Megadeth: 'High Speed Dirt' Guitar Solo Lesson With Chris Zoupa

Check out this amazing fusion of rock and metal in the solo to "High Speed Dirt" by Megadeth. My step by step tutorial and tab will have you shredding this in no time!

Ultimate Guitar
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Tuning: E A D G B E (Standard)

What metal fan didn't enjoy "Countdown to Extinction"? It was an album of olympic levels of win. SO many delightful tracks. A student of mine asked to learn this a year or 2 ago because it was in the game "Brutal Legend," and was a really good soundtrack for driving fast and ramming things. This solo is a trading solo that starts off with some cool bluesy rock stuff from Dave Mustaine and works into quirky shred and occasionally exotic note choice of Marty Friedman.

As usual I'll break the solo down into problematic sections as well as leaving a link to the tab and YouTube video at the bottom of the article.

Section 1 & 2 Tips

The first and second section of this solo (played by Dave) takes place around an A minor pentatonic with a few cheeky Dorian notes. There's a lot of legato in the first few bars. (See excerpt below)

This lick has some great legato motifs but the timing is a little weird, so look at the notation as well as the tab to make sure the emphasis is correct. The 2nd section is pretty similar to the 1st, so address it with similar emphasis and techniques.

Section 3 Tips

This is one of my favourite sections in the solo. Marty uses a pentatonic with the added flat 5 and crawls down the neck. (See excerpt below)

It's really important to limit superfluous position shifts in a lick like this. Try and play each bar with a 5 fret hand span. This is not only a sweet lick but a really good exercise.

Section 4 Tips

The 4th section is based around a high octave A minor pentatonic using the most common box shape with a flat 5 (or blues notes). Let's take a look at the lick. (See excerpt below)

We only need 3 strings for this lick, but it's super fast. Pay close attention to the legato emphasis and try to get that slurry "rolling" sound when you have 3 legato note in a row either entirely ascending or descending.

Section 5 Tips

The final section has a few moments of chromaticism and also mixes multiple picked notes with a few cheeky pulloffs. (See excerpt below)

Pay close attention to the picked notes and pull off notes and don't forget to keep the triplet swing. Once you get this lick down try to incorporate some cheeky chromatics into your blues playing or pentatonic soloing when the context and moment is right.

Well that's it for me UG. I'll catch you guys soon for some more solos and exercises!

Download the tab here.

YouTube preview picture

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Incredible playing and really well explained & tabbed as always. Thanks for all your hard work, dude. It's appreciated!
    Just signed in after a very long time to say fucking thank you for this awesome lesson and especially for the free tabs!
    Marty always has something interesting to play. The guy really brings something unique to the genre. Chris Zoupa - I think you may be aware of this, but you are a GD beast.
    Gee Halen
    I love this song and this solo as well. When I first heard it, I literally laughed out loud at the clean part in it, it caught me so offguard. It makes the chorus following it a lot more badass.
    jarhead wintric
    Under section 1 and 2 tips, it says that there are a few notes from Dorian, wouldn't the only note in the dorian mode be the F#? There are two D#'s, which would correspond with the lydian mode (a raised 4th degree). Later on you mention a flat 5th, but the notation includes a sharped 4th, which comes from the lydian mode again. I don't mean to critisize an otherwise great lesson.