Metalcore - The Basics. Part 3

Metal music and Hardcore have mixed together over the years to bring this subgenre called Metalcore.

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Introduction Long time no see fellow Metalcorians (made up word that makes me sound a little logical). I'm back with yet another Metalcore lesson. Now, hoping that you have read my other two articles on Metalcore and taking some time to practice (the reason why I haven't made any new lessons in a while ?), I will assume that you already know what relative tuning(s) to use, how to Palm-mute, Alternate pick, Add slides into riffs, and incorporate Hammer-ons and Pull-offs. Awesome! You have now set up a basic building structure to improve from. In this lesson I will go more in depth on what it takes to be a decent Metalcore guitarist. Amp Settings The usual amp setting for Metalcore are found in this wonderful lesson. All credit for the Settings and lesson above goes to xASxIxLAYx Getting started Warming up is ideal for any guitarists. Not only does it get your fingers re-familiarized with the fret board after being away from it, but it gets the blood pumping in your fingers and hands so you can play with ease. Below is my warming up schedule that I do almost every day before playing. *WARNING. All of these riffs are played in Drop C tuning (C,G,C,F,A,D). It is best advised to play them in Drop C, but you can also play them in Drop D (D,A,D,G,B,E).
*Conduct all these Excercises in the clean channel. NO DISTORTION!*

Excercise 1
|----------------------------------------------1-2-3-4--|
|-------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------|
|----------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------|
|-------------------1-2-3-4-----------------------------|
|----------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------|
|-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------|

Excercise 2
|----------------------------------------------1-3-2-4--|
|-------------------------------------1-3-2-4-----------|
|----------------------------1-3-2-4--------------------|
|-------------------1-3-2-4-----------------------------|
|----------1-3-2-4--------------------------------------|
|-1-3-2-4-----------------------------------------------|

Excercise 3 (Hammer-ons)
|-------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------| etc to 10th fret,
|-------1h3h4--------2h4h5--------3h5h6--------4h6h7----|    then repeat
|-1h3h4--------2h4h5--------3h5h6--------4h6h7----------|

Excercise 4
|-----------------------1-4-----------------------------|
|-------------------1-4-----1-4-------------------------|
|---------------1-4-------------1-4---------------------|
|-----------1-4---------------------1-4-----------------|
|-------1-4-----------------------------1-4-------------|
|---1-4-------------------------------------1-4---------|

Excercise 5 (Try to make the reach, it'll pay off)
|-----------------------1-5-----------------------------|
|-------------------1-5-----1-5-------------------------|
|---------------1-5-------------1-5---------------------|
|-----------1-5---------------------1-5-----------------|
|-------1-5-----------------------------1-5-------------|
|---1-5-------------------------------------1-5---------|
Good, now that you have warmed your little fingers up, we can begin. Tremolo Picking My idea of Tremolo picking is basically The Alternate picking we learned in Part 2, but faster. What you want to do is Alternate pick, but make sure that your hand spasms a little more. In terms of "proper Tremolo Picking technique," I cant really say much about that other than to practice, and DON'T ANCHOR. Anchoring is bad, and will cause some serious wrist damage. It happened to my uncle and trust me, its not a pretty sight seeing a messed up wrist. For these excercises, if you have a metranome then stay in 4/4 times until you are VERY SURE that you will be able to move on.
Excercise 6 (Tremolo Picking)
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7----------|
|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-----------------8-8-5-5--|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Excercise 7 (Tremolo Picking)
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-7-7-7-7-7-7------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------8-8-8-8-8-8---------------8-8-8-8-8-8-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--------|
|-------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------------------------7-7-7--|

Excercise 8 (Tremolo Picking)
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------7-7-7-7-7-7-7----|
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-6-6-6-6-6-6-7-7-7-7-7-0-0-0-0-4-4-4-4-4-4------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Gallop Picking (A.K.A the horse gallop) Gallop picking is basically Alternate picking, but Gallop picking is used in short bursts rather than a really long continuos riff. How to conduct a Gallop is basically a Down, Up, Down motion of your pick. What you need to do is apply your Alternate picking skills and your Palm-muting skills into one. This is an example from Killswitch Engage's "Reject Yourself"
Excercise 9 (Gallop Picking, Remember to keep your wrist loose)
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------7-6-7---------------------7-6-7------------7-6-4~----|
|----------------------7-5-4-----------------------------------|
|--4-444---------4-444--------9-999--------11-111111-----------|
pm . ...         . ...        . ...         .  . . .
That riff is VERY good to learn because not only will it help you with galloping, but it will also help you with your finger strength, speed, and palm-muting skills. Since we are already on the subject, I want to bring back the Killswitch Engage "My Curse" riff from the first lesson. Some of you probably just skimmed past this, you made a mistake. This riff is simple, but it is a total palm-mute workout for your hands. Take my word, if you practice this riff almost 3-4 times a day, you will see improvement in your right hand stamina. I can palm-mute and nearly play my guitar about x3 longer than I could have when I posted Metalcore - The Basics. Part 1. Please LEARN this riff and always play it. USE ALL DOWN STROKES IN ORDER TO INCREASE YOUR STAMINA.
Excercise 10 Killswitch Engage - "My Curse"
D|----------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------|
F|----------------------------------------------------|
C|-7-----5--------------------------------------------|
C|-5-----3-----------------------------5--------------|
C|---0-0---0-0-/6-0-0-5-0-0-3p0-0-0--7---7-6-5-0-3-5--|
pm   . .   . .    . .   . .     . .              

D|--------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------------------------|
F|--------------------------------------------------|
C|-7-----5------------------------------------------|
G|-5-----3-----------------------------3------------|
C|---0-0---0-0-/6-0-0-5-0-0-3p0-0-0--5---5-4-3-0-3--|
pm   . .   . .    . .   . .     . .
You may not believe it, but it seriously works. Who knew jammin' to Killswitch Engage would pay off haha. The Almighty Pinch Harmonic So young grasshopper, you want to learn the ways of the Pinch harmonic? Well young one, this technique I shall teach you will eventually surpass me. (All kidding aside though,) To Preform a Pinch harmonic hold your pick with your thumb sticking out slightly from the side of your pick. Then pick the string so the pick hits it, and your thumb then hits it immediately afterwards. Not too hard right? wrong. This technique cannot be just "Here ya go, if you try about 2 times you will get the hang of things," no. This technique is usually found by Trial and Error. You know when you get the P.H (Pinch Harmonic) sound when you hear a strong squeal that your guitar is making. To be honest, I can't just teach this to you, you need to find the key and open the pathway yourself. All I can do is try to get you there. *Remember, when you et the P.H to sound out, be sure to bend your string for a jaw dropping sound that will make Paul Gilbert cry. (no offense to any Paul fans, I'm a fan myself hehe) Here are some examples with Pinch Harmonics.
Excercise 11 (P.H)
* - Pinch Harmonic
|---------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------5b*--|
|-2-2--4-4--2-2--4-4--2-2--4-4--2-2--4-4------|
|-0-0--0-0--0-0--0-0--0-0--0-0--0-0--0-0------|
|------------------------------------0-0------|

Excercise 12 (P.H)
|-----------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------3b*--|
|---5-5-5-5-5-5--8-7-5--8-7-5--3-3-3-3-3-3------|
Pm  . . . . . .                . . . . . .
I haven't gotten this technique down yet, but with enough time and effort you will be on your way. Ground Breaking Dissonant Chords I can think of a million artists who use dissonant chords, but I really dont have time trying to list all of them haha. But dissonant chords are very moody sounding and can add depth and aggressiveness to any song. Although I barely know the theory behind them, these are some of the chords. Notice how most of them have the same Shape.
Excercise 13 (Dissonant Chords)
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------2--3--7------------1--2--3--4--5--|
|-1--3--5--7--9---3--5--8--10-11--1--0--0--0--0--0--|
|-3--5--7--9--11-----------8--8---4--1--2--3--4--5--|

*Heres a little chord excercise I have just made*
Excercise 14
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---3--1-------3h5------2h4--7--8--5h8h9-------5h9p5h9p5-4h8p4h8p4---|
|---5--3---3h5------2h4------8--8--------0-000-----------------------|
Pm  .  .                     .  .        . ... <== Gallop Picked.
Whew! What a workout wouldn't you say? Soloing Ready to bust out into mouth watering, skin ripping, eye ball licking shredding and wicked sweet arpeggios? guess again. Before you can do any of that stuff, you need to know some scales dude. Here are some easy scales to start practicing and maybe even memorizing.
Excercise 15
G Major Scale
|----------------------------------2-3-5--|
|-----------------------------3-5---------|
|----------------------2-4-5--------------|
|---------------2-4-5---------------------| Standard Tuning
|--------2-3-5----------------------------|
|---3-5-----------------------------------|

Excercise 16
G Pentatonic Major
|----------------------------3-5----------|
|-----------------------3-5---------------|
|------------------2-4--------------------|
|-------------2-5-------------------------| Standard Tuning
|--------2-5------------------------------|
|---3-5-----------------------------------|

*Here's a cool solo from Killswitch Engage's "Never Again"
|-------------------------------------------17---------|
|---------8--6---5---3---------------/18-17-----15-----|
|-7--7---------------------5-2-0-2-----------------14--|
|-----------0---0---0--0-------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------|

|-15-17p12h13p12-----12-15h17p12h13p12-----12-15h17p12h13p12-----12-|
|-----------------14--------------------14--------------------14----|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

|-15-17p12h13p12----12-17p15p12-17p15p12-17p15p12-17/20-22-22-|
|-----------------14------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|

|-13h15h18p17p15h17p15p13---------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------18p17p15h17p15p13---------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------15p14p12h15p14p12---------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------15p14p12-12~--|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
How to use these scales? One word, Imagination. If you ask me: "How do I solo faster?" or "How do I make solos?" I will say the same thing to you. Imagination. Ransack this site and search all the scale warm-ups and excercises they have, learn and breathe scales. That and Practice will be your goal to soloing. Conclusion Whew am I tired. It took me nearly a whole day to make this lesson. I'm very sorry if you have been waiting for this to come out sooner, just school has really been a drag and I actually do have a real life, lol. Thanks for reading this article, I hope it helped someone out there. Sorry if it didnt answer some of your questions. You can PM me if you have any further questions of suggestions about Metalcore of just plain guitar. But keep in mind that I'm no genius nor have I went to music college, I'm just a teen like the majority of you. Thanks for reading my lesson and I hope that this helps you on your way to metalcore music! Most people might think that metalcore is really stupid and the riffs sound the same, but with a little creativity you can make a peice of art. -TDG Tabs

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    sheeshkabob
    These flamers can suck it. I'm a beginner and I found it helpful, if at the least just to show me some warm-up scales and exercises to build up dexterity and strength. Why do you have to hate, if you don't like it then just move on in your life. I bet all of you sit here and flame bands you don't like either. Get a life people, this guy took time out of his day to try and help musicians, even if it was just 1 out there. At least he's contributing to the world.
    thatwhiteguy69
    diefordethklok wrote: I really don't think that those chords were dissonant, lol. Dissonant chords are like, if they're two notes, they are one note in the key you're playing, and one out. To my understanding, anyway. It's also known as "outside sound".
    dissonant CHORDS are diminished, augmented, and suspensions with non harmonic tones.(notes that dont follow the chord building concept; superposed thirds ex. R 3 5 7 9 etc.
    DropC09
    Yeah this wasnt very informative... and that link was complete shit with a side of ignorance. This would be good for absolute begginers, but even then some subjects are misunderstood and unclear. However, he did take his time to atleast help out fellow guitarists who were curious. 7/10
    screamus
    westonrulez wrote: pretty sic lesson dude...and whats the point in logging on and commenting that this lesson sucks? get a life lolz
    I didn't read All the comments above. But this lesson isn't exactly top notch. This series is more of basic exercises and examples of songs. People are just commenting on this fact and how it's not very helpful because he doesn't really explain anything in depth or theory-wise. We're just warning people.
    westonrulez
    pretty sic lesson dude...and whats the point in logging on and commenting that this lesson sucks? get a life lolz
    diego2400
    Nice Work, this is something that anyone can Follow, there are some Lessons that are so God Damm tecnical that it makes complete Beginners to Quit Guitar xDD (I've seen that happen) so, Great Job that you keep't it Simple, I love Metalcore...
    bbbsmith1136
    i am strictly a metal guitarist and metalcore is or was my favorite genre of metal to play and i understand that this lesson was for beginners but i figured id be able to take something out of the lesson. Alot of the information was just simple techniques that any metal guitar player should learn, not necessarily metalcore. Some of it was just plain wrong, like the dissonant chords. I think if your going to try to teach then you should make sure everything is perfect so beginners don't get started off on the wrong foot. Also i think you should have included more techniques such as harmonizing. At least the 5ths. But I do give you credit for taking your time to try and help a fellow brethren of the ax. And i wish you would have included the theory behind the techniques because thats something i have always avoided because i was to lazy to learn. I kick myself in the ass for that because it would have helped me learn a lot faster then i learned. I still slack with my theory and the one and only reason i even checked these lessons out was because i wanted to learn a little more basic theory about the type of music i play on a daily basis
    Josh_crosby
    haha. i read the lesson and i thought it was ok. I thought it was funny that people criticized it after i thought it was ok.
    Goblin67
    hey guys lay off hes teaching me music that i love to play so chill out everyone teaches different and just becuse he got some stuff wrong doesnt mean we shouldnt value his opioin but if the author is reading this it would be amazing if u did a lesson on commeny used chord shapes cuz that always seems to improve my song writing abilties and then u can experiment with them becuse im probly not gunna sit down and learn thoery till the cows come home but give me some good sounding chords and i can make something beatifulthanks guys and this is just my opioin i hope the author reads this and thanks for the lesson
    xAxioNx
    good stuff! but hey, how to do a PH with your left hand? people who own that technique say its much easier especially on low tunes
    sammo_boi
    that wasn't too bad. at least it had plenty of info, unlike some other articles. those "thirds", aren't third chords. if you had of paid attention it is in drop c so they are suspended chords, which are dissonant.
    jthm_guitarist
    Galloping is 3 notes: one plus two halves Usually: E-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-00 --E-SS-E-SS-E-SS- E-SS ^Hopefully that showed up right, but it's one eighth note and two sixteenths. I think your example was triplet bursts. And that "warming up" exercise is just for your fingers and has nothing to do with being in Drop C.
    pigeonmafia
    You also seem to have put major and minor 3rds as dissonant chords (not chords either, just having a root and third). If those two intervals are dissonant, EVERY chord is dissonant. Basicaly, unless I'm very much mistaken, an interval of a major or minor third is not dissonant.
    Metal_Man_Webbo
    hey guys lay off hes teaching me music that i love to play so chill out everyone teaches different and just becuse he got some stuff wrong doesnt mean we shouldnt value his opioin but if the author is reading this it would be amazing if u did a lesson on commeny used chord shapes cuz that always seems to improve my song writing abilties and then u can experiment with them becuse im probly not gunna sit down and learn thoery till the cows come home but give me some good sounding chords and i can make something beatifulthanks guys and this is just my opioin i hope the author reads this and thanks for the lesson
    Mate you could at least attempt to spell corectly. Also, anyone who knows "proper"metal knows that metal-core just stoe their riffs from In Flames and At the Gates. Go away, your genre is almost dead and this lesson only helps this. Melo-Death FTW!!!
    troyponce
    TDG Tabs wrote: Okay, i understand that you guys are like "Wtf!!!" but this lesson was for BEGINNERS. I accidently posted it in the "colums" forum instead of the Lessons forums. this is a BEGINNER LESSON, and is protrayed to beginners only. The way that i teach is that I tell people what to play, then after they have practiced it, i make them understand what they are playing. I dont want everyone to be overflowed with information all at once. sorry if this wasent what you were expecting.
    Half of this is you saying "So uh, there's this cool thing that I don't really know a whole lot about, but here's an example." Not only that, you have godawful examples. Reject Yourself, a song with some tough string skipping on the rhythm and a lot of left hand work to teach a how to chug? You can't even suggest Daylight Dies, a song on the same album which is the perfect example? This is your third article in the series that is devoid of content. You are teaching nothing about metalcore, and you have said yourself that you don't really know much about it. You should be learning rather than trying to teach,.
    diefordethklok
    I really don't think that those chords were dissonant, lol. Dissonant chords are like, if they're two notes, they are one note in the key you're playing, and one out. To my understanding, anyway. It's also known as "outside sound".
    TDG Tabs
    Okay, i understand that you guys are like "Wtf!!!" but this lesson was for BEGINNERS. I accidently posted it in the "colums" forum instead of the Lessons forums. this is a BEGINNER LESSON, and is protrayed to beginners only. The way that i teach is that I tell people what to play, then after they have practiced it, i make them understand what they are playing. I dont want everyone to be overflowed with information all at once. sorry if this wasent what you were expecting.
    pigeonmafia
    sammo_boi wrote: that wasn't too bad. at least it had plenty of info, unlike some other articles. those "thirds", aren't third chords. if you had of paid attention it is in drop c so they are suspended chords, which are dissonant.
    Exercise 13, the 'chords' starting on the 5th string. They are 3rds.
    troyponce
    I'm pretty sure those KSE transcriptions are wrong, and that's the least of your worries. This seems like a pretty general 'basic metal exercise/technique' guide than anything specific. Really, is "imagination" your only advice for how to write metalcore? What about teaching how to harmonize in thirds, which is pretty much the foundation of the genre? Maybe a sus2 chords (as applied to metal) primer? Sliding octaves as alternatives to power chords? The annoying lick* that EVERY metalcore band uses over and over again? This simply doesn't contain enough relevant information. I'm not trying to rag on you aimlessly, if you're planning on doing more lessons in the series then I'm happy to help add content and edit if you PM me. *This lick [code] -----10-- -7--8----- [/code]