Heavy Metal Tutorial

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: guitar styles
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Welcome to my first metal tutorial! My name is Fatty Mcgee, and here I will be introducing you to the basics of heavy metal and nu metal. Let's get started! Introduction: First off, an explanation of heavy metal and nu metal. Heavy metal is hard to describe. It's pretty fast music with a lot of distortion (most of the time), lots of power chords, palm muting mixed with not palm muting, and all in all, a really thick sound. You'll find out about power chords later. Nu metal is much like heavy metal. The only difference is nu metal sometimes has an urban sound to it, or sometimes a scary, dark sound to it. It's also tuned down a lot of the time, normally to C#. Second, I just want to say that if you want to get the "metal" sound, that you get a distortion pedal. Boss makes a sweet distortion pedal called Metal Zone. I suggest you get this one for the huge metal sound. Or, you could try a multi-fx pedal. That way, you'd get distortion and a whole whack of other fx. Now, to the good stuff. Let's talk about power chords. What are they? They're not really chords, but they are 2-3 notes combined to make a cool sound. Let's look at the basic power chord.
Note - These are called perfect fifths. The reason for this is that they are always five notes apart in the scale. For the most heavy sound, play with all downstrokes. So, there's a couple of basic power chords for you. You don't have to play on the D string; it just sounds more full with all 3 strings. Also, know that the root note is of these types of power chords is the lowest note you play. So, this way, you could turn most notes (except really high ones on the high e string, since there's no string below it) into power chords. So, now that you understand basic power chords, try playing this:
Limp Bizkit - Rollin' (Intro)
Note - the real way to play this is tuned down to C#. See what I was talking about with nu metal using C# tuning? Ok, you probably got the idea of power chords. Let's move on to different types of power chords. This is a really cool one. It's called a fourth, because the notes are always 4 notes in the scale apart.
Try playing the above 3 chords. (remember, with all down strokes). Ok, now you know two types of power chords: Fourths and Fifths. Try this next riff:
Metallica - Fuel (Interlude)
Note how the fourth gives a cool harsh sound. It's sometimes hard to determine the root note of a fourth power chord. I notice Metallica makes it sound like the lowest string is the root note, only because they don't play the higher one as loudly. This is probably just to add more depth. However, the root note is always the higher one. Let's move on to more types of power chords. Here are thirds. You can probably figure out what thirds are theoretically. However there is one difference with thirds. You have to change the form of thirds for both notes to fit the key. So, here's 2 different types of thirds.
D|-6-|       D|-7-|
A|-5-|  and  A|-9-|
E|---|       E|---|
Once you've figured out those two, let me give you an example of a song that fits both notes to the key of the song.
Metallica - Master of Puppets (Prechorus End Riff)
Well, there ya go. Those are your basic power chords. Keep practicing, and hope I get a new tutorial up later on! - Fatty Mcgee (bcrichmetalzone@hotmail.com)
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