Riffer Madness http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/645/all en Riffer Madness: Dimebag Darrell on Harmonics, Part 1 http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-harmonics-part-1 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness."</em></p> <p>This month we're gonna talk about harmonics—how to get 'em, where you can find 'em and what you can do with 'em. There are a number of different ways you can make harmonics happen. </p> <p>You can induce 'em with your pick (pinch harmonics), you can tap 'em like Eddie Van Halen does sometimes (tap or touch harmonics) or you can get 'em by lightly resting one of your left-hand fingers on a string and then picking it. </p> <p>The last type are called natural harmonics, and they're the suckers we're gonna be dicking with.</p> <p><strong>How</strong></p> <p>The easiest place to get a natural harmonic on any string is at the 12th fret. All you do is lightly rest one of your left-hand fingers on a string directly above that fret and then pick it. </p> <p>Don't let the string touch the fret, though, or it won't work, dad! When you do this right you'll hear a bell-like note that's exactly one octave higher than the open-string note. To help make harmonics easier to get, use your lead (bridge) pickup and a lot of gain. </p> <p>When I first started experimenting with harmonics, I'd sometimes hook up two distortion boxes just to get my strings "frying," which helped bring out the harmonics. Also, once you've chimed the harmonic, it's not necessary to leave your finger on the string—in fact, if you let go of the string immediately after you pick it the harmonic will ring twice as well.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong></p> <p>You can also get harmonics happening above other frets like the 7th, 5th and 4th. Some dudes seem to think that these are the only points where harmonics happen but, as far as I'm concerned, there is literally a harmonic to be found at any place on any string. Check this out and you'll hear what I'm saying: rest your left-hand bird (middle) finger lightly over the highest fret of your fat E string. </p> <p>Then start chugging out a groove on that string with your pick. While you're doing that, keep your left-hand finger resting lightly on the string and start moving it slowly toward the nut. You should hear a shit-load of different harmonics all over the string!</p> <p>Some of my favorite harmonics are located between frets. There are two really cool ones between the 2nd and 3rd frets that I use a lot. One is at about a quarter of the way between the 2nd and 3rd frets and the other is at about three quarters of the way. They're pretty hard to get, so once you find 'em make a mental note of exactly where they are.</p> <p>I use some pretty radical harmonics at the beginning of "Heresy" [<em>Cowboys From Hell</em>.] <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> shows a riff similar to the one I'm talking about and, as you can see, it uses harmonics on the low E string.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/dimebag_riff1.jpg" width="620" height="218" /></p> <p>The best way to make sure you're playing this right is to listen to the record real carefully and then find the exact spots where all the harmonics are. Use your ears and your eyes, man--look and listen!</p> <p><strong>To Bar or Not To Bar</strong></p> <p>A lot of guitarists tend to only use harmonics when they want to make weird noises with their whammy bars. That's cool but, as <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> shows, you don't need a tremolo arm to make harmonics wail. Two of my favorite players, Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, did some real happening things with harmonics without reaching for their bars! <strong>FIGURE 2</strong> is similar to the verse riff of "Mouth For War" [<em>Vulgar Display of Power</em>].</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/dimebag_riff2.jpg" width="620" height="391" /></p> <p>In bar 4 I play a simple little fill using harmonics a quarter of the way between the 2nd and 3rd frets on the G and B strings to create a high-pitched percussive sound that gives the riff an extra dimension. And, once again, no whammy shit is going on.</p> <p>Harmonics are cool to screw around with, so don't be afraid to experiment with 'em. As long as you remember to look and listen you'll do just fine. Next month I'll tell ya all about how I get my trademark harmonic screams, like the ones at the end of "Cemetery Gates" [<em>Cowboys From Hell</em>.]</p> <p>Until then...try, fail, live, learn--and die happy trying!</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-harmonics-part-1#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Blogs Features Lessons Magazine Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:36:22 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 12081 at http://www.guitarworld.com Riffer Madness: Dimebag Darrell on Syncopated Rhythms, Part 1 http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-syncopated-rhythms-part-1 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness."</em></p> <p>In the last few columns we've been zoning in on lead-playing and shit so let's get back to doing some hard-driving rhythm work for a while-'cos well-balanced players rip on rhythm as well as leads. </p> <p>As far as I'm concerned, it's no good being able to wail out smokin' leads if your rhythm chops hugg! I've been into playing rhythm from day one, and a lot of that has to do with having a brother who kicks ass on drums. I grew up jamming with Vinnie [Paul, Darrell's brother and Pantera's skin-basher] and he definitely taught me the importance of timing and playing tight-and that, along with some great chops, is what rhythm playing is all about.</p> <p><strong>Percussive Picking</strong></p> <p>In a way, I'm kind of a percussionist when it comes to picking because a lot of my rhythm patterns are almost like drum patterns-take the front of "A New Level" (<em>Vulgar Display Of Power</em>) (Figure 1) which is a hard-driving power groove based on one note, the open low E string (tuned down a whole step to D). </p> <p>I actually came up with the idea for this riff by beating on one of those little crystal glasses with some chop sticks at Benihana's! Most riffs are recognizable by their melody, and the fact that you can immediately identify Figure 1 as being "A New Level" from just its rhythmic pattern shows you how important timing and rhythm is! So, in the case of this riff, the focus is on right-hand chops rather than melody.</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/sync1.gif" /></p> <p><strong>Psychotic Syncopation</strong></p> <p>A lot of Pantera's riffs are tight, syncopated grooves like the one we've just looked at. Check out the riff shown in FIGURE 2, which is the beginning of "Psycho Holiday" (<em>Cowboys From Hell</em>).</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/sync2.gif" /></p> <p>Once again, only one note is being hit (F), but you know exactly what the song is, thanks to the rhythmic pattern being pounded out. Anyway, before we go any further, I guess I should explain what syncopation is all about, just so we're clear.</p> <p>All syncopation means is accenting beats that you don't normally accent. If this sounds complicated, don't wig, just hold tight and we'll clean this scene up. Let's say you're chugging out a simple eighth-note pattern on the open low-E string, like in FIGURE 3a.</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/sync3.gif" /></p> <p>The notes you'd normally accent would be the ones that fall on counts "one," "two," "three" and "four." This is shown in FIGURE 3b(the notes to be accented are indicated by the symbol >). All we have to do to make this basic rhythmic idea syncopated is to accent the notes that fall on the "and" counts instead-the eighth-note up-beats. This is shown in FIGURE 3c.</p> <p>FIGURES 4a + 4b are the same shit, but this time applied to a simple 16th-note groove. FIGURE 4a is the unsyncopated version (accents on "one," "two," "three" and "four") while FIGURE 4b is syncopated (accents NOT on "one," "two," "three" and "four").</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/sync4.gif" /></p> <p>I know these are real basic illustrations, but remember, simple is bad-assed, if done aggressively! So, attack those accents 'cos that's where the magic is! Check out how much more interesting FIGURE 4b sounds compared to FIGURE 4a, which is pretty straight-sounding. And the only difference between 'em is where we've placed the accents. That's the whole trip with syncopation!</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/sync5.gif" /></p> <p>Shit, I'm outta space again. Next time we'll be getting into more power groove stuff, such as picking techniques and muting tricks. Until then, go crank your rig on 12, let it feedback wide open for a good two minutes, freak your neighbors out and ENJOY THE POWER OF THE GUITAR! "Oh, what a feeling," and it ain't no damned Toyota!!</p> <p><em>The "Dimebag Darrell Riffer Madness" DVD is available through Alfred <a href="http://alfred.com/riffermadness">here</a></em>.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-syncopated-rhythms-part-1#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:13:08 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 13492 at http://www.guitarworld.com Dimebag Darrell: How to Pump Up Your Riffs http://www.guitarworld.com/dimebag-darrell-how-pump-your-riffs <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness"</em></p> <p>Hey, Dad! What's shaking? This month we're gonna rap about a few ways you can pump maximum heaviness into a riff.</p> <p><strong>DROP 'EM!</strong></p> <p>One of the simplest ways to get some extra low-end grind happening is to use what a lot of guys call dropped-D tuning. It can definitely inspire you to jam out some bad-assed riffs. Just drop your low-E string down to D and leave the rest of your strings where they are. Your axe'll by tuned, from low to high, D, A, D, G, B and E. </p> <p>Check it out: hitting the three low strings open gives you a nasty D5 chord (Figure 1), and you can play any power chord you want just using one left-hand finger (Figure 2)! Pantera uses this tuning on the likes of "Primal Concrete Sledge" (Cowboys From Hell) and "No Good (Attack The Radical)" (Vulgar Display Of Power).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime2_1.jpg" style="padding: 5px 10px 10px 0px;" align="left" />If the dropped-D tuning ain't heavy enough for ya, you can always tune you whole guitar down a tone-so your strings go, from low to high, D, G, C, F, A, D. </p> <p>Doing this can make a riff sound heavier than shit, which is why we used it for "Walk" (Vulgar Display Of Power). I'll tell ya, if Phil (Anselmo, Pantera singer) had his way, I would play all our shit in this tuning! To me, though, it's much more effective when used once in a while-if we did it on every song, it'd get old real quick! So, whenever Phil gets on me about it, I just go, "Hey, Dad! Cut it!"</p> <p><strong>BAD-ASSED BENDS</strong></p> <p>Using string bends instead of just playing regular, unbent notes can definitely help give certain riffs a cooler, heavier edge. Take the opening riff of "Walk" (Figure 3).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime2_3.gif" /></p> <p>If I played it without the string bend and release, it'd become figure 4.</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime2_4.gif" /></p> <p>I don't know about you, but the "real way" sounds far better to me, man! It's much heavier and nastier and that's what we're looking for, bud-weak riffs are out!</p> <p><strong>CUTTING CHORDS</strong></p> <p>You can do the same thing with power chords, too. Take a fairly mediocre riff-FIGURE 5A, for example.</p> <p>To make it more interesting and evil-sounding, try this: instead of using a regular G5 power chord, bend an F#5 shape up to a G5, as in FIGURE 5B. Bending two different notes up exactly half-a-step at exactly the same time is kind of difficult, but stick with it 'cause it sounds great when you get it down. You can hear me doing this kind of thing at the end of "Hollow" (Vulgar Display Of Power).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime2_5.gif" /></p> <p><strong>SINISTER SLIDES</strong></p> <p>Sliding from one power chord to another can also help a riff sound more sinister. I got the idea from listening to Tony Iommi in Black Sabbath, and I do it a lot-check out "Mouth For War" (Vulgar Display...), for instance. So, if I wanted to make a riff like FIGURE 6A nastier, I'd throw in a chord-slide and probably a chord-bend as well (Figure 6B).</p> <p><img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime2_6.gif" /></p> <p>Which version sounds better? C'mon, there's no contest! figure 6B kicks figure 6A's sorry ass!</p> <p>I hope these few ideas help you jam out a few crushing riffs of your own. See ya next time, bud-Timbale!</p> <p><em>The "Dimebag Darrell Riffer Madness" DVD is available through Alfred <a href="http://alfred.com/riffermadness">here</a></em>.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pantera">Pantera</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/dimebag-darrell">Dimebag Darrell</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/dimebag-darrell-how-pump-your-riffs#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Artist Lessons Blogs Lessons Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:53:23 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 11372 at http://www.guitarworld.com Riffer Madness: Dimebag Darrell on Harmonics, Part 3 http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-harmonics-part-3 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness."</em></p> <p>What's up Dad, we're back! <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-harmonics-part-2-harmonic-screams">Last time</a> we got into using the whammy bar to make natural harmonics scream back up to pitch. In this column we're gonna be using the bar to to pull these jewels up to notes that are higher than their regular pitch. One example is screaming the harmonic at the 4th fret (regular pitch is B) on the G string all the way up to D (Figure 1).</p> <p>For you to be able to able to do this your bridge needs to be floating so you can yank the bar up as well as push it down. It's up to you to decide how you set your bridges up, but just so you know, I have my Floyd set up so that I'm able to pull a note on the G string up about two-and-and-half steps.</p> <p>Basically, the technique you need to get these high-pitched bitch-bastards screaming is exactly the same as the one we talked about last month: flick the string with your left hand, dump the bar down, lightly tap the harmonic you want and then let the whammy come back up real smoothly--so the harmonic squeals. The only difference is that this time out you've gotta pull up on your bar, so that the harmonic goes past its regular pitch and up to the note you want the "scream" to end on. To do this you've gotta use your ears as well as your hands--your hands do the work and your ears tell 'em how far to go.</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/squeal1.gif" /></p> <p><strong>Backwards or forwards? The choice is yours!</strong></p> <p>To pull a harmonic up to an exact higher pitch requires some pretty close control of the bar. I've found that with the bar pointing towards the back of my guitar--towards the end strap button--I can more accurately get the note I'm aiming for, because I have to push down on the bar to get there--think about it! But whenever I'm aiming for a gut-wrenching squeal, I go for it with the bar facing the front. There's a different feel to both ways, so experiement to find which one works best for you. Backwards or forwards? The choice is yours.</p> <p>Anyway, enough rapping about whammy bars and shit; let's get into some jamming. To get cooking on this new idea, check out FIGURE 2.</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/squeal2.gif" /></p> <p>This has you screaming the harmonic at the fifth fret of the G string up to four different notes: G (return to pitch); A (up a whole step); B (up two steps) and C (up two-and-a-half steps). I've got you hitting a power chord before each scream, so you can hear the pitch you're aiming for just before you go for it with the harmonic. Use your ears and pay atention to the pitch. Once you've got FIGURE 2 down, try FIGURE 3, whichi s the same exact deal except without the power chords to help you out. This time you're flying blind!</p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/squeal3.gif" /></p> <p>Once you can nail FIGURE 3 every time, you're ready to start cuttin' up. Try squealing every harmonic you can find on every string, and never be afraid to experiment; that's how most of us come up with some of our coolest shit. The great thing about this technique is you can use it to make your guitar sing a melody or just squeal wildly outta control--it's up to you.</p> <p>To finish up, I'm gonna leave you with a challenge, FIGURE 4. </p> <p><img src="http://guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/squeal4.gif" /></p> <p>This is the first melodic squeal at the end of Cemetery Gates (<em>Cowboys From Hell</em>), where I follow Philip's vocal melody. Here I scream the harmonic at the 4th fret on the G string up to E, which is two-and-a-half steps above its resting pitch of B. Then, after holding it there for a measure, I drop it smoothly down to C, which is half a step above its resting pitch. Thje touch thing about FIGURE 4 is that you never get to use the harmonic's resting pitch (B) as a reference point--you're either above or below it, but never on it. Good luck--and if you get this one right, treat yourself to a six-pack of beer!</p> <p><em>The "Dimebag Darrell Riffer Madness" DVD is available through Alfred <a href="http://alfred.com/riffermadness">here</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-harmonics-part-3#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Blogs Lessons Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:22:53 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 12398 at http://www.guitarworld.com Riffer Madness: Dimebag Darrell on Busting Out of a Rut http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-busting-out-rut <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness"</em></p> <p>What's up, Daddy?! This month we're gonna talk about some ways you can dig yourself out of a playing rut.</p> <p>Whenever you get into a rut, always try and remember these two things: One, you ain't the only dude that gets hit with this shit-we all go through it from time to time! And two, you're not always gonna be stuck there, so don't totally schiz out! The only way that'll happen is if you let it. So, don't get bummed out and go: "fuck it, I quit!"-that's a dumb-assed, loser attitude. Instead, get to work, man. If you wanna get out of a rut bad enough, it'll always happen. It's up to you, though-no one else is ever gonna do it for you.</p> <p><strong>A Simple Solution</strong></p> <p>When you find yourself doing the same old things over and over, logic says that the best way out is first, to take a real close look at what you're playing. Then find out what you keep repeating and say, "O.K., I won't do that anymore." At that point, stop doing it and try something else instead! I'm not saying you should give up on all your old licks. Just let them rest, and make it your goal to try new things and grow. If you make a definite effort to do this, it'll lead to new ideas and a way out of that rut. Here's some other things that might help you out...</p> <p><strong>Fatherly Advice</strong></p> <p>My Dad's a great guitarist, and he said something to me when I was learning to play that I've always remembered. One day I was stompin' around the house, all pissed-off because my playing was in a bit of a rut. And he said, "Well, son, if you decided to learn just one new lick a day, how many would you have at the end of the year?" Think about it, man, the possibilities right there are staggering! Shit, if only I knew a lick for each beer I've had, I can't even imagine how much extra knowledge I'd have!</p> <p><strong>The Importance of Others</strong></p> <p>To me, a sure-fire way to get in a rut is by sitting around playing by yourself for too long. You've gotta get out there and jam, man! You don't have to necessarily be in a band, all you've gotta have are a couple of buds who play too. They don't have to be guitarists either; jamming with a bassist or a drummer is cool. I was real lucky to grow up with a brother that kicks ass on drums [Vinnie Paul, Pantera's skinsman extraordinaire, is D.D. `s bro.-GW Ed.]. We used to play together all the time, and doing that really helped me develop as a guitarist in a BIG way. Jamming with other people will create energy and excitement that you can feed off, and which will help push you to do things you'd never dream of doing by yourself. I love jamming with my band because the guys inspire me every time. We all get off on each other's playing. Also, whenever I do something that one of `em likes he'll say something like, "Hey dude, that one note was bad-assed!" Hearing that sort of thing definitely boosts your self-confidence, man! If you play something great in your bedroom no one's ever gonna say shit about it, because no one else heard it!</p> <p><strong>Be Yourself, By Yourself</strong></p> <p>If you have no buds to jam with, you can always record a rhythm part yourself and then wail lead over it. I used to do that all the time. You don't need to do a whole production deal with a 4-track and a drum machine either; all you need is a boom box with a built-in condenser mic and you're set. Don't always solo over the same sort of stuff, though, or you could fall into a rut. Whenever I would get tired of soloing over heavy riffs in E, I'd come up with a rhythm part that was in a different key and had a completely different feel to it. Then I'd record it and let it take my lead work to a new place. Sometimes a change of mood and pace can help you find fresh ideas, and this is one way of doing that. The laid-back, bluesy, B minor rhythm shown in [Figure 1] is a good example of what I'm talking about here.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/rm1.gif" width="462" height="143" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/rm2.gif" width="462" height="147" /></p> <p><strong>This Sucks? Not!</strong></p> <p>Finally, even when you find yourself trapped in the deepest rut you've ever known, don't ever forget just how fuckin' good the guitar sounds. Sometimes, because you've been playing so much, it's real easy to take the thing for granted. Never let this happen, Dad! The next time you think: "Oh shit, this sucks," slow down a little bit, take a step back and then take a closer look at things. Whenever I get down on my playing I just bend a note, shake it and listen! What I hear sounds so great that it makes me realize that even a rut doesn't suck! The guitar is a killer-sounding instrument, man. That's why we play it! The next time you're in a rut, just think of me. You'll be out in no time. See ya next issue. Bust your sack, C-Cut!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/riffer-madness-dimebag-darrell-busting-out-rut#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Blogs Lessons Wed, 06 Jul 2011 23:25:56 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 11535 at http://www.guitarworld.com Dimebag Darrell: Knock-Out Riffs http://www.guitarworld.com/dimebag-darrell-knock-out-riffs <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic</em> Guitar World<em> column, "Riffer Madness"</em> To me and my band, guitar riffs are what it's all about. We know that every time we jam on a great riff we've got a fighting chance of writing a great song! You don't have to go to G.l.T. or know a bunch of weird-assed chords and scales to come up with killer shit. But you've got to be totally into what you're doing! Check out Judas Priest's British Steel album if you don't believe me. It's packed full of god-like riffs, and most of them aren't hard to play. If you don't already own this album, buy it-it's essential shit, man! Anyway, here's a couple of ideas that might help you make the most of a good, heavy riff. <img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/riffer1_1.gif" align="right" style="padding: 10px 0px 10px 10px;" />One of our audience's favorite riffs is the main one in our encore, "Cowboys From Hell" (Cowboys From Hell, Atco). It's a pretty easy riff to play 'cause it's made of the first rock scale we all learn-the E minor blues scale (Figures la and lb.) The first time you hear this riff is in the song's intro where I play it an octave higher than I do during the rest of the track.(Figure 2.) <img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/riffer1_2.gif" /> Hearing it played an octave higher is like an appetizer-it introduces you to the riff and makes you hungry for more! Playing it higher first also makes the full-blown unsion (Figure 3) sound real heavy when it kicks in. I guess you could say that FIGURE 2 is the "body blow" and FIGURE 3 is the "knockout punch." <img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/riffer1_3.gif" /> My bud Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains does the same sort of thing on "Would?" He starts off by playing the verse riff high up the neck, then slams you in the teeth when the vocals enter by playing it an octave lower. To give the main "Cowboys" riff (Figure 3) even more balls, I play power chords on the E and A notes instead of just playing single notes like I do in the intro version (Figure 2). 1 also add some low-end chunk by applying some heavy-duty palm muting. My whammy system is set up so I can yank the bar up as well as do dive-bombs with it. This means that if I accidentally push down on the bridge with my palm, my strings go sharp and sound out of tune. I make sure this never happens by never resting my hand on the bridge when muting. I always do my muting just in front of the bridge. I also use the idea of repeating a riff in different octaves during the bridge of "Cowboys" (Figure 4a). There's a short, one-bar descending run I play twice halfway through the bridge (bar 4). At the end (bar 8)(Figure 4b), I play the same run an octave higher. This definitely makes the bridge sound cooler than if I just played the run in the same register twice. <img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/riffer1_4.gif" /> <img src="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/GW/dime/riffer1_4b.gif" /> <strong>GET A GRIP</strong> When I play live, I jump around like an idiot for an hour-and-a-half or more under a lighting rig that's hotter than hell. This makes me sweat like a pig, and makes it real tough for me to keep a firm grip on my picks, even those that are supposed to be non-slip. Losing control of your pick on stage sucks, so I scratch some deep X's into both sides of my pick with something sharp, like a dart. Doing this makes your picks look like shit-but at least you won't look like an asshole because you dropped one in the middle of a solo! <em><a href="http://alfred.com/riffermadness">The "Dimebag Darrell Riffer Madness" DVD is available through Alfred here</a></em>.</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/dimebag-darrell-knock-out-riffs#comments Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffer Madness Blogs Lessons Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:36:49 +0000 Dimebag Darrell 11241 at http://www.guitarworld.com