Here’s an easy way to memorise scales if you’re having troubles with that….


A Major Scale will increment from Root Note, then move up a Full Step, Full Step, Half Step, Full Step, Full Step, Full Step, Half Step to fill out all eight notes of a scale

For example C major scale : C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

A Minor Scale will increment from Root Note, then Move up a Full Step, Half Step, Full Step, Full Step, Half Step, Full Step, Full Step

For example C minor scale: C, D, D#, F, G, G#, A#, C

This will work where ever you want to start your scale ie if you start on a D you can use the theory to create either a D Major or D Minor scale and so forth!

Happy Practicing!

NOTES: I should add this will work on guitar, bass and Keyboards. Also note that I’ve used the sharp notes as I can’t find a way to do this on the computer keyboard (other scales may use the flat notes and this can be confusing in the notation) 

For more great articles keep checking back with http://www.how2metal.com on a regular basis!



What is the Importance of a Practice Routine you ask? The fastest way to get good is to practice  and more importantly to practice regularly and efficiently! This is why I say to anyone get a practice routine going as soon as you can

If you can dedicate 1 hour a day to practicing (especially as a beginner) you WILL see yourself improving at a rate that will surprise even you!

The other important thing is to use your time efficiently if you’re a beginner to intermediate level and you can practice for one hour a day I would break your routine up into something like this…

5 mins warm ups ie: chromatic scales, fretboard patterns, string skipping etc…

5 mins scales even if you only know a couple of the scales use your time to get those cemented in your head

5 minutes: practice moving chords around on the neck so you can become able to shift around the neck subconsciously

20 minutes Learn some cover songs / riffs  of songs you like and go through them on guitar

20 minutes noodle around and riff out by yourself  and come up with some original ideas

5 minutes melody: just play something melodic to wind down


If you can record a video or audio of yourself playing and then focus on the importance of a regular practice routine you will see the difference in your playing after really only a few week if you’re reasonably new to the art

Most of the great guitar players (Vai, Hammett, Wylde etc..) will tell you the same thing that its routine except that they’ll do it for many hours a day (after all its their job) …. I read that Vai used to do 14 hours of practice a day…. obviously the more time you can put in the better but I use the “1 hour” idea for starters to get your stamina, concentration and endurance up without injuring yourself or getting sick of the instrument but once you’re comfortable with that its easy to expand and i’ll give you more ideas to fill out your time!

Anyway be sure to keep checking back regularly to http://www.metalmixtape.com




The power chord is the foundation of the heavy metal beef sound that you all know and love! It’s the easiest way to get started on playing or writing the songs in the style of the bands you grew up on (Metallica and Black Sabbath are great examples of this) 

Basically a power chord is any note (generally on the lower 2 strings of the guitar) coupled with a 5th note played on the next string above it 2 frets higher to create a resonating / harmonic sound

The Power Chord

This is a “G” power chord played on the third fret of the E string and 5th Fret of the A string. It is executed using the first and third fingers as per the diagram. you can move it around the fretboard anywhere you see fit at least on the lower 3 strings (EAD)

Stay tuned and i’ll aim to get a video up here shortly of how to use the power chords and play it around the neck


As always keep checking http://www.how2metal.com regularly!


Whether you’re a bass player or guitarist, one of the most important aspects of playing is Selecting your musical gear. Gear that suits you, and more importantly the sound you’re after.

If you’re starting  out and you don’t know exactly what kind of metal you want to play some great brands that make cool gear at a modest budget are YAMAHA, SQUIRE (fender offshoot), IBANEZ, ESP (LTD) and EPIPHONE (Gibson offshoot)  you can generally get a pretty decent axe  at an entry level to mid level build for under $400 USD

$400 might sound like a lot for a guitar but if you go too much under that level you basically risk getting a peice of crap that is hard to play, slow your progress and will ruin your love of the instrument.

If you can’t stretch the budget to that point speak to your local music shop about a guitar/amp package their cheap but have reasonably good gear, if you decide you want to take your music more seriously you WILL need to upgrade  all your gear from that point.

selecting your musical gear
Most music stores will do an entry level package consisting of an amp / strap / lead and amp and can be a great way to get started for under $400 but you WILL need to upgrade once you start taking your craft more seriously!

If you decide that you don’t want your instrument for whatever reason (ie: you quit playing or upgrade to a more suitable instrument) you can generally get at least half your money back on these on the second hand market as these brands are well regarded.

If you’re looking at amps, my basic advice is to spend as much as you can reasonably afford. Some brands like ASHTON / LINE 6 make reasonable (not excellent) gear that  you can buy a loud amp and still jam with a band … But if you can stretch the budget to a Marshall, Randall, Peavey or such you’ll be much happier. you might want a 20-40 watt amp to practice at home without disturbing your neighbours but I would say you’d need at least 80-100watts to jam with a band, especially metal bands as they tend to be loud!  if you’re just starting out be sure to buy something with an inbuilt distortion, so  you can get that beef without having to buy more gear such as pedals and effects units… You want to get started as cheap and as fast as possible!

If you’re on a budget (and lets face it many of us are) I’d recommend you check out your local for sale listings online (ie: facebook etc…)  and second hand shops, but take a more experienced metal musician friend with you so you don’t get ripped off or sold a dud…!!!

Be sure to check out http://www.how2metal.com on a regular basis for more cool articles!





The Pentatonic Scale

The Pentatonic Scale will probably be the second most important scale you will learn (after the C major scale). It is the foundation for blues and rock music, and it translates very well into heavy rock and metal.  Its easy to learn and is called the “pentatonic” because it has five notes.

The five notes are: A-C-D-E-G

I like messing around on this scale because it has  a sleazy blues feel to it and i find it very entertaining to just noodle around in it.  I can spend hours on the couch drinking beer, watching tele and messing around in this grouping of the Pentatonic scale. (Just like other scales) The notes will work anywhere  and there will be many videos online and diagrams that show you different modes and keys to this scale, but if you learn this one as the first thing you do with pentatonics I will be very happy, and I’m pretty sure you will be too 🙂


The Pentatonic Scale

There will be a lot more we can go into into the future, and I will certainly expand on it… but if you’re just starting this will be a good start into learning the pentatonic scale. Best thing i can say is “Learn it, live it, enjoy it and spend as much time as you can experimenting around with it”

Cheers till next time!



The C Major Scale on Guitar and Bass

This is the C Major scale… its basically every real note on the guitar (or bass if you disregard 2 strings on top of the diagram) whether or not you are going to be a theory based or ‘feel’ based player you do need to know the real notes so that you can communicate with other people you are playing with or talking music with. The C major scale is also every white note on a keyboard / piano (the blacks are sharps) AGAIN: YOU DO NEED TO KNOW THIS!!!

C Major Scale

If you’re better at remembering stuff on the fretboard mentally the notes are:

E – F- G- A- B- C- D-


NOTE: Any real note at any position of the neck is part of the C major scale and you should be able to familiarize yourself with the notes all over the fret board (more so if you play guitar than bass but necessary for both to get good) Ie: try to get your fingers going more intuitively all over the fret board both down the bottom end of the neck and up the top end … this will come in very handy for solos later down the track.

Cheers \m/

As always keep checking back with http://www.how2metal.com for more great info and tips on how to play metal better!


How 2 Metal

Cheers for stopping by How 2 Metal.com \m/

Obviously we’ve only just started this thing up but what we hope to do is provide no bullshit straight down the line lessons, tutorials and advice on how to play metal either drums, bass, guitar or vocals…. it could be either vintage snippets we find on the net or custom lessons we can source from our wide variety of metal contacts

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Horns up mofos \m/