Sick Riffs: Bumblefoot teaches you the finger-twisting runs in Sons of Apollo’s King Of Delusion

Sick Riffs #1: Hello, and welcome to Sick Riffs, a new Guitar World video series, where self-isolating guitarists show you how to play their favorite - you guessed it! - riffs.

We’re starting off with one of modern guitar’s greatest virtuosos, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, who’s here to teach you one seriously mind-bending lick from Sons of Apollo’s King of Delusion.

This riff spans the entire fretboard, and its rapid-fire chromatic runs are not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, Thal was good enough to tab out the tricky passages - thanks, Ron!

Thal is currently in high spirits, despite his band being forced to cancel their tour.

“Sons Of Apollo made it through four shows (February 28 - March 3) of our 20-show European tour before having to pull the plug, leave half our gear in storage and head home,” Thal explains.

“From there, the April solo clinic and concert tour in Europe quickly became undoable. Everything is in reschedule mode and I’m hoping all will be OK by those rescheduled dates.

I’m spending every day in the studio doing lots of guest guitar and vocal sessions, mixing and mastering, some Skype leaching, and getting a headstart on writing new solo and Sons Of Apollo music

“As I make this video, New Jersey is announcing a full lockdown. It’s OK. Everything unexpected and unplanned is an opportunity waiting to be recognized and acted upon. I’m embracing the serenity, the gift of unexpected time, and spending every day in the studio doing lots of guest guitar and vocal sessions, mixing and mastering, some Skype leaching, and getting a headstart on writing new solo and Sons Of Apollo music. Maybe I’ll do some streaming clinics and concerts as well.

“What’s most important is that we act responsibly and be thoughtful of others. We're all in this together. This too shall pass. And when it does, our new normal will have a new layer of experience and adaptability added to it. Wishing you all to be safe and healthy.”

To record the lesson, Thal employed his Vigier 'DoubleBfoot' signature series fretted/fretless double-neck, strung up with D'Addario NYXL strings (9-46 fretted, 12-60 fretless) and kitted out with DiMarzio pickups (Tone Zone bridge, Chopper neck).

Other gear includes a Sinister .60mm guitar pick and Klotz Titanium cable into the Line 6 Helix Native plugin in Cubase. As we know, Thal went totally “ampless” on the new Sons of Apollo album.

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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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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.