Extreme Metal Riffing 5: Minor changes

by Chowy Fernandez

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  • Hi GMC'pals! Those who like progressive metal and minor changes will surely enjoy this exercise. This is a new riff I composed with Gonzalo Alfaro (bass) and Dimas Devit (drums) for our band Pronoia.

    The riff begins in C# minor. When using the Aeolian scale, we notice a particular characteristic, i.g. having the minor 3rd, the minor 6th and the minor 7th. If we give it a little thought, we realize the Aeolian mode has some note's 6th grade. In this case, it's the minor 6th of Dmaj7 (Ionian).

    When we switch to A minor we do exactly the same, that is, we use the same Aeolian mode but applied to A, which is the minor 6th of Cmaj7 (Ionian). Then we produce a "dark" change which is typical in this genre.

    Later, near the end, there is a riff in D5 Lydian, all of it with legato on the 4th string. This means we must strike that string only once and play all the notes shown. Next, we do exactly the same in A5 Lydian--open 5th string and use the same frets we used when
    we played the D5 riff.

    * One step down
    * D - G - C - F - A - D
    (From thick to thin string)

    C#madd9 - C#7 - Amadd9 - F#m9-/A - A5 - D5 - E5

    * Riffing
    * String Skiping
    * Legato
    * Alternate Picking

    * C# Aeolian
    * A Aeolian
    * D Lydian
    * A Lydian

    If you have any questions:
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    Rock & Roll!/ Chowy

    C# Aeolian scale

    A Aeolian scale

    D Lydian scale

    A Lydian scale

    --> More Extreme Metal Lessons!
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