Thrash titans Megadeth are certainly not a band to shy away from a killer riff. Main man Dave Mustaine and his large array of sidemen guitar players have delivered some of the greatest thrash metal in the last 30 years.
While we think of this genre as being very riff-based and lending itself to power chords and single note riffs, inside Megadeth’s songs you will uncover some pretty cool chords. It’s not all about crushing power chords and open string chugs when it comes to this band.
In this lesson we’re going to check out four cool chord ideas from their back catalogue.
The intro to the song Hangar 18 is full of aggressively strummed chords. There are some great chord voicings here, including this chord.
This Dmin6 is a D minor chord without a 5th. It has the 6th in place of the 5th. This is part of a run that starts with D minor before raising the 5th (The note on the G) to the 5th fret to give you a Dm#5 and then again to give us this chord.
You could also view this chord as a Bdim/D, which is a B Diminished triad with a D in the bass.
The Spider Chords are a reference to a Mustaine signature move. Dave developed a unique approach to switching between power chords on adjacent strings without needing to move the fretting hand too much.
In this example, play a D5 power chord rooted on the A string with your first and third fingers. The Bb5 power chord rooted on the low E is played with your second and fourth fingers.
This approach allows you to play both chords without removing any fingers.
Not a player to stick to conventional shapes, this Em9 chord featured in the intro of the track In My Darkest Hour showcases some of the big stretches Mustaine is capable of.
Although there are easier ways to play an Em9, this version has a very haunting quality.
It’s important to ensure the stretched out fretted notes don’t interfere with the ringing open strings in this chord.
The second chord in the mega hit A Tout Le Monde is an A major triad that follows the songs opening F#m chord, however, the shape used, and the 5th (The E) being moved to the bass gives this voicing a unique sound.
The root note is actually the highest note you hear in this inversion. You head the 5th, then the 3rd before the root at the top