Riff Playbooks

Riff Playbooks: Intervals | Vantablack


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).

Aaron Marshall


Posted — August 25, 2021

Aaron Marshall is, and has been for a few years now, an undeniable talent in the instrumental guitar community, but with his most recent release, Circadian, Aaron has truly solidified his place as one of modern metals greats. The mastery and charisma heard throughout this latest Intervals record is unmistakable, and makes for an exciting and inspiring journey, front to back. We’d be hard pressed to choose just one part from the record to showcase for this Riff Playbook, but thankfully Aaron made that one easy for us, and provided a clip from his incredible playthrough for the song “Vantablack”. The video below sees Aaron flawlessly rip through the solo section of the song, in which he runs through all manor of fantastic techniques in signature Intervals style, and neatly ties them all together with variations on an étude outlining the hook of the chord progression, firmly establishing the core melody as he takes us on this veritable roller coaster of a guitar solo. 

We here at Sheet Happens are clearly big believers in what Aaron does, and are positive that attempting to learn this section of the song is going to do wonders for your playing, no matter where you’re at on your guitar journey! Grab the free tabs here, and check out more from Aaron and his latest book “Circadian - The Complete Guitar Transcription” right here. Before we dive into this wild ride, here’s the man himself, Aaron Marshall, with some more insight into this particular solo: 

"This section is certainly a welcome change of pace in this seemingly endless marathon of notes I call a song, haha! Overall, I played some smooth single note lines to outline the feel and flow of the progression underneath, however I did sneak a quick little 16th note triplet flurry in at bar 4! Watch out for that, but stay relaxed for those octave slides coming up in bar 11! A fun and friendly section overall, but a few deceptively challenging phrases to interact with the surroundings, peppered through out. Have fun and tag me in your videos if you take any!"

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