Sick Riffs: Nick McLernon of Make Them Suffer teaches you his gnarly pre-show warm-up riff

Sick Riffs #29: Despite the current state of the world, melodic metalcore has never seemed healthier, with promising new acts cropping up with super-polished modern productions, and powerful lyrics and instrumental arrangements.

Amid the slew of new names are some of the genre's most longstanding. Make Them Suffer is one such band. Forming in 2008, they've carved themselves a unique niche and devoted audience, releasing three studio albums along the way - with their fourth, How To Survive A Funeral, dropping later this year.

In today's episode of Sick Riffs, guitarist Nick McLernon won't be showing you one of the band's riffs, but rather his pre-show warm-up riff - and it's filled with palm-muting and pinch harmonics to give you a comprehensive six-string workout. McLernon plays a Jackson 2019 Pro Series Soloist SLA2 electric guitar in dropped baritone tuning (AEADF#B), reflecting his self-confessed "unorthodox playing style". He runs the guitar through a Kemper amp modeler.

"We were on a tour bus halfway into a European tour heading to the UK from Switzerland when one of the Americans announced to everybody that Trump had announced travel bans from Europe into America effective immediately," states McLernon. 

"This abruptly stopped our tour short and we were forced to get on the phone with our managers and travel agents to help organize emergency flights home. We had to forfeit any guaranteed and potential income from the rest of the tour. Upon returning home, the country had begun its lockdown stage so any work the members could get outside of music was also compromised."

Support Make Them Suffer

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.