Tips on writing metal?

Hello again everyone :wave:
I’ve been writing some metal arrangements with lyrics, bass, lead and rhythm guitar as well as drums. Obviously I play bass, but I just got my first guitar last week and have never touched a drum kit. I seem to be struggling with the rhythm guitar especially though- I’m not sure where to use “real” chords or power chords, and I’m having trouble with some clashing notes where it’s unrealistic for the guitarist to change chords so fast but other instruments are playing notes that clash. I’m also looking for helpful tips in general, bring it on!


More gain, less notes!! Power chords are the most useful. And take the third out of basically any chord shape you’re using. Unless you’ve tuned to the thirds it will always sound slightly dissonant. Play the 1 and 5, power chord, in any position you’re comfortable in. Double stops are a good tool as well. The Google is your friend for the shapes. Speed will require simplicity and proximity. We, I, tend to make this harder than necessary. Lol


Using “real chords” can be harder under lots of gain; power chords are simple, sound huge, and get the job done. You can do it, and hell J Yuenger made up chords sometimes (I think Dimebag did, too). I remember reading an interview where he called a chord a “skronk chord” lol…

As for writing, it gets tricky depending on the genre as a whole. For free, you could look at:

it’s fairly basic, and maybe you are beyond that, but it’s free and it gives a discount to his (rather pricey, imo) songwriting course. I’ve done the riff to song challenge and it’s pretty good, tbh, on giving you an idea on what to do.

Jason Stallworth has some courses via Metal Mastermind:

I have no experience with Metal Mastermind’s Songwriter’s Forge and iirc it is another of the people doing it, not Jason. I’ve started Metal Guitar Apprentice and find Jason to be very personable, enthusiastic, and passionate. He has a lot of free content on YouTube, too. Their Metal Vocal Virtuoso I have also started, and the coach for it, Elizabeth de Deus, has a very powerful voice and the lessons there have quickly made improvements to my vocals.

Jason is more of an older style of metal sort, so I don’t know how much it would help if you were looking to be doing more modern metal stylings.

Personal experience/tips time; I would save the “real chords” for where they make the most sense: Imo, that would be passages that are more clean or aren’t as “busy” (less going on musically). Powerchord “triads” (root-fifth-octave) are typically enough. Also, experiment with fourths (ie, the top notes of the power chord), they add a completely different tone/feel to the music and can sound great. It can often sound as a lower note than the power chord w/ out the actual lower note because chord voicings are fun like that lol.

Subscribe to Ugritone’s newsletter. There are times when you can get whole ass drum kicks for $5-20 that not everyone and their mother is using (ie, SSD 5, EZD 2, SD3). Though, to bew fair, SSD5 has a free version that has a kit or twoa, and free is free. Trey Xavier of Gear Gods has a songwriting course that includes drums but like I mentioned earlier, it is spendy. About the only tips I can give on drums is to remember we only have four limbs to hit things with lol, and a cheap pad controller could allow you to record drums in a somewhat more realistic human feeling way. Ugritone also sells really cheap MIDI files for drums.


Well good for you. :+1:
Which guitar did you get?

You’ll get it. It just takes time and practice :slightly_smiling_face:
One good, FREE, website for learning guitar is:

I am also a lifetime member of Blues Guitar Unleashed, with Griff Hamlin, but for some reason was unable to post a link for his site . His teaching style is similar to B2B. Just Google Blues Guitar Unleashed and you will get there. I believe he also has a YouTube channel. Don’t let the site name fool you. Griff is primarily a blues guitar player but he does cover other genres and has courses on music theory that go deeper than the lessons in B2B.

I own quite a few electric and acoustic guitars, since 1972, but to be honest, since getting a KALA BARITONE ukulele Model KA-BE, with standard D G B E tuning and plug in capability, I rarely use them anymore.
Hey same standard tuning as a guitar with two less strings.

Good Luck :call_me_hand: :call_me_hand: :call_me_hand:


My favorite metal composer is Tuomas Holopainen. To my mind there are many metal bands but few metal composers, and this mans work bears inspection.


Thanks for the recommendations! I will post pics of the guitar later :slight_smile: