Sick Riffs: Palehound's Ellen Kempner teaches you the smooth main riff of Cinnamon

Sick Riffs #61: In today's episode, we bring you Ellen Kempner - leader of indie-rock trio Palehound - as she demonstrates how to play the main riff from their infectiously feel-good track, Cinnamon... With bonus cat intrusion!

This one's an opportunity for you to practice your hammer-ons and pull-offs, and hone your percussive rhythm chops.

Kempner plays a Fender American Professional Stratocaster electric guitar through a Fender Blues Junior amp and Boss CH-1 chorus pedal.

“I was on the west coast in the middle of a tour when the rest of the dates got cancelled because of COVID-19," Kempner says.

"It was a scary moment where we were suddenly faced with having to drive home cross country amid what felt like the apocalypse. Luckily we got home safely and now that I’m home I’m taking this time to practice living in the moment.” 

Support Palehound

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.