Sick Riffs: Dave Rude teaches you the ultra-melodic, bend-driven solo from Tesla's The Mission

Sick Riffs #135: Originally staking their claim in the hair-metal scene of the early-'80s, California's Tesla have time and again proven the longevity of their brand of hard rock.

2019 saw the release of the band's eighth studio album Shock, a 12-track belter which plays host to some of their most stomping riffs and catchiest hooks yet.

Guitarist Dave Rude joins us in today's episode of Sick Riffs to teach you the solo from the record's eighth track, The Mission. This one's quintessential '80s hard rock, wrought with tasteful bends and climactic melodies, and so a perfect opportunity for you to practice your feel and technique in unison.

He plays his Epiphone signature Flying V electric guitar – fitted with 10-52 gauge D'Addario strings – through Joe Satriani's AmpliTube software amp modeler via a Universal Audio Apollo Twin audio interface.

“We were lucky to get in a month of touring in February 2020, which was nice,” Rude says. “It was great to be out and we had a busy year lined up: a few more month-long headlining runs and then a month and a half supporting Alice Cooper in sheds. That was going to be a really fun tour and we're all super bummed it couldn't happen.  

“Luckily, we're all still healthy and doing fine. I've been home hanging with my family and teaching a lot of guitar lessons online since the pandemic shut down the touring business. Teaching is something I've always enjoyed. It also keeps me on my toes and gets me stoked to learn new techniques and go deeper on stuff I already know.  

“I've also been working on finishing up my new solo album which should be out in early 2021 on Rat Pak Records. All that said, I still can't wait to get back out on the road with Tesla as soon as possible.”

Support Tesla

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.