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GARY HOLT On Playing Tight Rhythm Guitar: "It's A Test Of Strength"

Gary Holt knows a thing or two about riffs.

gary holt

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has a message for all your lead-focused guitarists out there – concentrate more on your rhythm playing. In an interview with ESP Guitars USA, Holt said he feels a lot of guitarists take "the easy way out" and put all their energy into their solos. Holt also points out that songs are mostly riffs and that the solo is only a small part of the composition.

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"Playing rhythm guitar takes work," said Holt. "A lot of guys take the easy way out, they don't really put in that much effort, because, 'Oh, here comes my solo, and I need to shine here.' By the time I get to the solo, half the time it's the opposite.

"My solo is not nearly as good as it could be, because my arm's tired. The riff, that's 99% of the songs; I'm gonna play the hell out of that [rather than] save it for the solo. But you know, it's a test of strength."

And if you don't believe Holt, go listen to Scott Ian or James Hetfield.

You can catch Holt shredding his riffs on tour with Exodus, Anthrax, and Black Label Society in 2023.

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1/17 – Boise, ID @ Revolution Concert House [Tickets]
1/18 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre [Tickets]
1/20 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum [Tickets]
1/21 – Penticton, BC @ So. Okanagan Events Ctr. [Tickets]
1/22 – Calgary, AB @ Grey Eagle Events Centre [Tickets]
1/24 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings [Tickets]
1/25 – Grand Forks, ND @ Alerus Center [Tickets]
1/27 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee [Tickets]
1/28 – Mt. Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort [Tickets]
1/29 – Chicago, IL @ Radius [Tickets]
1/31 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theater [Tickets]
2/2 – Portland, ME @ Cross Insurance Arena [Tickets]
2/3 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena [Tickets]
2/4 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center [Tickets]
2/5 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues [Tickets]
2/7 – Corbin, KY @ Corbin Arena [Tickets]
2/8 – St. Louis, MO @ The Factory at The District [Tickets]
2/10 – San Antonio, TX @, Tech Port Center + Arena [Tickets]
2/11 – Houston, TX @ Bayou [Tickets]
2/13 – Omaha, NE @ The Admiral Theater [Tickets]
2/14 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion [Tickets]
2/15 – Albuquerque, NM @ Revel [Tickets]
2/17 – Riverside, CA @ Municipal Auditorium [Tickets]
2/18 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater [Tickets]

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