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Brewtal Lesson: Be All You Can Be with Zakk Wylde's Guitar Boot Camp


“As I’ve been told by all my mentors, do it slow and then work on it until you can play it faster. [Seattle Mariners third baseman] Scott Spiezio, a Black Label brother who’s won a World Series ring and is one of the best baseball players out there, is one of the people who told me this. When Scott was a kid, his dad, who was also a major leaguer, said, ‘Son, if you can’t hit a ball off a hitting-tee there’s no way you’re gonna hit a ball that’s pitched to you.” So to this very day, when Scott’s warming up, he still hits a ball off a tee, in order to totally focus on what he’s got to do. The same principle applies to guitar playing—you’ve got to be able to do it slow before you can do it fast. A lot of the time I practice slow so I can zone in on the little nuances and work out the mechanics of playing something right.”



“Want a killer practice tip? Get a metronome,” says Zakk. “I still practice with one, and I always bring it with me on the road. In addition to helping you with your timing, a metronome lets you see how you’re progressing when you’re learning difficult shit. You start out with the metronome running slow, but as you get better, you can increase its speed. Doing that helps you keep track of how you’re progressing.”


“I don’t care who you are, the bottom line is this: if you want to play something bad enough and you practice it enough, you’ll eventually get it. It’s a matter of repetition. You gotta start off slow, and then just do it over and over and over. There are no short cuts, either; you just have to practice your ass off and play through things a million times. That’s how I do it. For example, I’ll take a run like this [FIGURE 11] and then practice it for days and days until I can play it fast. There’s no slacking off, either—use it or lose it, bro.”

A great lesson by a great musician. Don't forget Zakk is a piano player and composer as well. I like that he talks about the dedication it takes to become really good at what you are trying to do. Most people don't understand the amount of dedication it takes to get to his level. It's obvious that Zakk has dedicated himself to his art. Whether you like Zakk's music or not, he has some sage advice for anyone trying to master their art, be it music or otherwise. And no, you don't only have to use his workouts on the pentatonic scales. You can apply his methods to any scale when you break down what he is doing and WHY he is doing it. Rock on Zakk!!

"[Martial arts actor] Bruce Lee once said..."
Who the fuck doesn't know who Bruce Lee is?


You are the real deal Bersker, thanks for the lesson.

It funny to hear Zakk talk about all his idols. I wonder if he realizes how much he inspires and is "idolized" by all of us? I hope he does and continues to create for a long time to come. Thanks Zakk! BLS for life.

One thing that I believe its important but very few people write about is sounding like yorself. yor ultimate goal should not be to play a randy rhoads or jimmy page song note for note, but to develop your own style and write your own music. If you just learn songs you are only going to be in a cover band or something, if you truly want to be great you should take what you have learned and make it your own. learning songs should be a step into something more

Zakk thank you for a great read and great lesson. BLS for life. Keep on making great music.

First of all.I never heard Zakk say how great he was,only how great he wants to be.And how he never stops trying to improve.Dont discount the fact that he plays all of Randys stuff plus Jake E Lees stuff,and still has his own style to boot.Who cares if he plays pentatonics.If it sounds good it is good.If you read the whole thing he also mentions diatonics too KNUCKLE HEAD!!!!Ill I can say is good luck to Gus G because he has to play Randy,Jake,Zakk,and his own style too.
Props to you brother ZAKK!!!!

If Zakk Wylde wants to be the best, he's got to give up playing pentatonics! Ooops, that's his hole act, without pentatonics he's got nothing. It's kinda hard to be the best when you've only got one leg to stand on (Zakk). I love hearing Zakk toot his own horn about how great he is, because those of use who know we are better than Zakk, get a real ego boost. And Zakk, if your reading this, anytime, any place...

You sound like such a moron. Zakk is a great player who always gives credit to the people who have influenced him. "any time, any place"... What's that supposed to mean? A guitar-off or an arm wrestling match? Both of which you would surely lose. Everyone seems to be a Virtuoso behind a computer screen.

1. WHOLE act, not hole act
2. "If I hadn’t been lucky enough to land the Ozzy gig, I wouldn’t be working a regular job; I’d be teaching guitar lessons and playing five nights a week in a cover band or something. If you commit yourself to music, it ain’t a hobby. When music chooses you, you do it.”

The only person that sounds like an horn tooting asshole here... is you.

Sorry a**hole (aka oldstnic). I agree with crowman - Music is art NOT a sport. I have only been playing for a total of 3 years oldstnic...if you want to compete in a sport I do have over 10 years of martial arts oldstnic, if you are reading this, anytime, any place...

There is no place this forums for people like you. We are all musicians so f**k off!!!!

If u want competition go play sport!!! Music is art NOT a sport. its about expression and interpretation. Kurt Cobain sold more records than u could hope to dream off and he primarily used powerchords, why? Because people related to it! Zakk has never floated his own boat, if anything he always pays kudos to the guitar players the come before him. Its people like you that are destroying music as an art form. Rock music is about rebelling against people like u. And funny how u bag out Zakk for self promotion THEN go a promote YOURSELF! Haha. You belong on politics with that kind of Hypocrisy!

That's a rather narrow minded comment, considering pentatonics are the most widely used and the basis of what blues and rock music was created with. Sure there are many other interesting scales, but to count one of the main ones out just because you consider it "too basic" for some reason is very short sighted in my opinion.

Personally I like to mix scales together and rarely stay in the same scale all the way though a run just to see what I come up with. I find that if I stay in one scale too long it gets rather boring, at least that's where I'm at these days.

But I must say it's amusing to watch a nobody challenge Zakk Wylde on guitar. I doubt he would waste his time with you, but if he did I would love to watch. While you may not like his recordings you must know that he didn't get where he is unless he put in some serious time and effort and you should stop and think about that. I'm sure you have not heard everything he actually can play.

Myself, I would play with anyone, but I would never say that I'm better than someone because it might just come back to bite me in the ass.


How many albums have you sold.Is Gibson making signiture les pauls with your name on it?


I really don't come from this article thinking that Zakk is real high on himself. Don't know where you read that where Zakk thinks he is god on guitar or something.

Besides, who plays pentatonics on GUITAR anymore anyhow?! I bet you go "caving" along with Nigel Tufnel because of how lame American Rock has become. LOL.

You really are better than Wylde. That's why I bought all your albums. Keep it up! I can't wait for the next tour. In the mean time, I'll just keep playing your riffs on your pro model guitar.

HaHaHaHa.......that's awesome.

Awesome interview. Really respected Zakk's approach to it all. And the honorable mentions of jack Lambert, Frank marino, and T.T. Quick really took me back.


this lesson is excelent
a must study