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Basic Metal Rhythm Guitar

by Marcus Siepen

Lesson step:

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  • Hi everybody, welcome to another one of my lessons here at GMC. Fulfilling a request, today we will have a look at a basic rhythm guitar, suitable for beginners. The lesson has 5 individual parts and each one covers a different aspect of rhythm guitar playing.

    In the first part I play a straight 8th beat with accents on different positions in the bar, everything is downpicked, which gives the part a bit more power.

    The second part has some variations of this galloping rhythm that is used in metal a lot, to play this we switch to alternate picking here, because this would be too fast to be played with downpicking only.

    In part 3 we go back to a straight 8th beat again and focus on the chords instead. Here I replaced the normal power chords by slightly different chords, I play the normal root note, and instead of adding the fifth as the second note I chose the third, which creates nice alternate harmonies.

    Part 4 introduces some chord slides. This means that you pick a chord, and then slide up to the next chord, without picking this one. This gives a nice effect and was used for example by Metallica in their early days.

    The riff in part 5 is actually the same one as in part 4, the only thing that is different here is an additional note that I use. Instead of using normal power chords with only the root note and the fifth, I add the fifth an octave below the normal one. This is a nice trick to make the chord sound much more powerful and dark, you can only do this though if the root note is not on the low e-string (unless you are using a 7 string guitar of course :-) )

    I added several backing tracks so you can play this lesson in all kinds of speeds and I hope you will have fun practicing it.
    Marcus
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