The exercises in this month’s column emphasize pick-hand techniques that are intrinsic to my style: sweep picking, alternate picking and multiple-finger fretboard tapping. Specifically, I wanted to create a convergence of these different playing techniques within a musical-sounding piece.
With its hand-carved grim reaper figure standing upon a field of skulls next to a cluster of gravestones, Ben Bauer’s Death of Decency guitar gives one the impression that it was made in prison by some tattooed Danny Trejo lookalike. However, a closer look reveals that the gravestones are not marked with the names of victims awaiting vengeance but rather words like love, hope, trust, honor and courtesy.
When I was first getting into the guitar, I played it incessantly. I lived it, breathed it, ate it and slept it. I was also extremely self-critical, so from early on, I made sure to develop good playing habits—I constantly strove to sound in tune and have a great tone, and to play cleanly and in time. But I was also very hard on myself. If I played something incorrectly, I whipped myself mercilessly. Whenever I made a mistake, I made sure that I would never allow myself to repeat it.
In the new July issue, we sit down with guitarist and producer Jimmy Page as he prepares to release newly remastered recordings and rarities from Led Zeppelin's vault. Read how Page remasters his band's brilliant catalog and takes the opportunity to open and share their personal archives. Plus, GW explores the numerous package options and formats in which the new Zeppelin remasters are available.
For today's Flashback Friday video, we're dropping in on Yngwie Malmsteen, circa-1984. Fans who got to see Alcatrazz perform in the early to mid-'80s were treated to bits and pieces of Malmsteen's mastery in pretty much every song — but especially when he took his extended solo breaks.
You have all these colors on your pallet and now you can blend them to introduce new colors and textures people have not heard before. For example, playing something like “Black Mountain Side” with a tabla drummer had never been done.