3 Reasons Every Guitarist Should Learn Metal...

Learning to perform Metal riffs will do wonders for your overall guitar playing skills. The fast rhythms, complex left and right hand techniques and unusual compositional ideas make for some really interesting abilities to add to your overall guitar playing skill set... 

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When a guitarist learns how to perform a fast and rhythmically driving heavy metal riff it will tend to be quite demanding upon their skill set. Which is actually a good thing.



Playing Metal guitar involves developing control over mastering several quick fretting position changes, attaining time signature changes, and having control over at least a half-dozen shifts to dynamics and guitar technique. However, once these skills come under control, the guitarist gains a new found ability for speed and accuracy.

WATCH THE VIDEO:


Below I've outlined three reasons for how performing Heavy Metal on guitar can improve your skills and abilities as a musician. Be sure to learn the short Metal riff I've included after these points. It will help you begin your journey to the world of Metal guitar if this style is brand new to you.



1). Your Guitar Playing will Improve:
Metal riffs are fast, they move all over the neck quickly, you'll need to control your picking, plus your dynamics will need to be spot on when performing. Metal song sections operate in a loop, so performing the riffs (as perfectly as possible) over and over will also improve stamina for ripping up the neck over and over with the same parts. Sounds like a no-brainer, until you try doing it and find out how much effort and stamina it requires to play Metal.

2). You'll Compose Differently on Guitar:
Metal ideas work the way they do, because they're built upon a large span of scale tones played in a cycle that has a serious connection to an underlying rhythm. This is a little more intense as compared to guitar playing in most other musical styles.

Plus, a lot of Metal ideas come from a cross-section of modes, arpeggios and other unique scales (i.e., Modes of Harmonic Minor). In fact it's not uncommon for a typical metal riff to produce phrases that seem like they shouldn't even work together, but yet they do.

Working on a musical style like this, and arranging parts that utilize so many different musical directions will not just take time to understand, but across the process of learning Metal your ability to comprehend a very different approach to composing will also develop along with everything else.



 3). Your Rhythm Ability will Improve:
Metal is demanding on your musical feel for time, and this reflects strongly upon your picking accuracy for rhythm and on your skills with the fretting hand. When you learn to play metal riffs your sense of the musical groove improves. This occurs due to the rapid nature of Metal combined with the syncopation imvolved with performing in the Metal style.

Since the Metal groove acts differently that almost any other musical style upon rhythmic embellishments and articulations, a very different approach must be developed for performing Metal.

This also includes performing unique and sometimes complex 16th-note rhythms with palm muting, legato, string crossing, sweep picking and many other guitar techniques. In short, playing Metal involves using many skills across a diverse approach to rhythm in several different playing positions across the fingerboard. Mastering this sense of rhythmic feel and technique, combined with the use of several different fingerings (all done at quite fast of playing speeds) can be incredibly demanding in many different ways.

LEARNING A METAL RIFF:
Take some time out and learn how to play this metal riff. It is explained and performed in the video lesson so that you can understand how this part is supposed to sound.

Metal Riff Example:

click on the above image to enlarge full-screen


After you can perform the riff shown above, turn on a metronome or drum machine and work toward building up the riffs speed to 92 b.p.m. At that point work toward playing the riff in a loop at least 8 times perfectly.

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