Addicted To Pain Guitar Lesson – Alter Bridge

In today's "famous riff" lesson I will show you how to playing the main opening riff from "Addicted to Pain" by Alter Bridge.

"Addicted to Pain" was the lead single off the band's fourth studio album Fortress. It contains driving 16th note rhythms through much of the song which makes this opening main riff a great alternate picking exercise.

In this Addicted to Pain guitar lesson I will show you how to play this driving 16th note riff note-for-note.

First off, let me reiterate what I said in the video. I am tuned to Dropped "D" in this video lesson but on the actual recording guitarist Mark Tremonti is tuned to Dropped "C#". Dropped "C#" is a tuning identical to Dropped "D" if you refer to the distance the strings are tuned apart from one another. The only difference being that he has taken the Dropped "D" tuning and lowered the pitch of every string by one half-step.

So in the video lesson you will learn exactly how Mark Tremonti plays this killer riff, but if you want to play along with the original studio recording you will need to tune your whole guitar down an additional half step. I always try not to tune down in most of my lessons since down tuning like that would require many people to have to set their guitars up just for that tuning. So I just stick mostly with standard tuning or as close to it as possible when I can.

As for the riff itself we have some fast alternate picking in 16th notes across heavily muted strings. The combination of the high register that the fretted notes are played in with the addition of open strings can make having the notes of this riff come out clearly kind of tough.

The palm muting goes a long way in making all of those notes pop-out. It is a good idea to start slow, stick with strict alternate picking and really try to accent most of the notes that occur on the 5th string. That will help you achieve the right effect for this riff.

Of course this is just the main opening riff to "Addicted to Pain". If you guys want me to teach the entire song please let me know that by making sure this video lesson gets 600 YouTube "likes". After it reaches that goal I will then teach the entire song, solo included. 🙂

To "like" this video lesson on YouTube simply click the link below to open this lesson's YouTube page. Once the page opens all you have to do is click the "like" button under the video to show your support and make sure I will be teaching the complete song very soon.

Addicted to Pain Guitar Lesson Video's YouTube Page <-- Click here then click the "like" button under the video! 🙂

So I hope you guys enjoy learning this challenging riff and I look forward to coming back here and teaching the entire song note-for-note once all those "likes" are in!


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Addicted to Pain Guitar Lesson - Alter Bridge


  1. Matthew Ratliffe on March 24, 2016 at 9:04 am

    “Hi Carl!”, Matthew again. Once again I would like to thank you and everyone who helps support, maintain and collaborate the site and materials available for the community! I would like to post my “Like” on the way to “One Thousand” for any new material you would have the opportunity to log for this particular song! Also, I would Like to post another Acoustic request for another “Slash And The Conspirators Video Tutorial Lesson”. The Song is “Bent to Fly-London House Of Parliament”, Currently, the little searching I have logged for it only has parts and I have not been able to find any with the particular way it seems “Slash” is voicing his parts…Any help you could offer would be appreciated greatly! Thanks, and hopes you are able to continue with the posts!!!

  2. Matthew Ratliffe on March 24, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Also, If you get a chance, “Clint Black-Like The Rain” would be a great Video Tutorial! Thanks again!

  3. Jack Couture on November 17, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Hey Carl, could you please do a lesson on Come to Life by Alter Bridge, great riff and I really want to learn it!
    Great Videos keep it up!

  4. Brandon Chachere on October 21, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Carl can you do a lesson on Open Their Eyes?

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