I’ll be showing you a relatively unknown picking technique used by Eddie Van Halen. It can be heard in countless Van Halen songs, including "I’m the One," "Spanish Fly" and "Jump." This technique is based on a combination of hammer-on notes and alternate-picked notes. Eddie likes to take a fingering pattern and hammer on the notes on one string, then alternate pick the same pattern on an adjacent string.
In the summer of 1986, Guitar Center opened a mammoth music store on Sunset Boulevard in the center of Hollywood. Eddie Van Halen and Les Paul were being honored along with several other musical giants, including Stevie Wonder and amp builder Jim Marshall, as part of the store’s opening celebration. It seemed natural to take the opportunity to put Ed and Les together in the same room to talk about what they knew best—playing the guitar. The following is an excerpt from the story that originally appeared in the November 1986 edition of Guitar World.
The EVH Wolfgang guitar is the only way to go if you want what Eddie Van Halen plays today.
Based on Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstein guitar, the EVH Striped Series is a stripped-down speed machine with a single humbucker and volume control, plus Van Halen’s trademark striped finish in three different motifs—black and white, yellow and black, and red, black and white.
How cool would it be to come across the legendary Eddie Van Halen doing a guitar demo at a NAMM Show? It happened in 1996, as this just-uploaded (March 14) video shows. The Van Halen guitarist was on hand to demo Peavey's Wolfgang Standard model guitar.