Inquier: Marty Friedman

What inspired you to start playing the guitar, and how old were you?

When was I was 14 years old, I saw a Kiss concert, and for me, that was it.

  • Do you remember what your first guitar was?
  • Yes, it was a black Les Paul copy.

What was the first song you learned to play on the guitar?
It was probably a Ramones song, and I am sure I learned it by myself.

Do you remember your first time onstage?
I remember it being very normal and natural, and because of that, nothing really stands out about it.

Ever had an embarrassing onstage moment?
I have to say, I never had one, but offstage that is a different story, as there have been plenty.

What is your favorite piece of gear?
No favorites really, if it works well, I like it. My current set up these days are Paul Reed Smith guitars and Engl amps and Roland, Boss and Maxon effects sometimes. I have been endorsing PRS for a couple years now as they are fantastic instruments.

Do you have any advice for young guitar players?
Make music all the time, and create opportunities to play with everybody, especially those you want to learn something from.

Marty Friedman was the lead guitarist in Megadeth from 1990 to 2000. Since 2003, he has lived in Japan—where he hosts various music-oriented television shows—and continues to release solo albums on a regular basis. This interview took place in just under 43 seconds.

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Joe Matera

Joe Matera is an Australian guitarist and music journalist who has spent the past two decades interviewing a who's who of the rock and metal world and written for Guitar World, Total Guitar, Rolling Stone, Goldmine, Sound On Sound, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and many others. He is also a recording and performing musician and solo artist who has toured Europe on a regular basis and released several well-received albums including instrumental guitar rock outings through various European labels. Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera has called him, "... a great guitarist who knows what an electric guitar should sound like and plays a fluid pleasing style of rock." He's the author of Backstage Pass: The Grit and the Glamour.