Metal Guitar Riff

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Learn How To Play Metal Guitar With This Metal Guitar Riff!

In this metal lesson we are going to be learning a simple riff that uses some pretty extreme tremolo picking. You can think about this riff as being in the key of E minor if you wish. You will find tremolo picking riffs like this on in a lot death metal, black metal and other heavy styles of music. One of the things that I really like about learning riffs like this is that they sound cool and keep your hand in shape at the same time. Crank up the distortion on your amp or pedal and dial in a good metal tone.

One thing that you will probably want to do before you jump in to playing this riff at full blast is warm up. Warming up will make this riff easier to play at high speeds. Make sure that you are relaxed while playing this riff too. If you are tense, playing tremolo picking riffs like this can be more difficult than they should be.

Start off on the E note on the open 6th string and play that note sixteen times. You should be using alternate picking throughout the entire riff. Move to the E note one octave higher on the 7th fret of the 5th string and play that note sixteen times. The next note in the riff is a Bb on the 6th fret of the 6th string. Play this note sixteen times.

Continue the riff by playing the F# on the 2nd fret of the 6th string eight times. Go up one fret to the G note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Play this note four times. Finish the riff by playing the 2nd fret of the A string four times. Repeat the riff over and over until you it starts to flow together nicely. Start out slowly and build up your speed until it is metal enough for you.

You can use this tremolo picking idea for a mean sound on any riff. Now try to come up with your own little metal riffs and see if you can even write an entire metal song. Good luck!

This Lesson Has 22 Comments

  • andré says:

    Hello, I am Brazilian and I love this site, use it every day because, thanks.

  • Brad says:

    Hi Nate,

    The Contemporary Worship Guitar lesson comes up as Metal Guitar Riff when selected, could you get that corrected. Thanks in advance.

    • Nick says:

      Its fixed bro

    • Rohit says:

      johnathan. i use to play 30 yrs ago, now i just started plniyag or persae i have a berklee grad instr. but he isnt using the metrnone, which i heard is extremely inport for developement, i do like you lesson i have been considering purchaseing your 1 4 5 but i bought a texas bluse set up from dan dely but he didnt give all that was suppose to come with the package so i have been reluctant now with the on line purch. i have been preech at for so long on learning the scales across the neck and the notes also. thi9s is what byou seem to also preech about. i also notice from joemusic the product he sells showing the caged system , that has a nice note arrangement. sounds as if there is some hendrix there. your riffninja is also i like. pleas write back with opinion thanks.[] Reply:October 31st, 2011 at 8:28 amHi Lyle, yes, it is very important to learn the notes on the fretboard and some basic theory, including how chords work and the scale patterns. That knowledge will help you play any kind of music you want, including Hendrix’s stuff, the blues, or something else []

  • Joshua P. Calicdan says:


  • Juan says:

    I have searched, but I cannot find your excellent lesson of your version of the Immigrant Song. Do you still have it up?

  • Ken says:

    What ever happened to good old heavy down picking?

  • Joshua says:

    I learned that in 20 min. its really easy

  • Master your guitar|Play guitar|Learn to play guitar|How to play guitar|Eletric guitar|Acoustic guitar says:

    naturally like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality then again I’ll definitely come again again.

    • Abdo says:

      Thanks Jonathan- Great lesson- I’ve been wonkrig on my pick/fingerstyle and this will help. Volume on your video seemed very low- FYI[]Charlie Reply:October 31st, 2011 at 5:20 pmThe volume is very very low[]Maythuyar Williams Reply:November 12th, 2011 at 4:10 pmHi JonathanThank you so much for your lesson.Your lesson I saw on the video is too fast for me as I am not good at learning from the video on line as too quick for me to get them all.I am just wondering if I can learn from you face to face would be much better as I know you are a good music teacher.Can you give me your address and contact number so that I can contact you and come to your place to learn finger picking technique.ThanksMaythuyar[]

  • Mariah says:

    This sounds awesome.Great lesson! Thanks Nate!

  • ejs says:

    Nate, great lessons. Really enjoying taking them. I am still finding it slow going, but I love the guitar and am not giving up.

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  • Anthony says:

    What’s the tuning, sir? I like metal music and I would like to play more riffs like this one.


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