One of my favorite things about playing metal riffs is that you can try so many different variations of notes. You can get some extremely cool sounds from playing notes that aren’t in the typical realm of that scale or progression. In this video, I’m playing what I call a ‘wicked metal riff.’
Wicked Metal Riff Tabs:
Lesson starts at: 0:25
Beer Tasting starts at: 2:50
Constructing a Wicked Metal Riff
What gives a metal riff that wicked sound is playing those notes that don’t necessarily belong as part of the chord progression or scale that you’re playing in. I call these half-notes or off-notes.
I’m sure there’s a technical, or more proper term for this. But I don’t want us to think in terms of scales or progressions. That can sometimes limit you’re creativity because you’re trying to match your playing to music theory.
Reaching outside of those parameters gives you the freedom to try different things on the guitar with your rhythm playing (and solos too, for that matter). So that’s the point of this metal rhythm guitar lesson. We’re stepping away from the norm.
George Lynch Guitar Style
I refer to George Lynch in the video. The goal isn’t to copy him but I’m using his style of guitar playing as an example because I hear this in some of his songs (going back to the Dokken days and of course Lynch Mob).
Lynch is a very colorful and dynamic musician. And his style was the first thing that popped in my head when I played this wicked metal riff. I try to be conscience of this with my own music; doing something a little different and creative. Metal music can easily blend and your songs can all sound the same if you’re not careful.
Creative Metal Riffs
The ultimate goal with this wicked metal riff is to encourage creativity in your guitar rhythms. Think outside of mere chord progressions and scales. Try some notes that don’t belong and see how it sounds.
One of the prominent notes in this riff is the B flat note on the E string. Just play the E string open and then slide up and hit that B flat note on the 6th fret. It’s a cool and wicked sound! Of course in the wicked metal riff I’m showing you, there are some more notes in that genre. Learn that, and expand on it.
Up Top IPA from JDUB’s
Lastly I have a beer tasting event! I love metal and beer; they seem to go great together. And here I’m trying a beer from JDUB’s Brewing Company called Up Top IPA.
Up Top IPA goes down very smooth and it’s not as bitter as your typical IPA beers. It’s not overbearing in any way but in my opinion, has a nice flavor. And it still holds to the character of taste as you would expect from an IPA. Oh, and it’s 6.5%! Just a couple is all it takes for me.
Keep it Metal,