Accelerate Your Guitar Learning With Metal Techniques

Many notable guitarists have a background in metal. These techniques will help you build speed, stamina and accuracy.
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Instructed by Nick Gambacorta Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 68
  • Length 6.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

Whether you are looking to master lead techniques from guitar greats like Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen, build pick control and skills to shred like Pantera and Slayer, or play and understand odd time signatures of modern/prog metal acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders or Tesseract, this course will take you thoroughly through a vast array of content, theory and exercises to help you achieve your goals.

Topics covered include:

  • Power Chords & Palm Muting
  • Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, Trills & Slides
  • Natural & Pinch Harmonics
  • Tapping, Legato & String Skipping
  • Sweep, Tremolo, Economy & Alternate Picking
  • Theory, Modes & Scales
  • Syncopation Common Time & Odd Time Signatures
  • Parallel Chord Movement & Diatonic Harmony
  • And Much More!

What are the requirements?

  • Basic knowledge of the guitar
  • Basic right hand and left hand technique
  • A little theory knowledge (preferred, but not required)
  • Time and dedication

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 200 exercises and examples with downloadable tabs
  • In-depth tutorials on the essential elements of metal techniques

What is the target audience?

  • Beginner to advanced guitarists with a love for metal

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Getting Started
02:40

A general overview of what you'll be learning throughout the series.

It is recommended that you have basic knowledge about guitar, how to sound a note, strum a few chords, etc. Knowing some theory may help, but will be covered from the ground up.

00:47

Practice makes perfect. Make sure you spend time getting comfortable playing and fully understanding the lessons before moving on as future lessons will build upon earlier ones.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)

03:37

In this video, you will learn:

  • Proper left hand posture
  • Proper right hand posture
  • Chord stability
  • How to hold a pick


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)

06:10

Power chords are a key ingredient in metal composition.

This video covers the following open string power chords:

  • E5
  • A5
  • D5
  • G5

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)
04:33

This video covers the moveable power chord shapes for chords on various string groupings.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)

03:19

Basic right hand palm muting technique:

  • Wrist placement
  • Palm muted open E string
  • Differentiation from other genres


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)

05:17

In this video you will learn how to palm mute power chords, as well as how to switch in and out of palm muting to add punch to a riff.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)

05:39

Play more efficiently by picking using both down and up strokes.

Items covered include:

  • Basic alternate picking
  • Palm-muted alternate picking
  • Chromatic alternate picking
  • Palm-muted chromatic alternate picking
  • Alternating palm-muted chromatic exercise
  • Metal riff combining palm muting ans alternate picking

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 1)


Section 2: The Building Blocks
03:12
Inverted power chords build on the construction of regular power chords, but add a heavier, more gritty sound.
This video includes:
  • Review of power chord construction
  • Inverted power chord shapes

07:34

Utilize moveable power chord shapes in the key of E Minor.

This video includes:

  • 6th string E Minor scale
  • 5th string E Minor Scale
  • Incorporating inverted power chords in E Minor

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)

02:18

Switching from one string group to another can lead to string noise. Here's how to avoid the unwanted sound from different strings.

This video contains:

  • Pick control
  • Left hand control

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)

05:56

As we know, power chords are comprised of the root and fifth of a scale. Moving the fifth to different degrees in the scale can add more variety to your riffs.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)

04:39

When playing a power chord, besides just playing the root and the fifth, you can add the octave. For a more melodic sound you can leave the fifth out of the chord completely and just play the root and octave.


This video covers:

  • Octave chord shapes on all string groups
  • How to play an octave chord without hitting undesirable strings


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)

04:03

Sliding produces a smooth transition between different chords.

This video covers:

  • Sliding power chords
  • Sliding octaves
  • Keeping finger formation while sliding
  • Finger pressure

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)
02:22

Various sliding examples. Make sure you practice until your slides are smooth and really tie the notes together.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 9)

Section 3: Continued Skill-Building
04:56

We're going to cover a lot of ground in this section, so make sure you are comfortable with the content and terminology in the previous sections.

Instead of having chords ring out or being palm muted, you can play them staccato, meaning short, abrupt and punchy.

This videos covers:

  • Left hand finger pressure technique
  • Right hand muting technique
  • Accenting power chords
02:08

Fully muting the strings by blanketing the strings with the right hand creates a percussive sound.

Practice combining this technique with palm muting and sliding.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 16)

03:41

Legato techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs and trills are a great way to smoothly tie notes together (think opposite of staccato). This is used heavily in solos but in riffs as well.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 16)

03:00

Hammer-on and pull-off exercises to help you get comfortable with these techniques.

Try this with every different finger group to help develop each finger.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 16)

08:32

This video covers:

  • Using the flat fifth in a chord to create a more dissonant sound
  • Flat fifth chord shapes
  • Major and minor triads
  • Diatonic and chromatic movement
  • Parallel movement of thirds


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 16)

08:53

Intervals between notes are what make scales unique and can produce a wide variety of melody and emotion. The major scale, for example, tends to sound happy while the minor tends to sound more serious.


This video covers:

  • Whole steps and half steps
  • The twelve intervals within an octave
  • Melodic intervals
  • The tritone


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 16)

Section 4: Getting Comfortable With Scales & Rhythm Basics
01:24

A short recap of diatonic and chromatic movement.

01:41

The A minor pentatonic scale is very useful in songwriting and improvisation. This is typically the first scale beginners learn because of it's memorable pattern.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

01:27

The A blues scale is similar to the pentatonic but adds an extra "blue note".


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

03:01

The A minor pentatonic scale contained only five degrees of a scale. Adding the two remaining notes creates the A natural minor scale.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

04:41

This video covers:

  • 4/4 time signature
  • Eighth notes in 4/4 time
  • Tied 8th note syncopation
  • Tied notes across the bar line


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

05:03

There are many time signatures besides 4/4. Compound time signatures divide the beat into groups of three.

This video covers:

  • 3/4 time
  • 6/8/ time
  • 12/8 time
  • How to count

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)
03:48

Triplets are a group of three evenly spaced notes within the space of a beat.

This video covers triplet timing in relation to quarter, 8th and 16th notes.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

02:55

Using notes on open strings combined with pull-offs anchors riffs to a tone and is a common technique used by bands such as AC/DC and Iron Maiden.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

02:32

We've discussed hammer-ons and pull-offs where notes are sounded without picking them. Tapping is a similar technique but utilizes the right hand.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 22)

Section 5: Intermediate Music Theory
09:44
This video covers:
  • Quick recap of power chord construction
  • Major and minor triads
  • Diminished triad
  • Augmented triad
  • Bar and open position chord construction
03:39

Always be aware of the degrees in the chords you are playing to identify compatible scales.


*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 31)

06:26

Vibrato is the art of taking a note and oscillating it to add accent. This is a very common technique in guitar solos.

This video covers:

  • Finger and wrist movement
  • Thumb position
  • Vibrato with bar
  • Chord vibrato

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 31)
12:02

Building on the vibrato technique, bending is a great way to add style to your playing.

This video covers:

  • Hand positioning
  • Types of bends
  • Pitch awareness
  • Half and whole step bends
  • Bending without releasing
  • Pre-bending
  • Unison bend

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 31)
06:56

Harmonics are naturally occurring pitches on the string related to the string length. These sound very unique and are played without fully fretting a note.

This video covers:

  • 12th fret harmonics
  • other fret locations for harmonics
  • Utilizing harmonics in riffs
  • Combining harmonics

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 31)
Section 6: Dissonance, Arpeggios & Drop D Tuning
08:54

Dissonance refers to unpleasant or conflicting sounds. This is a creative tool used in metal to sound ugly and intentionally unpleasant.

This video covers:

  • Pleasant and unpleasant intervals
  • Tritones
  • Major 7th dissonance
11:51

Arpeggios are similar to chords but the notes are played separately.

This video covers:

  • Minor arpeggio shapes
  • Finger rolling
  • Major arpeggio shapes

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 36)
15:48

Metal is notorious for utilizing non-standard tuning. Drop D tuning is one of the more common tunings that gives a deeper sound and allows for one finger power chords.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 36)

Section 7: Integrating Lead Techniques Into Rhythm Playing
14:26

Intermediate level tapping technique, theory and examples:

  • Pentatonic tapping (demonstrated in Amin)
  • Hammer-ons from nowhere
  • String skipping
  • How to get a clean, smooth tapping sound
  • Building tapping finger strength
  • Reasons to use tapping
  • Expanding riff, lick and solo opportunities through tapping
  • A natural minor tapping example
  • Scalar tapping patterns
11:19

Intermediate Syncopation - using rests, tied-notes and dotted notes to create more complex rhythms:

  • Note duration
  • Dotted notes and note groupings
  • Breaking away from even rhythms
  • Crossing the barline
  • Intermediate syncopation example
  • Use of triplets
  • Using syncopation in a compound meter

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 39)

05:43

A deeper look at using non-linear motion within a scale:

  • String skipping examples
  • Pentatonic skipping
  • Utilizing movement away from the adjacent string
  • Right hand independence
  • String skipping exercise in B minor
  • Incorporating tapping and legato

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 39)

07:10

An introduction to the Chromatic scale:

  • Chromatic scale from C
  • Fingering positions
  • Passing tones
  • Theory, application and examples

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 39)

Section 8: Expanding Rhythm & Lead Opportunities
14:55

Advanced sweep picking technique & examples:

  • Right hand control
  • Muted sweeping
  • Sweeping various groups of strings
  • Left hand finger separation & syncing
  • Major & Minor sweep arpeggio examples


06:42

Diminished triad theory & intervals:

  • Best practices and examples
  • Whole half & half whole scales
  • Riffing & solo melodies

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 43)

08:16

A few new scales introduced:

  • Harmonic minor scale - notes and fingering
  • Application in Metal - modes & scale relationships
  • Phrygian dominant scale
  • Shifting scale positions
  • Chord progression examples

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 43)

Section 9: Advanced Metal Rhythms & Harmonization
06:55

Expanding your rhythms beyond common time:

  • Application in Progressive Metal
  • Common odd time signatures
  • Importance of note grouping & subdivision
  • Examples in 5/4, 5/8, 7/8 time
08:39

Diatomic harmony - theory & examples:

  • Chord construction
  • Triads in the key of C major
  • Harmonic chord formula for all Major keys

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 46)

06:58

Exploring Minor key harmonization:

  • Minor key chord analysis
  • Breaking down minor scale triads
  • Harmonic formula for minor keys
  • Common chord progressions

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 46)

05:10

Rules are made to be broken!

Theory isn't everything - don't be afraid to venture outside the lines.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 46)

08:35

7-string fundamentals:

  • Adaptation from 6-strings
  • New chord possibilities
  • Translating scales & arpeggios

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 46)

Section 10: Modes & More Music Theory
06:12

Digging deeper into theory

  • Understanding tonality
  • Positions of modes (demonstrated in F Major): (F) Ionian (1st position), (G) Dorian, (A) Phrygian, (Bb) Lydian, (C) Mixolydian, (D) Aeolian, (E) Locrian, (F) Ionian (13th position)
  • Modes of F Major exercise (ascending and descending)
  • Major and Minor families
16:53

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 51)

06:34

A lesson in chord compatibility - mode selection and coloring the harmonic backdrop.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 51)

03:26

An exercise in the modes of F Harmonic Minor.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 51)

Section 11: Advanced Metal Lead Techniques
05:58

A discussion on building pick control and speed:

  • Relaxation is key
  • Control & eliminate tension
  • Wrist motion
  • Palm muting for wrist strength
01:51

A few exercises to help advance your alternate picking technique.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

01:40

How to get the most out of hammer-ons and pull-offs.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

02:14

Some helpful exercises to get you comfortable with legato techniques.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

03:25

Get your tapping up to speed with these exercises.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

01:35

Some more sweep picking exercises to help you build hand strength and coordination.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

05:11

Why you need to use a metronome to hone your skills:

  • Building your chops
  • Measuring your progress
  • Enhancing accuracy
  • Muscle memory
  • Start slow, but don't be scared to push yourself

Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

01:34

Make the most out of your practice time.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 55)

Section 12: Additional Metal Skill Building & Exercises
07:59

Maximizing your efficiency of motion:

  • Economy vs alternate picking
  • Economy picking example
  • Benefits of use
  • Connecting scales example
06:20

Definition and uses of passing tones:

  • Scale embellishment
  • Venturing outside the scale
  • C Mixolydian example
  • Chromatic motion

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 63)

01:14

A few examples utilizing passing tones.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 63)

02:28

Using tremolo picking for both rhythm and lead.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 63)

03:37

How pinch harmonics work, how to play them, and a few examples for you to practice.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 63)

10:51

A discussion on the importance of rhythm technique with several exercises to expand your sense of timing.

*make sure to download the tab/example sheet under resources for the first lecture in this section (lecture 63)

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Instructor Biography

Nick Gambacorta, Guitar Teacher & Music Business Entrepreneur From NYC

I'm not sure if I wanted to learn to play guitar because I loved metal, or if I love metal because it is so awesome to play on guitar, but today I can't live without either. Becoming a well-versed metal guitarist is by far one of the most rewarding skills I could have ever asked for and well worth the many hours spent getting to where I am today. Now I'd like to pass that knowledge and skill onto guitar students all over the world.

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