Sick Riffs: Andee Blacksugar delivers 2 killer lessons in the 50th episode of Sick Riffs

Sick Riffs #50: We're halfway to one-hundred! But judging by the amount of submissions we've received, it's likely we'll go far beyond that point - which is great news for all you guitarists eager to learn out there. In today's episode, Andee Blacksugar of Black Sugar Transmission teaches you how to play the main riff of This Is Crazy Town and the solo of Omens.

Andee Blacksugar is the main instigator behind glamtastic dance-rock outfit Black Sugar Transmission (as well as a member of long-running industrial/dance/metal juggernaut KMFDM). This year, he is releasing three albums under the BST moniker (the first, Wandering Into The Bullseye, arrived in February and the second, titled The Flowering, is slated for release on June 2nd).

He also wrote and recorded an all-instrumental album (under his SHEER VELOCITY alter-ego) called Lockdown Lullabies during the during the first two weeks of the Covid-19 self-quarantine period, using crowd-sourced keys, tempos, time signatures and titles and enlisting an all-star cast of guest soloists including Alex Skolnick (Testament), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Jason Bieler (Saigon Kick) and many more.

In the video, he plays a Blacksugar Super Strat electric guitar running through an Atomic AmpliFire 12 amp modeler, and uses a pedalboard consisting of an Eventide H9 multi-effects, a Boss Super Shifter and Boss DD-7 delay.

"Whenever I find myself with time on my hands, I take it as an almost moral obligation to make music," Blacksugar says. "The first big project for this quarantine was Lockdown Lullabies, which not only gave me something to do, but allowed me to collaborate with friends and strangers alike. 

"Forcing myself to complete a song a day and promising the public a finished album after only 2 weeks added a certain feverish focus and momentum."

"Obviously, the live performance side of my musical life is off the table now, so to compensate, I've been live streaming a short set each week, which I have to rehearse and prepare for pretty intensely. I have fun with it as well, firing up the fog machine and the strobe light to set an appropriate mood. 

"Conversely, I also go live on Instagram once a day in my pajamas and warm up/improvise over randomly selected YouTube backing tracks. None of this is the same as being onstage but it does give a little adrenaline kick, which definitely improves an otherwise uneventful day!"

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Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).