I have been playing guitar for about 7 years now. I've started with classical guitar, grew up with punk music and I have a decent playing style.

I've freshly started in a band who plays metalcore (I've been listening to that genre for about a year, but I've never played it). We are two guitar players and while the other guitarist is a die-hard metal guitarist, my techniques are way too "punky" and not precise enough for being an essential part of the band. He advised me to learn this song to get started with metal/metalcore basics.

I really struggle with precision and the typical "djent" or "chuck" guitar technique (fast strumming on the lowest string, same rhythm as the double bass) and I need help to learn that technique. I am extremely motivated to learn a whole new genre and to get more technical!

Do you guys have any good advice on how to approach a whole new genre without getting frustrated and on how to be a precise guitarist?

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    The videos linked in this question go into several techniques of speed picking. Nov 9, 2014 at 20:05
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    Asking Alexandria wouldn't have been my first choice but alternate picking is a key technique to materialize in Metalcore its mostly 4/4 timing signature and above 150bpm so teaching your brain the alternate picking manoeuvre would be very beneficial look at the likes of early Bullet for My Valentine, All That Remains and Trivium. you will be surprised to know that metal has punk influences in some of its riffs and structures. Nov 10, 2014 at 12:50
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    @muffin haha no problem the list goes on I would run out of characters on the comments section if I named them all :P. Heres a few more to get the creative Juices flowing stemming from Metal core to thrash to Groove Metal. Lamb of God, Disturbed, Hatebreed, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Chimera. Nov 10, 2014 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Like almost everything it's about practice, practice, practice. That aside, there are some other things to consider. What string gauge are you using, and what tuning? Usually quite thin strings are used since less force is needed, which makes it easier to play with precision.

Pay attention to your picking hand. Make sure there are no wasted movements. The movement should be in the wrist and not the whole arm. That is quite hard when you're trying to play stuff that's faster than you can handle at the moment.

There's some quite fast picking in the song in the video. I think you would need to start with something slower and easier. Back in the day Seek and destroy by Metallica was the ubiquitous stating point for the aspiring thrasher. Maybe your band mate can give you suggestions for other songs?


A great first band for learning metal is Lamb of God. Their songs are very "note-y" but not too fast/crazy or discouraging. The first song I learned by them (and really the first metal song I learned period) was "Laid to Rest." Super fun to play at that point in time.


Pick a metal band you like and learn the album from beginning to end, don't be afraid to slow the tempo down as guitar playing is about muscle memory. Practice practice practice and slowly speed it up once you feel comfortable. There is no shame in slowing it back down after speeding it up if you struggle a bit and be patient.

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