Heavy Metal Tutorial

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.

0
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.
E|--------|
B|--------|
G|--------|
D|-2--4--5|
A|-2--4--5|
E|-0--2--3|
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)
E|-----------------------|
B|-----------------------|
G|-----------------------|
D|-----------------------|
A|-2-2-9-9-7-7-5-5-4--4-2|
E|-0-0-7-7-5-5-3-3-2--2-0|
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.
D|-0-2-3|
A|-0-2-3|
E|------|
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)
E|---------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------|
D|-5-5-5-7-7--2-2-2-2---5-5-5-7-7---2-2-5|
A|-5-5-5-7-7--2-2-2-2---5-5-5-7-7---2-2-5|
E|------------0-0-0-0---------------0-0-3|
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)
e|---------------|
B|---------------|
G|---------------|
D|--7-5-4---4----|
A|--9-7-6---6-7-6|
E|------------8-7|
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)

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    iMaiden
    Whats wrong with this tut ? I think its pretty kewl altho i knew everything he told already , hes just giving some more dept in the numbers u see on the tabs , so u actualy know what ur doing
    Mackk123
    Riryoku wrote: Ralph: myeah, pretty good lesson, but I find it more a powerchord lessen than a metal lesson [POSTED: 21 May 2004 - 17:26]| I dunno about real metal, but that's what nu-metal's based on. Power chords.
    key word BASED ON. NU METAL IS NOT METAL ITS JUST TONS OF DISTORTION AND DROP TUNINGS
    ahindi
    PhantomLord_wtf wrote: No offence. Shit lesson...
    lol no offence
    s_cholette88
    just to let you if your gonna do a metal lesson next time dont use limp bizkit cause they... STILL SUCK DICK!!(Zakk Wylde live version of super terrorizer)
    Wolfdarrigan
    Um...not bashing, but realy, its a fifth because it is the 5th scale degree...your playing in Em in your first example...so from E you go up...F#(2nd) G(3rd) A(4th) B(5th). So the 5th scale degree is B off of E, so to play a E5, you play an E and the B, and an E up an octave. And the two types are 3rds are Major 3rds and Minor 3rds. The major 3rd is 4 half steps away, and a minor 3rd is 3 steps away. So, off of A, you'd have... Major 3rd Minor 3rd A----4(C#)-----3(C)--| E----5(A)-----5(A)--| If I confused you...send me a message.
    RYNO FAY
    good lesson if ur a 5 year old with a broken hand but seriously bro shit lesson i'll post a real metal lesson a little later
    liam177lewis
    this is just a guide to powerchords, and a leaflet for distortion pedals... fair enough thats what most metal is...
    dimebag_andy
    Metal is based apon powerchords to. I found it really interesting i didnt know what fifths, thirds and fourths were cheers Fatty. And oswald or whatever your name is cutt him slag man you could have just said your lesson was bad. Prick
    Riryoku
    Ralph: myeah, pretty good lesson, but I find it more a powerchord lessen than a metal lesson [POSTED: 21 May 2004 - 17:26]|
    I dunno about real metal, but that's what nu-metal's based on. Power chords.
    Ralph
    myeah, pretty good lesson, but I find it more a powerchord lessen than a metal lesson