I'd like to know if there is a common metalcore approach (like the rules between drum kick and bass, bass and guitar, breakdown) in details.

  • 5
    I think this is on topic and should be answerable. Similar questions for e.g. thrash or death metal wouldn't be too wide in my understanding, so this should be reasonably well defined too. I think it's worth the benefit of the doubt at least... Jul 9 '14 at 19:27
  • 3
    While I won't vote to close it, I feel it would be a better question for the Music Fan SE since it is more about lableing music then preforming or creating it. There are even sample question that are quite similar on the proposal: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/61574/music-fans
    – Dom
    Jul 9 '14 at 23:16

Vocals are traditionally screamed. Combination vocals started to emerge in the 2000s or so. Clean vocals usually appear in the chorus or the bridge, but any combination can come up.

In terms of guitar, heavy riffs are pretty big. The most common tunings are Drop D, Drop C, and Drop C#. Some bands use Drop G or F#.

Double bass drumming is very characteristic of metalcore. Blast beats involving combinations of bass, snare, and various cymbals are also common.

Specific sub-genres also have their own specific characteristics. Melodic metalcore (ex. Bullet for my Valentine) use more melodic vocals and have more emphasized melodies in general. Mathcore (ex. Dillinger Escape Plan) are generally faster, more technical, and have random and obscure time signatures. Deathcore (ex. Suicide Silence) brings in death metal elements and riffs, and have a stronger emphasis on breakdowns and beat blasts.

  • Songs usually written in minor/harmonic minor scale, with the root note being the dropped string's root note. (Drop C would be C, Drop D would be D, etc).
  • Bass usually just follows guitar root notes.
  • Not many blast beats, other than the occasional hammer blasts.
  • Lots of two-step style drumbeats.
  • LOTS of breakdowns, with some sort of guitar riff over top of it on the second pass.
  • Lots of "motorcycle" drum fills hahaha. ("tom-tom-bassdrum-bassdrum" or "snare-snare-bassdrum-bassdrum" in sixteenth note fashion).
  • Primarily 4/4, possibly with some tech fills. Not TOO much triplet-feel metalcore, but it definitely exists.

    1. Intros to metalcore songs are pretty variable.
      • short Vocal intro
      • short drum fill
      • guitar riff (with high-pass filter, etc)
    2. Lots of two-step style riffs. (E.G. As I Lay Dying)
      • riffs usually written in minor/harmonic minor scale.
    3. Rhythmic chorus, optionally with clean singing, and generally has simple drum beat, constant eighth notes on bass, and two different guitar parts (one playing chords and another playing a hook).
      • start off rhythmic, last one/two bars really heavy for the transition to a breakdown or a two-step riff.

Just some common things I see in the genre.

  • When you say Drop C or Drop D, are the guitarists actually tuning to C or D standard, or tuning to D standard and dropping the low D to C in the case of Drop C, etc?
    – ABragg
    Sep 27 '16 at 8:48
  • Tuning to standard and dropping the low D to C for drop C, that is correct Sep 27 '16 at 12:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.