Tips on stoner metal pls

Guys in the spirit of 4/20 I’ve been trying to bust out some major heavy stoner rock jams. I get I have to use a lot of fuzz and bottom end EQ (I think my zoom b1x will do - for now :wink: ) and maybe tune down a step, but can anyone give any tips about the scales I should be using? So far I’ve been getting by playing old Sabbath riffs and it sounds OK. I’m guessing this is the minor scale but theory is not my strong suit.

Of course any other advice on achieving galactically heavy riffs (theory / equipment etc) would be muchly warmly received :slight_smile:

Video for context …(not me btw)


I don’t play much metal, I’m sure others can give you a more complete answer… but for me the easiest way to sound metal is by using Phrygian mode. If you don’t know the modes yet, Phrygian is a minor scale with a flat 2. Play around with that for a bit and it is hard not to sound angry and metal.


Ta! Will give a try :+1:

1 Like

From the comments I got that he is playing C# pentatonic/blues scale and his tuning is C G C F. He is using a big muff and a dunlop crybaby wah pedal.

The Orange Terror amp is so good for this kind of sound. It has that unique gritty sound especially combined with a fuzz.


I always avoid youtube comments (in only for the sake of mental health) !

That’s a heck of a downtuning to C. I’ve never gone that low before

I’m looking hungrily at that Orange amp…


I love Orange.


Nobody who plays this kind of genre thinks about scales, just play whatever sounds evil and doomy (minor 2nd, minor 3rd, diminished 5th). This dude is just playing pentatonics all over his neck, nothing special there. Tune down, get into the groove, experiment and be creative.


yeah I guess the key is to get into the mood :wink:


It’s not always about fuzz. I’d try using the SVT settings on the Zoom for a start and ideally go for a slightly overdriven sound. Most often, the fuzz comes from the guitars, even though it’s used for bass , but less frequently :wink:


I had a bit of a fumble this weekend - I’m not sure if I can get real sludge out of the SVT alone but I’m getting some great sounds :slight_smile: Definitely helping with my Lemmy project :wink:


There are two scales that will give you no end of stoner riff delight:
The Minor Pentatonic scale and The Blues scale.

But the first step to getting real good stoner metal riffs is to learn all the great stoner metal riffs. Copy them and rip them off… until you can change one note and have it be your own!

I recommend The Sword, Clutch, Truckfighter, and - of course - Sabbath as good places to start as they have great and audible bass riffs.


If he’s going to rip something off then let’s mention the gold standards (I’ll exclude Black Sabbath from the list):

Sleep - Dopesmoker

Sleep - Holy Mountain

Saint Vitus - Die Healing

Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Melvins - Lysol

Pentagram - Relentless

If you’re feeling adventurous and wanna downtune even more here’s some drone/doom:

Earth - Earth 2: Special Low-Frequency Version

Sunn O))) - Black One


This I can get down with :slight_smile: I can see some of them as well as Electric Wizard on Songsterr. I’m finding most the stuff I play is based around the blues scale anyway so I’m hoping I’ll pick it up by (forced) osmosis…


I am not worthy ! Thanks for the reading list :wink:


Here is some more posted by @terb “Share some good music” Friday


ta :+1:


One more thing -
Something I’ve found supremely helpful in working on metal in general is - when in doubt, just learn the guitar riff.
The guitar riffs are, generally, way more audible, cooler and way fun to play loudly with distortion on your bass.
You’ll figure out the scales they’re working with, and get some solid fingerings and riffs under your belt. And - often times - it’s what the bassist is doing anyway, just buried under a wall of 6 guitar tracks.


Earth 2 is one of my all time favorites, need to get some thick strings and tune to A so I can play some heavy drones.


Electric Wizard…Stoner riffs for days


+1 to this. I also practice bass riffs on my guitar :laughing: