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Metal Mike Chlasciak

Guitar World Member For: 3 years 12 weeks
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Metal for Life with Metal Mike: How to Reinvent the Penatonic Approach to Forge New Melodic Riffs — Video

By far the most prominently used scale and the most prevalent sound in rock, metal and blues is that of the minor pentatonic scale. The musical strength of the scale lies in its simplicity, making it a perfect formula from which to try to discover interesting and new musical paths.

Metal for Life with Metal Mike: A Practice Piece That Incorporates Useful, Challenging Techniques

In my quest to raise my guitar-playing game to the highest level, I find it essential to devise practice techniques that will push my pick- and fret-hand abilities as far as possible. A great way to go about this is to combine the focus on these technical issues with the creative endeavor of writing original riffs and patterns that will hopefully spark new song ideas.

Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Using Drop-D Tuning to Write Heavy Riffs — Video

Aside from the additional heaviness this tuning provides by extending the instrument’s range downward, having the bottom two strings tuned a fifth apart—D to A—enables one to play a root-fifth power chord simply by strumming the two strings open or barring a finger across them at any given fret.

Metal Mike: Dispelling the Myth of Being Self-Taught

There's a certain level of pride many musicians feel when they claim they are self-taught, and I can understand why. By considering themselves self-taught, some people enjoy the fact that, by not taking “lessons,” they discovered the ins and outs of playing an instrument on their own time, their own way, through their own skills.

Metal For Life: Unlocking the Secrets of the Seven Fundamental Modes Favored by Randy Rhoads

This month, I’d like to illustrate a very clear and effective way to memorize the series of scales that are collectively known as the seven fundamental modes. I consider these modes to be essential learning for any aspiring metal soloist. The majority of them are also equally useful for soloing in other styles, such as blues, rock, jazz and country.

Metal for Life with Metal Mike: How to Construct Classic Eighties-Style Metal Guitar Parts — Video

Back in the Eighties, during the heyday of metal, bands like Van Halen, Judas Priest and the Scorpions were releasing incredible, killer albums packed with amazing guitar playing.

Today, I feel that the majority of metal is more focused on rhythmic parts with less harmonic movement than what I think of as the approach representative of Eighties-style metal. It is from that perspective that I put together the three “classic” metal-style riffs featured in this month’s column.

Fresh Steel: How to Re-String a Floyd Rose-Equipped Guitar — and Stay in Tune

Many guitarists complain that they can't keep guitars with Floyd Rose (or Floyd Rose-style) tremolo systems in tune. Because of this, many players write off the Floyd Rose all together. So, with that in mind, I've prepared a few tips to help you with the three most common problems you might encounter.

Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Forging Aggressive, Memorable Riffs with Unexpected Twists — Video

Whenever I am composing primary riffs for a metal song, one of my goals is to come up with something that not only sounds heavy but also takes the listener on some kind of journey to the unknown!

One effective way to create powerful music is to set up a groove and a riff or sequence, and just when the listener is settled into that groove, something will come along that twists it in an unexpected way.

This approach will keep the riffs sounding lively and the listener engaged and interested.

Metal Mike: A Bigger Guitar Sound — the Un-Spoken Truth

It's a good idea to listen to bands that might not fit into the particular genre you might be into. I dug the uber-heavy down-tuned sludge of Carcass but also could appreciate the looser Aerosmith-inspired riffing of Tom Keiffer of Cinderella and took note of Dimebag Darrell’s surgical precision when it came to riffing. It's about being open to learn from others while you shape your sound.

Metal for Life with Metal Mike: Exploring Drop-D Tuning’s Unique Melodic Possibilities — Video

In the Holiday 2014 and January 2015 installments of Metal for Life, I talked about the advantages of using drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E) and demonstrated some cool things you can do with it.

This month I’d like to revisit this topic and show you some additional metal-style riffs played in this tuning, with an emphasis on unusual melodic intervals.