Last week, Black Label Society dropped Doom Crew Inc.: the heavy rock outfit’s 11th studio outfit and their first since 2018’s Grimmest Hits. No doubt you’ve listened to the entire effort from start to finish numerous times already, and found yourself instantly hooked by the electric guitar riffs from the album’s opener, Set You Free.
And, while you’ve probably scoured the internet for tabs for the unrelenting riffs and have attempted to – perhaps unwisely – brave the solo by ear, there’s no substitute for a good teacher to guide you through the six-string mastery of the track.
Well, luckily for you, Guitar World has enlisted the help of the best teachers of them all to help you with your quest: Zakk Wylde himself, and his Black Label Society bandmante Dario Lorina, who swung by Guitar World HQ to record a lesson for the heavy-riffing track.
Straight off the bat, Wylde seeks to clear up a popular misconception with the main riff, revealing that aspiring players often tag him in videos of them covering the track, only to find they’re playing it wrong.
Wylde also imparted some key compositional advice by reflecting on Set You Free, voicing his penchant for a “less is more” approach.
“You always end up learning things the hard way," he said. "But, if you had 64 crayons, just take out 60 crayons and you leave four. And it’s like, let’s see what you can do with those four.
“It’s great blazing and everything like that, but as far as writing goes, you could try and write something with just two strings. That’s the whole thing,” he continued. “Try and keep it as simple as possible. Even with this song, there’s really just two parts."
A thorough solo breakdown follows, though bear in mind it’s a two-parter, so you’ll need to grab a buddy to play along with.
Black Label Society's Doom Crew Inc. is available now.