German Power Metal III: Gamma Ray

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hello GMC!

    Welcome to the third lesson of this series based on German Power Metal bands. This time I decided to cover the band Gamma Ray, which is another one of the biggest power metal bands from Germany. This band has been formed by Kai Hansen (Helloween founder) when he separated ways from his previous band. They were formed in 1989 and have realised 10 studio albums.

    Don’t forget to check the other two German Power Metal lessons that I already recorded:
    Helloween Style
    Blind Guardian Style

    Music Style:
    Their style is similar to the first Helloween albums and since those albums defined word “Power Metal”, we can say that Gamma Ray is a combination of traditional metal with speed metal... in other words “pure power metal” from Germany. If you hear their first albums you will remember “the keepers..” by Helloween but with the addition of some Judas Priest influences. In their songs you will find fast tunes but also mid tempo power metal hits. I decided to cover a mid tempo style song because I covered the faster style in the Helloween style lesson.

    Tonality & Chord Progression:
    The tune is in E minor and the progression is a very often used one in power metal band.
    This is the progression that is repeated: Im – VI – III – VII. I created a minor tune but you will also find many major sound songs or at least choruses. I created the melodies and arrangements using E minor scale. Let me add that Kai Hansen has some Malmsteen influences so you will find some solos where he uses harmonic minor scale.

    This lesson isn’t so difficult so it could be a practice lesson for beginners that like metal and want to start playing more advanced things. The intro is maybe the most difficult part because I use only down strokes and palm muting to get that sound.

    I used my Pod HD 500 to record this lesson. I used the Treadplate Dual Amp Model with a 4x12 2001 Treadplate Cab Model and a Screamer emulation. If you want the tone you can find it HERE. My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Studio. The drums and the bass sound is from the Hyper Canvas. The strings has been created using Edirol Orquestal.

    I used standard 440.

    Ok! Let’s play some metal!

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