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Bring on the Pain pt. 3

What’s up kids?
I know a lot of you have developed a lot of accuracy in your left hand by now from doing all the scale, arpeggio, etc. work. And you might be able to pick quite fast, as long as its pretty much one constant rhythm [straight 16th sextuplets at 37532.9 beats per minute for four minutes straight. ;)] but after hearing so many solo CD discs, I’ve realized that a lot of shredders just can’t riff. tisk tisk. Well guess what? I’m going to help you develop your rhythm to where your leads are at. So let us begin.

Let us begin with some riffs. These are some of my favorite thrash riffs, unfortunately their really aren’t all that many good thrash bands around, most bands that might have skills, have jumped on the hardcore or math metal band wagon and sound like Cryptopsy, stuff like that is really not my style. Anyway there are a few thrash bands floating around, like Iced Earth for example, you want some rhythm chops, put on one of their discs and jam along. You’ll definitely feel the burn. Example one for instance, this riff is from their song, "Angels holocaust". I have it marked at 200, that’s about the tempo of the live version I have, the actual version on the album "Days in purgatory", isn’t much slower. It definitely cooks.

The next riff is from the same disc, its called "Stromrider". Its the first riff after the clean intro. Personally I think that it is an awesome riff.

With both of the riffs, notice the use of the "gallop" rhythm, (8th 16th 16th) as well as the "reverse gallop", (16th 16th 8th). Two very simple beats to beef up a rhythm line, and is a trademark Iced Earth rhythm. I use a lot of them in Dark Shift songs, and believe it or not, there is really a whole lot you can do with different groupings of gallops. But more that will have to wait until next time.

Practice practice practice and I’ll see you next month.
If you have any questions please email me at
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