Motley Crue / Mick Mars – Looks That Kill

Author: Edward Cupler

Shout at the Devil - Motley Crue

This track from Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil released on September 23, 1983 is the second studio album by Motley Crue. It was the band’s breakthrough album, establishing Motley Crue as one of the top selling heavy metal acts of the 1980s.

Mick Mars’s guitar work on “Looks That Kill” is characterized by its driving and memorable riffs. Featuring a catchy, aggressive guitar intro (Guitar Lesson Ex: #1) that sets the tone for the entire track, Mars employs a combination of power chords and palm-muted picking to create a heavy, rhythmic feel. His guitar solo in the song showcases his bluesy, melodic style, using the pentatonic blues scale and adds a dynamic element to the overall composition. “Looks That Kill” is a prime example of Mick Mars’s ability to craft iconic guitar parts that contributed to Motley Crue’s success in the metal genre.

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Verse + Pre-Chorus

Guitar Lesson Ex: #1

Audio examples:

Verse (main riff) normal speed

Verse (main riff) slow

Looks that kill tablature

Notes: This next example leads into the chorus. It is identical to the first example except that it ends on an F chord that and uses the tremolo bar to lower and raise the tone a half step in time with the beat of the song.

Example 2

Audio examples:

Verse pre-chorus normal speed

Verse pre-chorus slow

Looks that kill pre chorus tablature

Chorus

Chorus

Notes: This example starts with a C with an E root that goes to an F chord. Then it uses the chords C with an E root, F, F# diminished, C and F. The open A note is used as a pedal tone.

Example 1

Audio examples:

Chorus normal speed

Chorus slow

Looks that kill chorus tablature

Bridge

Bridge

Notes: I’ve seen this bridge posted on a lot of guitar websites. This is the way I play it. I think Mick Mars may have used two guitar parts but live this seemed close to the way he played it.

Example 1

Audio examples:

Bridge normal speed

Bridge slow

Looks that kill bridge tablature

Guitar Solo

Looks That Kill – Guitar Solo

Notes: This solo uses the pentatonic blues scale in the key of A minor. Mick makes good use of pinch harmonics and blues phrasing. This is something that definitely set him apart from many popular guitarists of the 1980’s. Mick was always more focused on the song and not just his technique. Much like Angus Young, Mick Mars is an old school blues style rock player who should not be overlooked.

I have split the solo up into 5 pieces so you can concentrate on small chunks instead of the whole thing at once. I have also provided the rhythm track for the solo so you can try your hand once you think you’ve mastered this classic solo.

Audio examples:

Solo Complete

Rhythm Track Without Guitar Solo

Example 1

Audio examples:

Solo Part #1 slow

Example 2

Audio examples:

Solo Part #2 slow

Example 3

Audio examples:

Solo Part #3 slow

Example 4

Audio examples:

Solo Part #4 slow

Example 5

Audio examples:

Solo Part #5 slow

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