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Which Scales for Metal Solo?

Question by Cho

Hello, I'm struggling to create a solo for my song.

I've made a demo track and backing track goes like this...

Download link

Rhythm guitar is played on E locrian (I guess, contains E F G A Bb C D)

I'm playing my solo like this...

Download link

I'm not sure what scales I could use on this rhythm part, so I just did it by my ears.

It begins with 4 diminished chord arpeggios...

Ddim / Fdim / Abdim / Bdim

Then I play Db and ride down the scale, playing the notes...

A Ab G Gb E D Db B Bb

But after playing Db it sounds really confusing, like sometimes it sounds right but sometimes it doesn't (sounds like rhythm & solo are playing completely different songs). I don't know what is causing this.

So my question is: what kind of scales can I use on this backing track?

Is the melody okay on the BT? If not, what scale should I play after Db?


Metal Scale Suggestions

Cho, first of all, if you really did work this solo out by ear, can I just say you have an amazing ear! Many guitarists would kill to have an ear that good.

The solo you uploaded sounds great to me and fits the backing riff very well.

I can't hear the part you mentioned that sounds confusing or disconnected to the rhythm. Sometimes I find that if I've listened to my recording so many times, I start to hear it differently and parts might start to sound "wrong" to my ears.

I've heard your track with fresh ears and it sounds really good, so it's probably just a personal thing.

The scale you're actually playing on the track, after the opening diminished arpeggio, is Dorian #4 (with some chromatic embellishment), otherwise known as the Romanian scale and the 4th mode of harmonic minor.

So as you were playing Dorian #4 on the root of E, you are essentially playing the notes of B harmonic minor.

This is one of the scales featured on my metal guitar scales page. So please take a look at that page for some more scale ideas for you to try.

You'll want to play these scales on the root of E, as this is the tonal centre of the backing track.

The BT riff may contain the notes of E Locrian, but because there are no defined chord changes, and it pedals on that root of E, you're free to use several scales and chromatic phrases in the same solo.

That's the great thing about metal - the riffs are often centered around one single root like this, making them neutral as far as harmonization.

So I would try scales like...

E Phrygian Dominant

E Harmonic minor

E Dorian #4

E Minor pentatonic & blues

Plus combinations.

Hope it helps. Let me know of any more questions about this using the comments link below.

Thanks for sharing your music!

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