How To Play Deathcore. Part II

Hi! In this one I will be covering some of the more advanced techniques. Read lesson one first.

Ultimate Guitar
Hi, this lesson will cover more advanced techniques of deathcore, and maybe a bit of tech death: now, I can't sweep pick, so don't expect anything on that, because there are lessons everywhere online. In this lesson, I will basically cover techniques that a lot of guitarists (if you're an expert then this lesson isn't really any use to you) get stuck on, and it can either cause you to play it too fast, out of time, or unwanted strings ringing. I: Triplets For a beginner (and some early intermediate players), triplets can be harder to achieve than you may think: remember, timing is VITAL for being a good guitarist: for instance, Slash is an excellent guitarist (don't have a go for my tastes he was the first guitarist who came into my head), but, if he played in a band and couldn't keep in time, then he is useless. I cannot hammer this point home hard enough: TIMING IS EVERYTHING: music is just as much about the notes that ARE being played as much as they are about the notes that aren't. Basically, all the technique and skill in the world counts for nothing if you are playing a beat out of time. And when you think about it, all the notes have to be played cleanly, in time, and flow smoothly: if you are self taught or something to that effect, these things may get back to you in later life. NOTE THE TUNING.
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Okay, so play this riff that I made up. I bet money you instantly tried to play it quickly. Now, if you don't have a metronome, no worries; tap your foot slowly, and play in time. Slowly, build up speed until its roughly at 180-200 bpm. Note that this lesson will use the Spanish Gypsy/Hebrew scale (see previous lesson). Now, doing these hammerons and pulloffs may feel awkward if you're not used to doing this quickly (I should stress you should use your pinkie finger for these). To build up finger dexterity, practise a chromatic scale: Mick Thomson slipknot swears by this scale for building finger dexterity.
Practise this, and, on the way down, play this:
Practise slowly, making sure you play each note evenly, tapping your foot and playing in time. After a while, play it as hammerons: remember: take it slowly, and evenly, if you can't hear the hammerons that well, plug into an amp, and add OD and your problem will be solved. Now, four finger hammerons are pretty rare, and are only really used in tech death (Brain Drill - Sadistic Abductive for example, or Anomalous). Doing pulloffs are significantly harder than hammerons, so practise this one A LOT. After a while, you will notice you can play faster. After a while, try this ascending run which is based around a Spanish gypsy scale, play fast, and smoothly. Note that the final triplet is one beat too long.
Okay, final note (no pun intended), remember to KEEP YOUR FINGERS BENT: use the TIPS of your fingers to play the triplets, or your hands will hurt in the future, the same rule applies to playing piano, if you keep your fingers flat, you will damage your hands: musicians actually make the movements with their hands as small as possible when playing fast and complex riffs. II: String Skipping String skipping is a problem because players often hit the strings in-between, and this can make it sound messy. And even though people say that metal musicians cant play their instruments, they play stuff more complicated than any other genre (except maybe neoclassical shred ^_^), and if they took off the OD, you would find out that everything would sound really clean and neat. SO! Lets start with a riff :) Tell Slater Not to Wash His D**k Bring Me The Horizon
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     *   *    *        *   *    *        ****     *       ****
Now, it is important to make sure you don't hit the A string when you play the skip notes: try to mute the A with the side of your finger, and make sure you alternate pick. You may notice I use this particular song in teaching, and thats because it is so good for beginning deathcore, so I strongly advise you learn this song. III: Pinch Harmonics Plug in the amp, gain up full, overdrive. Fret the 5th fret on the G. Hold the pick so that the tip is roughly 1-2mm away from the side of your thumb, and as you pick the note, immediately afterwards, lightly brush the string with the side of your thumb, try this in multiple places above the pickups until you get a shrill, high pitched squealing sound. This lesson focuses on it. This technique takes practise, so KEEP TRYING! You'll get it in the end =]. IV: Natural Harmonics Lightly place your fingers on the string, and play the note, lifting your finger off immediately after you play it: by now, you really should know about natural harmonics: in metal, if used at all (mainly in tech death), for metal they sound best from the 1st fret to the 4th fret. The places available for harmonics are unlimited, even being able to play it at fret 2.5, but try it on the 3rd fret. V: putting them all together (3* Pinch harmonic / [3] natural harmonic) Try this:

Okay so there ya go :). Personally I feel this lesson wasn't as useful as my first, but I learned the hard way, and subsequently had to relearn timing etc, and I think others should also learn this.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    once i saw "slash is an excellent guitarist" i stopped reading, printed the part that said "slash is an excellent guitarist", took a dump, and wiped my butt with it.
    nice lesson. when i do pinch harmonics i touch the string with my middle finger instead of my thumb. i think its easier, but thats just me
    This is a really good lesson. You might want to include tapped harmonics and rolling hammer-ons as well practicing with your sweeps they will prove to be a great asset (no pun) in this kind of music in the future.
    This is a really good lesson. You might want to include tapped harmonics and rolling hammer-ons as well practicing with your sweeps they will prove to be a great asset (no pun) in this kind of music in the future.
    lol i cant sweeppick myself, i felt itd be hypocritical to try and teach others it =P read the last lesson for rolling hammerons: the is an ascendig and descending lick with it.
    good lesson - I agree with your statement about other types of music thinking it is not playing if you play heavier music - I think this music is one of the hardest - I find when jamming with people most of the struggles come from faster music or really slow music - which goes back to the timing issue. Timing is the IT factor for a band - I also love the tightness of heavy music when they stop and then go.. My last drummer was great at that - I only had to look over when we were free jamming and we both would hit it - the bass player on the hand = no timing... Good lesson - and I can sweep pick but not good enough yet to incorporate it..
    Hey dude I admire your drive to write a lesson exploring the deathcore formula, but what the hell if the gypsy hebrew scale lol. In my experience most deathcore guitarists use scraps of harmonic minor. The most cliche metalcore death bands work with the scale in the rooted on the top open string. For example B harmonic minor on a drop b guitar This way the breakdowns hit on the scales root and tie the riffs together. Im not a total pro about this stuff but it looks like a should write a part three to your series. oh and dont reference "slash" when your talking breakdowns. I shook my head when i saw that.
    Great lesson, even though Bring Me The Horizon get shit for things they do, I still think their first album was ****ing sick!!!
    also make sure it's jammy! add lots of triplet parts for example if you have a 8th note chuggy breakdown, make some of those 8th notes triplet 8th notes. another thing is filthy 3rd harmony, an example is one guitar does |-4-7-| the other does |-7-10-|. and if you want to go slightly chelsea grin spec do lots of E|-0--0-0-0--0--0--0-0--0-0--| A|-1--1-1-1--1--1--1-1-- 1-1--| something like that and if you want to go super f*uckd up, do the E|-0--0-0-0--0--0--0-0--0-0--| A|-1--1-1-1--1--1--1-1-- 1-1--| but make the other guitar E|-1--1-1-1--1--1--1-1--1-1--| A|-2--2-2-2--2--2--2-2-- 2-2--| sounds so brutal!!!!! and play in drop A and get a vocalist that can do gutteruals and piq squeals aswel as brutal lows and screeching highs. and have an even balance of blastbeats and breakdowns. f*ck everything!