Writing Good Metalcore Riffs

A lot of songwriters oversimplify, overthink, or overcomplicate the songwriting process for metalcore music. Here are some helpful hints (with tab examples!) of how to write catchy and heavy metalcore riffs.

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Metalcore is a genre everybody seems to want to get into these days, and it seems more and more every day that technique and complexity are being thrown out the window. One great way to stick out in the huge sea of DIY-metalcore bands out there is to just write awesome riffs. Now, I'm not saying you have to be a guitar guru to even think about writing metalcore music, and I'm definitely not saying you can't play riffs without some crazy technique. In fact, I've only been playing guitar for about two years and I just started writing guitar parts maybe a year ago. Being a somewhat amateur guitarist myself I've had to devise some songwriting methods that make riffs sound powerful, heavy, and catchy without having to play like Dimebag Darrell. The first concept I'm going to address is the difference between a verse riff and a chorus riff. Now I'm not saying that there are riffs that you can only play while there's singing, or that you have to play over and over in a song, or anything. But generally speaking, the more complex riffs should be saved for the verses, or just for some place where it doesn't compete with the other action in the song. Here's an example, from a song I wrote, of a riff that I put during a non-chorus phrase. It's complicated enough that it would have competed with the singing in the chorus. All notes are eighth notes, ~120 BPM, drop C:
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
C|-----------------|---------9-9-9-9-|-----------------|-----------------|
G|---3-5-----3-----|---5-7-0-7-7-8-8-|-8-7-0-7-5-0-5-3-|-2---------------|
C|-0-----0-0---0-0-|-7---------------|-----------------|---0-0-0-5-0-3-5-|
PM .     . .   . .   .     .               .     .         . . .   .
As you can see, there's kind of a lot going on there. I know, I know, you're thinking "What are you talking about? I could write soooo many more notes into that! That's nothing!" Yes, I know. You probably could. But why would you? This riff is crowded enough as it is. You should save your amazingly complicated note-smashing for the solo. (The main reason this riff sounds so crowded, in case you're wondering, is because of its pedal point technique. I'll get to that later though.) Here's a more spacious riff that I used for the chorus of a different song. There's a subtle difference, but it's there: this riff is focused more on the open C chord and lower notes on the C string, and although it still uses pedal point it's in a much more subtle way. It's hard to explain, but if you play both riffs you'll notice that the first one is more crowded by its notes and this one just seems to resolve and flow along better. Eighth note rhythm, ~160 BPM, drop C:
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
C|-----------------|-----------------|---------5-3-----|-----------------|
G|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---8-7-5---|---8-7---3-5-----|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-----|-----------------|
C|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-------0-|-0-----0-----0000|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-----0-7-|-5-0-5-3-2-0-0-2-|
PM       .       .   .     .     ....        .     .       .       . .
So, do you get the idea? The more crowded by notes, the more the riff will compete with the rest of the instruments, particularly the vocals. These two riffs, though they use similar notes and a similar rhythm, sound very different because of this. Now that you understand that brief idea, let's move on to some specific tips.

Tip #1: Pedal Points

-- I told you I would get back to it... This is quite possibly the most important part of rhythm metalcore riffing. Did you notice, in those examples, how nearly ever note that's palm muted is the same note? That's because writing a simple, non-crowded, metal melody on your 5th string is probably never going to sound heavy enough to fit in this genre. You have to open up some space in your melodies and replace some notes with a low palm mute. It gives you a chuggy sound that's very rhythmic and very heavy. The way you do this is by returning every once in a while to a low note that corresponds with the chord that your riff goes over. In the first example, the first and fourth measures work over a C minor chord. As such, the pedal point is going to be the low C. The second and third measures work over a G minor chord, so the pedal point is going to be G. I'll get more into chord progressions and scales later, but for now just know that once you get your chord progression figured out it should be easy to know where to put your pedal point. Here's how the first riff would sound if I put in some more riff notes instead of pedal points. They all work, but it's not heavy enough. Try playing it, and tell me: Does it sound good? The correct answer is no, not yet.
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
C|-----------------|---------9-9-9-9-|-----------------|-----------------|
G|-2-3-5-3-2-3-7-8-|-3-5-7-5-7-7-8-8-|-8-7-5-7-5-3-5-3-|-2-5-5-5---------|
C|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|---------5-7-3-5-|
Eew.

Tip #2: Harmony

-- So at this point, if you're thinking, "Geez, dude, your riffs suck. You're telling me that these little simple riffs are the real secret to getting a metalcore sound?", I understand. Sometimes very simple riffs can sound sort of bland until you add harmony. Generally, when I know I want some harmony I will try and harmonize every note that sounds more like melody than rhythm. I'll use the first riff as an example. Remember, this is a verse riff, so we're trying to get it to sound pretty full because we don't have to worry as much about competition with other instruments. The focus at this point in the song really is on the guitar. So why don't we just harmonize every note? That's actually a good idea, except there are a few rules we should cover first. Rule #1: Don't harmonize pedal points. It sounds way too muddy, and the pedal notes are really supposed to be the low chuggy rhythm parts anyway. What better note to use than the lowest note of the chord? There isn't one. Rule #2: Don't harmonize chords. You might think that having a bunch of harmonized notes would be cool, but it isn't. This generally includes anything with two or more notes. Rule #3: Pick a harmony and stick to it. In vocal and classical harmonies it can be sort of cool to have the harmony part hang out at a note while the melody changes, so that the interval changes from third to fourth to fifth and whatnot. In metalcore guitar harmony, this is not the case. You generally just want to harmonize everything in thirds. As boring as that sounds, remembering big complicated harmony parts - even if they are just thirds - can get out of hand pretty quickly. IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Let's say I have a riff that repeats 4 times. I do not want to harmonize it 4 times! I'd probably do something like have both guitars play the riff, normally, then one guitar will play harmony. Then they both play it normal again, then the second guitar does harmony. Harmony can be cool but only sparingly. You don't need it all the time. Okay, now let's take a look at that riff again, harmonized:
D|-----------------|-----------------|--------------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|--------------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|--------------------|-----------------|
C|-----------------|---------9-9-9-9-|--------------------|-----------------|
G|---7-8-----7-----|---5-7-0-7-7-8-8-|-12-10-0-10-8-0-8-7-|-5---------------|
C|-0-----0-0---0-0-|-7---------------|--------------------|---0-0-0-5-0-3-5-|
PM .     . .   . .   .     .                 .      .         . . .   .
Nice! Notice that I didn't quite harmonize everything because, well, it sounds bad. Your ear always reigns supreme over any of these rules. However, I did leave the pedal notes and chords unharmonized, like I said I would, and everything is done in thirds. These two guitar parts sound really cool together, and if you have a friend who plays guitar you can go try it out right now and see. It really fills space and adds that whole metalcore feeling. Another side note, in case you don't know how to find a third: take the note you're going to harmonize, move it up a degree in the scale, then move it up another one. Tada! In this key - C minor - A# becomes D, C becomes D#, D# becomes G, etc.

Tip #3: Hammering On, Pulling Off, And Tapping

-- I know that really fast tapping might sound sort of intimidating to some of you, but before you throw your arms up in the air and say "I'm skipping this section!" just give it a chance. There are some useful techniques for getting a crisp, clean, fast sounding tapping section of a riff without having to play anything very difficult. Let me explain with an example. Consider the following riff:
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|------------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|------------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|------------------|
C|-5ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA~|ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------5-3-----|-5ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA~|ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----------5-8h7|
G|-5ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA~|ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------5-3-----|-5ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA~|ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------5-8------|
C|-------00--------|---000-00----5-3-|-------00--------|---000-00---------|
PM       ..            ... ..                ..            ... ..
The last five notes of the last measure are played as eighth notes, except the 8h7 is two sixteenth notes. It's pretty easy to play, and it sounds okay, but wouldn't it be a little bit cooler to make it twice as fast? The other three measures are sort of slow and dragging, and it makes you want to have a fast little diddly in the last one. So how can we add more notes there without making it too hard to play? Well what if you try this instead for the last bar?
D|------------------------|
A|------------------------|
F|------------------------|
C|-ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------------5p0h8p7-|
G|-ZYABLA~HUYABLA------5p0h8p0--------|
C|---000-00---------------|
PM   ... ..
All the hammer ons and pull offs are sixteenth notes. This sounds significantly cooler, and it's just about as easy to play. It's a great way to fill up that space that we're trying to nail in all our verse riffs. In fact, this is a riff from one of my songs and the other guitar plays harmony every once in a while like this:
D|---------------------------|
A|---------------------------|
F|---------------------------|
C|-ZYABLA~HUYABLA--------------8p0h12p10-|
G|-ZYABLA~HUYABLA------8p0h12p0----------|
C|---000-00------------------|
PM   ... ..
Sounds pretty metalcore if you ask me.

Tip #4: Dissonance

-- This tip is mostly for choruses, because you don't want to use too many chords in verses. Here's an example of a riff I wrote using dominant chords. Dominant chords are probably your best dissonant-chord tool, they just have that metalcore sound you're going for.
D|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
A|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|-------------------|
F|---------7ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-10-10-10-10-9-9-9-9-|---------7ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-9-9-9-9-10-10-7-7-|
C|---------6ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|---------------------|---------6ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-------------------|
G|-0-------5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-8--8--8--8--7-7-7-7-|-0-------5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-7-7-7-7-8--8--5-5-|
C|-0-0-0-0-----0-0-|---------------------|-0-0-0-0-----0-0-|-------------------|
PM   . . .     . .                           . . .     . .
 
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
C|---------8ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|---------8ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|---------6ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|---------5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|
G|-5-------7ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-5-------7ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-3-------5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|-2-------4ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----|
C|-5-5-5-5-5---5-5-|-5-5-5-5-5---5-5-|-3-3-3-3-3---3-3-|-2-2-2-2-2---2-2-|
PM   . . .     . .     . . .     . .     . . .     . .     . . .     . .
This riff is constructed all around diminished chords. So, in case you didn't already know the shape for diminished chords on the 6th and 5th strings, I guess now you do. I think this riff sounds great, it's very simple to play, and it's very metalcore because of the dissonance. Dissonance fits very well by itself and it's pretty hard to overdo it. I'm not saying you can't, because you can, but it's tough in this genre. Here are some rules for using dissonance: Rule #1: Always be careful with dissonance if you're going to have singing. Dissonance generally sounds bad underneath a melody. And it's not a good bad either. Rule #2: Don't play anything too melodic on another guitar over a dissonant chord. So if you're writing your song in C minor and you play a C minor riff over a Cdim chord, it's going to sound pretty funny. Unless you're playing a riff in a diminished key that was meant to go over a diminished chord, it's not likely to sound right. There's a difference between using a dissonant interval and using a dissonant everything. You still have to play in the right key. Rule #3: One dissonant interval in a chord is enough. Dominant 7ths, diminished, augmented, minor seconds... those sorts of things. There is very rarely an occasion where you need the dissonance of a chord like G7add11+ or something. Here's another example of a riff using a minor second interval every once in a while for accent. You get a cool Underoath-ish feel when you do it. 8th note rhythm, ~160 BPM
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|---------------4-|-------------4---|-----------------|--4ZYABLA~HUYABLA~-----------|
F|---------------7-|-------------7---|-----------------|--7ZYABLA~HUYABLA~-----------|
C|---------2h3-----|---------5h0-----|---------7h5-----|---------3---3---|
G|---5h3-----------|---5h3-----------|---7h5-----------|---------------3-|
C|-0-----0-----0---|-0-----0-------0-|-5-----5-----5555|3------3---3-----|
PM .     .     .     .     .   .   .   .     .     .... .      .   .
Cool, huh? You have dissonance, pedal points at C, F, and D#, and a little bit of hammering and pulling for ease of playing. Overall it's a very simple riff once you've learned it, but it sounds very metalcore. So there you have it. Four surefire tips to getting your metalcore riffs on the right track. But before I leave you, let me give you a couple more tips on scales/notes, harmonies, and rhythms that should help you actually write numbers down on your tab paper.

Tip #5: The Minor Scale

-- There's this really nice scale that's very easy to memorize, used by just about every metalcore band, and it'll never get old. To some it's known as the Aeolian mode, to some it's the major scale adjusted to remove the leading tone, to some it's that thing that happens when you go W-H-W-W-H-W-W, but we'll just call it the minor scale. It's used all throughout metal music, especially melodic subgenres such as thrash and metalcore. Now, assuming that you're in drop tuning, this is how you can play the minor scale that corresponds with your lowest string (e.g. drop D, D minor; drop C, C minor; drop Ab, Ab minor; etc.) This is not a scale pattern for you to run through front to back for practice, but rather a chart of notes that you are "allowed" to use when writing a metalcore song:
E|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|
B|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|
G|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|
D|-------------------|-------------------|-0-2-3-5-7-8-10-12-|
A|-------------------|-0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12-|-------------------|
D|-0-2-3-5-7-8-10-12-|-------------------|-------------------|
 
E|-------------------|--------------------|-0-1-3-5-6-8-10-12-|
B|-------------------|-1-3-5-6-8-10-11-13-|-------------------|
G|-0-2-3-5-7-9-10-12-|--------------------|-------------------|
D|-------------------|--------------------|-------------------|
A|-------------------|--------------------|-------------------|
D|-------------------|--------------------|-------------------|
Remember, this works in any drop tuning, and you can add 12 to each of these numbers and it will still work. For example, your guitar is tuned to drop A and you want to start a solo on the 22nd fret of the second string. Can you do it? Yep. That's the minor key. But the 21st fret isn't. Same goes for drop D, drop C, drop B... Got it? Okay. So this pattern is very useful for things like developing pedal points and harmonies. Let's assume I'm writing a song and I want this certain phrase to move from a really low chord to a higher chord to an even higher chord and then go back down. So for my first measure I might use the thickest string open as my pedal point. Then my next pedal point would be the seventh fret on the thick string, then the eighth fret, then open again. That's going to work, and in fact, it's a very common progression. (Some other good common ones are 0 - 0 - 7 - 5, 0 - 0 - 3 - 0, and 0 - 0 - 8 - 5) For harmonies, this chart allows you to very easily find minor third harmonies for your harmonized double lead parts. Let's say I'm playing this riff on one guitar:
C|---8---8---8---8-----------------|
G|-5---7---8---7---5-3-1-0-5ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-|
C|---------------------------------|
On the G string, I have the notes on frets 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8. All I have to do is move them up to 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 12 (respectively) and keep the pedal point the same. Then I get:
C|---8----8----8----8-----------------|
G|-8---10---12---10---8-7-5-3-8ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-|
C|------------------------------------|
So easy! And it sounds so good! Keep in mind that there are many other scales and modes for you to experiment with... among the most popular are harmonic minor, diminished, dorian, aeolian, and variations of minor scales with chromatic notes thrown in. But you should really get the minor scale down first.

Tip # 6: Common Intervals

-- While I still do recommend that you do all your harmonies in thirds, there are a few intervals that will come in handy during solos, as well as little frilly riffs and other such situations. The first I'll introduce you to is one of the more important intervals (I think) in death metal, but it sounds brilliant in metalcore too. I think it works best as a jump between notes in a riff, but you could add it into your chords too. It's called a minor seventh. A minor seventh interval is basically just the note lower than the fundamental note, but you bring it up an octave. So in the key of C minor you could get C and the A# above it, or D# and D, or F and D#, etc. Here is a riff I wrote using a minor seventh jump: Eighth note rhythm, 7/8 time, ~160 BPM
D|----12-10-------------|----------10---------|
A|----------10-11----10-|-11-10-------10------|
F|-10-------------12----|-------12-------10-9-|
I'll be the first to admit, it's a little bit tough to play, but it's not that bad and it sound pretty darn hXc. The jump between the first two notes is what I really want you to be paying attention to, because it goes from a D# to a D: a minor seventh jump. It can make your riffs sound weird and confusing, or it can add tension and beg to be resolved, but it's going to add interest no matter what. You can also add the seventh degree on to power chords you're playing for a little flavor:
D|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|-----------------|
F|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|---------2-----0-|
C|-----------------|---------------------|-----------------|-3-3-3-----2-3---|
G|-3-3-3-3-7-7-7-7-|-7-7-7-7-10-10-10-10-|-0-0-0-0-3-3-3-3-|-1-1-1-1---------|
C|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|-7-7-7-7-7--7--7--7--|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-----------------|
PM                                                                 .
Another common one is the perfect fourth, which is almost always the distance between one string and the next at the same fret. So check out this riff:
D|----10---8---6---5-|--------
A|-10ZYABLA~HUYABLA~-8ZYABLA~HUYABLA-6ZYABLA~HUYABLA-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-|-3ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA
F|-------------------|--------
You're basically just playing four different perfect fourth intervals in a row, while moving down the minor scale... but it sounds so cool! The perfect fifth, I'm guessing you already know because it's a power chord. So the 7th fret of the low C string and the 7th fret of the low G string in drop C would produce a perfect fifth. You can use it other places, but it's mostly just used for power chords. There are many other intervals, but the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh are most important to metalcore. So there are your note-finding tips, and with this I've covered everything about basic metalcore riff writing. Oh wait! There's one more tip:

Tip #7: Use Songwriting Software

-- Okay, okay, this isn't actually a tip about writing songs on the guitar. But this helps soooo much. It's one thing to just write notes down on tab paper, or play songs over and over at band practice, but when you're writing and you want to figure out what a harmony will sound like, or what your riff would sound like with drums, or you want to work out tempos and solos and just write efficiently in general, you should use songwriting software like Guitar Pro. A license is fifteen dollars or something, and it's worth every penny. You can see your fretboard on the screen with scales superimposed over it, you can layer tracks so you hear the full band, and you can export your song as a MIDI file and bring it into any sound creation software that reads MIDI files. It's completely invaluable and I use it to write every song. Songs are quick and easy and fun to write. Give it a try, I guarantee you'll become a better writer. Okay, that's really the last tip now. Remember, the most important tool is your ear, and every rule can be broken, but this guide was written for those who want a jumping point. All the examples are actually parts from songs I've written, so don't think that they're just oversimplified examples to illustrate a point. They really do work in context as well. A lot of the time you'll surprise yourself with how simple riffs can sound more awesome than you ever would have thought. I hope this helped and if you have a question feel free to comment, message, etc. Good luck writing and rock on =]

121 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Samuel Leumas
    Well all music is an evoulution. Metalcore might fade out but its serving its purpose well. And when Im listening to a song, I'm not thinking about what the musician looks like. No one cared what Mozart looked like. Or Bob Dylan. And those are some fugly dudes. And all music draws from other music in some way. Nothing is truly "original". I like metalcore.
    Dregen
    shamokk wrote: metalcore sucks either listen to some real metal or don't.
    'Real' metal sucks. Yeah, I said it. Fuck off.
    guitarfreak395
    Wow, In my opinion a true metal fan appreciates every genre of metal there is, from metallica, to Trivium, to Bring me the horizon, i agree metalcore should lose the whiny lyrics, in my point of view metal, Metalcore, deathcore, etc aren't crap, there all good, and as metal fans we should stick together and accept each others taste, what we really should be bashing is POP!!! holy **** it pisses me off how popular it is, it takes zero talent, some dance moves that look you've got an an extra large spiked, rusty piece of reebar shoved up your ass, what happened to the old days of beating up all the pussy's that dissed our music? now were the ones getting dissed BY the pussies!! least i am, im picked on by soo many people because i love metal and everything it stands for and im shunned because of it, all my friends tell me if i want to make it as musician i gotta get into pop because metal is dead! this just pisses me off, hell i just punched a hole in my wall because of it, so if your a true metal fan stop dissing metal! and start dissing pop, they have the true whiny lyrics! im tired of being made fun of because i dont listen to the whiny shit im being told to BE A MAN and listen to pop! thats how out of control this is in my region, why we've only got 4 metal bands in our region, and only 2 are legit, other then that all we have is pop, and that pisses me right the **** off, if you agree with me show it!! i wanna start a whole rebellion against pop but everyones to lazy to do it, obviously a rebellion isnt the right word but it describes my pure hatred for pop. whatever happened to metal stars such as randy roahds, dimebag darrel (yes i know hes dead), kirk hammet?? these guys didn't sit in there basement dissing metal, they played there guitar 24/7 trying to make something of themselves and they did, i say we bring back the old days of metal and crush pop once and for all!!
    austinhue
    huevos wrote: Oh, this article is an April Fools joke. Sorry for taking it seriously.
    Dude, quit trolling. Seriously, if you don't like it don't click on it. You're not being constructive in any way.
    hamptoncz
    I find it funny how many elitist and haters there are in the metal community. I take pride in open-mindedness. I am a fan of progressive and technical metal and dislike most metalcore. However, I recognize there is good metalcore -> the bands that are able to differ from the obvious crap, have good composition, and sound interesting. They don't need to have the most intricate or complex riffing, but they do need a certain degree of originality. There is also the absolute shit -> bands who use breakdown after breakdown in their songs with no substance (musical insta-fail), and employ the same generic recycled riffs.
    drx14iskwl
    ok i dont know alot about music myself but i here a lot of metalcore bands putting to many riffs into one song. Bands such as killswith engage and as i lay dying however only use a few riffs in each song and i think that is the key to making good metalcore. =)
    PurpleBear102
    Shot for the lesson man, well written! And it even made people post some hilarious comments bashing each other!! =D I like only a few metalcore bands and a few metal bands. The guy's who are arguing: c'mon guys you're both guitarists, probably both rebels. Let's all join hands and rape the man. sounds pretty gay. But chill, you like you're own genre's.. let's keep it at that. maybe just change call metalcore post-hardcore, or emocore(not saying emo to bash, emo as in emotive, the words that metalcore lyrics contain) and metal: well we should change the name of metal to something else, cause Sabbath was metal. Lamb of God(a metal band that I like) and sabbath are as far apart as Slash and Barney the dinosaur.
    g_tab_man
    Emenius Sleepus wrote: shamokk wrote: haha @ all the people who are slamming my comments: please post a real rebuttal. "you're a moron" has it's intricacies... no wait, it doesn't. Sorry, i forgot that moron is an insult used by pussies and 4th graders. Good point though Ktool(who listens to My chem romance, CASCADA, and even DRAGONFORCE), your sagacity is much appreciated. @ nemx i am protesting metalcore. This lesson is a perpetuation of this new and "upcoming" shit, so i protest it. Plus, the internet is a public domain, so i can post my opinion if i wish to. if you don't like my comment, "then don't read" it. and OF COURSE you don't bash classic rock, it paved the road to the crappy music that you listen to today ("the used"? are you a 12 year old girl? here: http://www.nsync-world.com/ have a ball) Also, don't tell me what i can and can't read, Nazi. @fuzzymunkee, i know you didn't DIRECTLY address me, but i am compelled to say that i was not arguing that simplicity=bad. Read earlier posts for further detail. For the love of Odin, shut up. You are carrying on like a first-grader that glanced at a bestiality picture. Your opinions are just moving air particles, and hardly anyone on this forum or in real life will be sad if they're gone.
    I only quoted this because I like your username.
    g_tab_man
    ColdHeartedHero wrote: I'n gonna be totally honest and say all metal really just sucks. Anything in Drop D or or C B A, etc. I really think it takes no talent to put a song together in that tuning. YES, it sounds awesome. YES, it's ****ing wild. But there's no talent in it. It's much harder to write something DECENT and ORIGINAL in Standard tuning. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get so much hate mail on this comment!
    I disagree. You're saying that I can't take the solo to Heartbreaker by Led Zeppelin and transpose it to play it in drop C? You can play any scale at all in any tuning. All the same theory of standard tuning still applies in alternate tunings, just in different places on the neck.
    austinhue
    alex_baeza wrote: You forgot about the breakdown
    Haha, I don't consider a breakdown a "riff", really, even though it's quite possibly MORE important to the genre... Also, I admit, I'm not excellent at writing breakdowns =/
    HoneyofRuin
    This is a great lesson. Really informative and enlightening. I've been considering writing a little metalcore as I'm growing a little bored with my usual black and death metal compositions. I don't care, personally, if it has -core on the end of it or if it's considered not metal. Some metalcore frankly sounds really, relly good. Like All That Remains. I love the melody in metalcore. It may be hard to find some original metalcore bands, however, it's just a matter of experimentation and taking the time to write and piece together a truly bad ass song.
    espforme
    Good lesson - I am a metal fan - never really broke down metal into groups like that - can honestly say I do not know what metalcore is either. I do like KSengage though. Everytime I read music forums it always happens - people just sign on and start bashing. This was obvioulsy written for beginners and it is very good for that reason. I grew up when metal came out - (metallica, megadeth, slayer etc..) I bought KillemAll on record..lol at that time I was a huge MAIDEN fan (still am) and metal just brought me into music even more. Good bands come from all types of music - from country to metal. I can go from listening to DEATH (one of my favorite older metal bands to CCR another fav. band of mine.) Music is a feeling - it comes from within and is great when all the musicians making it are feeling it. Not everyone is going to feel the same thing - thats what is great about music - real good musicians have this thing called respect for each other. (another words hey I dont like country or pop/rap at all but I do respect the people making it musically because they are creating from within and putting it out there for people to feel. ) Just respect each other and keep making music - as long as you feel it and your ears like it then who cares what else. Ive found bands who play 30 million scales into one song and did not feel it - although I respected the fact that band could pull it off - to bands that play a few single notes and liked it. Either way music is a feeling and deserves respect from each other as a form of art - RESPECT music and the people making it..WHo cares who likes ort dislikes whatever label of music. If its out there then someone likes it. And yes I mispelled a few words on purpose. ANyway just think about that simple word RESPECT to each other.
    ColdHeartedHero
    JayPresto wrote: i find that every metalcore band i try to listen to look and sound the same as each other, same production, same type of riffs, same whiny vocals, same lame breakdowns, same image. n e one else find that?
    I absolutely agree. I'm trying to really fuse genres with my band. I joined a metalcore band and they want a more melodic sound. So I'm really trying to work on that The genre needs to change!
    Ktool The Girth
    Moonspine wrote: Good metalcore. Now that's just a ****ing awesome oxymoron. Learn to write/play/appreciate real metal, and don't swallow the sappy, sugary bullshit of metalcore (alternatively pop metal, take your pick) or go back to listening to Lady Gaga.
    Youre also a moron.
    ColdHeartedHero
    I'n gonna be totally honest and say all metal really just sucks. Anything in Drop D or or C B A, etc. I really think it takes no talent to put a song together in that tuning. YES, it sounds awesome. YES, it's ****ing wild. But there's no talent in it. It's much harder to write something DECENT and ORIGINAL in Standard tuning. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get so much hate mail on this comment!
    WARLOCK123
    espforme wrote: ColdHeartedHero : I'n gonna be totally honest and say all metal really just sucks. Anything in Drop D or or C B A, etc. I really think it takes no talent to put a song together in that tuning. YES, it sounds awesome. YES, it's ****ing wild. But there's no talent in it. It's much harder to write something DECENT and ORIGINAL in Standard tuning. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get so much hate mail on this comment! No hate mail from me - not into that game... I love the drop tunings sound wise but I do agree with you about the ease of playing them. I find that tuning to drop makes it easier to play - I play both - thanks to the last band I was - the other 6 played in drop always so I could never get him to try out standard. I like to tune to drop d then tune my guitar to D. Im a self taught 6 player so not sure what this is called - maybe d tuning?? But I do agree with the fact that it is easy - I disagree with the lack of talent thing though - it depends what sounds comes out for me and how it is put together. IF it has an easy groove to get into then chances are Ill like it even if it is easy - but as for playing I do not like playing it...
    An interesting view. Personally I think drop tunings can make it easier to play certain chord progressions and thats one of their main benefits. Just as an example of this, I could play the main riff for Avenged Sevenfold's Beast and The Harlot in standard tuning, but it is much easier to play those same chords in Drop D tuning as it allows for easier movement around the fretboard. And to be honest, music is about the feel. The reason why certain bands stand out in the metalcore genre when other bands do the exact same stuff is because they have got the feel right.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Problem No. 1: "Metal" and "core" don't belong together. Quit listening to the idiots in the media and call it 1 of two things: 1) crap that is "core" 2) Metal. End of story!
    Rokeman
    Sigh, whatever happened to open mindedness and respect for other people's tastes... Good article austinhue, while not a major metalcore fan myself, I can see that your article is a great introduction for people who want to get into making their own metalcore riffs. Keep it up!
    Fausch
    JayPresto wrote: i find that every metalcore band i try to listen to look and sound the same as each other, same production, same type of riffs, same whiny vocals, same lame breakdowns, same image. n e one else find that?
    Aside from As I Lay Dying and maybe All That Remains, agreed.
    Moonspine
    Good metalcore. Now that's just a ****ing awesome oxymoron. Learn to write/play/appreciate real metal, and don't swallow the sappy, sugary bullshit of metalcore (alternatively pop metal, take your pick) or go back to listening to Lady Gaga.
    Ktool The Girth
    shamokk wrote: haha @ all the people who are slamming my comments: please post a real rebuttal. "you're a moron" has it's intricacies... no wait, it doesn't. Sorry, i forgot that moron is an insult used by pussies and 4th graders. Good point though Ktool(who listens to My chem romance, CASCADA, and even DRAGONFORCE), your sagacity is much appreciated. @ nemx i am protesting metalcore. This lesson is a perpetuation of this new and "upcoming" shit, so i protest it. Plus, the internet is a public domain, so i can post my opinion if i wish to. if you don't like my comment, "then don't read" it. and OF COURSE you don't bash classic rock, it paved the road to the crappy music that you listen to today ("the used"? are you a 12 year old girl? here: http://www.nsync-world.com/ have a ball) Also, don't tell me what i can and can't read, Nazi. @fuzzymunkee, i know you didn't DIRECTLY address me, but i am compelled to say that i was not arguing that simplicity=bad. Read earlier posts for further detail.
    I find it funny you complain about maturity when you use insults such as "whiny emo fag". And I missed the part where music taste determines intelligence.
    Yayo.Eric
    theres no such thing as bad music where ever you go someone is going to like a different style the argument of protesting it is stupid and just an inability of accepting difference. And without difference there would be no music new or old, so both of you get over your selves. its not fair to ruin someones hard work by slandering all over their article. point being read the quotes, people enjoyed this article it doesn't matter what its about, it matters that it appealed to their taste. didnt someone once tell you if you dont have anything nice to say dont say it at all.
    espforme
    ColdHeartedHero : I'n gonna be totally honest and say all metal really just sucks. Anything in Drop D or or C B A, etc. I really think it takes no talent to put a song together in that tuning. YES, it sounds awesome. YES, it's ****ing wild. But there's no talent in it. It's much harder to write something DECENT and ORIGINAL in Standard tuning. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get so much hate mail on this comment! No hate mail from me - not into that game... I love the drop tunings sound wise but I do agree with you about the ease of playing them. I find that tuning to drop makes it easier to play - I play both - thanks to the last band I was - the other 6 played in drop always so I could never get him to try out standard. I like to tune to drop d then tune my guitar to D. Im a self taught 6 player so not sure what this is called - maybe d tuning?? But I do agree with the fact that it is easy - I disagree with the lack of talent thing though - it depends what sounds comes out for me and how it is put together. IF it has an easy groove to get into then chances are Ill like it even if it is easy - but as for playing I do not like playing it...
    Dgarcia
    Great lesson. It is very helpful to know how much difference harmonizing or not harmonizing can have on a simple riff
    espforme
    WARLOCK123 And to be honest, music is about the feel. The reason why certain bands stand out in the metalcore genre when other bands do the exact same stuff is because they have got the feel right. That is the truest staement I have read - FEELING is what seperates bands. Its a believabilty - I notice that when the band Im in now warms up - we usually do a 20 minute jam session to get the blood flowing - and when we are all on the same page feeling and feeding off each other - it takes you to a new place...
    Badbeene
    Yeah, thx 4 the tutorial! Really make things clear for me now, except some Tabs: D|-----|-----|-----|-----| A|-----|-----|-----|--- --| F|-----|-----|-----|-----| C|-----|-----|-----5-3----- |-----| G|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---8-7-5---|---8-7- --3-5-----|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-----|-----| C|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-----0-|-0-----0-----0000 |-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-----0-7-|-5-0-5-3-2-0-0-2- | PM . . . . .... . . . . . What is that supposed to mean? I'm new to ultimate guitar, so please give me a hint for this "ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-" "code" or have we some copywrite shit here? The other never Ending discussions in the comments are big waste of time and spam unnecessarily the Thread. Any musician must understand theoretically an specific "Style" or Band AND be emotional connected to understand it. When a Band has same skills, its useless to mark your Band as the best, because everyone has an another way to be grabbed by the Balls through live-experience. So its ****in useless to try to convince some guy at the other side of the World that the Band that reminds him @ his first bj sucks.
    JayPresto
    i find that every metalcore band i try to listen to look and sound the same as each other, same production, same type of riffs, same whiny vocals, same lame breakdowns, same image. n e one else find that?
    grantman824
    okay im not a member but I've been playing and been into metal core and death core for a year now try these bands woe is me - they have vocals like no other i the breather - i just like them of mice and men - preferably the first 2 albums restoring force has a different sound to it PARKWAY DRIVE - the breakdown are BRUTAL!
    LessThanLuke
    So basically, grab Unholy Confessions or something and rip it into the ground. You forgot the ultra-generic A Minor sweep around the 13th to 17th fret. Yawn.
    Lonely
    when reading the headline i really thought "meh", some other guy trying to teach pedal point without being able to describe what hes trying to say and so on, but you really surprised me, you know your fair share of theory, and what i liked most: practical explanation how to apply it. you skipped out cadences and resolving you took the simple approach of "heres your key, heres some ideas, here are some tipps how to achieve certain sounds", i especially liked the part which intervals generate dissonant chords, very useful for beginners. i really liked it, hope you keep up the work!
    mity88
    Great tips...metalcore is really awesome...but might just be getting to peoples heads...maybe its just a phase,but im loving it!haha
    Badbeene
    Cant Edit the Post beforeit anymore, so here we go again: Yeah, thx 4 the tutorial! Really make things clear for me now, except some Tabs: D|-----|-----|-----|-----| A|-----|-----|-----|-----| F|-----|-----|-----|-----| C|-----|-----|-----5-3-----|-----| G|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---8-7-5---|---8-7- --3-5-----|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA---5-3-----|-----| C|-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-----0-|-0-----0-----000 0 |-0ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-0-----0-7-|-5-0-5-3-2-0-0-2- | PM . . . . .... . . . . . What is that supposed to mean? I'm new to ultimate guitar, so please give me a hint for this "ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA-" "code" or have we some copywrite shit here? The other never Ending discussions in the comments are big waste of time and spam unnecessarily the Thread. Any musician must understand theoretically an specific "Style" or Band AND be emotional connected to understand it. When a Band has same skills, its useless to mark your Band as the best, because everyone has an another way to be grabbed by the Balls through live-experience. So its ****in useless to try to convince some guy at the other side of the World that the Band that reminds him @ his first bj sucks.
    wejyoung
    This is the problem with metal. If one person likes one sub-genre then they have to hate on every other sub-genre. I will honestly listen to any sub-genre of metal and love it. Stop being so bitchy and just enjoy the music. Great guide btw!
    Metal-McTwist
    Why do so many people get so pissed off at each other about some medial shit? If you like something that is adverse to another person's belief, keep your face hole shut and continue on with your life. Even if what I just did was contrary to what the words say, just do it... Frikkin idiots.
    Peaveyguitar212
    I've been reading these comments and i must say that it is completely ridiculous how people want to sit there and say "this music suck or that music sucks" if you dont like the type of music then dont listen to it, period, nobody has a gun to your head or a knife to your throat telling you to like this kind of music. Arguing about music is childish bullshit, lets be mature here guys/girls, this forum is not about what the next guy thinks about metal, the guy that posted this did it for people who have an interest in metalcore and want to write metalcore hence the name "Writing Good Metalcore Riffs" if you dont like metalcore then why did you click on it in the first place? Metal is dying these days due to the movement of rap/hip-hop, so why is everyone arguing about which kind of metal is better? Metal is metal, keep it going, dont let this genre of music die, which is what will happen if metal musicians cant learn to stop the childish arguing bullshit and come together. All metalheads are family because it is an underground music genre, watch the documentary "metal: a headbangers journey" and you will learn that the key ideology behind metal is "**** you, i dont care if you like this kind of music or not, i do and thats all that matters, so stop arguing please, and let us come together as a family of metalheads so to speak.