Sick Riffs: Shawn Adams teaches you American Dream Machine's Dead in full

Sick Riffs #116: Dropping their latest single Dead back in July, newly established Virginia punk-rockers American Dream Machine are gearing up to release their debut album DEADHEARTS, and have amassed a considerable following already. The track follows two previous singles, Bad News and New Apocalypse.

Guitarist Shawn Adams joins us today to show you how to play Dead in full. This one's in drop D, and consists of a collection of easy-to-pick-up riffs - perfect if you want to quickly learn a song in full. 

He plays a Fender Telecaster electric guitar through a Kemper amp modeler powering a Mesa Boogie 4x12 speaker cabinet.

"The pandemic hit us in a really unique way, but still just as hard everyone else," Adams says. "In the beginning it was easy to stay positive, because we thought it was going to be over quick, and we were just starting to put ADM out there, but things are still shit down across the country, and the music industry has been far from immune to it.

"The uncertainty of the future is what makes things so difficult, but all we can do is stay positive and do what we do best, which is write music. When the chaos of this pandemic is finally behind us, which it eventually will be, we’ll be there ready to hit the road until the wheels fall off."

Support American Dream Machine

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.