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Metal Strumming Patterns

Hey metal heads! In this guitar lesson we will be learning a basic metal strumming pattern that involves a lot of palm muting and fast picking with your right hand and some basic power chords with your left hand. Learning how to play things like this is pretty critical if you want to really learn how to play metal, especially old school metal. Be sure to check out the TAB for the strumming pattern if you need some additional help. We will be in the Key of Eb minor for this lesson.

The chords that we are using in this strumming pattern are an Eb power chord, a B power chord and an Ab power chord. Pretty easy for your left hand right! Now lets take a look at the basic strumming pattern for the right hand. The pattern is the same for all three chords so once you learn it for the Eb you will have it down for the B and Ab as well.

Get your Eb power chord in place by putting your 1st finger on the 6th fret of the 5th string and your 3rd finger on the 8th fret of the 4th string. Play the Eb power chord once with a downstroke. Now play just the Eb note on the 6th fret of the 5th string four times starting with a downstroke. Make sure to palm mute the Eb note and use alternate picking for the four strokes. Do this again, one downstroke of the Eb power chord and four palm muted Eb notes. Finish off the pattern by playing an Eb power chord again once with a downstroke and then play a palm muted Eb note two times.

This is the whole pattern. Play it two times through for the Eb, B and Ab power chords. The pattern stays the same but you will be using the 5th and 6th strings for the B and Ab power chords instead of the 4th and 5th strings.

Try to work on getting a really sharp clean sound with your picking hand. Work on the pattern slowly and once you sound like a metal god you can speed it up. Make sure to find the sweet spot for your palm muting too. Don’t palm mute the notes too much or they will sound choked. Don’t mute them to little or it won’t be tight sounding.

This is only one basic metal strumming pattern that uses just three chords but you can use the techniques and ideas that you learn from this pattern to make up a ton of your own strumming patterns and riffs. If you like the strumming pattern you heard in this lesson go check out some Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath. Have fun!