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Techniques for awesome metal style.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dot74, Oct 6, 2000.

  1. dot74


    Aug 24, 2000
    Hi all,
    I guess I'll start out like this: I'm into /dark/deep/heavy/death metal and would like to progress my style that direction....is there any pointers that someone could describe to help make that possible? Is there a certain technique that you use to obtain those sounds? Is there a theory behind metal and what makes it metal? What are your experiences/thoughts and who or what band inspires you to play metal?
  2. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Aaahh, here we are! I've been looking for this since I read your post in off-topic. Hi, Dot!

    I am into thrash/speed metal myself, for the most part. The thing that kind of turns me off of death metal is usually the singer. Do all death singers have that same harsh sound? In my area, they seem to. As a matter of fact, we are playing with two death bands tonight. I always think that's weird, because my band is so not death. But it seems to work. And we always get to play first. ;)

    You have asked some good questions. I think I can answer the last one, anyway. I don't think our band as it currently is has a lot of choice on what we're playing. I mean, there's always a choice, but if we don't make a conscious effort, we end up always doing something either thrashy or fast. The songs we make do not sound the same, they are very different from one another, so it's not like we're playing the same thing over and over. I think we inspire each other. To me, there is so much energy in the kind of metal that we play. I love it. I don't ever want to do a ballad! Kind of narrow-minded of me, eh? :D Maybe a power anthem.

    Let me know your views on death metal singers, will ya please? Death definitely has a groove to it though. I think alot of people not familiar with it would be suprised that it's generally not racingly fast.

  3. I love metal! Don't think there's no one here that likes metal...there are more of us than you think. I think that he of the seven string Conklins even likes metal.<p>
    My first thought on learning metal is to learn as many songs you like as possible. Take their licks and build off them and try and figure out what the bass player is doing in the song. <p>
    Also, build up your right hand. You are gonna have to play fast, accurately. Play it slow and then build up your speed. A good song to help your right hand is Iron Maiden's "The Trooper". That's a killer song, too. If you use a pick, you have to alternate pick...don't use a heavy pick; the lighter picks are much faster. <p>
    As far as music theory...learn the common phrases and scales used in death metal. In metal the most frequently used scales are minor pentatonic, minor, harmonic minor, diminished, and chromatic. The guitars play mostly fifths but they toss it up a little bit. There are some pretty cool intervals like minor sixth, and minor third...just listen...you'd be surprised how much they show up in death and thrash metal. <p>
    Most death, thrash metal bands use a dropped tuning. Play around with drop D tuning, too. Warning: you might have to sacrifice your soloed bass tone to get a tone that blends in good with the guitars by adding a lot of distortion ro mids. <p>
    One of my favs is Carcass. Jeff Walker's vocals are awesome. As far as vocals it definitely takes talent to get the proper "growl" going on. His bass sounds killer on "Swansong". Another awesome band to listen to is Death. Get the album with Steve DiGiorgio on it. I think it's Individual thought Patterns. I'm not sure...someone stole it from me! It's great, though. He's playing a fretless! <p>
    Well, hope I was of some help... LATE [​IMG]
  4. dot74


    Aug 24, 2000
    I like the music, but I don't like the majority of the singers in those kinds of bands.....they try to be like a frigging demonic superpower of some sort....and sometimes the lyrics are just stoopid....I mean a deep voice nicely rounded out to where it doesn't sound like it's deeper than my dad's harley fatboy with straight pipes going under an overpass, could put some "death" metal up on the charts...well maybe....

    I like the speed, and sometimes I like the slowness of someone like Danzig's Bassist.....the original one that is(can't think of his name right now).
    So Jennifer, where abouts are you?
  5. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Dot- I live way the hell east of you! In good old Illinois. You know that if you push the profile button, you can find out stuff about people?

    This one band we play with, they are a really good band, but I can only take so much of the singing. I feel bad about it sometimes. But more power to them if that's the sound they want. And would they still be death without it?

    I really agree with Croz about "The Trooper". It really warms you up! Once you get it down, it's a really fun song.

    I never drop tune and I don't use a distortion pedal either. Wonder if that hurts me?

    Croz, thanks for the scale info, I'm gonna check that out. And Death is probably the best death band, IMO. You are so right that it takes a lot of talent to pull off the growl and make it sound good. Maybe there's just not too many people that have that talent. Same with any genre, I suppose.
  6. I just read your profile...
    Bro! I live in Everett! <p>
    I didn't know you were a southpaw. Just reverse what I said..right hand=left hand. <p>
    Just like you... I think Danzig rocks. When I started I taught myself to play every single Danzig song. Eerie Von is a great bass player. He just grooves...no extra crap. Type O is great, too. Very atmospheric.
  7. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    try some arch enemy and witchery. both feature sharlee d'angelo on bass and he's all over the place.
  8. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    I wondered when you were going to show up! :D
  9. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I had to steal part of your post for my sig line..thanx!@!!!

    "I think that he of the seven string Conklins even likes metal."...brilliant

  10. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I was totally into this stuff when it first came out (in the 80s, gasp!). It mostly seems like its become the same thing over and over again at this point. some bands are doing things differently and varying that corpse-vocal with other techniques, like Orphanage for example. Its cool and I still like a lot of it, but its been around for 15 years and hasnt changed all that much. Emperor do rule though!
  11. Brewer: There are a lot of bands Mixing the death vocal with other styles now. My fav is the Gathering. Female vocals and a guy growling. Kind of like Beauty and the Beast. <p>
    Acacia: Glad you like! Take it and run with it. :D
    Jennifer: as far as the scales...that is by no means all of the scales used in metal...just some of the darker sounding ones. I would learn all of them. Iron maiden uses the major scale a lot!
  12. dot74


    Aug 24, 2000
    WOW!!! Look at what I've started.....this is cool....Hey CROZ....we should get together sometime for a root beer or something...hehe...cool, didn't know you lived around here but I figured someone did...

    Do you think you could post some of those pentatonic scales and such, maybe just a brief overview or something to cut my teeth on?

    Iron Maiden Rocks.....I've listened to almost all of their albums over and over again.....(maybe that's why I have a weird twitch in my right eye...just kidding) ;)

    And Jennifer thanks for pointing out that you can view someone's profile just by clicking on that little rolodex card lookin' thing above their post...never woulda tried that.
  13. thayer182


    Oct 1, 2000
    metal has to be my one of my fav types of music, although I go for any kind of rock (blink 182 is ok, I just like to use 182 on my name). well I have found that a lot of metal bassists prefer to have thier tone turned up all the way. when using metal strings it gives a more metallic sound. I don't know about the 80's stuff, but today's death metal is way too easy (but I live in mississippi, so I haven't heard any death metal bands that aren't well known). all the metal I've played is just plain boring to play, unless u have the distortion cranked up and jamming obsessively too loud. while I love metal, the alternative rock and hard rock does have some very good bassists. Creed's bassist is the best I know of, his music is way hard to follow. Counting Crows has a pretty good bassist as well. I prefer the hard rock/alternative style of bass playing, but I would rather incorporate that into metal music. and as far as the vocal thingy, I can do the death metal growling, and death metal shouting. I have a very deep voice. but I would much rather be singing along to 3 Doors Down than Slipknot. I am very open minded to music (in case u couldn't tell by the bands I have named). I have one final question though, how many of u actually use all of the strings in more than half the songs that u play? I feel limited by just using the E and A strings. I have written several songs that don't even use the E string, and some that don't use the A string. I dunno, I guess I'm just an experimenter..
  14. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    thayer-do you think Morbid Angel,Testament,Death,Deicide have "way too easy,plain boring to play" bass???Wow...interesting!You think Steve Digiorgio,Sharlee D'angelo aren't killer bassists?I guess you just haven't listened to much death metal...Anywayz.

    dot74-many bassists play the same riffs with the rhythm guitar,u could try that-at least in a few parts.

    croz-the Gathering don't use growling vox for a long,long time now-they only got female vocals now.The best band using the combination of brutal vocals and female ones IMHO are Theatre of Tragedy in Velvet Darkness They Fear.
    take care ppl
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I was wondering how long it would be before someone mentioned Morbid Angel, Testament, and Deicide. I also enjoyed a lesser known band, Malevelent Creation. Too, I was a big fan of Sepultura before they split up. I loved their last album as the original band.

    To Dot74, at least consider tuning down one half step, but there's nothing like tuning down even more for that really heavy sound.

    Someone mentioned using light picks to pick faster, but I had the opposite experience. I BROKE light guage picks in a couple of minutes and had to work my way up to the Gator Grip heaviest guage to keep the pick from either breaking or "melting" and getting floppy. Of course I played in Latin American heat, so maybe that was part of the problem.

    Jason Oldsted


  16. All i can say is "get a 5 stringer!" lol I am in 3 metal bands. One does Metallica covers (Angora) one is an original death growling band (Random Chaos) and the other is a progressive metal band (Soul Driven). now thats diverse!. lol

    Thing with metal is, its all look rather than music. I can say this cause I know first hand! Think about it tho. People go to jump around, half the band members jump around and get nutty. The riffs may be fast but they're not always complicated thats why I'm more exhausted after band practice than just sitting in my room for 3 hrs playing.

    If you can nail some songs thats good, then work on ya image! :D Hell bands don't want some guy who just stands there, when we did auditions for Random Chaos it was like "nah too stoned, or hell he's a psycho, lets hire him!"


    What a worthless post, oh well
  17. Thayer: Welcome to the board! All I have to say is a lot of that stuff is harder than you think. If not difficult for the fretting hand, metal can be hell on the plucking hand. It takes a great deal of skill and stamina to play death metal. For me, a creed song is way easier to play than a Morbid Angel or testament song. Once your ears develop more you'll appreciate the nuances. <p>
    Dot: I have no Idea how to accurately post the scales. You'll need to learn them in all keys and what not...My advice is to buy a book. They have pocket scale books at guitar center for only like 5 bucks. :) <p>
    Oldsted: Did you like "Against" or Soulfly? :(
  18. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Sorry, but that is a totally laughable statement. I'm not in a metal band to look good. I am in a metal band to play quality metal music that I and many others enjoy (hopefully).

    I guess being in a metal band may be an image to you, but to me it's about the music, not the look.

    Rock on.
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    heck yeah! i rememeber moshing to anthrax back at the metroplex in '86. in fact i would put my band somewhere between prog rock and prog metal.

  20. fat jonny

    fat jonny

    Jul 8, 2000
    Columbus Ohio
    I disagree with Merlin on the part about metal bands being about looks. I think that is what is exactly what is wrong with some newer metal bands. I could care less about how a band looks as long as it's good music. Bands like slipknot with the masks and costumes and stuff like that make me wonder if it really matters what the music sounds like; if they look like freaks someone will buy into it. Sure, when you go to a concert you want to be entertained by a band that can put on a show, but when you go home and listen to a cd, you have no idea what the band looks like, and it doesnt matter! I would rather listen to a four or five 80 year old men that can jam than 9 goofy looking teenagers in masks and jumpsuits suck suck. If you look at all the classic metal bands like metallica, sabbath, ozzy, motorhead, etc; they don't get dressed up special or do a lot to look cool, they just go out and play, and that in itself is cool. Besides, if you're headbanging to something good, you cant see what the band looks like anyway.

    One more thing, I like dunlop 2 and 3mm picks for metal. I thing thin ones bend too much when they hit the strings, while thick ones don't bend at all. Try both and see which one you like the best because everyone either seems to prefer one or the other.

    I guess the whole point to the whole point of that rambling post is that I get pissed off when people consider a bands appearance more important than thier music. I know you didn't mean it like that merlin, but some people i have met do think that way.

    sorry to bore all of you but I have nothing else to do. I cant go practice right now cuz my hair looks stupid and my mask isnt finished.

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