"Groove Monster Volume One - Modern Metal" CD Extra Sampler

Be sure to check out James's new instructional release "GROOVE MONSTER VOLUME ONE - MODERN METAL" of which the following example is taken.


Tuning: Drop D (D-A-D-G-B-E)

For those of you who have not yet had a burning rhythm work out, this final track should do the job. The emphasis is on right hand riffing, precision palm muting and counting rhythms. To better isolate the development of these techniques, the left hand chord work is more "simplistic" -- all of the "napalm" chords are on the bottom three strings and can be played with one finger. However, it should be qualified that only one finger at a time is used, for you will definitely find it beneficial to divide the workload between your first, second and third fingers to minimize position shifts.

Chordal slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs abound. This is one of the greatest assets of drop D tuning and virtually all of these techniques can be found in post-grunge metal guitar. The palm muting, alternate picking and syncopated rhythms are further peppered with changing time signatures and tempos, just to keep you sharp. The ramping tempo riff at the end should give all but the most capable players a true test of stamina. As the tempo increases, firm but very light alternate picking, with the width of the pickstroke limited to approximately that of the 5th and 6th string should get you through it without a wounded forearm. I have included the pickstrokes I used to keep up and notice how they change as the tempo reaches its peak with the introduction of the cowbell. Notice also that the power chords are reduced to the bottom two strings, eliminating the 4th string octave. This adaptive technique is commonly used among bands that employ super fast "machine gun" riffing. Current examples include System of a Down, Fear Factory, and Slipknot.

The idea is that if you can play the rest of the CD you should be able to handle the arm burning, palm sweating final onslaught. So enough with the introductions. Have at it!

Soloing options : with the exception of the chromatic riffs #2 and #4, the rhythms consist of root 5 power chords built off the flat 3rd, perfect 4th, , tritone, and flat 7th in the key of D. The recommended scales should generally preserve the sinister vibe and quasi-death metal feel.

Note: the audio sample contains riffs 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12 found in the notation below