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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