How to play Slash – You're A Lie riff

Slash playing live in Birmingham, 2011
Slash playing live in Birmingham, 2011 (Image credit: Katja Ogrin ./Retna Ltd./Corbis)

The guitar is tuned down by one semitone (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb ), which adds weight and power to the groove on You're A Lie, the first single from Slash's new album Apocalyptic Love.

The song starts with a dragging half time chord sequence before Slash bowls in with this stomping riff. After one cycle the whole band join forces to deliver a high-energy groove.

Aim to maintain a consistent amount of force as you down-pick the powerchords on the fifth and sixth strings. If you pick too hard you'll sound too heavy and spoil the natural flow of the riff. Using too light a pick attack will lessen the much needed drive and energy.

Just aim for consistent picking and make sure that you don't palmmute or cut any of the chords short because this will affect the momentum and flowing nature of the riff.

Get the sound

Use a guitar with a humbucker in the bridge position to achieve a powerful rock tone. If your guitar has singlecoil pickups add some extra gain and bass to achieve a thicker, fuller sound.

Make sure that you have a decent amount of midrange as this is authentic to Slash's classic rock tone. If you use a small amount of middle you are likely to get a scooped, thrash metal sound. It's a 'no messin' around, guitar straight into the amp' philosophy on this song, so there's no need for additional effects.

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