Sick Riffs: January Jane's Mitch Mitchell teaches you a virtuosic acoustic alternate picker

Sick Riffs #64: Get ready to learn another acoustic Sick Riff, as Mitch Mitchell of NYC rock trio January Jane is here to teach you a particularly fresh guitar line. "Fresh" in every sense of the word, the guitarist says he came up with the riff "a couple of minutes [before]" filming the video. He jokes: "We'll literally be learning it together."

This half-step-down riff is an excellent opportunity for you to practice your acoustic dexterity, as it'll require stretching of the fretting hand, alternate picking chops and the ability to string skip. Mitchell plays the fretboard-spanning riff using an Ovation 1712 Custom Balladeer acoustic guitar.

"This is for alternate picking and getting your pinky really torn apart and stronger so you come out of this better," the guitarist says.

"While Coronavirus certainly sucks ass, and having all of our SXSW shows cancelled at the last minute was a bummer, you have to capitalize on the new paradigm shift," Mitchell says optimistically. "Now is the time to hone your craft, refine your music, and make sure you come out of this stronger than you went in!" 

Support January Jane

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.