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A monster riff from Wes Borland

If you've listened to any of Limp Bizkit's back catalogue, you'll be familiar with Wes Borland's unique playing style. Filled with snarling drop-tuned riffs, rhythmic tapping licks and moody clean rhythm playing, Wes' style has helped define the hip-hop metal genre.

It's Wes' snarling riffs that are the focus of this video lesson. If you want to play along with the monster riffs Wes demonstrates here, you'll need to detune your guitar a whole tone and a half (three frets).

The first riff Wes demonstrates uses some unusual timing to great effect, but it can be a little confusing at first. The first bar is 4/4 and the second 7/8, but you may find it easier to count in smaller groups of three half beats which all add up by the time you get to the end of the riff.

Notice how Wes maintains an alternate strumming approach throughout this riff. This means that you will begin with a downstroke followed by an upstroke. This can be trickier than an outside picking approach – especially on the first two notes – but the strong downstroke can help you maintain a better sense of timing and groove when playing, which is essential when learning riffs in Wes' style.

Click here for free tab, or check out our tab guide for help with notation.

For more Wes, check out our Wes Borland on two-handed tapping video lesson.


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