How To Play Deathcore

Okay, I've looked into it, and here are some tips on playing, and examples/scales. I have written a lot, so sorry about that, but I would rather be thorough and write something worth reading.

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Okay: here is a rough guide to playing deathcore in the styles of Bring me the Horizon, Dead Man in Reno and Job for a Cowboy etc. (The bands Nile and Brain Drill also use derivatives of this scale sometimes, but they're Technical Death Metal as opposed to Deathcore). The main tuning that deathcore bands use is Drop B: B F# B E G# C#, or Drop C, but D A D G B E will do fine as well. Now, Deathcore mainly uses the following scale, which is known as a Spanish Gypsy scale, which is basically, without overdrive, a Hebrew scale, and is used traditionally in Jewish music; TRUST ME: the afformentioned bands all use this scale, or, more often, a chromatic derivative of this scale. A A# C# D E F G
e|-----------------------------5-6-8--------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------5-6-8--------------------------------------------|
G|-------------------6-7--------------------------------------------------|
D|-------------5-7-8------------------------------------------------------|
A|-----4-5-7-8------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-5-6--------------------------------------------------------------------|
Now, when played right, this will sound very Jewish or Egyptian, but even with overdrive, this still may now sound quite right, so, now tune to Drop D (or whatever drop tuning you have). II. The Style. Deathcore often, among other things, uses chromatic elements, particularly in heavy breakdowns, and it also implements pinch harmonics, and a heavy use of triplets in playing, so this is an example of a chromatisized (is that even a word?) scale derived from the Spanish Gypsy scale, only in a Drop tuning.
e|-----------------------------------------5-6-8-6-5------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------5-6-8-----------8-6-5------------------------|
G|-----------------------------6-7-9-----------------------9-7-6------------------|
D|-----------------------5-7-8-----------------------------------8-7-5------------|
A|---------------4-5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5-4----|
D|-0-1-3-4-5-7-8--------------------------------------------------------------etc.|
Now, lets look at some riffs using this. Example 1: Tell Slater Not To Wash His D**k - Bring Me The Horizon Verse 1
C#|-------------------------------------------------------|
G#|-------------------------------------------------------|
 E|-------------------------------------------------------|
 B|------------------8-7-5-----------------------5h7------|
F#|-5------5h8-4-----------8p5---------------5h8-----5h8--|
 B|---0000-------00------------00-5h8-00-5h8--------------|
      ****       **            **     ** 
Example 2: Entombment Of A Machine
D|---------------------------------|---------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------|---------------------------------|
F|---------------------------------|---------------------------------|
C|---------------------------------|---------------------------------|
G|---------------------3-3-4-4-----|---------------------3-3-4-4-----|
C|-1-1-4-4-1-1-3-3-0-0---------0-0-|-1-1-4-4-1-1-3-3-0-0---------0-0-|
As you can see, both of these use this scale, and I could use other examples, but you get the idea. Now, for "the finale" here is a riff I have written myself to give you an idea. a riff based on the scale: 4/4 time, played fast.
e|--------------------------------------|-----------------------------|
B|----------------------------------6*--|-----------------------------|
G|----------------------------6h7h9-----|-----------------------------|
D|--------------------------------------|-----------------------------|
A|----5---4---8p7------8p7p5------------|-----------------------------|
D|-00---0---0------55-------------------|-----------------------------|
   **   *   *      **
a chromatic based breakdown that I wrote, not relating to the scale though, this has a much more tech death approach to it. sounds evil haha.
E------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------2-----------------|
D|-0-3-2-0-1-4-0-5-6-0-3---1h2h3h4-2h3h4h5-|

-------------------------------------4h5h6h7-----|
-------------------------------------------------|
---------3*------------3h4h5h6-------------------|
-------------------------------4h5h6h7-----------|
-------------------------------------------------|
-0-0-0-0----0-0-3h4h5h6--------------------------|
So, thats it: this gives you a rough idea of rhythm deathcore guitar, I hope I helped.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    deftools
    longlive m&m wrote : sorry i hate deathcore with all my life beacuse it s to much noise and it s stupid so then why the F@ck are you reading a lesson on how to play deathcore pussy?
    Banjocal
    deftools wrote: longlive m&m wrote : sorry i hate deathcore with all my life beacuse it s to much noise and it s stupid so then why the F@ck are you reading a lesson on how to play deathcore pussy?
    i like you.
    Banjocal
    hiya, tell me what you think. this is my first lesson, but if you think its bad, let rip
    by will alone
    btw thats the d harmonic minor scale and the first and second scale diagrams are kind of messed up, in the first one, the 8 on the high e string should be a 9, and same with the second one. also in the second one (if youre still using the same scale), the low e string should be 0-2-3-5-7-8 not 0-1-3-4-5-7-8
    Banjocal
    This helped me out a lot more than you'd think man, I appreciate it.
    thanks ! i will be posting more later, running over some of the more complicated stuff, this was my first lesson so i hope you enjoy it. =]
    Banjocal
    a spanish gypsy? flamenco? nah the SG scale is hebrew/egyptian: jewish music basically.
    Banjocal
    actually it is, try constructing the scale starting with D. its a d minor with a raised seventh. Ya its in a different mode, but its still based on d harmonic minor. and btw it says that in the article.
    meh, this is the position they use most in it, and whatever the name, it is the same difference there are lots of different options, this is basically the scale used in Kliezemer (i think thats how its spelled), and i tried it with overdrive. lol im not jewish, but i liek the music
    Banjocal
    btw thats the d harmonic minor scale and the first and second scale diagrams are kind of messed up, in the first one, the 8 on the high e string should be a 9, and same with the second one. also in the second one (if youre still using the same scale), the low e string should be 0-2-3-5-7-8 not 0-1-3-4-5-7-8
    umm this ISNT a harmonic minor: it is an exotic scale, it is used by bands like JFAC, BMTH and Iron Maiden: it is a jewish scale designed to give an egypian sounding theme. i have covered harmonic minor and this is not it. also, i said that deathcore incorporates a very chromatic style into thier scales, so it will look messed up if youre trying to pick it apart using theory: the 0 1 3 4 are used frequently in deathcore breakdowns. it is also known as a Phrygian Dominant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_scale...
    xpierox
    dude that was ****in amazing i mean helped me a lot dude u should do a lesson for pitchin harmonic all that stuff u know plz thx again buddy
    batfink84
    maybe i need to buy a bass guitar, or a 7 string i dnt know, my riffs just dont stick together well , maybe i need a teacher
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    I like deathcore. This will help me alot for riff ideas. Thanks for posting this lesson. Lots of big time bands play deathcore. Avenged Sevenfold for instance. I like to play riffs on the first two strings mostly cause I'm a rhythm guitar kinda guy so. I'm gonna mix my rhythm along with the leads. I been at a riff blockage lately but your lesson will help me out. I'll give updates on riff ideas I come up with. Might even post some. I usually just stick with two riffs and mix them around here and there.
    johnnyherenz17
    Is it possible to add some melodic influence with a relevant major chord(instead of dark sounding melody.) to a minor chord in between the song while writing deathcore riff.
    Banjocal
    DropC09 wrote: Hungarian minor works pretty awesome too
    the only difference is the G#
    deftools
    isnt that the double harmonic major? it follows the same semitone pattern, but the phygrian dominant, hungarian minor and double harmonic major are all quite similar, so i could be wrong. it goes semitone, tone and a half, semitone, tone , semitone , tone and a half , semitone.
    JGRAVES
    Avenged Sevenfold? Deathcore? I'm confused. Anyways, man I've been jamming with a buddy of mine real big into death metal and I'm always trying to put together some brutal riffs. I picked up my guitar after glancing at that scale and it seems likes its going to be a lot easier already. I have read somewhere too that the harmonic minor scale is exotic and used is middle eastern music but never would've have related it too death metal.
    Banjocal
    if any deathcore fan can figure it out themselves, how come until i posted this, there was no information relating to the scale used in deathcore, or the theorey behind it? yeah...
    Brutalkush
    Ok first of all the spanish gypsy scale you are referring to is also called the phyrigian dominant mode, and it is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale. Also, the harmonic minor scale and phyrigian dominant mode are very common in death metal in genral, not just deathcore, it is used by necrophagist, nile, death, behemoth, the faceless, vital remains and many others, as well as neoclassical such yngwie malmsteen, syphmony x, and even mozart. And lastly most deathcore sucks and is a shitty watered down bastardization of real death metal with repetitive breakdowns that are supposed to be br00tal but arnt and takes almost no musical talent to write. Real death metal is so much better like deicide, obituary, Death, morbid angel, suffocation, six feet under, immolation, cannibal corpse and the other ones i previously mentioned.
    deftools
    that scale (the first one you posted in standard tuning) is the double harmonic major scale,( a.k.a the arabic scale or byzantine scale), I checked it follows the exact same pattern of semitones. it took me ages to find out the name (credit to AlanHB!!) its not really used much in conventional western or classical music
    PS2178
    Great job for a first lesson bro. I had no idea what scale they used... now I do. Thanks.
    Banjocal
    PS2178
    I had no idea what scale they used... now I do. Thanks.
    Lol I stumbled on it by chance.
    TOE_ATRIX
    TOE_ATRIX wrote: the same scale can be used with flamenco
    just read you already mentioned it, ignore me
    Banjocal
    ya i know, the scale definitely has a middle eastern sound to it. its funny cuz ive been using this scale in some of the music that ive been writing, and i didnt even know that they used it in deathcore lol.
    well lol, as i said, i originally wanted to learn some jewish sorta music because, well, it sounds cool, and every other guitarist i meet wants to play metal or guns n roses sorta thing, so i thought somethign a bit more experimental was quite refreshing
    Dark515Rogue
    Pretty good, but the last note, on the high E string, of the scale progression of the first tab is wrong: it should be 9, not 8 =)
    by will alone
    ya i know, the scale definitely has a middle eastern sound to it. its funny cuz ive been using this scale in some of the music that ive been writing, and i didnt even know that they used it in deathcore lol.
    by will alone
    actually it is, try constructing the scale starting with D. its a d minor with a raised seventh. Ya its in a different mode, but its still based on d harmonic minor. and btw it says that in the article.
    jonnowev
    Pretty simplistic, any serious fan of deathcore will be able to work all of this out for themselves, but still decent for total noobs.