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Sick Riffs: Jeremy Hollen teaches you the smart intervallic fingerpicking of Do Ra’s Waves

Sick Riffs #110: Portland, Oregon duo Do Ra derive their name from the lowest notes of the guitar sung as solfège syllables (you know: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti), but no music theory is required to appreciate their expansive take on indie-rock.

For 2020, guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Hollen and drummer James Alton have been hard at work with producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beach House, Blonde Redhead, Grizzly Bear), cutting two cinematic new singles.

In today’s episode of Sick Riffs, Hollen teaches you the first of these new tracks, Waves, which is due to land next week.

You’ll need to deploy a capo on the first fret to get the key right for the track’s neat intervals (ie, two-note chords) and slick fingerpicking work, which channels Hollen’s background in classical guitar.

Those gorgeous clean tones come courtesy of a Fender American Telecaster running into a ’68 Fender Deluxe Reverb, with the front-end hit by a Z.Vex Super Hard On clean boost.

“The virus has nixed the best part of being a musician – performing live,” says Hollen. “Some historical Portland clubs have closed and many more might.

“I also teach guitar lessons and they've shifted mostly online since March. For my older students, video lessons are just a little clunky - but teaching a five-year-old over the phone takes another level of patience!”

Support Do Ra


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.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Digital Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World, having spent nine storied years contributing to guitar journalism and a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). He has written and edited for MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and makes prog-ish instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.