Look around you. There seems to be a seven-string renaissance happening at the moment. Actually, eight-string guitars seem to be going pretty strong, too. But there's something particularly satisfying about plugging in a seven and riffing out in between the traditional ranges of the guitar and bass.
There's one particularly useful practice tool that will dramatically increase your shredding skills while simultaneously helping you to nail those all-important rock star shapes when you hit the stage. And the surprising thing is, you already have it. A mirror.
My young son is already a little perfectionist. If he's drawing and he messes up a letter, it's like it's the end of his world. He gets angry, frustrated or heartbroken. He hasn't started to learn an instrument yet (although he's interested in guitar and keyboard, and he digs Rush and the Beatles), but I see a lot of myself in his perfectionist streak.
Nobody knows the ins and outs of Jimi Hendrix's guitar sound like Roger Mayer. Mayer introduced Hendrix to his Octavia, a unit that added an octave overtone to the original note. Hendrix loved the sound and used it on the solo to "Purple Haze." The rest, as they say ...
Every now and then, I'll interview someone who credits part of their musical inspiration to synesthesia -- a phenomenon where one kind of sensory input triggers another. A common example is the perception of colors or textures in relation to music. I'm fortunate to have this trait myself, along with a few other odd little synesthesia-related quirks; I subconsciously associate odd numbers and angular shapes with warm colors, and even numbers and smooth shapes with cool colors, for instance.
There was one overriding theme throughout the night. It was related to amp choice. And no, it wasn't that the majority of the players chose the amp with the most distortion (the Marshall) over the ones with less gain (the Fender and Vox). It was that nobody knew how to turn the amps on.
Forbidden is a classic thrash band in every sense of the word. Their roster has included members of Slayer (Paul Bostaph), Testament (Glen Avelias), Strapping Young Lad/Fear Factory (Gene Hoglan) and Machine Head (Robb Flynn), but through it all, guitarist Craig Locicero has kept the Forbidden sound anchored down with brutally precise riffs and shredding solos.
Timo Tolkki is power metal royalty. From Stratovarius to Revolution Renaissance and now Symfonia, the Finnish guitarist was once ranked by Guitar World as one of the 50 fastest players in the world (27th, in fact).