Welcome to the "Metal Breakdowns" Tutorial! Throughout this tutorial, I'm going to add some random breakdowns that you can practice to work on your rhythm chops. If you're into hardcore or metalcore music, you've probably heard of the term "breakdown". A breakdown is basically a section of a song that detours from the main feel and tempo of the rest of the song. It also focuses heavily on groove and empty space between the notes(silence). And most importantly, it usually involves some very tight and accurate rhythm playing. So, let's get to it!
First off, please note that this riff is in Drop D tuning. If you aren't exactly sure what that is, click here.
Before attempting to play this riff, I want you to study the tablature. Notice the downstrokes and upstrokes, the palm muting, the slides, the octave chords, the sixteenth notes, the thirty-second notes, etc. There's a lot going on in this riff, so take it note by note and be mindful of all the pickstrokes and palm mute markings.
As mentioned above, breakdowns focus heavily on silence, so there is a lot of emphasis on the space between the notes. So any time you see a rest in the tablature, make sure that rest is extremely silent and tight. Notice in the video how I mute the strings with my left hand during the rests? Try to do that as well, as it helps avoid unwanted string noise. Silence can speak volumes, especially in a riff like this.
Once you get it down, head on over to the next lesson to practice with the backing track!