Megatober … the guitar challenge did finish successfully

I’m not* saying that I’m a little bit behind in my blogging, but Megatober was actually a successful challenge for me. I did manage to attempt 31 new Megadeth riffs during Megatober. I just didn’t manage to write about them or the things I learned—other than the riffs themselves—in a timely manner. So I thought as 2016 comes to an end I would wrap up the challenge that was Megatober—two months after the fact.

* I’m saying I am incredibly behind!

The final few songs I attempted in the closing stages of Megatober included Killing is my Business—and let me say [expletive] that is a hard one for me to play— and Never Walk Alone—another [expletive] tough one. For both of those songs I had to slow the tempo down. So the first thing I learned towards the end of this process was that my hand/eye coordination needed work. A lot of work.

One song I did a bit better with though was Black Curtains. For me, it went a little something like this.

OK. It went exactly like that for me.

Blackmail the Universe was another song I had to slow down initially. Well, still today I need to slow it down. But that’s part of the reason I wanted to do this challenge. I know I’m not Dave Mustaine. I know my guitar hero is an incredibly difficult player to attempt to emulate. But that’s why this was a challenge. If it was easy, I wouldn’t have had anything to swear at and my guitar playing would not be potentially improved through the learning of new tricks.

Another new track that I found somewhat easier—because let’s be honest … none of this comes easy to me—was Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?

Then there was Dystopia. Damn … I love this riff in the middle of the song. I did fairly well. I’m sure I’ll improve with time and practice.

There were other tracks—full listing for Megatober is at the end of this article—but there are two final tracks I enjoyed the most and will share with you—no matter how imperfect my playing was. Dread and the Fugitive Mind and Vortex. I just love the main riffs in these tracks. I gave them a go. For one day of practice each—and by one day I mean I played for about 30 minutes each day as my current lifestyle allows for—I feel I did OK.

So, Dread and the Fugitive Mind went like this.

Vortex, went like this.

I’m pretty sure I had to slow that one down too. But damn! … That one is fun to play when you nail it. It’s a real finger tester. That’s why I intentionally left it until the end. I was hoping that the previous songs would have somehow prepared me somewhat for the pain to come. I was partially right.

But there was another thing I learned. Megadeth have a lot of different rhythm patterns and picking techniques that they apply to different songs. Megatober was not about learning one trick and improving it in 31 days. Nope. I discovered that the challenge was a lot tougher than I’d anticipated. And I’m glad.

I’d totally recommend this kind of challenge to any guitarist. Pick a band/artist, pick a month and learn a new riff each day. You may grow from it.

The complete Megatober list:

  1. Angry Again
  2. Prince of Darkness
  3. Reckoning Day
  4. How the Story Ends
  5. Symphony of Destruction
  6. Bite the Hand
  7. Cold Sweat
  8. Something That I’m Not
  9. Skin o’ My Teeth
  10. Wake Up Dead
  11. Mary Jane
  12. New World Order
  13. Youthanasia
  14. Trust
  15. The Killing Road
  16. Disconnect
  17. This Was My Life
  18. Washington is Next
  19. Sleepwalker
  20. Hangar 18
  21. Holy Wars … The Punishment Due
  22. Black Curtains
  23. Killing is my Business
  24. Never Walk Alone
  25. Blackmail the Universe
  26. Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?
  27. Dystopia
  28. Built for War
  29. Dread and the Fugitive Mind
  30. The Threat is Real
  31. Vortex

Looking back now, I can’t believe I managed to do it. Especially the keeping to it for 31 days part. That part amazes me the most. It’s probably why I then did nothing for two months. Maybe I’ll be better at time management next year. Fingers crossed for 2017.

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