Disturbed: 'The Night' Guitar Solo Lesson with Chris Zoupa

Check out my step by step tutorial for the astonishingly win solo in "The Night" by Disturbed.

Ultimate Guitar
Tuning: C G C F A D (Drop C)

I've always loved Dan Donegan's work. He manages to juggle metal brutality with fist raising rock better than most... I honestly think if I didn't dislike David Draiman's voice so much I'd listen to this band a lot more. This solo will deal with some open string licks, some fast legato and a sweep tap which is quite redonk. As usual we'll break the solo down into problematic sections. I'll leave a YouTube link and a tab to this solo at the bottom of the article also.

Section 1 Tips:

This whole section and lick takes place on the 4th string. Keep in mind that the whole lick is using quavers and we're just trying to keep a steady alternate pick motion without rushing into shred speed. Let's take a look at the lick (see excerpt below).

The position and emphasis of the open and fretted notes is pretty inconsistent and gives lick a strange emphasis... But keep in mind its a basic 4/4 beat with quavers. Take it slowly till your emphasis and phrasing locks in with the song and pulse.

Section 3 Tips:

The 3rd section has a really cool arpeggio with a flat 5th (or #4) in it. If we still in standard tuning the rough arpeggio shape we are dealing with is an 'E' major (b5) arpeggio (see diagram below).

When you play through this arpeggio the 3rd and 7th note both stick out and add an interesting moment of tension that you just don't get with your standard 1, 3, 5 arpeggio. Let's take a look now at this arpeggio being used in the context of the song (see excerpt below).

It's a pretty cool lick with some extra outside notes added for exotic and even bluesy flavour. The lick itself isn't too difficult once you get the little moments of legato in the right place. I would strongly suggest trying to incorporate this kind of arpeggio and sound in your playing when dealing with either a Lydian backing or when trying to highlight the b5, or major 7th flavours in the IV chord of a progression.

Section 4 Tips:

This section deals with some typical Dan Donegan pull off licks that I've seen in "Stricken" and "Inside the Fire." Let's take a look at the lickĀ  (see excerpt below).

If we look at these 2 bars I think of the first bar being groups of 4, 6 and 6 notes and the 2nd bar being 6, 6 and 4 notes. Pay close attention to where the legato/pulloff emphasis is. Once you know where the pull offs are, it really assists with picking direction. I down pick every note and then up pick the 13th fret on 1st string every time it isn't voiced as a pull off. Keep playing this lick over and over as it's a useful lick for speed build and an extra chop for the soloing/improvisation arsenal!

Section 5 Tips:

The 5th section has some cool sweeps with taps which are an advance gentleman's technique. Before we look at the lick, I want to have a look at this sweep tap. If we were in standard tuning this would be a straight 1, 3, 5 arpeggio in 'D' minor with a tap (see diagram below).

Before you attempt the lick in the song it's a good idea to get the sweep tap concept down. Once you start feeling the speed build try letting your fretting hand legato/hammer the rest of the notes of the arpeggio that descend after the tap. Now the you guys have had a small crash course in sweep tap arpeggios let's take a look at the lick from the solo (see excerpt below).

The first bar of this lick is a few pulloffs working into a pretty standard sweep pattern, so that shouldn't be too hard to deal with if you're already a seasoned sweepist/janitor. The 2nd bar is when the taps get involved. Like i said before when the taps have finished, try to hammer the descending part of the arpeggio.

Section 6 Tips:

The last section deals with some pretty cool blues licks. Dan uses a pentatonic with a flat 5 (the "blue" note) but instead of playing the usual box shape with a sneaky extra not here a there he has used 4 notes on one string and 2 notes on the other. If you haven't seen this before, check out the diagram below to look at what would be in standard tuning a 'D' minor blues pentatonic, with 4 then 2 notes per string (see diagram below).

As you can see and hear... It's delightfully win. Now that we have the shape down let's take a look at this sexy lick from section 6 (see excerpt below).

This is probably the slowest (and possibly the most tasteful) part of the solo. Pay close attention to sexy bends and placement of the flat 5th sound in the bluesy phrasing and if possible try incorporate it into your own playing!

I hope this has been helpful and/or life affirming. Happy shredding!

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By Chris Zoupa

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Outside of Draiman's cliche lyrics, I have always enjoyed Disturbed. I've always liked Donegan's riffs, and his solos on the Indestructible album are awesome. The Bassist is also really good.
    Used to be my favourite band, until Draiman's lyrics on Asylum became so cheesy it raised my cholesterol. But yeah, Dan's work on Indestructible was great, and I have to mention Mike's drumming, awesome stuff. I feel if Draiman just wrote some better lyrics, they'd be a much more appreciated band.
    And now I'm gonna be the lone voice of dissent here. I actually liked Disturbed more before Dan started playing solos. There was something more... I dunno, progressive about their music. Especially on "Believe", with all its weird time signatures and cool riffs. As soon as Dan started playing solos, the actual songwriting started to suffer a bit and they just started writing really generic-sounding stuff. That said, Dan's solos are amazing. He should seriously consider doing a solo album or something. I'd love to hear him outside of a Disturbed context.
    Chris Zoupa
    Interesting point as there is sort of more formula to the solo songs. He's in another project called fight or flight. Him and David hate each other as far as I'm aware. David was in a band with Will Hunt from Evanescence and BLS and they broke up due to differences and David's ego (which I assume is massive).
    Nice, easy to follow lesson as usual. Thanks for that. Also, what a beautiful PRS I might add. It's the same color as my Custom 22 but the golden hardware really complements yours. Keep up the good work!