In this lesson we'll start putting the power chord fingerings into practice by learning a
riff. It's one that I composed especially for this lesson and sounds cool when played with heaps of distortion. So
be sure to grab your distortion pedal and turn the gain to full!
Right, let's take a look at the riff. Please check out the TAB below…
Lesson: Riff 1
A Few Important Points
Here are a few important notes about this riff…
This riffuses only the power chord fingering that uses the thick
E-string and the A-string. So the main challenge will be shifting the power chord fingering
up-and-down the same pair of strings. (You don't need to use the other two power chord fingerings for this
The riffis played using all downstrokes. (Notice the funny
symbol above the numbers in the TAB. This is the symbol to indicate a downstroke). Using downstrokes
exclusively really helps to make the riff sound more aggressive.
The riffuses palm-muting on the open E-string. Palm-muting is
an incredibly important technique for metal rhythm guitar, and is done by resting the heel of your picking
hand on the bridge saddles. (This is where the strings meet the bridge of your guitar). If you look at the
TAB now, you'll notice that I have put a PM to tell you what notes should be
palm-muted. (To be 100% percent clear, ALL the open-string notes should be palm-muted).
The vast majority of the riff is played using eighth-notes. This means that you
will play two notes per click of your metronome. If you don't understand these basic timing concepts, then
I recommend learning them ASAP. They will really help you to understand how to relate what you play to a
metronome and will also help you to become a better musician and guitar player. (Side Note: I cover basic
timing up to sixteenth-notes in my Alternate Picking
Fast Start product. So if you want to learn important basic timing concepts plus improve your
alternate picking, it may be worth checking out).
Play all the power chords with the first and third fingers of your
fretting-hand. (In future lessons we'll look at different ways of fingering these power
chords. But for now, stick with what I've recommended).
Before you move onto the new power chord lessons I recommend doing the following…
Practice the guitar riff that we covered in this lesson. I highly recommend setting a speed
goal. For Example: You might set a goal of being able to play it at 160 bpm before moving onto
the next lesson. (Obviously you speed goal you choose will depend on what your current level of playing