In the summer of 1986, Guitar Center opened a mammoth music store on Sunset Boulevard in the center of Hollywood. Eddie Van Halen and Les Paul were being honored along with several other musical giants, including Stevie Wonder and amp builder Jim Marshall, as part of the store’s opening celebration. It seemed natural to take the opportunity to put Ed and Les together in the same room to talk about what they knew best—playing the guitar. The following is an excerpt from the story that originally appeared in the November 1986 edition of Guitar World.
Musicians can still be a little fuzzy when it comes to describing the sound of a fuzz box. Some guitarists will tell you it sounds like a 2,000-pound bee trapped in a sturdy metal box — perhaps with a potentiometer installed somewhere behind the wings. And while many early fuzz guitar tunes and tones did indeed make the most of the original fuzz buzz, fuzz actually has many facets, many sides, many fuzz faces, if you will.
Beatles Gear is a landmark book that details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers and keyboards The Beatles used at key points during their career. The book was even considered the official technical reference book for Beatles Rock Band, and its author, musician Andy Babiuk, was the official technical consultant to the game.
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.
In this lesson I discuss a few options I use when playing over dominant 7 chords. I’ll take you through a methodical process of using scales that progressively use more and more dissonant notes. It will be this intermingling of consonant and dissonant sounds that will add a lot of interesting elements to your playing and give your solos the contrast that will keep your audience listening.