How to Play Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Symphony of Destruction

"Symphony of Destruction" is track #2 on Countdown to Extinction. This tune is a Megadeth fan favorite.

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Metal Songs with Dennis seriesLength: 26:43Difficulty: 3.5 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

spiderluccispiderlucci replied on January 20th, 2016

Thanks Dennis for the Megadeth lessons. Can you have some "Arch enemy songs" :)

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied on March 7th, 2014

please note: tabs have just been revised and reposted.

jimkavjimkav replied on February 14th, 2013

Nice job.

youamiyouami replied on August 20th, 2011

Hey Dennis...thank you for inspiring me ....any "Holy Wars" lessons??? Thanks ....your an easy player to follow...great skills.

troxvirustroxvirus replied on May 26th, 2011

Dennis please do a lesson of Accept's Blood of The Nations

dimeball18dimeball18 replied on May 17th, 2011


webmasterintexaswebmasterintexas replied on April 25th, 2011

Hey, I have a Gibson LesPaul, and a Marshall amp, I get great distortion, but it is raw, and no sustain. What pedal(s) should I go with to get that clean distortion with sustain, metadeth, metallica, stuff like that? [email protected]

gromlomgromlom replied on November 17th, 2010

Dennis i thank you more then i thank my mom for paying for this. Ive just started learning it but from looking at the tabs i think i know most of the song already. You turned days of exploration into minutes.

steven ringersteven ringer replied on October 12th, 2010

thanks for the lesson. i played along to the run-through and i think i got about 70% right. i mean i just learned it. i didn't learn scales and arpeggios, so the solo is completely foreign to me. but i guess it's not too late to study up on guitar theory. might as well while i'm here. thanks again.

judewaddlejudewaddle replied on July 25th, 2010

could u do a song called seek and destroy by metallica

abxz189abxz189 replied on July 13th, 2010


stratocristerstratocrister replied on March 18th, 2010

Why is it not working??

jboothjbooth replied on March 18th, 2010

What's not working, the video? If so could you please let me know what quality setting you are using, what scenes you are having problems with and your city/state/country? Thanks

lexzbuddylexzbuddy replied on January 15th, 2010

Exceptional tutorial. The way you went through the solo was fantastic. Pointing out the fact that a chunk of it was single notes of chords was cool. Got a lot more than the song from this lesson too. Many thanks Dennis.

lexzbuddylexzbuddy replied on January 15th, 2010

Exceptional tutorial. The way you went through the solo was fantastic. Pointing out the fact that a chunk of it was single notes of chords was cool. Got a lot more than the song from this lesson too. Many thanks Dennis.

dangerdavedangerdave replied on March 11th, 2009

anyone able to get the solo yet? I have a hard time remembering what notes are coming up next.

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied on November 23rd, 2009

I am getting good at at, it is difficult to remember the notes to it for some reason

daryndaryn replied on July 30th, 2009

Great lesson Dennis. Any chance of you doing Megadeth"s "Angry Again"?

beck_flanderbeck_flander replied on April 20th, 2009

awsome, that solo is fast!

zolucaazolucaa replied on March 6th, 2009

i think dennis have the most dinamic lessons...and he teaches very wel. thxs for the great job dude =]

spiderluccispiderlucci replied on February 8th, 2009

I maybe wrong on the notation page 2 when i said it was incorrect... did you get this info how to play Symphony of destruction on youtube Dave Mustaine - Symphony of destruction lesson? it looks like the same way you are playing it but it's hard to see Dave playing the guitar... too far away... but it looks right. I still believe there is another guitar 2 playing in the back ground still.... I can here it. spider

spiderluccispiderlucci replied on February 8th, 2009

hi Dennis, so far from what i see in Notation page 2... it is incorrect... I sis what you did... and if you got this info from the Music sheet that your teaching now... it's wrong.... will, not all of it. I will, send you the Music for that part. spider

spiderluccispiderlucci replied on February 8th, 2009

hi Dennis, there should be another guitar part on "notation page 2 and 3. Dave is not the only guitar player. care to comment? spider :)

mrporcupinemrporcupine replied on September 10th, 2008

Where do you get the backing track that you use in the full song demo?

VinnyBVinnyB replied on September 10th, 2008

There are numerous sites to find backing tracks for all kinds of songs. For legal reasons, we can't directly provide them to you but do some searching and you'll find it.

mrporcupinemrporcupine replied on October 19th, 2008

Aha, thx

supernautsupernaut replied on September 8th, 2008

I have got all of this song but the solo, I am working on it. Great lesson Dennis very well taught I must admit I knew some of the song because I watched Dave Mustaine teach it on youtube.

sailorgirliesailorgirlie replied on June 20th, 2008

I really love the way you teach, Dennis. This is one of my favorites and you make it easy to learn so even beginners like me would get the jist of it. I'm a long way from the solo so I can't really say anything on that... haha I look forward to some more great songs from you :)

beavisbeavis replied on August 5th, 2008

i do the same thing that david did

mbeurymbeury replied on June 17th, 2008

Great lesson, on thing is you messed up by calling this lesson "metal monday" now we're going to expect an equally awesome metal lesson every week lol

VinnyBVinnyB replied on June 17th, 2008

HAHA! I thought that title ruled. I didn't know it was gonna get me into trouble. Thanks for the comments, glad you guys liked the lesson. Some big Metal lessons and songs are in the works. Keep it locked!

rhoadsfreakrhoadsfreak replied on June 17th, 2008

Great lesson Dennis. I am officially putting you in the Guitar God category. In a short period of time, you have become one of my biggest influences to look to while trying to master this awesome instrument. Keep it up.

hgnativehgnative replied on June 17th, 2008

great lesson kirk hammetts solos are better my opinion

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on June 16th, 2008

like headbanger245, i must sorely admit that solo was tough in the second half for me to play live, and appreciate your perspective on how it really is played dennis. i was playing it different shape wise. now i see the structure!!! very much appreciated! awesome as always! yes even people who have been playing a while need to humble themselves, i am always able to admit that. great job dennis!!!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied on June 16th, 2008

I must admit, I was lucky enough to subscribe to Guitar World when Marty wrote for them (late 90's) and he laid out the way he played this solo. That's where I got the 2nd half! Every other tab I've seen is way off. The first half is usually written wrong, too, but I watched a lot of YouTube videos to get his positioning.

headbanger245headbanger245 replied on June 16th, 2008

great lesson, i've been trying to learn the solo for ages now!

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Symphony of Destruction

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About Dennis Hodges View Full Biography For better or worse, Dennis Hodges cannot stop playing music, and (he hopes) will never stop playing music.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Dennis had a tremendous passion for drawing. He couldn't stop copying moves from bands he saw on MTV, though, and it didn't help that his parents filled the house with Santana, Stevie Ray, and Allman Bros. (on real records, no less!) so it wasn't long till he got his first guitar. It was junk. Within a few weeks his parents traded in a poor acoustic for a less junky 3/4-size electric.

Dennis started lessons right away at the age of 8. He still remembers hating it for awhile, and not taking it seriously until he was 12. He is thankful his parents forced him to practice early on and kept paying for lessons, even though rational thinking should have stopped them after a year.

Around this time drawing became less important, and guitar consumed all his attention. After 6 years of lessons he parted ways with his teacher and, after trying out two others with no results, decided to continue alone. His nerdistic tendencies paid off, as he put in hours working on picking and left hand exercises and learned as many Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett solos as he could.

Luckily, there were playing opportunities at school talent shows and church. Dennis was playing bass at his church when he was 13, helping to hone his performance skills in a group setting.

In high school, Dennis joined the marching band on sousaphone for all 4 years. It was as awesome as you could expect. He was also fortunate enough to be in several different metal bands, still play at church, and get the incredible opportunity to play guitar for many local community theaters. This kept his sight-reading in shape and gave him an appreciation for different styles of music (and paid pretty well, from a high schooler's perspective).

In 2001, Dennis came to Bexley, Ohio to study guitar at Capital University with Stan Smith. His studies emphasized jazz and classical guitar. Here his metal past merged with a deeper understanding of the instrument and music in general, and the basis for most of his teaching style was set in motion.

Dennis now plays guitar for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church every Sunday, for St. Christopher in Grandview, Ohio, with the youth group, and also plays for touring Broadway shows that stop in Columbus. Occasionally, he plays weddings and private parties, and he is starting a new cover band with some friends, called Dr. Awkward. He is blessed to have his understanding and supportive wife Kate, and is glad to be at JamPlay!

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