Holy Wars Guitar Solo Lesson – Megadeth – (Dave Mustaine Solo)

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In this video guitar lesson series, I will show you how to play note-for-note what is considered by most metal fans to be Megadeth’s greatest song, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”.

This Holy Wars guitar lesson is definitely no walk in the park. We are actually going to be tackling all the highly intricate guitar riffs and all 4 guitar solos in-depth. It is going to be quite the challenge so I hope you will stay will me through all 4 videos!

In the first video lesson I will show you the main riffs of the intro. In the second video lesson I will demonstrate all the riffs found in the rest of the song, There are a lot of them!

The third video lesson will cover all three of Marty Friedman’s incredible guitar solos note-for-note. The fourth video lesson will wrap things up with a close look at Dave Mustaine’s solo at the end of the song.

The opening riff is a Dave Mustaine classic. Fast, tight, precise and absolutely ripping. You are gonna want to pay close attention to the picking indications in the first video lesson for that part. Otherwise, your picking hand will probably have a lot of trouble getting everything up to speed.

From there we move on to the main riff that involves a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs with rapid palm muted alternate picking between them. Timing is the big issue in this section.

You will want to make sure you can feel these rhythms internally before attempting to play them up to speed.

And since both of these riffs require a high amount of articulation between the fret and picking hands, I suggest practicing them quite slow at first.

You will want to wait until the riffs are mostly just muscle memory before attempting them at full speed.

Let’s see if you got what is takes to play these riffs! They are a great challenge!

After that we finally make it to the second video lesson. There are many riffs taught in this lesson but by far the most difficult will be the first verse. It moves around a ton with lots of fast picking and interesting chord voicings. Definitely not for the faint of heart!

For the third video lesson we finally make it to the guitar solos. The first three solos are performed by the incredible Marty Friedman. His playing style is always highly musical yet very unorthodox. He doesn’t play the typical guitar licks that are found in most guitarist’s playing. You will find a number of challenging techniques within these 3 solos including economy picking, large skips and sweep picking. I will break down each solo phrase-by-phrase which I think is a great way to practice them as well.

In the fourth and final video lesson I will take you through Dave Mustaine’s guitar solo. This guitar solo is quite different in style from the Friedman solos. Dave Mustaine’s in your face soloing style can be highly chaotic and hard to recreate. However there are many incredible licks to be learned here and a few of them are incredibly challenging to get up to tempo. Good Luck!

Hope you guys enjoy learning what I consider to be one of the greatest thrash metal songs of all-time. 🙂

Carl…

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28 COMMENTS

  1. In this series of 4 videos for this song, the further along you go, the fewer fees the videos have 😂 I made it this far

  2. Hey Carl, I'm a long time subscriber and I've never made a request before but when you have the time can you do some more megadeth lessons? I've been tearing through your Metallica lessons recently and wanted to change it up with some megadeth. Thanks for everything you do for us.

  3. What kind of things do I need to practice to master this solo? I can play the holy wars riffs if that's anything. Can someone tell me what guitar aspects must be mastered to master this solo.

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