How to adjust your neck

adjusting your guitar neck

I own a few guitars now and it was starting to become a considerable cost travelling across town and paying someone else to adjust the necks on my guitars. Especially for such a simple fix. My hometown has some insane temperature fluctuations being extremely hot in summer and freezing cold in winter so i’d find id need to adjust them all every couple of years.

If the neck on your guitar is bent (this can happen from string tension, weather fluctuations etc)  it could result in your strings either sitting too far away from the neck making it hard to play (most metal guitar players like their strings set close to the fret board) or sitting too close to the fretboard resulting in fret buzz.

If you assess your guitar neck and you find the neck is bent inwards making the strings sit FURTHER away from the frets You will need to adjust the neck by tightening the truss rod located at the top of the guitar neck on most modern guitars with an allen key. This is done in a Clockwise motion. Similarly if the strings are too close and the strings are buzzing against the frets you will need to loosen the truss rod. its too tight you will need to loosen the truss rod and (Anti Clockwise)


If you’re reading this im assuming you’re new to truss rod adjustments. Use a cheap or disposable guitar to get this technique right. Its not hard but you don’t want to mess up on an expensive instrument

Generally speaking you shouldn’t need to adjust the neck more than and eighth of a turn / 45 degress unless your neck is really out.

Right to tight and Left to Loose is the key here!

For more great articles on playing heavy metal be sure to keep checking back from time to time with!


guitar tab

Reading tab (Tablature) is probably one of the most important things you can do as an up and coming musician. Reading music is probably more important if you want to be a well rounded musician but for now lets assume you just want to get started on guitar.

I’ve found a company online that does some great tabs. I’ve checked out a couple of them and they seem to play really well. So give them a try! Fortiz have been transcribing meticulously by ear and selling the tabs real cheap.

How you read tab is pretty simple the staff isn’t a musical staff but really a graphical representation of the guitar strings. The lowest sting is the lowest string on the guitar (E string in standard tuning) and the next string up is the A string and so forth. The numbers on the strings are the fret positions ie: lowest string with 3 on it means you’re striking the lowest string in the 3rd fret position. Couldn’t be simpler than that can it?

This is basically how i got started playing guitar in the 1990’s when the guitar mags used to put tablatured music in their magazines. Us readers could play along with little to no musical knowledge. There are other resources available out there like Ulitmate Guitar where you can get amazing amounts of metal and non metal tabs to play along to.

I personally think its the fastest way to learn and probably the most useful for the modern metal guitarist. Give it a go if you haven’t already!

Always be sure to check back regularly on regularly for more hints and tips on becoming a better metal musician!



Tony Iommi


No matter what style of metal  you plan on playing there is one undisputed master of the trade. The man who invented metal music is Tony Iommi. While would appear that Tony’s band Black Sabbath are now over the fact remains that music did not become heavy until the first iconic chords of the song “Black Sabbath” off the album “Black Sabbath” rang out on record players around the world in 1969 scaring the shit out of everyone in the process.

Whether by design or by accident I feel that Tony Iommi invented the heavy metal guitar sound. Due to an industrial accident that removed the ends of his fingers as a youth Tony was unable to feel the strings on which he played guitar. Therefore it stands to reason Tony had to be able to see the chords which he was playing to make sure he go them right. Thus the power Chord was favoured. I’ve previously done a lesson on power chords so no need to go back into them now, but it became synonymous with the black sabbath, heavy overdriven chrods that ring out to infinity.

Tony used the Tritone , a three note sequence commonly found in blues music.  Some church bodies banned the use of the tritone for its evil overtones saying it was “The Devils Scale”.  combined with the distorted guitar sound Sabbath used, this turned rock music heavy and evil all in one shot.  The trinote itself is derived from the pentatonic scale with a diminished fifth /augmented fourth. It was known in medieval times as “DIABOLOUS IN MUSICA”  … the devils tone.

Heres a great video interview with the Iron Man himself, Tony Iommi discsussing his early days and struggles to create music and start a band that I just had to share with you guys 🙂



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 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




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 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 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 for more great info and tips on how to play metal better!


How 2 Metal

Cheers for stopping by How 2 \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

Stick around and keep checking regularly for more exciting news and content

We’ve also got a facebook page up and running at so feel free to check it out and give us a like and if you want to contribute anything toHow 2 Metal by all means get in touch by dropping us a message through that page!

Horns up mofos \m/