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!