Introduction to learning and playing Technical/Progressive Death Metal

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by MrWulf, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    Anyone got any suggestions on learning and playing a complicated style such as Tech/Progressive Death Metal? There's barely any resources out there and the learning curve seems to just be really high. I'd love to have some suggestions or pointer on which band should I learn/listen to get the ball rolling.
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Honestly I just play what I want to play, slow enough to play it. Metronome training is great and you'll have all the proper shapes and string patterns down that way.
     
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  3. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    I've been learning riffs from Keith Merrow, The Black Dahlia Murder, Shades of Black and some other bands i like but tech death remains this realm of utter madness that i've not been able to look into.
     
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  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    You'll want to research basic alternate picking and sweep picking techniques. Economy picking too. Watch Troy Gradys Cracking the Code to improve your alternate picking technique (a few hours investment on youtube and fairly entertaining multipart series).
     
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  5. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Start with Necrophagist I think. They were really the start of the genre and are quite approachable. Their music fits naturally under the hands, and is not so technical for techs sake as some modern stuff.
     
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  6. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Check out Necrophagist - Epitaph and Obscura - Cosmogensis. Head to ultimate guitar and download the guitar pro tabs for Stabwound by Necrophagist and Anticosmic Overload by Obscura.

    Those two songs cover a lot of ground for patterns and rhythms used in a lot of tech death. You are going to want to take them bar by bar, breaking them down and committing all the notes to memory before moving on. Once you've a section memorised play it at half speed and slowly work up. With most metal you can miss a note and still stay on time but with tech death if you miss a semiqauver you can be lost by the end of the bar and out of time. Really take your time with these two songs, it's an achievement even to just get a section down, most important is to play it clean and precisely on time.

    With tech death solos there are licks used by every band so it's a pretty easy style to get into. Once you have your minor + diminished arpeggios and harmonic minor positions memorised you can churn out tech death solos. You'll hear a lot of similar patterns on Epitaph.
     
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  7. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Alt pick root/octave instead of power chords, play at 240 bpm, switch in and out of 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, & 7/8 with lots of little rests. Sweep, tap, and sweep tap. Harmonic minor and it’s various modes.
     
  8. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Honestly I think economy picking is huge in tech death, and the more tech death songs I learn, the more I believe it's a major reason how a lot of tech bands are able to play entire sets of ridiculously complicated music. I can't imagine being a strict alternate picking guy and playing multiple songs in a row at 240+ bpm, it's just not efficient enough to only stick to that, so I think incorporating economy picking into your playing style is a good start. For me, learning as much as I could of the whole Planetary Duality album by The Faceless was the biggest breakthrough in my playing. If you start slow enough to play things clean, the album is a good primer into economy picking, sweeping, tapping, tremolo and alternate picking, all while using a lot of recurring, movable chord shapes in a drop tuning and you can learn a lot about how Michael Keene moves chords and riffs around to get that creepy, alien sounding tonality. That's a fun album to dissect imo.
     
  9. gunch

    gunch chungus

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    As for real courses Andy James Metal rhythm in 6 weeks and John Browne’s site riffhard is supposed to be good for his style (downpicking)
     
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  10. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    I did used John Browne's site for a bit. I learned quite a lot but the site is still limited while overpriced (30 bucks per month) while the content is still very limited and niche (mostly exercises plus riff breakdown on Monuments' style of Djent).

    The Andy James's course is something i had before but it seems kind of shallow and average. Maybe i should give it a go for real but from what i've seen it is kind of dated and mostly metalcore-focused
     
  11. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Dean from archspire has guitar lessons on line called Lambs Chops on youtube and bandcamp.
     
  12. 777timesgod

    777timesgod Stop reading this...I said stop!

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    I agree on the Obscura and Necrophagist choices, as well as the separation of riffs to individual bars for studying. Also, try and find patterns and repeated parts and split the riffs to Voltas, if it is not done by the author. It will be easier on the eyes when studying it.
    Lastly, careful with double tracked or overlapping guitar parts, I remember being confused once on a Cannibal Corpse 3 solos part, I was lagging speed on the last one despite the tempo not being to the max. I isolated the guitar tracks and realised that the 3rd one started as the 2nd one was still going.
     
  13. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    Well it wouldn't really be technical if it wasn't.

    Reminds me of a made up Mozart story:
    Young Composer: "Herr Mozart, I am thinking of writing a symphony. How should I get started?"
    Mozart: "A symphony is a very complex musical form and you are still young. Perhaps you should start with something simpler, like a concerto."
    Young Composer: "But Herr Mozart, you were writing symphonies when you were 8 years old."
    Mozart: "Yes, but I never asked anyone how."
     
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  14. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    The learning curve is like a 90 degree cliff. I dont mind the learning curve is high but it is near vertical unlike other genres.
     
  15. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Tech death still incorporates all the fundamentals of other metal sub-genres, just turned up to 11. If you have a solid foundation of alternate picking, tremolo picking, pedal-tone riffing, string skipping, then you can at least start tackling learning tech-death riffs, even if it has to be at a much slower tempo. People think sweeping is the hardest part, but IMO, really internalizing sweeping into your playing style makes learning how to write and play economy picking parts much easier, which in turn is just a very efficient way to play technical music.
     
  16. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    It’s mostly just technique and endurance that is most important. As stated before, just pick a few songs you enjoy and learn them slowly.

    I find things like jazz and all these clean guitarists music much more difficulty due to the odd scales/chords/theory
     
  17. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    Basically learn everything off of Epitaph and Planetary Duality and that's 90% of the skills you'll need.

    Dean Lamb's lessons are amazing for refining technique. Would also recommend getting a copy of the Jeff Loomis DVD from way back, still use that a lot.
     
  18. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Can't add much. I am more into old school DM vs Tech Death but a lot of the stuff I am into like Cryptopsy pr Suffocation can be difficult.

    I find Suffo more technical on the composition side of things vs the actual riffs but anyway they can all get pretty fast.

    The best thing for me was practicing my ass off and if something is so fast or complex that you cannot play it...As already mentioned by someone else. Learn the parts cleanly as slow as you need to and then work on your speed.
     

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