Testament Guitarists Teach A Class On Riffing


Music is a funny thing. It’s the kind of activity that doing it is much easier than talking about it. There are some facts in it that we can’t tell in words, but playing them makes the task easier. Here we have Testament guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick who recently talked to Gear Factor about the riffs they wrote together over the years, singling out the ones they’re most proud of (transcribed by UG):

“There’s a lot of them. For me, I like the ones where we joined together [to write]. “Trial by Fire,” “Into the Pit” were some of our best collaborations, but there’s one in particular that I like playing because it showcases both of us in harmony.”

“When he [Alex] first joined the band, I was always like, ‘What’s that called, when the other guitar player plays…?’ [Chuckles] He’s like, ‘Harmonizing.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. Can we do something like that?’.”

“So we came up with this song called “Burnt Offerings,” which had a riff and we just kind of answered each other. I think Alex had this riff *plays the first riff that comes after the intro* and I got this one *plays the second riff that comes after the intro*.”

“We just put them together and we were just figuring out the harmonies.”

“And then another one of my favorites – we were totally into Mercyful Fate – was “The Haunting.” Just *plays the song’s intro riff*. It’s just got that sound like, ‘Yeah!’. He [Alex] started it.”

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