Best of Rage Against the Machine by Troy Stetina

“Best of Rage Against the Machine” by Troy Stetina is one of the best guides to Rage Against the Machine tablature there is. Instead of following a certain album, it features the best hits of RATM such as “Bulls on Parade” or “Killing in the Name.” There are a total of 12 hits, as well as a handy CD that lets players hear the music while learning to play it.

Rage Against the Machine

Figure 1 – “The Best of Rage Against the Machine” by Troy Stetina 




The book is oversized, so most songs fit on several pages. One of the best additions to the tablature is the history and information that Troy Stetina provides o Rage Against the Machine. An introduction page gives readers a thorough guide to the startup of the band, to inspiration for songs and a large band photograph. Throughout the entire book, readers will notice that even further information on specific songs is given before each song. More information is given before each solo for songs, which gives very handy tips on how to accomplish some of the tough sounds Rage Against the Machine creates.

The tablatures are easy to read, and are well organized. Lyrics are also included, so players can synchronize playing with how they remember the song. If timing and solo riffs are still giving players a hard time, all they have to do is turn to the included CD. The CD plays the music, without lyrics, so the melodies and riffs can be learned quickly. The CD comes with a slowed down version of all the songs, in case a particular part of a song has got a guitar player beat. This is especially handy for solos, which can be a nightmare without the slwed play.

Rage Against the Machine Album

Figure 2 – Self titled album cover, “Rage Against the Machine”. The cover art shows some of RATM’s political and social beliefs. 

The back of the page gives a nice reference to all the notes and special notations, such as tremolo picking or vibratos. It also tells the guitar player how to perform these actions with clear instructions. This feature won’t necessarily teach a new player all the tricks, but it is a great primer for some of the more advanced features that many songs use in the book. Playing Rage Against the Machine songs as accurately as possible is important, but almost impossible without the right equiment. The book tells readers on how to get the sound from assorted distortion pedals, which is a great feature.

Rage Against the Machine has some great riffs, and playing “Killing in the Name’s” main riff is addicting. “Bombtrack’s” intro and “Bulls on Parade’s”  riffs are equally as therapeutic to play. The hard and heavy hitting riffs to “Know Your Enemy” will surely turn a few heads while played. With all of the tips and explanations, it is easy to get the sound that Rage Against the Machine does. For instance, the book mentions that to get the sound from “People of the Sun”, an actual Allen Wrench should be used. 

“Best of Rages Against the Machine” by Troy Stetina is a hit for fans of the band. Even for those who aren’t obsessed with the rhythms and melodies the band possesses, the book is great for beginners to learn some quick and heavy riffs. Experienced players will be glad to know that the solos will give anyone a tough time- even experts. For a challenge, learn the “Know Your Enemy” solo- it will take some time. The book retails for around $20 new, so be sure to pick it up for yourself or as a present for a friend. 




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