“We approach every new record the same way—by just fucking totally forgetting about the last one,” Jerry Cantrell says about the creative process within Alice in Chains. “You have to start from a zero every time.” For Alice in Chains, of course, starting from zero hasn’t always been so easy. For a long time, the band’s past—both the highs and lows—has loomed rather largely in their present.
Fretboard tapping has earned a bad name in certain sectors of the guitar community. Some players dismiss it as a technique suitable only for perpetrating the worst possible kind of overblown, unmusical histrionics, preferably played through a wall of amps that “go to 11.”
Jason Becker's instrumental masterpiece, "Perpetual Burn," has been a perpetual source of inspiration — and challenge — for guitarists since it was originally released in 1988. In fact, we decided to challenge our own staff, who turned in a spot-on, 17-page transcription of Becker's shred classic in the new July 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine. Now it's time to challenge you!
When Guitar World finally catches up with her in Los Angeles, she’s just returning to the mainland from a show in Hawaii. Beyond the pleasures of globe trotting, she is clearly enjoying her long-running stint with the celebrated shock-rocker. “We get to celebrate Halloween all year long,” she says. “And I have the best seat in the house every night.”
In the first two installments of Chop Shop, we looked at some arpeggio-based runs that were spiced up with octaves, finger taps, pinch harmonics and behind-the-nut bends. This time, as promised, I’m going to talk about the ways in which I’ve employed ideas I’ve learned from guitarists in different genres to my own playing. To start off, I’m going to show you a lick in the key of B that I use on the track “The Nightmare Unravels,” from my latest solo CD, The Art of Malice.