Alex Skolnick is among a few guitarists who have achieved multigenre success and acclaim, first as a wild young gun with the iconic metal thrash band Testament, and then as a tasteful and technically impressive jazzbo with the Alex Skolnick Trio.
“That album has the song ‘I Can See for Miles,’ which really put the hooks in me. The Who Sell Out is still weird now! Nobody does anything that cool today. It’s great and goes all over the map, musically speaking.
“My Aim Is True was a huge influence on our first record. We all really love rhythm and blues and the immediacy of it—that sort of ballsy thing—but I also really love melodies; I’m a huge fan of Scott Walker and all those big-sounding Sixties records with beautiful melodies. Costello seemed to just get it right in the middle.”
Probably 99 Percent of the guitars built with graphics inspired by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon feature the album cover’s iconic prism design. Mark “Gig” Goldstein’s Dark Side of the Moon guitar also includes the prism, but it is just one small detail in a larger tableau that he carved into the front of a Gibson SG—a scene that tells the album’s entire story.
In this new feature from the August 2014 issue of Guitar World, the guitarists of Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Trivium and other metal acts tell how they'll beat the heat and tame the crowds on the season's biggest tours.
David knew Graham, and he came to our Crosby & Nash show in London a couple of times and liked our harmonies and our way of going at it, and he asked us to sing on [his 2006 solo album] On An Island. In the process, we got to be pretty close friends. He asked us to sing at his concert in London.
I love runs like this, and I play these types of elongated patterns often. Here, I pick the first note on each string and use hammer-ons, pull-offs and legato slides, at times in combination, to give the notes some variation in attack and create smooth phrasing.
Here's a crazy-sounding video game–type lick that requires flexibility and dexterity to execute accurately. The object is to move seamlessly across the fretboard, using a wide-stretch symmetrical diminished arpeggio shape with the fret hand’s first, second and fourth fingers, coupled with a right-hand tap, which makes it a diminished-seven arpeggio.
It’s probably not a coincidence that effects such as wah pedals and fuzz boxes started appearing en masse about the same time that recreational drugs like marijuana and LSD became popular with rock musicians.
The thinking behind this run is to get you from the fifth fret all the way up to the 17th fret with a smooth, connected flow of notes. It’s played as if it were in A minor, but I tune down one half step [low to high: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb], so it sounds in Ab minor. I use alternate picking for the most part, which produces a burning staccato sound and gives your picking hand a great workout.