Sick Riffs: Inter Arma drummer - yes, drummer - TJ Childers teaches you Citadel's sludge colossus

Sick Riffs #48: Richmond metallers Inter Arma are self-dubbed "masters of the slow build," fusing doom, sludge and hard psych "without coming off like dilettantes," they say.

In today's episode, it's not a guitarist who teaches you. It's not even a bassist. It is, in fact, a drummer. While TJ Childers is Inter Arma's resident sticksman, he did write the guitar riff to the band's track Citadel. "Whoever writes the riff gets to show it to y'all," he reasons.

The tuning for this riff is B-A-D-G-B-E (standard tuning with the low string tuned five semitones down) - one that Childers likes to call "redneck tuning."

Childers plays a 1982 Gibson Explorer electric guitar with EMG 81 pickups and an amp setup consisting of a 1978 Marshall JMP 100-watt head powering a 1978 Marshall 4x12 cab. His pedalboard consists of a Korg Pitchblack Mini tuner and a ProCo Rat 2 distortion.

“We were supposed to have left for tour, but it's looking like everything is cancelled for the foreseeable future, so we're just at home working fragmented pieces of our jobs and dealing with the whole thing the best we can just like everybody else,” the drummer says.

Support Inter Arma

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.