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Eight Steps to Becoming a Legendary Hair Metal Guitarist

Eight Steps to Becoming a Legendary Hair Metal Guitarist

05. Incorporate the Following Techniques Into Every Song:

Transitional Dive Bomb: Instantly executed after the song’s first solo or transition to the chorus, '80s guitarists were dropping it like it was hot long before Snoop Dog. Although Jimi Hendrix pioneered the technique in the late ‘60s, hair metal popularized dive bombs, instituting a standard presence in almost every recording from the era.

Pinch Harmonics: Pinch harmonics didn’t originate with hair metal but were widely commercialized by the genre. The goal was simple: Create the loudest, highest, most ear-splitting note imaginable. Shortly after they gained popularity, guitarists began combining them with dive bombs to produce an even crazier sequel that resembled a thoroughbred that just inhaled a 10,000-gallon helium tank.

High-String Palm Muting: From “Panama” to “Round and Round,” high-string palm muting is one of hair metal’s most recognizable methods. Muting the G, B and E strings during the bridge gave songs a different kind of sound and complemented the lead singer’s high-pitched voice.

Tapping: Listen to any song from the period and you’ll hear a raging fury of two-handed hammer-ons and pull-offs. Remember, one goal of a hair metal guitarist was to play as many notes per minute as possible. Tapping is an easy way to crank up a solo’s NPMs while looking innovative on stage.



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