Cowboys From Hell Guitar Lesson – Pantera

In this Cowboys from Hell guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play all of this killer power metal classic from Pantera note-for-note.

The opening riff to "Cowboys From Hell" off of Pantera's major label debut is recognized as Dimebag Darrell's signature riff.

It is a perfect example of the "power groove" style that Pantera pretty much invented on it's own.

I will cover ever riff in the song, in the same order that it appears on the original recording.

As with virtually everything played by the great Dimebag Darrell, who I feel is the greatest metal guitarist to ever walk on this planet, these riffs are quite difficult to play for even them most experienced guitarist.

The main riff that the band breaks into at the beginning of the song is probably the hardest riff to play.

Take it slow and get the coordination down between the alternate picking and the fret-hand. If you try to play the riffs too fast too soon, it will feel like your hands are just tied into knots.

Also, the alternate picking can produce some awkward string crossing. The key here is to make sure your picking hand wrist and forearm stays as relaxed as possible. Practicing with a slow to moderate tempo in the beginning will help you develop that relaxed feel.

Towards the end of the lesson I will cover Dimebag's insane guitar solo note-for-note. This solo demonstrates Dimebag's love of symmetrical guitar licks. It is the concept of taking a finger pattern across strings without the worry of staying within an actual scale. The way Dimebag usually used this technique is with monster fret-hand stretches, so play at your own risk! 🙂

I hope you enjoy this Cowboys From Hell guitar lesson. Love live Dimebag!!


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Cowboys From Hell Guitar Lesson


  1. joseph Virzi on November 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    HI Carl,
    Any chance that you would consider teaching the whole song?
    Thanks in advance,

  2. Steven Van Sickle on June 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    any tips on finding that tone?

    • Carl Brown on June 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      I will put it on my to-do list for the tone course in the academy. 🙂

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