This week I’m going to give an example of the effect of doubling a very frenetic riff in the shape of the greatest love song ever written: Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse.
Alex Webster is an awesome bass player with sick 3 finger picking chops. Hammer Smashed Face is a great example of how to apply that technique in a death metal setting.
Hammer Smashed Face!
First of all let’s take a look at that opening riff after the stabs:
Here’s the playalong drum track:
It’s very important to practice riffs like this at a much slower tempo. Start out slow and concentrate on accuracy and relaxation! It’s really easy to go for it round from the start and that could simply result in cramping up which will lead to errors in timing and deterioration of stamina.
Three Finger Picking
Alex Webster is a great exponent of the three finger picking technique you might have seen used by guys like Billy Sheehan, John Myung and Steve Bailey.
As a quick primer, simply pick with the fingers in the order ring-middle-index or 3-2-1. This results in a fanning action with the fingers that is perfect for dealing with the fast galloping rhythms in this song.
For a deep dive into three finger picking, check out my earlier video on the technique