Study

Composing and Recording Modern Metal

Instructor: Mike Salow Total lessons in study:
Join Mike as he takes you from start to finish in the art of composing a modern metal composition. He covers his equipment, writing techniques, and how to play his original song.

1. Composing the Song

1. Composing Modern Metal: Example Song
Reference
Metal
Intermediate
Hello once again! Please listen closely to the composition and production of this tune. We will be breaking this series into 3 separate tutorials: 1. Composing (Tutorial 1)2. Recording (Tutorial 2)3. Playing (Tutorial 3) Please note that in Tutorials 1 & 2, we will be analyzing the composing/recording process only. T...Read More
2. Composing Modern Metal: Intro
Reference
Metal
Intermediate
I'm sorry to say it, but we will not be learning any guitar in this video......yet (that comes in Tutorial 3 of this series!) BUT! We will be learning how I approach composing and recording my ideas for my metal band, 'Ideology'. With a few simple tools and guidelines, it can be very simple and quick to record your own ma...Read More
3. Composing Modern Metal: Composing Part 1
Reference
Metal
Intermediate
When it comes to composing metal, it can be a struggle but with a few techniques and concepts you can really hammer out a lot of tunes quickly. First off, consider the following riff styles: Groove Thrash Chordal These three styles of riffs can be recycled over and over within a tune while still providing some variation....Read More
4. Composing Modern Metal: Composing Part 2
Reference
Metal
Intermediate
When it comes to composing metal, it can be a struggle but with a few techniques and concepts you can really hammer out a lot of tunes quickly. First off, consider the following riff styles: Groove Thrash Chordal These three styles of riffs can be recycled over and over within a tune while still providing some variation....Read More

2. Recording the Song

5. Recording Modern Metal: Gear
Recording
Metal
Intermediate
Hello once again! Before I get into any details, I want to point out that this tutorial is a continuation of my last tutorial, Composing Modern Metal. This time we'll be discussing the concepts and simple techniques I use to get quality recordings using an in home bedroom studio. I call it a 'bedroom studio' because all o...Read More
6. Recording Modern Metal: Tone
Recording
Metal
Intermediate
The tone settings I use are in relation to an amp modeler but some of the same principals can be used in the live micing of an amp. For metal guitar tone, I've chosen a mesa dual rectifier style amp with a 4x12 Marshall style cab which is being miced with a ribbon 121 (which is modeled after a Royer R121 microphone). There...Read More
7. Recording Modern Metal: Tracking
Recording
Metal
Intermediate
For this session, I've set the tracks up in the following manner: Track 1 - Master Track 2 - Click  Track 3 - Drums - stereo - Intstrument track - superior drummer - panned right +100% and left +100% Track 4 - Guitar 1 - stereo - audio track - panned left +100% and right -100% (complete left)  Track 5 - Guita...Read More
8. Recording Modern Metal: Mixing and Mastering
Recording
Metal
Intermediate
When it comes to the mixing and mastering process, I really don't do too much but I do have several simple rules to follow. 1. Keep your levels low at first. We want to mix music with low levels because during the mastering process those levels will be brought up a lot. Most of my levels are between -16db and -8db.  ...Read More

3. Learning the Riffs

9. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Intro
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
Hello once again! We'll finally be breaking down the riffs in the 'modern metal' tune I've written for you guys! It's about time! I know! :) First off, you'll need to tune your guitar to dropped C: C - G - C - F - A - D In this tune we have 4 main riffs and a quick outro riff (along with a solo that will be broken down ...Read More
10. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Riff 1
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
The first riff is what I call my 'groove riff'. Now this is not your typical groove riff because we don't have much rhythmic variation. In this case, we have a tremelo picked riff that has an underlying half-time double kick part. The half-time feel in the drums gives it that groove feel.  Theoretically these riffs ar...Read More
11. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Riff 2
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
The second riff in this tune is what I'd call a 'thrash' riff. In my mind, the main thing that describes a thrash riff is the back and forth interplay between the kick and snare (again, it's subjective, you might use a different descriptive word). My main concern while playing this riff was to make sure I had accented note...Read More
12. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Riff 3
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
The third riff is just a variation of the second riff. Nothing too crazy. All I'm doing here is taking the main phrase and repeating it as to build into the next section. This, accompanied by a blast beat, helps to build into the next section of the tune.  The only difference in technique here is in the right hand. Ag...Read More
13. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Riff 4
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
Riff 4 is what I call a chordal riff. It's obvious why I give it that name. This is a very simple right hand pattern of straight alternate picking. The left hand chordal shapes can be a little difficult so be sure to stretch and not strain too much.Read More
14. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Outro Riff
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
The outro riff is a recap of the main thrash riff. One of my favorite things to do when I'm composing is to bring back ideas that were previously heard in the song. Keep it thematic people! :) Sometimes even if it's just a small chunk of a riff it can have a great nostalgic effect. It sometimes take a keen listener to noti...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
15. Modern Metal Rhythm Guitar - Backing Track
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
I've made a backing track that excludes all of the rhythm guitar parts. Have fun!Read More

4. Learning the Solo

16. Modern Metal Solo Breakdown: Intro
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
Hello again! This is the 4th and final lesson on Modern Metal! If you're new to this series, check out the first tutorial here. We're finally to the guitar solo! We'll be breaking this solo down into 3 sections. 1. The first section is the first pentatonic line based around the 3rd (fret)  position G minor pentatonic...Read More
17. Modern Metal Solo Breakdown: Part 1
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
Onto the first set of ideas. I'm a big fan of solos that build into a climactic ending whilst still maintaining some nice technical lines throughout, so I started this solo with a short melody followed by a pentatonic/blues oriented lick. This was an improvised solo so in the mindset of improvisation I chose to hit as man...Read More
18. Modern Metal Solo Breakdown: Part 2
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
The second part of the solo is very similar to the first part and together the two of them almost act as a call and response (minus the rest that would usually accrue between the two ideas in a call and response). I start again with some simple melody notes into another pentatonic/blues style line. The hard part is the ph...Read More
19. Modern Metal Solo Breakdown: Part 3
Cool Riffs
Metal
Advanced
Now onto the final lick. This lick can be very hard to master because of the mix of techniques and phrasing so take your time and go sloooowwww. It starts with a 9th (fret) position F# diminished 7 arpeggio that is played ascending in groups of four using hybrid picking. You are totally free to try another technique to ac...Read More