How To Write Metal Riffs using the METALLICA SCALE

You can legit start a metal band TODAY if you know this stuff!!! It's so easy to start writing your own metal riffs.  Check it out.


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

Hey, welcome back. I'm Jake lizzio. And in this video. I want to show you how simple it is to start writing your own metal riffs. If you just have a little bit of music theory you can guess that most metal music was written without any theory in mind, but if you know a little bit then it's very easy to analyze that stuff and say oh this is how it's done. And this is how I can do it. So in this video, I want to teach you the Metallica scale, which is an awesome set of notes that's used in like every metal song. We're going to take that scale. We're going to turn it into power cords, and then we're going to talk about actually how do we make riffs? What are some you know Concepts and some strategies. Geez, we can use to make good sounding riffs and we'll also be talking about working rhythmically as opposed to working.

Melodically because music is two parts. It's what no, do you play and when do you play it? So if you have the when figured out if you've already got the Rhythm figured out then it means you've got like half the puzzle figured out when it comes to working with riffs.

So I want to start off into things by talking about. What is the Metallica scale? All right.

You should know what a minor scale is and if you don't know what a minor scale is check out my other video on minor but really what we're doing here to make the Metallica scale. Is we're taking a minor scale and we're just injecting in all the nastiest parts of the chromatic scale possible.

So for example in e/f I want the E minor scale, it would be e f sharp g a b c and d and that C minor now the to nasty is intervals and music and this is subjective. But most people would agree is the minor second. That's a note right away from my route. So like a half step away eat an F.

That's that's ugly. Right and if we're writing metal music we want to be Looting that it's way more threatening than the normal second note of my scale. The normal cycle by note is F sharp.

That's that's cool very rocking but it doesn't have that that really gross. Let's do it. So we want to include that. Why would we you know, just because it's not in the key of E minor who cares we're going to use it because it's evil the other evil note we can use is the tritone. All right, that's the flatted 5th note of the scale. So if I go to my fifth Note 1 2 3 4 5 & A flat it I get a B-flat or you can think of it as an a sharp.

So it E to B flat is a really ugly interval as well. So it would make sense that if I'm writing metal. I would kind of want those disturbing tones within my stuff.

But the minor scale that surrounds it is so important. It sounds so good.

So what the idea here is for writing riffs as we kind of want to be using the minor scale and then injecting in some of these ugly notes. All right, so just so you can hear what I'm talking about. What if I just went up e-minor and then finally played one of those ugly notes. All right.

And if I give that a rhythm one and two and three and four and maybe a palm mute Brian, this is the simple idea of going up. Let's do you say other ugly note. I told you about was the minor second.

So what do we want and two and three I'm answer that's pretty nasty. So the next step here is turn all these notes in a power cords. Most of our metal roofs are combinations of power cords and single notes, so Take every one of these notes e- E power chord F.

Make it an F power chord F sharp, G make it a power cord a a sharp b c d and d and same thing as before we kind of want to think in the minor scale but then inject the other stuff.

So in my minor scale video I told you should really focus on your route a lot today. Our route is EE we want to focus on AR E power chord more than anything else. All right, but once we've got our E power chord, what if we pick another note from the minor scale so the fourth note. It was a I like that and then let's go to the third note, which is G and then let's do one of our ugly notes.

Alright, so we had E A G B flat and just that combination of power cords could be a great stomping intro if you start adding Paul meets to that a poem using pattern.

And then let's go to the F at the end this time.

So the first one ends on B-flat the second one will end on all right. So just by combining those notes together, you're going to pretty much it have like an infinite supply of possible power chords to put together that will work out now. Why do I call this? The Metallica scale will literally like 90% of Metallica's music can be analyzed in this sense. It's it's mainly minor music and they've just injected in some of those other tones.

I'm I'm not even a name of off the top of my head. I'll do a little homework and I'll put a list of songs that like literally follow this note for note. I know off the top of my head of wolf and man. All right, I know is just this Metallica scale and it's not just metallic. I mean if you listen to Pantera if you listen to Black Sabbath, you're going to hear the same kind of thing. We're mostly minor because miners awesome, but it's not awesome enough to include all that demonic goopy metal goodness. All right. So we've talked about adding in the power cords here and we've talked about using the scale. I want to talk about some general riff.

He's here. All right, and this is going to involve using Rhythm a general risk strategy would to be like do a consistent pattern of a single note and then introduce a power cord. So imagine if I had one measure of just my route. All right, which is e 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.

Then I get to do some power cord stuff. So I'll pick I'll pick my ugly power cord my tritone and then I'm come down here and then I'll go to my third fret and then back to a so, it will be B flat a a a and I've got a measure of Paul me it's one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four him ones so you can see I'm just kind of slightly sculpting these rips. Once I have a general idea. I think what else can I do? All I can call me tomorrow. I could I could do a palm muting pattern I could get the wrong copper coat.

Right start to sound more like metal. Another thing I want to talk to you about is pedaling off of this e note and using these same power cords up higher. So like we have any power cord here, but we also have an E power chord here.

We also have an app power cord here and the G power chord here and an F sharp our core here. So using like this note to start your Palm leaves off of and then jumping up to these high power chords, and we usually call that peddling when we constantly return to a consistent node in this case. Our pedal tone would be A lot of our metal is was pedaling on E and then going through different power cord. So pedaling on E and playing a g.

B flat D C sharp, even though that's not my Metallica scale you can add in any know what you want. But I'm just trying to analyze things by what I hear the most and what I hear the most in our metal music is just that minor scale with a flat at second and with a tritone added in there. So we really need to talk about Rhythm here with a few basic Rhythm Cycles. You'll be able to just come up with an infinite amount of riffs here. So here are the most important rhythms in my opinion for metal. You need to know what a Gallop is. That's an eighth note and then two sixteenth notes and it sounds like this one. And two and a three and a four and a one and a two and a three and the fourth the opposite of a Gallop is like a reverse Gallop. Okay, it would be one pan to the and Ricky had 40 and wanting to be have freaking and then the other essential rhythmic cycle here is just straight eighth notes one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four and by taking any combination of those and mixing them together. You're going to get a very very cool Rhythm. So I'm literally just guessing here. Let's do two bits of a Gallop. That's One and a two and then let's do one reverse Gallop which is 3 and and then let's do some eighth notes for end. So I'll have one and a two and a three and four and one and a two and a three and four and one and then two and then three and four and one and two and three and four and speed up for now. I've got a really cool Rhythm that's you know, nice and tight, you know, your drummer could sink up to that and I can start injecting in parts of my scale now to I could do one and a-two and A-One and a-two at one and the two and a three.

Okay, so it took me a second but here's that same Rhythm I crafted into a little riff and it sounds like this one and a two and a three e and four and I'll do that three times and then the fourth time I'll just hang out on my nasty.

Right own. So the whole thing is one and a two and a three and four and one and two and three and four and one and a two and a three and four and one and a to be given the key of the forage.

So I swear you can take like any combination of these sixteenth note gallops and these reverse gallops and these eighth notes and just put them together. So it adds up to four beats practice that and you're gonna have a cool awesome.

Tight palm muting pattern that your drummer can sync up your bass player can sync up to and then from there you can use that as a scaffolding to kind of build a riff around introduce some power cords introduced single notes of the scale try going up the scale and then injecting one of those notes those evil notes.

It's really really easy to start writing generic metal riffs by using this and then, you know, it's free for you to you know, inject your own style after that.

I do need to note that the Metallica scale technically does have a name. I believe it's called let me double-check. All right, so technically that set of notes is called the locrian aeolian mixed scale, but that I've never heard that term before I doubt anybody is going to recognize that term and the term Metallica scale works fine because people get what it means as soon as you say it a scale is something you write music in and Metallica has a tendency to write a lot of music just using this set of notes.

So I hope this gives you some insight into writing riffs and you know the way I think about it if I wanted to do something like emulate Metallica, what would I do? Well, I would pick the same kind of notes that they pick I would do the same strategies that they do, you know picking power. Rounding up by Paul mutes. And then also keeping in mind that you can't go wrong with the modes of major and minor, you know, the minor scale is great A lot of Metallica course is a lot of metal courses are just straight diatonic minor. So you really shouldn't shy away from the boringness of minor because you can actually do a lot with it, especially if you infuse it with some of that nasty interval stuff like I showed you here. So I hope you enjoyed this video. I hope you learned something from this video If you do enjoy these videos, please like subscribe comment all that kind of stuff really helps me out. And if you really enjoy these videos, I would appreciate she ate your support on my patreon page. There is a link in the description.

Thank you for watching.


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