Exclusive: High on Fire Guitar Lesson

High on Fire, Matt Pike

Death Is This Communion

On August 15, when High on Fire visited the East Coast to do some press for their latest album, Death Is This Communion (Relapse), guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike dropped by MetalKult’s NYC headquarters for an exclusive riff lesson and Q&A.

Check out the clips below, where Pike demonstrates how to play some of the classic riffs in his catalog. From Sleep’s “The Druid” and “Dragonaut” to High on Fire’s “Baghdad,” “Blessed Black Wings” and “Turk,” this is some unprecedented sh*t!

Big thanks to Matt for this lesson. Enjoy, Hessians!

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Photos by Jimmy Hubbard.


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  • Anonymous

    every tune sounds the same! this is what guitar playing has come to?

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  • bavo)))

    This is incredible…but I m a beginner..so.;any change of the chords name or tab?
    Amazing..Greatest gitarist and teacher…I give you anything I got to teach me more
    Take all my money,my wife,my cat…bUt teach more!!!PLeaze….


    Tab????pleaze…and more,more..the beautifull accoustic parts…

  • Pikskrape

    Awesome guitarist!
    Matt Pike deserves way more credit for stoner metal than he gets.

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  • whywouldanyonewanttoknowwwww

    Hell yes I’m gonna see HOF soon!!! That’ll be nice.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/rabidcadaverdogs RabidCadaverDogs

    Very cool interview and lesson. Track 8 is the coolest song on the new cd..just my opinion and the disk hasn’t left my cd player….except to jam the new Down.

    Here’s the ultimate tour idea: Down, Mastodon, Clutch & High on Fire.

    FYI. My band Rabid Cadaver Dogs is opening up for High on Fire when they come to South TX! HELL YEAH!!!!!! http://www.myspace.com/rabidcadaverdogs

  • Zontar The Munificent

    “every tune sounds the same” – are you kidding me?

    you have absolutely no ear for subtlety.


  • http://neoflux.com Bret

    What kind of guitar is he using? I don’t recognize that headstock.

  • bang

    Matt’s playing a custom First Act Double Cutaway 9-string. It’s pretty amazing. Check out the specs here: http://www.firstact.com/Artists/Matt_Pike.aspx

  • david devillers

    Pike is great – only thing HOF needs to do is play the Ventura (CA) Theater again – and do it soon.

    HOF is the shizzle…

  • Dag

    Best guitarist around! looking forward to see high on fire nest weekend!:)

  • cobra fangs

    hey jicky jack, the great thing about guitar playing is that there is something out there for everyone. If there’s nothing out there for you, make it yourself! I suppose hendrix, zeppelin, metallica, lamb of god, whoever, all sound the same too. high on fire kick ass, go buy a tuba you fink.

  • Jay

    I want to know why I can’t view these videos like some of the other folks. Both Firefox and IE are letting me down. HALP SOMEBODY!

  • kadeath

    nice. matt looks like he’s first time at this. best wishes man. love your riffs

  • john montes

    Sleeps Holy mountian changed my fuckin life man, matt pike kicks fuckin ass! Get the sleep trio back or play the old line up with high on fire guys and drop by Ventura (C.A.) man! Ventura theature

  • redman

    Subtlety?!? WTF!?!


    Stole all his riffs from early Sabbath.

    Blows hard!!!

  • scotty

    surrounded by thieves and blessed black wings were just albums full of raw fury but the new album sounds like he went and got sterilized. just fucking weak.

  • Dave

    Matt Pike is my favorite next to king buzzo, because of their extraordinary own sound. New album high on fire is the best yet, if you’d ask me.

    Kick ass!

  • lovesickmurder

    that’s a sweet guitar! great lesson too from Matt Pike!

  • davehat

    every tune might sound the same……BECAUSE ITS THE SAME GUITAR PLAYER JACK ASS. one of the best ever too. but that is just typical of a guitar player, having a style, dumb cunt. prey for what you have said about matt pike, the lords of the underworld will come and kill you

  • Jake Shively

    Thank you MetalKult for this lesson with Matt Pike. High On Fire is a badass band with some heavy ass riffs, that deserves way more credit. The new ablum is insane.

  • JimboJones

    How the hell can I download this?

  • Metal Fan

    Eff you dude! You gotta learn to appreciate the more subtle things in life. Matt Pike is an amazing guitarist. He’s probably one of the greatest guitarists of our times. Not because of his chops, or because he knows shit about theory, or because he plays radio-freindly crossover pop bullshit to sell more albums.

    He’s one of the greatest guitarists of our time, because he goes for a sound. He knows what that sound is and he does a damn good job creating it. He delivers what is needed in his songs. All his guitar parts are right where they need to be and the effect is awesome metal manliness.

    He uses the same tricks and riffs cause that’s his sound. He has his sound that anyone who knows it can hear from a mile away. Hail High On FIre!

  • matt

    awesome. their latest album is incredible.

  • Nick

    I don’t know why so many people give a shit about what the assholes have to say. All thos words that they speak just smell of shit anyways. Anyone that plays a musical anything can’t say they have an original sound without “ripping off” the bands they listened to. How the fuck did you learn how to play. Not by playing along with shit you don’t like. Learning how to play metal by learning to play along to country just don’t work so well.

    To everyone that loves High on Fire’s music,you know what a great thing is when you hear it. If you have not seen High on Fire, do yourself a favor and see one of the best live shows you will ever see.

  • RY



    ~SLeEpLy DoPeSmOkErS On ToP Of ThE HoLy MoUnTaIN are HiGh On FiRe~
    ~Sleeps Holymountain Is the Holymountain Of Heavy Metal Songs~
    )))))))REPTILE MASTER((((((((
    Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Matt Pike, destined to play the jeweled guitar of Aquilonia upon a wicked tone . It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of High on Fire adventure!

  • Lins

    great lessons!!!!
    High on fire is awesome!
    nice to see how Matt plays some of the songs,because at live shows it go’s way to fast to see the most of the stuff.

    thanks Matt Pike!

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  • Dopesmoker

    Dave said,
    on February 18th, 2008 at 9:46 pm
    Matt Pike is my favorite next to king buzzo, because of their extraordinary own sound.

    Hell Ya That’s Right Dude!

    King BuzzO > God

    I like the first two High on firE albums best, but Death is… is a close third out of the four.

  • HighOnKyuss

    So fucking bad ass. Amazing lesson, amazing guitarist, killer riffs. HoF is fucking killer live too. Not many power-trio’s are this heavy and pull it off so fucking good. Hail the Pike!

  • HighOnKyuss

    People are stupid, “ripping off riffs” come on. Everything has pretty much been done before. It’s impossible to avoid sounding similar to your influences, and the imitation is out of respect for those that were great. It’s keeping the spirit alive. So what if some riffs sound like Sabbath? Sabbath is the shit, so why wouldn’t you want to sound like your heroes? Take it for what it is, just fucking great music. Stop being so over-critical, music-nazi’s.

  • Hessian

    Give a listen to the song “Ghost Neck” on the new album, Snakes For the Divine. The into riff is the same riff he plays here for his warm-up. Pretty fucking awesome. Pike is God.

  • MattPikeRules

    Great lessons, and for all the idiots saying “he ripped everything off from Black Sabbath” do yourself a favor and listen to absolutely nothing that was recorded after 1975 cause like 99.9% of todays music borrows from past bands/musicians. I don’t care who you are, if you write music, you are deriving something from artists you like yourself. It comes subconsciously there’s no such thing as a 100% original anymore.

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