As a guitarist, singer, musician and composer, Devin Townsend has done and seen it all. After starting out in the early 1990s as the singer in Steve Vai’s band, Townsend then went on to form the band Strapping Young Lad, releasing five albums between 1995 and 2006. After that band was dissolved, Townsend went on to form the Devin Townsend Project, releasing a series of four individual albums of different moods.
These are the sounds of a man granted a private preview of a masterpiece-in-progress by a giant of rock guitar. Open-mouthed enthusiasm hardly becomes a Jaded Journalist, but what can you do when you're blown away? I'm sitting In Joe Satriani's cozy suite in L.A.’s Le Parc Hotel. The guitarist opens a door leading to the terrace and considers unpacking his clothes. We agree to first hear “a few” of his new tunes, and discuss rock star finery later (particularly our mutual fondness for Big John black jeans).
Today's lick pays homage to the playing of blues legends Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lightnin' Hopkins. It's a short but action-packed lick in the key of A, played out of the open position and incorporating lots of quick finger slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and open strings.
Wayne Static entertained thoughts of a solo project during his years fronting Static-X, but the multi-platinum band’s recording and touring schedules put the idea on hold. When the group dissolved after their final tour in 2009, the opportunity presented itself to begin working on the material that became Pighammer.
The November 2011 issue of Guitar World is available now, and it's a good one (if I do say so myself). First of all, there's the Big Four historic photo shoot, as represented on the cover and the two-sided fold-out poster inside (featuring James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine, reunited for the first time in years). Guitar World did the impossible, getting Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Mustaine, Kerry King and Scott Ian gather for a roundtable discussion about their music, history and the greatest thrash tour of all time.
Most musicians love a good movie. Cinema offers a fun, relaxing respite after your typical five-hour, finger-grinding guitar workout. But what's a guitar player to watch when documentaries get too heady and musicals neglect our favorite instrument?
Steve Hackett stamped his impression on the guitar community when he joined Genesis in 1970. Reserved as he was during those first few performances, Hackett quickly assumed the role as one of the country’s most innovative guitarists, pioneering the tapping and sweeping techniques — techniques that are now part of every ax chopper’s lexicon.