Sick Riffs: Learn the down-tuned stoner hammer-ons of High Tone Son of a Bitch's Silhouette

Sick Riffs #6: In today's lesson, Paul Kott of California stoner outfit High Tone Son of a Bitch teaches you how to play Silhouette from the band's latest release, Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB. It's time to flick to your amp's clean channel and try these tasty down-tuned hammer-on riffs...

The guitarist sits in front of an impressive range of amplifiers, including a Supro Royal Reverb, an Orange Rockerverb MKIII and a Laney GH100. Guitar-wise, he dons a 1978 Guild S-300D.

"I hope everyone out there is staying well and keeping cool through this unprecedented pandemic," says Kott. "Obviously life has been disrupted for everyone. I know I speak for everyone in our band when I say that our hearts and thoughts are with our fellow members of the working class, as well as the poor, disabled, and elderly. 

"As folks struggle under the failure our system is experiencing as a result of the conditions imposed by our current paradigm, we place our trust in each other for daily survival. We place our hopes for the future in our ability to come together and make a better world possible by forcing change.

The silver lining for us is that we are writing a shitload of riffs, and we will probably have several records worth of material when we emerge from this

"Like any working band out there, we have been adversely affected, and all of our members are scrambling a bit at the moment. Our new record, Lifecycles: EPs of HTSOB just dropped March 20, and the news of the release is pretty drowned out by the avalanche of more serious news coming out daily about the global crisis. 

"We also had a West Coast tour fully booked and announced with our buddies Weedeater alongside Goddamn Gallows that was slated to start April 16. Obviously that’s postponed indefinitely at the moment. So we’re all under a shelter in place order, most of us live in the first counties in the nation to impose such rules. 

"We’re all in our respective bunkers, jamming, writing riffs and sharing audio files with each other. The silver lining for us is that rather than playing the set a bunch at live practices to get ready for tour, we are writing a shitload of riffs, and we will probably have a bunch of records worth of stuff written when we emerge from this.

"On a personal note, I’d like to say that we all wish for a speedy recovery of our brother in music Will Carroll, drummer of Death Angel. Will got sick while on tour in Europe alongside another Bay Area music legend, Gary Holt of Slayer and Exodus. Will is a close personal friend to many in our band. As I write this, he is currently hospitalized in critical condition. We hope for his full recovery."

Support High Tone Son of a Bitch

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.