Metal Thunder

Animated Metal Thunder tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

There's no need to always rely on powerchords for metal, your rhythm guitar can be creative and fun just riffing away happily.

This style of playing involves mostly riffing, with pinch harmonics and slides for effect. There is a gentle interlude, and pedal effects used - but just switching between standard distortion and a clean sound is all you'll really need. You may have to make your own thunder however.

Let's go over the guitar sounds first. If you are interested in getting some nice effects for your sound, and like the guitar sounds used here, you might find this useful...

With the metal guitar, we used an octavizer pedal effect. It just doubles up everything you play, one octave lower - just like adding a bass underneath your guitar. It's not a loud effect, but does add a bit of extra beef to your sound. The extra low end fattens your guitar sound, and makes the pinch harmonics stand out well. We also use a lot of heavy distortion, and a touch of reverb, but no delay.

The clean guitar (during the interlude) has a few effects applied too. There is a lot of reverb and delay (causing the notes to blend over each other). Also, a gentle phaser pedal effect was added to give a slight 'swirl' to the sound.

At the end of the clean guitar part, and the beginning of the next metal guitar part, a 'slicer' effect is used. This just takes the guitar sound and 'gates' it at regular intervals - causing the sound to be interrupted. When you switch to the metal sound, play the G5 with your volume knob set low, then turn up the volume on your guitar. This gives the sliced fade in. As soon as the riff starts, hit the pedal to turn off the slicer.

You certainly won't need all these effects to play this tune, or get a great sound. So, if you don't have an effects unit, don't let that put you off having a go here. However, knowing how it was done will help you with your own setups and experimentation.

The song is in in E minor, but not strictly. There is a lot of chromaticism. We use notes like Bb (diminished 5th) and G# (the major 3rd) very often, which certainly don't sit in the standard E natural minor scale. However, this is metal, where rules are broken, and eardrums bleed. Using 'off' notes like this rocks, if done right. Also, there are no chords in the backing music - this means there is nothing to clash against, which gives you a lot of freedom.

Notice that there are a lot of slides during the riffs. Doing them isn't necessary, but it adds that breathing effect (talked about in Jamzone's 'Rock 1 Solo B'). Basically, it is a way of releasing tension while playing much like a singer would take a breath after each song line. The slides add a nice touch during the riffs, much like this 'breathing'.

Also, beware that sometimes WHILE sliding you need to quickly pick the adjacent Low E string. This will take a bit of practice, but shouldn't be too difficult to get with time.

There are also plenty of vibratos used - this expressive technique can really add an extra dimension to the riff notes. This is particularly true when combined with pinch harmonics for those high squeals.

Notice that each song section (Verse, chorus, bridge, interlude) is identifiable by the root note. For example, the main verse riff tends to always begin with the Low E (although at the start, and a few other times an A note is played once, because it just sounds good).

Same for the other parts, for example, the G note is used for the chorus riff.

The clean guitar part is very simple. Just fret across with one finger and pick accordingly. The bass guitar here plays between A and D notes, and the guitar simply picks between the Am7 and D major (with A in the bass) chords.

Work at the pinch harmonics and remember to keep your thumb close to the edge of the tip of your pick to get them quickly! Have fun :)

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