrown toghether. It reminded me of a cheesy mix Cd. No educational value what so ever. Furthermore it made the whole metal community look like a bunch of inbred retards. If we are to ever change the stereo type of metal heads being no account, low life, $hit for brains losers... Then we better start thinking more. Some side notes to conclude. Metallica's Enter Sandman is most definately not played in Dropped D tuning. I have seen them play it live personally and on television. Never have I ever heard or seen in played any way than in standard open E tuning. --- My Oppinions --- Slipknot... Is gay. Nu-Metal... Is not cool. Alternate tunings... Can be useful but are definately not necessary. That is all. Thank you.
    I agree with you. On everything. We don't need to down tune to make a killer riff. I myself have made great thrash metal riffs with just the standard E tuning. And yes Nu Metal sucks.
    drop d tuning isnt heavy metal. its for metalcore if its used in every song. slayer is cool cuz theyre thrash. drop d power chords are simple. smiley!
    i am sorry to say but this lesson sucks bad . i know one lesson too check this out. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----5----7----5h7---you suck----- ---0--0-----0-----0----- play that
    Yea some of the most technical and not crap metal is played in standard tuning, dropped D, or Eb tunings. But I have to state that B and drop C are sometimes good tunings to use if you're playing death metal style (such as Morbid Angel), Melodic Death Metal (At the Gates is dropped to B and uses some of the techniques Metallica uses), and industrial metal bands like Fear Factory and Strapping Young Lad OR if your name is Fredrik Thordendal. Those bands have a more darker and heavier sound (heavy does not equal technicality though. ex: Slipknot) but still present some technical riffs. P.S. if your definition of metal is Slipknot, then you fail.
    First of all this is a "BASIC" lesson so all you F*** tards that say this sucks that's because its a....."""BASIC"""" lesson if you couldn't read the title so lay of the guy (how many people have to make this clear so all you idiots understand) . Plus he didn't put a lot of time in it if you couldn't understand the part about being hungry. Another thing why the bloody f*** is there a GreenDay fag in a metal forum...seriously
    Getting the correct tunings by ear.. Ain't that hard.. And another common metal tuning is Drop D.. Dumbass.. Soooo many metal bands use that.. But obviously you don't know what your talking about so...
    Realm of Metal
    Okay peoples, We all know this was not the best lesson here and it's easy to be critical about someones attempt at teaching. But give him a break! He had the munchies man!
    For rjc_15 metallica only used 1 song in dropped tuning which is The Thing That Should Not Be but personally its one of the best from MOP. and I know that Devils Dance is in dropped d but you dont count Load or Reload as heavy metal.