Megadeth: Holy Wars…The Punishment Due – Bassline Tutorial and Tab

2018-11-11T11:23:52+00:00June 15th, 2018|Categories: Songs & Repertoire|4 Comments

This week we’re looking at a riff that caused me all kinds of problems when I learned it way back in the early 90s. The opening riff to the song Holy Wars The Punishment Due by Megadeth.

This riff is played by the great David Ellefson. Dave uses a pick and this song is pretty much a masterclass in tight, metal bass playing.

Speed Metal Masterclass!

This riff is played by the brilliant bass player Dave Ellefson and if you want to hear an awesome example of metal bass playing just listen to the complete isolated bass track of this tune on Youtube.

It’s a tricky part to play and Dave plays it so well with such tight articulation and sound. Dave Ellefson is one of the most underrated bass players out there and this song in particular is a masterclass in metal pick playing.

Start Slowly!

You should start out slowly with this riff and be sure to get the notes under your fingers long before playing to a click or backing track. Once you feel confident, I’ve provided five backing tracks at progressively increasing tempi:

130 bpm:

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  1. Mario Ramirez June 16, 2018 at 1:17 am - Reply


    Would be nice a bass cover for Incubus – Are You In?


  2. Mario Ramirez June 16, 2018 at 1:22 am - Reply

    TALKING HEADS – Psycho Killer (Live)

  3. Graham June 17, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Thanks for your effort on this one. Its a very cool riff and a bit of a challenge to play at 166bpm. Luckily it sounds great at slower tempos as well !

  4. David Pelchat June 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Great Lesson Mark, David Ellefson is one Bassist who inspired me to play bass …

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