Sick Riffs: Nikki Misery teaches you the ultra-heavy riff of New Years Day's Epidemic - on a 7-string acoustic guitar

Sick Riffs #27: Nikki Misery of California rockers New Years Day joins Guitar World to teach you how to play the close-to-the-bone Epidemic, taken from the band's 2015 EP of the same name.

While the original riff is played on an electric guitar, in this instance, Misery wields a Schecter Orleans Stage 7-string acoustic guitar tuned to E standard, with the lowest string tuned down a whole step to A - effectively creating the drop D feel many guitarists will be familiar with.

"Coronavirus has affected us all," says Misery. "I mean, for any person who lives day to day, in the service industry, artists. This has taken our livelihood, our way to make money and feed ourselves. But I hate having to complain about that when people are fighting for their lives and dying. The fact I get to wake up seemingly healthy, I shouldn't really complain." 

Support New Years Day

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 (opens in new tab).