Metal Techniques – On/Off Riffing

In this lesson we take a look at some chunky mid-pace metal riffing utilizing ‘on/off’ technique, which combines non palm-muted notes and/or chords with palm-muted notes and/ or chords.

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Practice Tips

  • Before anything else, you must have a solid grasp of how to palm-mute the strings. This involves resting the edge of the palm against the bridge area in order to achieve a chunky sort of sound. You should be able to hear the pitch of the notes, but they should not sustain. If the hand is resting on the strings too far away from the bridge, this will choke the sound, so all you’ll get is white noise. Pay attention to this when palm-muting, because it’s the difference between sound good and bad.
  • Like all techniques, sometimes it’s better to take a fragment and get that right before taking on too much at one time. I suggest an example of this in the video, so try that if you’re new to the technique.