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Incorporating “Jazz Chords” into your riffs

Expand your riffage with new harmonies!

Multi-Finger Tapping Riffs

Get your tap on

Line 6 HD Pro
Brit J-800 & F-Ball Amp models
Single track recorded via USB. No post effects. 

Just wanted to share a tone test I did with the Line 6 HD Pro. I only recorded a single stereo track, using no post effects/eq. The bare minimum to hear exactly what your getting. For those of you out there who are capable I will put the Patch file for download on my website ( I’ll upload to Line 6 soon enough. For whatever reasons it didn’t up load when I tried. 

Make sure to check out my facebook/axeofcreation for a bonus video. Just a quick run through of the Patch setup and chain. Thank for your ‘Like” :)

I will make this backing track available for those who’d like to rip over it!

Lesson 13- Exotic Scales and Modes

Exotic Scales or Modes are a great way to incorporate some very necessary spice into your riffs. In this case, we begin our Modal conquest by looking at a Japanese Scale called the Hirajoshi scale. Technically we will be playing a ‘mode’ of this scale. Our scale forumla is 1 b2 4 5 b6. This b2 or minor second is the distinguishing note with this mode and gives it a lot personality. For an example, we will be looking at the opening riff of my song 1916. This riff borrows from the Minor Pentatonic scale, as well as the Phrygian Mode. Both scales are integral tools in the Creation of badass riffage. Take your time and really absorb the color and personality of these modes so you can exploit and expand your modal usage.

Email for lesson transcription 

Lesson 12-Djent Style Chugging Part 2 (Pattern and Group Riffs)

After looking at embellishing syncopated ideas lets turn our attention to pattern and group based ideas. This is extremely fun to play, just be careful because it can get pretty messy real fast. First example is a 3 beat pattern over 4/4 and the second example is more in the vein of Meshuggah’s style of riffing out. It’s pattern based on a riff that’s grouped in 15/16. The tab lesson will have a bonus riff!!! Happy Slaying

Lesson Transcription available at 

Lesson 11-Djent Style Chugging Part 1 (Syncopation & Embellishments)

Djent exploits one of my favorite parameters in music-Rhythm! The best place for us to start examining this is with syncopation. We will look at two basic syncopation rhythms and then embellish them with 16th note accents. This is a very simple way to create interesting and fun to play ostinato rhythms. Part 2 will focus on pattern and group based patterns.

Lesson Transcription available at 

Creator Analysis-Meshuggah

This axe hero edition is just that folks, a heroic look into the styling of the notorious, Meshuggah. These crazy Scandinavians are metal giants, and for good reason. They write bone-crushing riffs and bring rhythm ambiguity to a new level. Mind you, this lesson isn’t geared so much towards teaching how to play along to specific songs; as it is an (insightful) insight into why their music sounds so “off time”.  First things last, there is a lot of confusion out there about what exactly they are doing; and yes, this lesson will help clear some of that up. Generally, every Meshuggah song is in 4/4 time, but thrives in a fancy musical realm called Metric Dissonance. Just as Harmonic Dissonance breaks down tonality, Metric Dissonance breaks down your sense of time. Meshuggah writes their riffs in what you could consider a pattern, or group based style; but they are grouped based on some odd number of notes. So instead of landing on every four beats (4 groups of 4 1/16th notes), their riffs will last say 23 1/16th notes. Then they’ll repeat this pattern for say 8 measures until it eventually falls on the downbeat. This will clearly throw off any sense of time, AWESOME. These riffs are tricky and you really have to “feel” them not just count them. If you listen carefully to the drums, there is usually always a cymbal smashing away in 4/4. The real genius in their composition is that these “patterns” hardly ever land on a downbeat, which only enhances or in this case, disintegrates your sense of time even more. While polyrhythms come into play now and again, this Metric Dissonance is the main driving force of their writing. In closing, at Axe we dig this band, we dig that you dig this band, and as always let me know if you need help diggin’ deeper…

Lesson Transcriptions available at  

Lesson 5-Polyrhythms

Polyrhythms are a broad and complex topic, but for this introductory lesson we are going to hone in on exploration of three over four.  This is a simple rhythm to get a hold  of, and better still serves as a fine platform for much heavier and intricate parts. If you’re thinking Meshuggah, good job, you’re on the right track. Though this is not exactly what they do, it’s a hell of a start to applying their brand of complex polyrhythms. In case you’re wondering, Meshuggah takes this displacement concept a lot further.(They apply pattern based groupings against (over) a meter (say four) ). Fear not, that lesson is forth coming, plenty more polyrhythmic bliss where this came from. Happy slayin’…

Lesson Transcription available at 

Lesson 3-Riff Variation

Diversify your song writing by experimenting with more in the way of variation. Changing of meters, dynamics, tempos and registers - are all fundamental concepts of riff development; HOWEVER making even the slightest of changes, can often open a whole new chapter of parts for your track. 

Lesson Transcription and Song Sample available at  

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Yay! More Studio Fun. I have varying degrees of aggression, I’ll let you guys decide the temperature of this one©..