Riff Playbooks

Riff Playbooks: BTBAM | Fix the Error


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!

Paul Waggoner

Between the Buried and Me

Posted — February 12, 2023

By now, we are pretty sure you all know Paul Waggoner.  
He's 20+ years into his career as a founding member of Between the Buried and Me.
Paul gets some serious notoriety for his fretboard prowess and otherworldly technical ability on the guitar.  Indisputable evidence of his impact on the guitar community proven year after year by aspiring musical emulators the world over.

Guitar-heroism aside though, Paul's enduring influence on music likely exists because of his immense contributions to BTBAM as a writer. His ability to meld seemingly incompatible style, technique and genre into cohesive musical pieces is astounding - and a cornerstone of BTBAM's identity.  

BTBAM's newest offering "Colors II" is dense, to say the least.  From time to time, that musical density is showcased in a way that's tough to decipher, even after many listens (although, we'd all agree that the re-listenable quality of BTBAM songs is exceptionally high).  Lucky for us, Paul has stepped in to help illuminate one particular section of this fantastic album.  The videos below break down the unique guitar tracks which amalgamate in one of the most triumphant sections of music we've heard in a long time.  

We know this is a lot to take in, so we have provide a download to the corresponding guitar tabs RIGHT HERE!
**the download above contains both PDF and Guitar Pro versions of the transcription**

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to decoding what it is that BTBAM do on the guitar.
We highly encourage you to check out their latest Guitar Tab book for "Colors II" right here!

Before you dig in, here's Paul himself on the song "Fix the Error":

"This section is an example of a very simple idea blossoming into something much more emotive, simply through the layering of harmony and arpeggiation. Guitars 1 and 2 carry the bulk of the load as the primary melody and harmony, respectively. Guitar 3 gives the section a little more body and energy by playing the appropriate chords, and guitar 4 blazes through the arpeggios to really tie the room together. In typical Btbam fashion, once we get bored of all the catchy power metal hoopla, we use a few little diminished triads and some meter modulation to get us back into a tonality and tempo more conducive to aggressive riffage. And that takes us to the end of the song. Good luck!! "

Highlighted Products

Deluxe Book Bundle
The Complete Guitar Transcription
$27 - $32
Limited Edition Custom Pin
2xLP Black + White + Silver Tri-Colour A Side B Side

Featured Contributors

Steffen Kummerer

James Kennedy
Oceans Ate Alaska

Paul Waggoner
Between the Buried and Me

Matteo di Gioia

Chris Wiseman
Shadow of Intent // Currents

Jacob Umansky

Jake Howsam Lowe

Rick Schneider

Dean Lamb

Zach Pishney
Like Moths to Flames

Phil Sgrosso
Apathian, As I Lay Dying

James Norbert Ivanyi

Mark Holcomb

Ryan Morgan
Misery Signals

Chris Hannah

Gus G

Craig Gowans
Bleed From Within

Aaron Marshall

Ralph Salati

Dave Davidson

Misha Mansoor

Nick Johnston

Tom Monda
Thank You Scientist

Paul Masvidal

Wes Hauch

Adam Rafowitz
Arch Echo

Dan Weller

Sithu Aye

Milen Petzelt-Sorace
Sheet Happens Publishing


Tim MacMillar
Protest The Hero

Derya Nagle
Good Tiger

Luke Hoskin
Protest The Hero