Weekend riff: Slayer - Raining Blood

Master Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's classic thrash metal guitar assault in TG's video lesson

Palm muting plays a big part in achieving the chunky, thrash metal sound here. The unmuted melody notes provide contrast by ringing out at full volume, enabling the single-note lines to cut through as much as the heavy sections do.

Solid timekeeping is crucial, so make sure the open sixth string notes lock in with the drum hits, and use downpicking to add aggression and drive to the first part of the riff. When playing the gallop rhythm, use a 'down up down' picking sequence and pay close attention to the snare and cymbal crashes, as they mark out the accented notes on beats 2 and 4.

The track is in Eb standard tuning, so tune your guitar to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb in order to play along.

Click here to download the 'Raining Blood' preset for the Peavey Vypyr VIP-2

'Raining Blood'
© 1986 Slayer

Tutor: Jamie Hunt
Videographer: Martin Holmes

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