Casual guitar fans have probably never heard the name Shawn Lane—but speed freaks all over the world still consider him a god even after his premature death nearly 12 years ago. Guitar World tells the story of an incomparable musical visionary.
Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, blah, blah, blah … We know those guys can play, but what about Speedy Haworth, who dazzled audiences in the Fifties with his appearances on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee? Or how about the underrated, mustachioed Canadian guitar hero Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush?
The grouping of notes is very heavily inspired by Shawn Lane. When I first heard Shawn play, it was so blisteringly fast, it really excited and scared the hell out of me at the same time. I could hear that a lot of his tonality was with the pentatonic scale, but I couldn’t understand how anyone could play this scale so fast.
I believe Shawn Lane was the most technically amazing guitarist to ever grace the earth. He had total command over the guitar in all areas, and his speed and technique were simply out of this world. Most importantly, his sense of melody/songwriting and the way he adapted all of his techniques to soloing were truly amazing.
The first time I came across this style of picking was in an article by guitarist Shawn Lane. I was totally blown away by his use of the traditional sweep picking while combining the use of his right-hand fingers to pick notes within the arpeggios. This technique works particularly well with major/minor scales or modal playing, as it is very easy to create three-string shapes that flow very nicely and closely together.
In this Sick Lick, I'm using the diminished 7th arpeggio. I combine a few different techniques to create what I call an “alien" sound. This lick is very heavily influenced buy one of my favorite guitarists, Shawn Lane. Lane really pushed the boundaries of guitar playing. He had flawless technique and speed, and he used this technical prowess to write some incredible music.