You’ve Been Playing “Holy Wars” Wrong, According to MegaDave Mustaine

As those in high places are wont to do, Dave Mustaine took to Twitter to vent his frustrations about legions of guitar-playing fans constantly screwing up his classic riff. Or, maybe he was just offering a helpful correction. Tone is hard to read sometimes.


The opening riff of the Rust in Peace classic, “Holy Wars…,” is right up there with “Master of Puppets” and the like as every hopeful metal guitarist’s rite of passage. It’s not overly complex, but can certainly work some muscles you may not have had prior to learning it.

Whether by ear, tab, video, friend, or instructor, I’m sure hordes of us have taken a stab at it amidst our riff-obsessed adolescence. According to Dave, most of us have been playing it wrong for years. Take a look at his revision:

I mean, we weren’t that far off, right?

Ok, so 15-year-old me was pretty close. Tabs and immature ears may have misguided me, but I wasn’t playing a totally different tune or anything. Thanks, Dave!

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.

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