Know the Important Scales for Metal Guitar

Metal players have become a large presence in the guitar world. Their hard grinding and wailing is unmistakable among us musicians. It’s one of those things that’s know to be “often imitated but never duplicated”. Many guitarists attempt to mimic the sound of an authentic metal guitar, but don’t quite get the hang of it. That’s because there’s a trick to sounding the way they do, and that’s with an entirely different set of scales.

When most people start trying to play metal, the usually speed up a pentatonic scale or two. That only works for so long until everything begins sounding too similar, especially when they solo. This is where metal scales come in. They are a different breed of notes, but when used properly, can acquire that proper sound you’re looking for.

Now, with any scale, it may seem overwhelming and complicated to have a learn an entirely new set of notes and pitches. Just like learning your majors and minors, however, you will be glad you took the time to study them. Here are a few metal scales to help you become that gritty rocker you know you are on the inside.

Diminished Scale

A diminished scale is unique in the metal range because it only carries seven notes as opposed to the usual eight. Even more interesting is that it contains an A, A flat, and an A minor. What this means for your playing is that if you use this scale, you can easily fit in both a major and minor chord.

Phrygian Dominant Scale

This scale is a metal guitarist’s foundation. Not only is it the most known scale, but it also produces the most authentic metal sound. It’s root is so versatile that you can essentially perform any major chord with it, so long as the root of the chord matches that of the scale.


Keep searching on for all things metal guitar, as well as other scales you can learn to play. This is Joshua Olivieri, encouraging you all to keep rocking and playing

If you want to go deeper with scales and soloing, I recommend you to check out our:


How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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