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Elliott Klein

Guitar World Member For: 29 weeks 5 days
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Find Your Way: How to Spice Up a Cover Song

Many bands perform covers of artists they admire as a way to pay homage or share their love of a song with the audience. Sometimes the band chooses to play it exactly like the record, and if it's a tricky song it's all the more impressive. If I saw a random band at a bar flawlessly pull off “Satch Boogie” or any Periphery songs note for note I'd be blown away.

Fun Comping with a Seven-String Guitar and Harmonics

Trying to make a seven-string guitar play like a six-string is very tough. The “thumb over the neck” approach doesn't work as well. Also, some seven-strings sound like a middle ground between a guitar and a bass (like the one I used in this example), which makes openly strumming “cowboy chords” a terrible decision.

Incorporating Groups of Five 16th Notes in Guitar Solos

This lesson deals with groups of five 16th notes, which is tough already, but then it gets harder. I've been loving the sound of Tosin Abasi's double-thumbing and have been trying to find my own ways to use it. This example incorporates the double-thumb technique with finger picking. If you're not familiar with it, you can still use your pick, but I'd suggest learning it because nothing else sounds quite like it.

Knowing When and How to Transform Your Tone

There are those people who can fit in in a wide variety of genres, and it's not just the licks or music theory knowledge or clothing that gets them the gig, but the tones as well. I'm not saying you can't bring your Kramer to a country gig; just know how to make it sound twangy.

Thoughts on Using Your Computer As a Guitar Amp

Amps are heavy and you'd have to be borderline insane/Captain America to carry them all around a city, especially New York City during rush hour. A computer, a charger, two cables and a quarter-inch to eighth-inch adapter all in one bag is my go-to for all the smaller gigs that come my way.

Working Toward Extreme Hybrid Picking

Usually you hear hybrid picking associated with country guitar or all things Eric Johnson. It's not a particularly aggressive technique, so it's rare in hard rock and metal. Hybrid picking in a Metallica song? Probably not. But Metallica is Metallica — and you're you.

Playing for Yourself Versus Playing for Your Audience

Playing music that excites you is important, but so is connecting with an audience by making meaningful music, whether that audience is 200 people or a recording device. If you’re making music that you’d probably skip over on your iPod, something isn’t right.

When Sweep Picking Gets Old, Try This

Sweep picking was invented a long time ago, and it's been used in many amazing solos. Where would the Eighties be without sweep picking? Where would metal be without it? Sweep picking isn't a very surprising sound anymore. So when you're crafting a solo and trying to make a lick that will give the same wonderful feel of sweeping, try these “2-1's” instead. They'll make you jump.

Using Natural Harmonics to Surprise Listeners

I often think of a “tough love” quote from an old teacher of mine: “People at venues have their food to eat, drink to drink, friends to talk to and every other venue in town to go to. Can you keep their attention?” While that seems a tad harsh, it is good to some extent, as long as you use it to challenge yourself and surprise yourself with the music and guitar parts you come up with.

Spread Triads: Making the Guitar Sound Beautiful

This week, it's all about making the guitar sound as beautiful as possible. For me, the masters of this are Eric Johnson and Tim Miller (who was actually a teacher of mine at one point). We'll get to what they both do that sounds very unique. We'll also go over ways I like to doll up some otherwise normal-sounding guitar parts.