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Weekend riff: Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name

Total Guitar takes a look at Morello's aggressive drop D tuned riff from from Rage Against The Machine's 1992 debut single

If there's a challenge with this riff it's nailing the feel and timing. The fretting and picking present no great technical difficulty, after all; it really is all about laying back into the groove. The opening note falls bang on the beat. The closing powerchords fall lazily behind the beat.

It's tough to employ these micro-timing elements in your playing, and feel is usually the last part of the learning process. You need to have committed the notes completely to memory so that you can play the riff without making any basic errors. Then you can work on groove.

So... watch the video; learn the notes; practise until you can play the riff error-free; finally, set aside an hour or so to loop the riff over and over. Repetition is the key to getting the groove just right.

Click here to download the 'Killing In The Name' preset for the Peavey Vypyr VIP-2

'Killing In The Name'
© 1992 Rage Against The Machine

Tutor: Steve Allsworth
Videographer: Martin Holmes

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