Tip #163 – Building Heavy Chromatic Lines

In a lot of modern (and even classic) heavy metal songs, there is use of chromatics in the guitar riff.

Today’s tip is about constructing a fast sixteenth-note riff that utilizes chromatics in a melodic way while appealing to the dissonance resolution tendencies.

First, start off by playing a chord member of the harmony on every quarter-note pulse. If the harmony is a power chord, decide if it is major of minor (most like it will be minor):

Then, add eighth-notes in between. These should be diatonic notes to the key or chord members:

Finally, add sixteenth-notes in between. These notes should be chromatic notes outside of the key; however, they can also be diatonic notes so long as the fit the direction of the moving melodic line:

From there, you can change the rhythm, notes, accentuation, etc. of your riff!

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