Art of Shredding: Marnie Stern

Originally published in Guitar World, December 2010

The New York City-based guitarist shares her views on shred guitar.

For flat-out, unapologetic soloing, who blows your mind?

Mick Barr.

What album/song inspired you to play fast?

"1-800-GHOST-DANCE" from the Hella album Hold Your Horse Is. Im listening to it right now!

What helped you progress dramatically as a guitarist?

There were a lot of great bands playing around New York when I was learning to play. I would go watch them, and it would give me the motivation to go home and get better.

What was your biggest technical hurdle?

Working on different rhythms and time signatures, familiarizing myself to the point where they now come fluidly and naturally.

What key performance in your discography is a successful example of what you try to achieve?

I really like the song "Precious Metal" off my first album, In Advance of the Broken Arm, because it's technical and it has parts that lock together in an interesting way. I also like "For Ash" off my new record, Marnie Stern, because tapping is used as a repetitive texture and accent to flesh out the song, and it kind of has an orchestra feel.

Is shredding a good thing?

Of course! I wish there was a better term to describe playing your guts out, because that's what I think shredding is.

What are you currently working on, and what is your goal as a player?

To grow as a songwriter and a player, and write a song that has lasting quality.

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