So what does it take to start making your own hard rock & metal songs when it comes to songwriting? Well, from what I’ve learned over the years that all it takes really is knowing the scales, modes, rhythm and maybe some music theory knowledge. Most of the metal make riffs comes from the 7 modes really… that’s most common in metal songwriting. When they solo, they always use the modes and the major/minor pentatonic scales.
Making metal riffs doesn’t look all that hard… gotta know your intervals too but the most common intervals used in metal are mostly 4ths and 5ths and sometimes they use other ones.
Most importantly, if you really want to become a metal guitar player gotta be good with rhythm and timing ’cause you’ll get nowhere if you don’t do that. If you want to play those headbanging fist raising guitar riffs, gotta learn how to gallop rhythm is what they call it. Gotta get good with time values and rhythm to learn to stay in the pocket if you want to play fucking TIGHT and hard.
If you really want to play metal, one way of becoming a good metal musician, one way to do that is listening to as much metal music as possible and I have been doing that ever since I was a kid. Over the years, I’ve listen to so much of that stuff… mostly 80’s metal, 90’s grunge (yes, grunge is metal) and I listened to a lot other types of metal over the years. I listened to Metallica, Soundgarden, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Korn, Alice In Chains, Ghost, Opeth, etc. The list is endless really.
I want to make heavy music of my own and I’m learning and practicing. Trying to improve my rhythm chops and get better at playing riffs. I’ve also been trying to learn other metal covers too ’cause that would also help is by learning other bands songs on the electric.
Metal isn’t that complicated to learn, the hard part is the rhythm and timing ’cause metal plays so fast. If you want to play fast like Slayer and Metallica it requires fast speed picking skills of the right hand. That’s what I’ve been trying to improve lately. I can’t play fast electric guitar yet but I’m working on it and I want to get there.
When I start writing metal songs of my own, I’m not gonna growl and scream, I’m just gonna sing regularly like James Hetfield.
I’ve listened to so much metal over the years that I figure it’s time I want to play that type of music myself which was why I had finally got a solid body electric guitar. Playing metal doesn’t work on a hollow body or a Fender Strat. Gotta get a metal guitar like an Ibanez or a Jackson… I didn’t get either of those…. I’ve got a Mitchell electric guitar which is perfect for an affordable guitar where you can play metal and shred on it.
As a matter of fact, all those acoustic songs that I wrote in the old days… those old ones I have on ReverbNation were all “metal” songs. I just wrote them on acoustic first. It’s just that I never played acoustic guitar like a folk guitar or a country guitar like a lot of players do, I’ve always loved to rock hard on the acoustic. Really, you watch me play acoustic guitar, I’m pounding on the thing which is why I like the string gauge medium sized so they don’t break easily. I play acoustic guitar like that ’cause of all the rock and metal I’ve listened to. I’ve always saw myself as a rock player and not a folk music artist. When you come see me perform, people would expect a quiet sit down type of performance but not with me. I like to play loud and rocking. You can go to youtube and see my old live performances for proof on that.
I’m just tired of the acoustic guitar and just want to do something different by switching to electric guitar. I’ll never give up the acoustic, though. Just been playing electric a lot more.