Sick Riffs: Jon Courtney teaches you the gained-up wrecking ball behind Pure Reason Revolution's Silent Genesis

Sick Riffs #8: It's been over a week since the genesis of Sick Riffs, and we can assure you, we're just getting started. In today's lesson, Pure Reason Revolution guitarist Jon Courtney teaches you the gain-driven riff of Silent Genesis, taken from the band's new album, Eupnea.

The drop C-tuned riff is played almost entirely on the low string and using downstrokes, so this is one you'll pick up pretty quickly.

On this occasion Courtney delivers the riff using a blue Fender Thinline Tele. Gear used on the recorded version of the track included a Line 6 POD 2 amp modeler - which the guitarist recorded twice on different settings - a Boss Katana amp and Coron DC-809 Super Distortion pedal.

"I was meant to be flying to Portland, Oregon on April 12 to do some new album recording. It’s now highly unlikely that will happen," Courtney says regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I’m not sure what the flight situation is - hopefully a refund. Studio has to be cancelled, hotels cancelled, visa wasted. I’ve also no real idea of when it could be rescheduled because of all the uncertainty. It’s a real shame."

Support Pure Reason Revolution

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.