How to play The Damned Things - We've Got A Situation Here riff

Rob Caggiano onstage in 2011
Rob Caggiano onstage in 2011 (Image credit: Chris Schwegler ./Retna Ltd./Corbis)

Before the full-on mayhem of We've Got A Situation Here gets underway, The Dammed Things' trio of guitarists - Joe Trohman, Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano - lay down a triple guitar intro.

The song uses drop C tuning (low to high: C G C F A D), so you'll need to retune. Trohman opens proceedings with a simple ascending riff that uses slides and a deceptively awkward rhythm.

The phrase ends on a sustained note with vibrato. Practise this slowly to make sure your action is even and consistent. This is answered by Scott Ian's part, which starts with same note as Trohman's, but it descends. After three plays through, the riffs repeat without sustained notes, this time playing on top of each other to create a cool, unconventional harmony.

At this point, Caggiano's guitar enters, playing a part that's harmonised in diatonic 3rds above Ian's part. This completes the three-part harmony and the intro.

Get the sound

Aim for a modern high-gain sound. Turn the distortion all the way up and boost both the bass and treble while cutting the mid range to provide the classic scooped metal tone.

Go easy on the reverb because it will muddy the precise sound required for metal rhythm playing.

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