Heavy Metal Shuffle

by Ben Higgins

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  • Hi GMC ! This time I have a heavy metal riff feast for you, in a shuffle type rhythm. A shuffle is a rhythm which is written as 4/4 but is played with a 6/8 feel. It is synonymous with Jazz but has found enormous use and popularity in rock and metal, particularly by traditional metal bands.

    Traditional jazz music is written in 4/4 but played in 6/8. Such music may be annotated "with a swing" or similar, but the swing also may be assumed.
    In shuffle rhythm, the first note in the pair is exactly twice the duration of the second note. In swing the division is inexact, and varies depending on factors such as how fast or slow the music is, on the genre of music, or the individual tastes of the performer, from almost equal (typically at fast tempos) to almost shuffle (typically at slow tempos).
    - Wikipedia

    Expanding upon the basic jazz concept of the shuffle, or swing, we can make it more 'metal' by adding extra 16th notes on the bottom E string and adding palm muting. Such playing is very reminiscent of John Schaffer of Iced Earth and Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson of Testament.

    This lesson will work on your right hand. It will test the tightness of your picking and the efficiency of your palm muting. It will also work on your downstrokes. If downstrokes are a weak point for you I recommend working through this lesson

    The tempo of the track is 115bpm and it's in the key of Em.

    Gear: Marshall JVM 410H. OD2, Red setting. BASS - 4, MID - 4, TREB - 6, GAIN - 3

    Enjoy !
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