What would Eric Clapton's classic "White Room" guitar solo be without that meaty, ubiquitous wah effect? What if Slowhand had decided to opt for heavy tremolo or tape delay instead? Of course, that issue is moot. Because, instead of these pointless questions, what we have instead is a timeless, iconic guitar solo on timeless track by a bona fide guitar god.
Tucked in a nondescript industrial tract north of San Francisco near San Pablo Bay, Metallica’s headquarters is an oasis for both thrash fanatics and gear heads of every stripe. The massive studio—dubbed HQ by the band—has been Metallica’s base of operations for writing, rehearsals, demoing and all-purpose hanging since late 2001. In a rare case of reality trumping fantasy, it is a place that exceeds expectations.
Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is a giant among men. There isn’t a guitar poll he hasn’t won, and his popularity runs high among fans and critics alike. Few would dispute the contention that he is, with the possible exception of Edward Van Halen, the most influential hard rock/metal lead guitarist alive today.
Late last year, Skolnick and Ellefson convened at Portnoy’s home studio in remote Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, and wrote all of the songs for Metal Allegiance’s self-titled first album. A jubilant celebration of metal from the early Seventies to the present, the record includes doom, prog, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, alt-metal, New American Metal and a whole lotta thrash, from classic to contemporary.
We offer these 25 tips from guitarists who know their stuff—from rock royalty to jazz patriarchs to any-and-all, top-of-their-game bad asses. Hopefully, you’ll find something in these cosmic, practical and musical nuggets of wisdom that will kick that rut-raddled mind of yours into higher gears of inspiration.
The capo is to guitars what sugar—or Stevia, if you prefer—is to food. It makes everything sweeter. Musicians started noticing the capo's inherent song-sweetening properties sometime in the early 17th century, when primitive versions of the handy accessory were employed to raise the pitch of a host of fretted instruments.