Riff Playbooks: Sithu Aye | Transient Transistors


The "Riff Playbooks" column is designed to make you a better player. By gleaning some insight into the technique, composition, and execution of these fine riffs by fine SH artists, you are bound to make headway in your own playing. We cordially invite you to steal a page from our books in order to expand your own diabolical playbook of musical wizardry (not literally though, the books are expensive to create).

In this third instalment of his Set Course For Andromeda riff playbook series, Sithu Aye treats us to a yet another fantastic flavour of his brand of feel good prog metal. In this section of the song "Transient Transistors", we get some very heavy seven string riffing, incorporating lots of low and impactful notes, but still firmly rooted in Sithu’s dreamy and upbeat melodic sensibility. The opening guitar part itself is played with a polyrhythmic feel which serves to punctuate the slow yet substantial punch of the riff. After a few cycles through this, Sithu picks up into the next section, in which the groove straightens out and Sithu weaves together some low single notes and whimsical chords, bridging the gaps with a laid back and slide laden run up the neck. All in all, very Sithu, and a very satisfying passage that we’re sure will be very fun and informative to take on! 

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We’ll let Sithu jump in here with a little more context about the section:

"This song is very much built around split-coil tones, big riffs and many variations of those big riffs. This particular section is actually the third and fourth variations of the opening riff, following after a laid back vibey section. The first riff is in 7/4, but the drums actually play a compound time 12/8 beat, creating a really cool timefeel change from the rest of the tune which is in 4/4. The next riff varies up the opening riff by playing these big minor 9 chords that I love playing in seven string drop tunings, as well as changing the harmonic vibe up. This section is a lot of fun to play live so I hope you guys dig learning and playing this."