Metal Progressions

The lesson about soloing over metal progressions. Describes metal chord progressions with unusual chord movement.

21
Hey, I'm back with another lesson. This one's on soloing over metal progressions. Typically, metal chord progressions involve unusual chord movement, like E5 to F5 (1 to b2) or E5 to Bb5 (1 to b5) or E5 to D#5 (1 to 7). These movements are illustrated in Fig 1:
Fig 1:
   E5      F5   E5    Bb5      D#5 E5   
E|------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--------------------3--------8------------------------------|
A|-2-2-2-2-3-----2----1--------6---2--------------------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-1-----0-----------------0--------------------------|
This type of chordal movement should sound familiar if you play a lot of metal. The question is, how to play lead over it? The answer is using uncommon scales (outside of metal that is). The E diminished scale is frequently used by players like Trey Azagthoth and Kerry King (of Morbid Angel and Slayer respectively) and has a great sound as it emphasises the notes F and Bb (b2 and b5)
Fig 2:   
E|-------------------------------------9-10-12---------------------|
B|-----------------------------9-11-12-----------------------------|
G|---------------------9-10-12-------------------------------------|
D|-----------8-9-11-12---------------------------------------------|
A|-7-8-10-11-------------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
Another great scale is the Phrygian-dominant which, if you're interested is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale. The Phrygian-dominant is often used by Joe Satriani, and Eric Hoffman of Deicide
Fig 3:
E|-------------------------------------------12-13-16-17-19-20-22-24-|
B|----------------------------------12-13-15-------------------------|
G|----------------------------13-14----------------------------------|
D|-------------------12-14-15----------------------------------------|
A|----------12-14-15-------------------------------------------------|
E|-12-13-16----------------------------------------------------------|
Try playing licks from these scales over your favourite metal songs and chances are you can come up with something that fits.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Azrehan
    Another thing worth looking at for beginners is the scale generator at http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_... This will enable you to look at the scales above on the whole fretboard and unlock the board and add one string runs and tapping parts. Also a neat trick is to find another scale which fits your riff or progression and hop onto that scale when you get to a note that is shared with the scale you are already on. This is a jazz technique.
    stratkat
    So this lesson is basically recomending me a scale:p I didn't find it very helpful.
    runesymboldeath
    sweet was just looking for a simple metal progression so i can practice with a new drum kit i got on comp thx!
    LazyLatinoRocke
    Great lesson. Mostly I been told to use the minor pentatonic so many times and I really was looking for something like this.
    xXxA7X~Fan07xXx
    Nice. If you tune to that, try the first riff in drop c. Sounds killer. I think I will take up progression metal.
    094568029434geo
    well this lesson titled progressions shows one progression that appears to be chromatic as all the diads are 5ths, which, as there is no bass accompaniment implies some modulation but not much. Are there any other progressions in metal? how the hell do you stick riffs together once you have some? should you just build your music around the lyrics?
    HannibalX
    How does the diminished scale work starting from the low E string?
    upwards
    isabiggles
    How does the diminished scale work starting from the low E string? Does it work from the E string? Or am I an idiot?
    Leroy Jenkins
    Daveofbodom wrote: maliceheart18 wrote: spear123 wrote: Gr1m R34p3r wrote: meh.. meh.. meh.. meh...
    tunskies
    yeh but you will get sick of playing the same licks ova and ova again if u only use one scale. learning a new one can give u more inspiration
    ozturk417
    RockYourFace: Why do so many people as for more scales? He gave a diminished scale which does frequently show up in a lot of metal playing. Also you can sound metal with a pentationic minor scale. Its all about patterns and being creative. Learning 1000 scales won't do anything if you can't use them in context of a song or soloing. Thats actually really true, you can make alota stuff sound metal if you try hard enough, scales are just a classification.
    iron_maiden664
    Thank you sooo much! the lesson was killer! The phrygian scale is the one used in Iron Maiden's Powerslave so now I can try it over that AND I know the chords that make that "egyptian" (powerslave) kind of sound!
    Aditya
    ahhh...i finally can improvise over the wacko metal progressions! by the by, pentatonics works well too
    Throneofhecate
    Pretty killer tutorial, im glad you know your DM. Im in a DM band myself and love Morbid angel as well as deicide. \m/
    _3Dblasphemy_
    rancidfan - what is the point -your blatently a talentless 4-chord pop punk player so why are you even looking at metal lessons? just crawl under a cardboard box and die. great lesson - i been lookin for that diminished scale - ill have to try it over some morbid angel songs \m/
    kirk_rules!
    its kinda funny how the comments to a lesson can get soooo off topic lesson was alright. maybe could've added a little something more than death metal. (although i like slayer a little.)
    SilentDeftone
    dan123: so will these work over any progressions in any key i probably sound like a dumbass now but jst wondering gd article
    They should? spam deleted
    dan123
    so will these work over any progressions in any key i probably sound like a dumbass now but jst wondering gd article
    nish
    c'mon.. what is the point on wasting your time bashing all these lessons? your wasting your own time and it isn't helpful to anyone. nice lesson.
    RockYourFace
    Why do so many people as for more scales? He gave a diminished scale which does frequently show up in a lot of metal playing. Also you can sound metal with a pentationic minor scale. Its all about patterns and being creative. Learning 1000 scales won't do anything if you can't use them in context of a song or soloing.