What makes the guitar solo in Stone Mob’s “Murder Town” so powerful is the dynamics. It starts with a cluster of tonal notes achieved through three-finger pull offs with the left hand and tapping with the right, then hits and holds the highest note on a 24-fret neck before rounding things off with a pick slide.
The solo is then brought home with a tasteful combination of chording and blues runs including tremolo picked forth intervals played on the second and third sting.
Indeed, the “Murder Town” solo showcases not only guitarist Blaine Kaltman’s virtuosity but that his influences are as diverse as Van Halen and Chuck Berry. There’s good news and bad news about the solo. The bad news is the tapping part is difficult - it requires some serious speed, dexterity, and stretching of the left-hand fingers. The good news is, unlike some of Kaltman’s crazier solos - it’s just one shape. Once you’ve mastered the tapping pattern on the 1st and 2nd string you can move to the 3rd and 4th strings (same fret position) and repeat.
However the hardest part of the solo (in my opinion) is jumping from tapping on the 4th string to the high E (24th fret of the 1st string) because Blaine throws in a portamento/glissando combo in which he slides his index finger down the 6th string to the nut then finger slides back up the 1st string until he hits the high E. This is a difficult reach, especially done at the speed required for the solo, but the added noise created by the down-up finger-slides injects a dose of excitement.
This solo sounds great on its own even without backing instruments. Learning it is no easy feat but once you do you’ll be able to impress audiences as a shred master general.
Chris Byrd has been a professional guitar instructor and session musician for almost 20 years.
He has had the honor of playing with some of the greats, including Lionel Richie.
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