Sick Riffs: Michael Abdow teaches you the soaring guitar solo of Cherry Blossom Descent

Sick Riffs #24: Today's episode features Fates Warning guitarist Michael Abdow, as he teaches you how to play the impressive guitar solo from Cherry Blossom Descent, taken from his fourth full-length solo album, Heart Signal.

Gear used in the video includes a Carvin DC727 7-string electric guitar running through a ‘78 Fender Princeton Reverb amp. Abdow's pedalboard consists of two drive pedals - a Barber Direct and a Fulltone OCD GE - while he also uses a Waves H-Delay plugin.

"The coronavirus pandemic is serious," says Abdow. "It’s a health concern but also a major financial concern. When at home, I make my living performing music; playing 100+ regional club shows a year. My gigging schedule has been cancelled since March 12. 

"Though it became a necessity that I try new things to create income, I view the situation as an opportunity. I’m now doing a modest number of online lessons and continuing to promote my new release Heart Signal. It’s not nearly enough to replace earnings from performing but every little bit I can pull together is a step in the right direction. 

"Staying at home and social distancing has also presented a really nice opportunity to take a step back and rethink tone, what I want to say on the instrument, and to try new things musically."

Support Michael Abdow

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.