Sick Riffs: Jack Collins teaches you the insane sliding techniques of Dead Poet Society’s .swvrm.

Sick Riffs #14: We’ve had fretless guitarists on Sick Riffs before - hello, Bumblefoot - but today we have something really outta the box, as Dead Poet Society’s Jack Collins shows you how to play .swvrm.’s inventive sliding riffs.

For the video, Collins turns to his trusty Schecter Diamond Series seven-string electric guitar, which has had its frets removed with a soldering iron, turning it into the kind of guitar that can produce these insane licks.

To play .swvrm., you’ll need to get your head around microtonal slides (ie, slides that aren’t quite full semitones) - it might take a lot of practice to get the kind of accuracy Collins achieves here, but it’s worth the effort for the wild, cat-screeching ferocity it produces.

Oh, and Collins’ rather tasty tones come courtesy of Neural DSP’s Archetype: Abasi.

“Our two week tour in March including five shows at SXSW was cancelled,” says Collins, reflecting on the impact COVID-19 has had on Dead Poet Society.

“Our self-isolation forced us to figure out how to work remotely. This is especially tough when trying to finish a record that usually requires the full band’s presence.

“Each member of the band is now recording parts separately. Some of us have pre-existing conditions, so that added stress. It is better than having just released an album or having just secured a month long tour schedule, though.”

Support Dead Poet Society (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

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, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).