How to Play Toxicity by System of a Down (Guitar Lesson)

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Dennis Hodges

Toxicity

Dennis brings you "Toxicity" off of the 2002 album from System of a Down. Get your metal face ready.

Taught by Dennis Hodges in Metal Songs with Dennis seriesLength: 29:22Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


GeorgeT113GeorgeT113 replied

Why are the tabs diffrent from the lesson

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

The tabs should be close or very close to the lesson itself. Typically they are tabbed from the demonstration itself. Sometimes there may be a discrepency between the way the instructor played the demonstration versus teached the lesson. In such a case we tend towards tabbing based off of the demonstration as we've found it's typically a more accurate representation. If there is a specific area you want or need us to look at for clarification, please send us a note to [email protected] with the specific area and we can either give you information on why it's that way, or if fully incorrect, have it corrected.

vtkombatvtkombat replied

Damn Dennis, thank you! You have given me a good rocking song to play for friends and family. Even my wife stops to listen and she hates any kind of hard rock/metal. Most of my practice time these days is scales, so it's nice to come and check out a song and pick it up up quickly because of your great instruction.

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

please note: revised and complete tab is now posted

kammhronkammhron replied

This guy is very cool & teaches nice & clearly. Nice axe too!

albritoalbrito replied

i want to learn how to play war for territory from sepultura and raining blood from slayer. that's all i need for now please !!!!

dragosfdragosf replied

Thank you soo much, that's the best music to make my fother buy me a "non-broken" guitar :))

codyswimscodyswims replied

why don't you have "sweet home Alabama," could you put that song on the song list

grapegrape replied

maybe because this is not classic rock

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied

That is kinda... Not Metal

ctozzictozzi replied

yah its metal its just not as heavy as alot of other bands.

sk8r168sk8r168 replied

thats not metal smart one. it really isnt metal. its a rock band maybe, but definitely not metal.

dragosfdragosf replied

It's melodic heavy or power metal

ryanhansenryanhansen replied

hey guys be nice. respect music. sweet home alabama is a good song. maybe not in this genre but its still good. lets not start cyber bullying. maybe he just likes dennis's method of teaching. which i dont blame him for. be nice.

supercook2supercook2 replied

vinnie moore and me same school also mcalpine are you hiring?

isserisser replied

i love it thanks DENNIS. your an amazing teacher.

seanmullarkeyseanmullarkey replied

you should do asylum by disturbed that would be great

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

how dop u do a pich a harmonic?

0427owen0427owen replied

good question

journey55journey55 replied

is the muted part on the chorus played on the E string or both the E and A strings?

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

u r kwl

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

could u do a song called seek and destroy by mettalica pleeeeeeeez

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

ur my best techer :}

judewaddlejudewaddle replied

u totaly RULE Dennis

kamihamsterkamihamster replied

Absolutely killer video. I really dig the way you present your info. Thanks for giving me a bad ass song to play!

mega deathmega death replied

Dennis, i'm noticing that '' the trooper '' and '' walk '' were here before but now there gone. What happened to them?

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied

They were removed by WMG. A whole lot of lessons were.

jboothjbooth replied

This man speaks the truth, a licensing dispute has caused them to be pulled. We are still trying to renegotiate a new license but are having problems with it. So I can't say when (or even if) they will be back unfortunately.

sheldon_31sheldon_31 replied

hey would you recomend playing this song in drop d or drop c cause i have been playing it in drop c and i was wondering i think it still sounds the same but hey im tone deaf lol soo just wondering your opinion cause it is your cover were learning

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied

I would suggest playing in drop D. Most System songs are

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied

Nevermind, I am an idiot, I missed the part when Dennis said to do drop C.

guitarfreak7guitarfreak7 replied

Chop Suey or Suite Pee by SOAD

trisolotrisolo replied

we need more system!!!!!!!! how about B.Y.O.B.?

guitarfreak7guitarfreak7 replied

yes we need more System Of A Down

kb46kb46 replied

dennis your lesson is nice and clear but i cant quite figure how the timing in bars 11 and 12 fit. i can do it by copying you but i cant see how those first 4 notes in each bar fit into 1 beat ( or 3 beats depending how you look at it). I never was good at timing.

lexzbuddylexzbuddy replied

thx there bigg fella! Great lesson, took no time to get through it. Sweet.

jonathon594jonathon594 replied

wow...

dbaylessdbayless replied

Thanks, Dennis. I enjoy your lessons.

ihasbenihasben replied

Has anyone else tried this riff with a steel pick? It sounds intense.

jestersdanc3jestersdanc3 replied

nice shirt

cyanide cloudcyanide cloud replied

Great lesson. You're pretty much awesome.

jace1028jace1028 replied

haha Scene 4 3:41 "I'm not there holding a knife to your throat" haha, awesome lesson dude

dingoman5477dingoman5477 replied

you sir are a fantastic guitarist thank you much

dropzonedropzone replied

I could tell you were bored teaching this song but who wouldnt be lol. As boring as it may be..............as you stated it sounds pretty wicked. Enjoyed the lesson and was well taught, keep up the good work. Thanks.

tmarinzeltmarinzel replied

Speaking on SOAD....... Could u do a lesson on Hypnotized?

richieboscorichiebosco replied

sweet lesson should add some slipknot

tmarinzeltmarinzel replied

it would be awsome if u added woman by Wolfmother

tmarinzeltmarinzel replied

& "No one knows" by "queens of the stone age"

beavisbeavis replied

can you ad enter sandman

chingolingochingolingo replied

great lesson dennis , you made it look so simple thanks. I finally get to learn one of my fav songs . lol

dancoburn1dancoburn1 replied

great lesson- learned the song (mastered) in an hour, thanks Dennis!

blackt00thgr1nblackt00thgr1n replied

\m/

sonicboi222sonicboi222 replied

dang dat beard is ncie

nessanessa replied

oooooh, this is a good one. Great lesson!

dave420234dave420234 replied

great stuff......

slashhetfieldcobainslashhetfieldcobain replied

awesome metal lesson

Metal Songs with Dennis

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learn to rock out to the heavy metal classics throughout history.



Beast and the HarlotLesson 2

Beast and the Harlot

Dennis Hodges teaches "Beast and the Harlot" by Avenged Sevenfold.

Length: 59:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
ToxicityLesson 4

Toxicity

Dennis brings you "Toxicity" off of the 2002 album from System of a Down. Get your metal face ready.

Length: 29:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Laid to RestLesson 5

Laid to Rest

Learn "Laid to Rest" by Lamb of God. Released in 2004, this action-packed tune is the first track on their third album, Ashes of the Wake.

Length: 25:34 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Symphony of DestructionLesson 6

Symphony of Destruction

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

Length: 26:43 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
WalkLesson 7

Walk

Off their 1992 album Vulgar Display of Power, this Pantera song redefined "respect".

Length: 32:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Inside The FireLesson 11

Inside The Fire

"Inside the Fire" is the first single from Disturbed's fourth studio album, Indestructible. Dennis teaches all parts of this song including the solo!

Length: 33:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Waking The DemonLesson 14

Waking The Demon

Dennis Hodges teaches Bullet For My Valentine's "Waking The Demon" off their Scream Aim Fire album.

Length: 41:54 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Hammer Smashed FaceLesson 16

Hammer Smashed Face

This is the title song from Cannibal Corpse' first EP. Released in 1993, this is the bands most popular song mainly due to an appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Length: 33:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)Lesson 17

The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)

Dennis Hodges shows you how to play this Judas Priest classic, which is actually a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song.

Length: 30:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Achilles The BackbreakerLesson 18

Achilles The Backbreaker

Released in 2008 on The Showdown's third record, Back Breaker. This song features pummeling rhythm guitar and a tricky solo.

Length: 35:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
(sic)Lesson 19

(sic)

Learn how to play "(sic)" by Slipknot in this lesson.

Length: 20:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Metal RudolphLesson 20

Metal Rudolph

Dennis puts a heavy metal spin on this classic Christmas song.

Length: 18:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Future Breed MachineLesson 21

Future Breed Machine

Dennis Hodges teaches this pummeling metal song from the band Meshuggah.

Length: 56:12 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
3 LibrasLesson 22

3 Libras

Dennis Hodges teaches an acoustic only version of this hard rock song by A Perfect Circle.

Length: 20:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
TrustLesson 23

Trust

Learn this great Megadeth song from their album Cryptic Writings.

Length: 39:39 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tornado Of SoulsLesson 24

Tornado Of Souls

Learn this Megadeth classic from Rust In Peace.

Length: 53:39 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Sweating BulletsLesson 25

Sweating Bullets

Learn this Megadeth classic from the Countdown To Extinction album.

Length: 36:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
À Tout Le MondeLesson 26

À Tout Le Monde

Learn this great ballad from the Youthanasia record.

Length: 36:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
BlackenedLesson 27

Blackened

Dennis Hodges teaches this Metallica classic from the band's 1988 album ...And Justice For All.

Length: 69:02 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
QuintessenceLesson 28

Quintessence

In this lesson, you'll learn how to play "Quintessence" by progressive metal band, Mastodon. The song is on the critically acclaimed album Crack the Skye, which was released in 2009. Dennis Hodges...

Length: 33:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In My DreamsLesson 29

In My Dreams

Dennis Hodges teaches this Dokken classic note for note. From the signature riffs to the blistering solo, Dennis breaks it all down for you in this lesson.

Length: 41:39 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Caprice No. 5Lesson 30

Caprice No. 5

Here is a lesson on this devastating piece of classical music written by Niccolò Paganini in the early 19th century. The lesson is aimed at shred guitarists because of the high level of technical proficiency...

Length: 49:14 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Cowboys From HellLesson 31

Cowboys From Hell

Learn how to play "Cowboys From Hell" by Pantera, the song that made them a household name. The song has an instantly recognizable guitar riff and showcases what Pantera is all about: groove metal.

Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Down With The SicknessLesson 32

Down With The Sickness

Here is a lesson from Dennis Hodges on Disturbed's most well known song, "Down With The Sickness". The song is a concert staple and the album was certified platinum. Dennis breaks down all the parts and...

Length: 26:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Cemetery GatesLesson 33

Cemetery Gates

Dennis Hodges teaches all the parts to this power ballad by heavy metal band Pantera. At over 7 minutes, this is the longest Pantera song ever recorded. This song has one of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's...

Length: 65:30 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
I'm BrokenLesson 34

I'm Broken

Learn one of Dimebag Darrell's most famous riffs with this lesson on "I'm Broken" from Far Beyond Driven. This song is a "must-learn" for metal students.

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mouth For WarLesson 35

Mouth For War

Channel your inner hate and turn it into something productive with this lesson on "Mouth For War" from the metal band Pantera. This song is from the record Vulgar Display of Power, which was released...

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This LoveLesson 36

This Love

Learn "This Love" by the metal band Pantera. Released on Vulgar Display of Power in 1992, this ballad has both haunting clean parts and brutal distorted riffs.

Length: 50:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Dennis Hodges

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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