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Joined: 18 May 2008
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 5
Karma: 1

Thrash Metal (Bay Area)

by Veqq

18 May 2008
Views: 15315

First Thing first, Thrash is different from Speed Metal in that it's Harmonic Tempo is fast, where speed metal has a slow Harmonic Tempo. I will mainly be focusing on the Bay Area for now, and it's evolution through the periods. (In the tabs the S's are 16th, and the E's are 8ths.)

81-84

Overkill was the first band to play thrash, in '81 they copyrighted a song that would be on their 1985 debut. Metallica and Kreator *Under the name tormentor) were the first ones to put out demos. Exodus (although Bonded by blood was released in 85 it was made in 83) Metallica, Znowhite and Slayer were among the first to release albums. This is the style of the early days.


S S S S S S S S S S S S S S E S S S S S S S S S S S S S S E
|-------------------------------|----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------|----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------|----------------------------------|
|-------------------4-----------|-------------------4--------------|
|-------------5-----2-----5/4/5-|-------------5-----2-----5/4/5----|
|-0-0-0-0-0-0-3-0-0---0-0-3/2/3-|-0-0-0-0-0-0-3-0-0---0-0-3/2/3----|


This riff is pretty straight forward, a nice solid 16th note pace. It is closer to the early slayer style. I would suggest playing this at about 190-220 Bpm.

Here is another one:

|---------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------------------------|-----------------------5-7----|
|-----------------3-2-3-----|-------------------5-7--------|
|-0-0-3-0-0-5-0-0-------0-0-|-5-0-0-3-0-0-1-0-0------------|


This is in C Major (or A minor). Simple scales like this were used in the early days. (Play it at about 200) It includes a small lead line, that is basically a short pentatonic run. A lick/Solo to play over this would be:


| S S S S S S S S S S S E S S E
|----17-20-17----17-20-17-20-17----17-------------|
|-20----------20----------------20----20-17-------|
|-------------------------------------------19b20-|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|

This is in C Pentatonic. Most solos and fills were in the pentatonic form of the scale used for the riff.

85-87
During these years, Testament (Under the name legacy) Released a demo. Metallica released master of puppets, Dark Angel (were like slayer, but a good deal faster) released darkness descends and Heathen Made their Debut. The music had gotten far more technical. They filled songs with lead guitar, with fills all over the place. Bands were also starting to play long complicated solo's (like something you would hear at GIT) and have far more complicated riff and song structures. I would love to give out some song structures and stuff, but that wouldn't make sense with out making riffs for it too, and by then it would be far too long...


E S S E E E S S E E E S S E E E E E E
|---------------------|----------------------|
|---------------------|----------------------|
|---------------------|----------------------|
|---------------------|----------------------|
|---------2---------3-|---------5-3-2-3-5----|
|-0-0-0-0---0-0-0-0---|-0-0-0-0--------------|


This riff is played in A harmonic Minor. As the music progressed they began to use more complicated rhythms and scales. A Lick to go over it would be:

S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|----------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|
|----13-14-13----10----------------10-13-14----------|
|-12----------12----12----12-14-12----------10-12----|
|----------------------14----------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|


Another riff (I took this from a song I wrote). (Play it 2 times)

E E S S E S S E S S S S E E S S E S S E S S S S
|-------------------------|----------------------------|
|-------------------------|----------------------------|
|-------------------------|----------------------------|
|-------------------------|----------------------------|
|-5-5---------------------|----------------------------|
|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3----|


This is in Pretty much any scale, being a simple Gallop. The lick to go over it:

| E E Half rest e e e e e e e e
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|
|--------------------------|--------------------13-16---17---|
|--------------------------|-------12---14-16----------------|
|-5-5----------------------|-14-16---------------------------|
|-5-5----------------------|---------------------------------|
|-3-3----------------------|---------------------------------|


The Q is a quarter rest...

| E E Q S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|-----------------------------------|----------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|----13-16-13-17-16-13-------------------------------|
|-----------------12----14-16----12-|-16-------------------16-12-14-12----12-------------|
|-5-5-------14-16----16-------14----|----------------------------------16----14-16-14----|
|-5-5-------------------------------|----------------------------------------------------|
|-3-3-------------------------------|----------------------------------------------------|


This lick is in A harmonic Minor. Note the power chords played when Open notes are played in the rhythm.

88-92
This is when the super \technical stuff came out, Testament released several albums, Exodus released Fabulous Disaster, and Metallica released Justice. Annihilator released a string of albums and Megadeth Released their most technical albums, and WatchTower... The music by now had gotten very progressive, with many odd time signatures and other things.


|-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-|
E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------7----------------------5-7----------|
|-------9---7---------9-----------------------5-7-----5-7------|
|-0-0-0---0---R-0-0-0----0---R-0-0-0-R--0-0-0------------------|

(r's stand for rests)
This is in 11/4 time. It's in C Major (or a pentatonic).

S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S Q
|---------------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------------------------------|------------------------------|
|---------7S8-------------8S9-----|-8-7-5-------5----------------|
|-7p0-----5S6-----7p0-----6S7-----|-------8-6-5---8-6-5----------|
|-5p0-0-0-----0-0-5p0-0-0-----0-0-|---------------------9-7-6----|


This is a riff more in the style of WatchTower. It is in G lydian Minor.

This is an example of a lick that was played:

|--3--| |-----5-----|
E E E S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-12-11---------------11-12-11------------11-11--11-----------------11-|
|-------12-9-11-12-12----------12-11-9-12-----------12-11-9-11-12-9----|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|

S S S S S S S S E S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-12-11----------------------------------11-12-11---------------11----|
|-------12-11-9----------0-12-11-9-11-12----------12-11-9-11-12-------|
|---------------12-10-9-----------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|


It's in 6/4 time. This is in the B Neopoltion. And to be honest, I learned it specifically to make a weird solo thingy like this. :) (Because, they used such awesomely wierd scales that I felt it would be the best way to make one. )

Another, example:


|--3--| |--3--| |--3--| |--3--| |--3--| |--3--| |--3--| |--3--|
S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|-------------------------------------17-14-15-17-15-14-------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------16-14-12-16-14-12-------------------17-16-14-17-16-14-|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-15-12-14-15-14-12-------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|


This would be in A Melodic Minor.





Comments:

01
05.23.2008
  league

Nice lesson man. i would have to say Megadeth has the more technical rhythm in Thrash. Holy Wars is not as hard as I thoiught but I havent heard of a band that palm mutes an note and plays beneath it. Mustaines rhythms had no "real" rules and thats what I like about Megadeth. Metallica sounds technical but theyre music is really simple and the solos are repetitive. Testament is good but they play some repetitive material.

02
05.25.2008
  Veqq

I agree, Testament is really just Alex Skoliks backing band... The stuff after him just turned into a generic modern mush. :/
What do you mean by playing a muted note and playing stuff under it? Like your muting the 7th fret of a string and then playing the 4th fret or something else instead of something on a higher string?



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