Gibson’s “Riff Lords” is a new series of videos designed to teach you how to play some of the most famous guitar riffs in Rock. Of course the series features guitars made by Gibson and Epiphone. In the first installment of the series, Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner shows you how he plays some of ‘Priests most famous songs such as “Electric Eye”, “Hell Bent for Leather” and “Painkiller.” In this video, Richie Faulkner shows you why he is one of the newest riff lords.
Pay close attention as he discusses techniques such as alternate picking when playing the rhythm parts of the songs versus using all downstrokes. This can make playing the song much easier on your wrists and also makes you more precise in your picking. Richie also discusses the use of palm muting to add texture and pinch harmonics to make the riff sound more “evil” according to him.
Not mentioned in the video but something Richie makes full use of is economy of movement. Instead of reaching all over the neck to play the notes and chords, he plays them in close proximity to each other. He rarely deviates far from the basic chord position(s) called for in the riff. This reduces fatigue and also reduces the possibility of making mistakes reaching for chords farther up or down the neck or needing to change hand positions.
Richie joined Judas Priest in 2011 after the departure of guitarist KK Downing. He immediately breathed new life into the band and was an integral part of the success of Judas Priest’s subsequent release; “Redeemer of Souls.” A world tour followed and in 2018 Judas Priest released the acclaimed “Firepower” album followed by another world tour. This year Judas Priest is celebrating “50 Heavy Metal Years” with new tour dates scheduled for this year and next. With his pedegree now firmly established, Richie Faulkner is sure to be creating plenty of heavy metal riffs in the future.
Thanks to Gibson and Richie for this excellent video: