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How to write djent rhythms

how to write djent rhythms


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thePTOD

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I listen to some bands of this nature, such as Periphery, Meshuggah, Tesseract, Ever Forthright, and a little Elitist. I want to get into making djent styled music but I really don't know how to start, and I'm not fast enough to play some of the crazy notey riffs that Periphery does. I've been playing for about 4 years and I know a lot of theory and understand time signatures if that helps.

What are ways I could start practicing so that I can get into writing djent, and what can I do to make effective, interesting djent music?

Please don't say "Djent sucks" or "Don't make djent", it's something I want to learn about.

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How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 11, 2012, 3:39 PM

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marveldude_31

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i would say learn some of the songs from bands to want to emulate and try to learn the techniques and such they use to make their music.

Jul 11, 2012, 3:55 PM

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Hail

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if you knew theory, you'd be working on analyzing the music you want to reproduce.

it's a real pet peeve when people say "i know theory" while asking advice on here. it's probably just me, but really, it's such a throwaway for guitarists to say.

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Jul 11, 2012, 3:58 PM

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Reages

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Quote by marveldude_31

i would say learn some of the songs from bands to want to emulate and try to learn the techniques and such they use to make their music.

this, do what this fine man says.

Jul 11, 2012, 4:00 PM

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griffRG7321

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There is nothing we can tell you, nothing we can do to help you. All we can do is...

Wait for Diminished_fifth

Also I'm seeing periphery in October

Jul 11, 2012, 4:06 PM

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SwamToTheMoon

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Make sure you learn some tunes to get the idea of how things are constructed and arranged and work from there.

A huge thing with that playing style is clarity though. Make sure everything you're playing is very accurate and that your tone is allowing the clarity to come through. "Djent" tone is very low gain generally in a lot of ways in comparison to other metal tones.

A lot of that style deals with an ambient guitar part thats twinned with a shifting rhythmic part. Start trying to play a rhythmic pattern that is slightly shorter than a full bar of 4/4 and repeat it until it comes full circle or add a series of notes to fill the needed duration. Then come up with a part that has a melodic hook over top of it in another octave.

Another big thing in that style is atonality and the use of chromatacism. While many songs are grounded in home keys for a while, the riffs often shift and add lots of accidentals in order to open up the spectrum for riffs. Also this sounds darker and heavier generally.

Just experiment and have fun though.

Edit: Also extended range instruments in lower tunings add to that tone. Using medium gauge strings in a dropped tuning will help. A tone boost at 2khz with a scoop on the low end and extreme highs is usually used to.

Last edited by SwamToTheMoon at Jul 11, 2012, 4:09 PM

Jul 11, 2012, 4:06 PM

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Hail

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Quote by griffRG7321


Also I'm seeing periphery in October

i'm supposed to be seeing them in 2 weeks with VoM, BTBAM, and the faceless, but i doubt that's gonna happen at this point

Quote by SwamToTheMoon

A lot of that style deals with an ambient guitar part thats twinned with a shifting rhythmic part. Start trying to play a rhythmic pattern that is slightly shorter than a full bar of 4/4 and repeat it until it comes full circle or add a series of notes to fill the needed duration. Then come up with a part that has a melodic hook over top of it in another octave.

Another big thing in that style is atonality and the use of chromatacism. While many songs are grounded in home keys for a while, the riffs often shift and add lots of accidentals in order to open up the spectrum for riffs. Also this sounds darker and heavier generally.

this makes it obvious that you're just piecing together random things you heard on youtube or something, considering you don't know what atonality or chromaticism is (or syncopation, for that matter).

you sound like this guy

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Jul 11, 2012, 4:12 PM

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K!!LsWiTcH

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Quote by SwamToTheMoon

Make sure you learn some tunes to get the idea of how things are constructed and arranged and work from there.

A huge thing with that playing style is clarity though. Make sure everything you're playing is very accurate and that your tone is allowing the clarity to come through. "Djent" tone is very low gain generally in a lot of ways in comparison to other metal tones.

soo goddamn incorrect

Jul 11, 2012, 4:21 PM

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SwamToTheMoon

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Quote by Hail

this makes it obvious that you're just piecing together random things you heard on youtube or something, considering you don't know what atonality or chromaticism is (or syncopation, for that matter).

you sound like this guy

Okay, I'm trying to help the guy out. He asked a question that nobody answered effectively. I can assure you I know what atonality and chromaticism are. I've played for over 10 years and teach regularly. Meshuggah is generally atonal due to a lack of key centre, while Periphery contains elements of chromaticism to due to having a key centre (generally) but adding chromatics throughout their songs (even though Misha admits to having learned theory but forgetting it), if you need an example. What I suggested are common themes seen in the genre. Feeding the trolls is not a good thing to do I realize but oh well... don't be condescending when you're not being constructive.

Jul 11, 2012, 4:24 PM

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vampirelazarus

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When y you want to write in a style, the best way of to learn that style. Learn some djent songs, but try doing out by ear if you can.

Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje

I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.

Jul 11, 2012, 4:24 PM

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Sethis

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Really REALLY low tunings, weird rhythms and dissonant sounding melodies would be a good start.

Jul 11, 2012, 4:27 PM

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Hail

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Quote by K!!LsWiTcH

soo goddamn incorrect

no, he's right on that count. low gain, high mids. not so much with meshuggah, but even they tend to keep it pretty low so they get their gain from their dynamics.

Quote by SwamToTheMoon

Okay, I'm trying to help the guy out. He asked a question that nobody answered effectively. I can assure you I know what atonality and chromaticism are. I've played for over 10 years and teach regularly. Meshuggah is generally atonal due to a lack of key centre, while Periphery contains elements of chromaticism to due to having a key centre (generally) but adding chromatics throughout their songs (even though Misha admits to having learned theory but forgetting it), if you need an example. What I suggested are common themes seen in the genre. Feeding the trolls is not a good thing to do I realize but oh well... don't be condescending when you're not being constructive.


meshuggah: give me an example. it's hard not to have a tonal center when you're chugging. they may be rhythmically complex, but they're very simplistic in many aspects of their writing.

bulb never took a theory class, or learned anything past scales and chords because he learns everything by ear. he's theoretically functional because he can break down, reconstruct, and interpret his own music as well as the music of others. i assure you he didn't get his sound by poorly defining syncopation, trying to be "atonal" or use "chromaticism", or actively attempting to adhere to generalizations picked off of other bands he was interested in.

i know you're new here, but big words are more likely to get reaction.gifs and mockery if you don't know how to use them.

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Last edited by Hail at Jul 11, 2012, 4:42 PM

Jul 11, 2012, 4:31 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by griffRG7321

Also I'm seeing periphery in October

I saw them on 4/20 at Gramercy. They did really well I thought, during one song (I think it was The Walk) Misha jumped down off the stage and walked through the back room back up to the stage while still playing in time I wish I could see them since their new album has been released, I'm really enjoying it more than the first.

Quote by Hail

bulb never took a theory class, or learned anything past scales and chords because he learns everything by ear. he's theoretically functional because he can break down, reconstruct, and interpret his own music as well as the music of others. i assure you he didn't get his sound by poorly defining syncopation, trying to be "atonal" or use "chromaticism", or actively attempting to adhere to generalizations picked off of other bands he was interested in.

i know you're new here, but big words are more likely to get reaction.gifs and mockery if you don't know how to use them.

I get what you're saying, it's about really listening and making the music fit what I feel works for me and what sounds good, not just saying "Okay, I'm now going to put a chromatic riff to sound djent here" But who in their right mind would really do that? I think the guy was just trying to give me some tips on what people in djent bands may do theoretically. I do know theory, so I do understand what he was saying. Misha might know little to no music theory, but I'm not Misha. No need to be insulting.

Now, although most of it is probably more difficult, could any of you perhaps recommend me a song or two that is easier, that could help me to get started on playing djent? I do have a 7 string btw, just throwing that out there.

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How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 11, 2012, 4:58 PM

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SwamToTheMoon

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Quote by Hail

no, he's right on that count. low gain, high mids. not so much with meshuggah, but even they tend to keep it pretty low so they get their gain from their dynamics.

meshuggah: give me an example. it's hard not to have a tonal center when you're chugging. they may be rhythmically complex, but they're very simplistic in many aspects of their writing.

bulb never took a theory class, or learned anything past scales and chords because he learns everything by ear. he's theoretically functional because he can break down, reconstruct, and interpret his own music as well as the music of others. i assure you he didn't get his sound by poorly defining syncopation, trying to be "atonal" or use "chromaticism", or actively attempting to adhere to generalizations picked off of other bands he was interested in.

i know you're new here, but big words are more likely to get reaction.gifs and mockery if you don't know how to use them.

I agree Meshuggah is very simplistic in some terms, and I've never been the biggest fan as I find it hard to listen to for extended periods of time. They do however use polyrhythms in extended sequence which is what I was implying earlier (source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6375990/Recasting-Metal-Rhythm-and-Meter-in-the-Music-of-Meshuggah which is also a cool read if you have time) I'm not suggesting this is what the music is in it's entirity but to someone possibly on the outside looking in, generalizations don't hurt until they get the chance to look deeper. Since I don't know what the tc's level of knowledge is, I decided not to put everything in the strictest sense of definition and use some terms loosely.

Jul 11, 2012, 5:05 PM

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SwamToTheMoon

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Eden 2.0 by Tesseract isn't too technically demanding and sounds awesome. Check it out.

Jul 11, 2012, 5:07 PM

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Hail

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Quote by thePTOD

I get what you're saying, it's about really listening and making the music fit what I feel works for me and what sounds good, not just saying "Okay, I'm now going to put a chromatic riff to sound djent here" But who in their right mind would really do that? I think the guy was just trying to give me some tips on what people in djent bands may do theoretically.


it's kind of like saying "2^3=8" without explaining it, or like saying "this is the minor scale" without any introduction on intervals. you don't get the full picture, and can't use that information to make your own sound. without context, the information is absolutely meaningless, if not more confounding.

I do know theory, so I do understand what he was saying. Misha might know little to no music theory, but I'm not Misha. No need to be insulting.


you seemed to have missed the point. once you have an understanding of intervals, tension, and resolution, it's all down to your ear. big words do not good music make. misha knows plenty of theory in a practical context, and that allows him to interpret his own melodies and establish his own contexts in his writing.

Quote by SwamToTheMoon

I agree Meshuggah is very simplistic in some terms, and I've never been the biggest fan as I find it hard to listen to for extended periods of time. They do however use polyrhythms in extended sequence which is what I was implying earlier (source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6375990/Recasting-Metal-Rhythm-and-Meter-in-the-Music-of-Meshuggah which is also a cool read if you have time) I'm not suggesting this is what the music is in it's entirity but to someone possibly on the outside looking in, generalizations don't hurt until they get the chance to look deeper. Since I don't know what the tc's level of knowledge is, I decided not to put everything in the strictest sense of definition and use some terms loosely.

what do polyrhythms have to do with atonality? like, at all.

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Jul 11, 2012, 5:20 PM

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SwamToTheMoon

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Quote by Hail

what do polyrhythms have to do with atonality? like, at all.

In my first post I commented on using shorter than full bar patterns in 4/4 then repeating them over a 4/4 backdrop until it coalesces. While technically polymetric (also depending upon which musical dictionary definition is used) it is used extensively in Meshuggah's music. Since you're previous comment was towards my lack of understanding of syncopation, I'm pointing out I wasn't discussing it directly. Sections of I are also fairly atonal with no resolution or tonic center becoming apparent. Honestly, you're probably out to argue and pick apart any ones contribution in order to feed your ego. I hope not but it appears so. This is why I've had an account since '09
but rarely contribute.

Jul 11, 2012, 5:44 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by Hail

it's kind of like saying "2^3=8" without explaining it, or like saying "this is the minor scale" without any introduction on intervals. you don't get the full picture, and can't use that information to make your own sound. without context, the information is absolutely meaningless, if not more confounding.

you seemed to have missed the point. once you have an understanding of intervals, tension, and resolution, it's all down to your ear.


Yes it is, since I do have an understanding of scales, tension and that's how I think when I write riffs. I know keys and I know how to work within and around a key or a scale, but I know how to make what I want so that it sounds aurally interesting.

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Quote by HowSoonisNow

How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 12, 2012, 10:39 AM

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vampirelazarus

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Quote by thePTOD

Yes it is, since I do have an understanding of scales, tension and that's how I think when I write riffs. I know keys and I know how to work within and around a key or a scale, but I know how to make what I want so that it sounds aurally interesting.

If you knew how to make what you want, would be asking the question of how to make djent?

Just playing devils advocate.

Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje

I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.

Jul 12, 2012, 12:50 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by vampirelazarus

If you knew how to make what you want, would be asking the question of how to make djent?

Just playing devils advocate.


I didn't mean that for djent necessarily. I meant that I don't think about writing purely ona theoretical basis, and that I can figure out what sounds good by playing something.

I'm not sure how to get STARTED with djent. I can't find a song to start with that's really that easy (other than that one Tessaract song someone named) and I just want some tips or some suggestions on what I should try practicing to get better versed in playing and writing djent, like exercises, patterns, techniques, etc.

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Quote by HowSoonisNow

How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 12, 2012, 3:52 PM

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vampirelazarus

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Listen to the rhythms then.

Then probably figure out time signatures.

Then chords/notes.

Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje

I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.

Jul 12, 2012, 5:59 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by vampirelazarus

Listen to the rhythms then.

Then probably figure out time signatures.

Then chords/notes.


That's so very detailed.

-listen to djent song

-learn to play djent song

-know how to write djent

There's a mild gap between the second and third items here.

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Quote by HowSoonisNow

How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 12, 2012, 6:18 PM

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vampirelazarus

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Well, yeah.

But that's also not what I said.

I said to look at what they use. Learn how they write. Then use that to write what you want.

Awhile back, I wanted to learn how to okay funk. What did I do? I listened, analyzed, learned. Now I pay funk when I want to. I'm not going to write a djent song for you, I'm going to tell you the tools that will new most beneficial to you musically, in my opinion. If your don't like it, then I'm sorry.

Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje

I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.

Jul 12, 2012, 6:38 PM

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Hail

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Quote by thePTOD

That's so very detailed.

-listen to djent song

-learn to play djent song

-know how to write djent

There's a mild gap between the second and third items here.

listen actively, learn actively, and you'll be able to analyze and process the music organically.

if you think learning to play a few songs within a genre won't allow you to imitate the conventions within a genre easily, you're not actually learning or listening to the songs.

vamp is absolutely right. listen, analyze, apply. you can break down any song from any genre and reproduce the effects of that song, and with more songs, your scope broadens to reproduction of the genre itself.

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Last edited by Hail at Jul 12, 2012, 6:55 PM

Jul 12, 2012, 6:53 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by Hail

listen actively, learn actively, and you'll be able to analyze and process the music organically.

if you think learning to play a few songs within a genre won't allow you to imitate the conventions within a genre easily, you're not actually learning or listening to the songs.

vamp is absolutely right. listen, analyze, apply. you can break down any song from any genre and reproduce the effects of that song, and with more songs, your scope broadens to reproduction of the genre itself.


You made a whole post without one condescending sentence, I like it.

Gonna try to find a song and get to work on this. I started working on a song today actually by (whoda thunk it) turning on a metronome and chugging an open A over random accented rhythms until I found something I liked. Then I added notes and some key changing riffs. More work on it tomorrow.

Quote by willT08

Quote by HowSoonisNow

How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 13, 2012, 2:14 AM

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Slashiepie

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Quote by thePTOD

That's so very detailed.

-listen to djent song

-learn to play djent song

-know how to write djent

There's a mild gap between the second and third items here.

Yup, probably attending a music college and becoming a virtuoso fits that gap, since djent is soooo insanely hard and complex..

Jul 13, 2012, 3:13 AM

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donegan_zealot

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i found buttersnips periphery isn't really that hard and really fun to play, except for that tap-strum-tap-strum-tap-strum thing they have at the chorus i think. that is ****in hard, at least for me

Jul 13, 2012, 3:29 AM

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vampirelazarus

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Quote by donegan_zealot

i found buttersnips periphery isn't really that hard and really fun to play, except for that tap-strum-tap-strum-tap-strum thing they have at the chorus i think. that is ****in hard, at least for me

It sounds cool though. Do they have two guitars? maybe they just have the timing down so hard the strums from one guitar meets the breaks in the taps on the other....

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Quote by liampje

I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.

Jul 13, 2012, 3:55 AM

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:-D

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I think All New Materials is a good place to look, I don't remember any of the riffs being particularly hard and the main riff/progression is gorgeous.

https://soundcloud.com/ecarlstrom
[img]http://i.imgur.com/w9FxxwR.png[/img]

Jul 13, 2012, 4:07 AM

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Usernames sucks

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Try to watch misha mansoors "the djent set" on youtube. He talks alot about his writing approach alot.

Original fusion metal song:
http://m.soundcloud.com/kjartan-thorkildsen/euphoric
ORIGINAL PROGRESSIVE METAL SONG:
https://soundcloud.com/kjartan-thorkildsen/life-in-purgatory

Jul 13, 2012, 5:00 AM

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Hail

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anything by periphery shouldn't be hard from the first album or the icarus EP and it took me like 2 days to get scarlet down, though i haven't really messed with learning most of the new album.

outside of the straight-up shred solos, there really isn't anything in the tesseract or periphery discographies that can't be learned pretty easily by slowing it down and learning it cleanly.

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Jul 13, 2012, 12:08 PM

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thePTOD

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Quote by vampirelazarus

It sounds cool though. Do they have two guitars? maybe they just have the timing down so hard the strums from one guitar meets the breaks in the taps on the other....


They have 3 guitars, so they can be uber tight thank you for the djent set comment, I started checking out the videos and they are helpful.

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Quote by HowSoonisNow

How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 13, 2012, 12:31 PM

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amonamarthmetal

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Step one: buy an 8-string
step two: play only the 8th string.

Djent.

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Jul 13, 2012, 11:05 PM

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Hail

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Quote by amonamarthmetal

Step one: buy an 8-string
step two: play only the 8th string.

Djent.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X77ikqJHsM8

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Jul 13, 2012, 11:12 PM

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amonamarthmetal

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X77ikqJHsM8

you wanna punch me cause I'm black and gay?
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Jul 13, 2012, 11:15 PM

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Hail

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Quote by amonamarthmetal

you wanna punch me cause I'm black and gay?

no, you're the one punching the gay black kid. it's not cool to hate "fake metal" anymore, get with the program pal, what are we, 23 year old bearded black metal vocalists?

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Jul 13, 2012, 11:19 PM

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amonamarthmetal

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Quote by Hail

no, you're the one punching the gay black kid. it's not cool to hate "fake metal" anymore, get with the program pal, what are we, 23 year old bearded black metal vocalists?

No.. apparently you are just someone that cant handle a joke...

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Jul 13, 2012, 11:21 PM

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Axxell101

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Quote by vampirelazarus

It sounds cool though. Do they have two guitars? maybe they just have the timing down so hard the strums from one guitar meets the breaks in the taps on the other....


That whole Strum tap tap thing is done on one guitar though. Misha has tapping skills. It was tabbed out in guitar world in the Djent Set.

Jul 14, 2012, 9:52 PM

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Freepower [m]

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Join date: Feb 2004

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That's so very detailed.

-listen to djent song

-learn to play djent song

-know how to write djent

There's a mild gap between the second and third items here.

That gap's called "You doing the work".

I can however, give you some advice based on this -

What are ways I could start practicing so that I can get into writing djent, and what can I do to make effective, interesting djent music?

First of all, you want to develop a rock steady sense of where the quarter note pulse is. Your 4/4 has to be tight as balls before you can throw some syncopated madness over it.

Secondly, I would strongly recommend practising everything you can through "Modes of rhythm" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asYfvMzjk7M

Finally, I have two video lessons that should be useful to you. This one covers muting - muting is probably the most essential aspect of djent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc

This one covers some advanced gallop variations. They're lots of fun and you can steal the rhythms and use some more interesting notes to come up with all kinds of things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzkVC_CmDBM

Enjoy and have fun!

Jul 15, 2012, 1:03 PM

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thePTOD

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Join date: Mar 2010

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Quote by Freepower

That gap's called "You doing the work".

I can however, give you some advice based on this -

First of all, you want to develop a rock steady sense of where the quarter note pulse is. Your 4/4 has to be tight as balls before you can throw some syncopated madness over it.

Secondly, I would strongly recommend practising everything you can through "Modes of rhythm" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asYfvMzjk7M

Finally, I have two video lessons that should be useful to you. This one covers muting - muting is probably the most essential aspect of djent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc

This one covers some advanced gallop variations. They're lots of fun and you can steal the rhythms and use some more interesting notes to come up with all kinds of things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzkVC_CmDBM

Enjoy and have fun!


BY FAR the most helpful post I've gotten on this thread. This was what I was looking for, some comments about rhythms, understanding them, and maybe some videos breaking things down. I'll watch all of these and use them well, thank you!

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How was Confucius death metal?

You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day

Jul 15, 2012, 1:21 PM

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