In Depth Guitar Lessons and Expert Help


April 12, 2013

Metal Guitar Lesson

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Written by: Mike Abbott

For this first heavy metal guitar lesson, you
will learn some challenging guitar riffs!

When playing heavy metal guitar, the important thing
to remember is ATTITUDE!
Whether you are playing a slamming power chord riff or
dreamy,ringing arpeggios,

Songs with Heavy Metal Guitar riffs:

A Perfect Circle – “Judith”
Metallica – “Master of Puppets”


Pick Angle Picture



Heavy Metal Guitar Riff 1

Combines single notes, 2-note
chords, and palm muting to make a dark, driving rhythm.

  • THE STRUM – Use a lot of wrist to get the maximum
  • PALM MUTES – These should be very
    muted. Move the palm a bit farther from the
  • THE PICK – Angle the pick slightly so that more
    of the pick hits the guitar string (SEE

Learn a Heavy Metal Guitar riff with chords and single notes


Heavy Metal Guitar Riff 2

combines single notes with alternating picking, and
palm muting to make a classic heavy metal guitar riff.

  • ALTERNATING PICKING – Use a light touch for a
    machine – like sound.
  • THE PICK – Angle the pick slightly so that more
    of the pick hits the guitar string (SEE
  • THE VIBRATO – Start the vibrato slightly after
    you attack the note

Learn a heavy metal guitar riff with single notes

  • Practice these Heavy Metal Riffs with the
    metronome set to somewhere between 40 and 100
  • Record the riffs to see how you’re doing
  • Now try to change one of the riffs slightly –
    Add a bend, don’t palm mute, change some notes,

About the Author

Mike Abbott
Mike is a pro guitarist and music educator.  He has performed with such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones Horns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Burt Bacharach.   After spending much of his music career in New York City, He now is a very busy guitarist in the Denver area, performing and teaching extensively. Mike's latest work is a book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, published by Harper Collins and released in December 2012.



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