Four years ago, Lexi Rose was a 16-year-old rock and metal fan who never considered playing the guitar. Then her aunt took her to a Kings of Leon concert, and everything changed.
“I was just knocked out by the band’s power,” Rose says. “I said to myself, ‘That’s it: I have to play guitar.’ I was so excited that the next day I went out and got an Ibanez Gio. From that moment on, I was obsessed and played all the time.”
Eschewing formal lessons, Rose schooled herself on YouTube guitar performance videos and tutorials, and before long she could play along proficiently to one of her favorite Metallica songs, Nothing Else Matters.
“I was on cloud nine,” she says. “That’s when I knew I could handle anything that I put my mind to.” Digging deeper into guitar, she became enthralled by players such as Slash, Gary Moore and Marty Friedman (“he’s a huge influence on me”), and each time she learned one of their songs, she posted a video of her progress online.
Today, Rose posts several clips a week in which she expertly nails solos by guitarists such as Dimebag Darrell, Ritchie Blackmore, Neal Schon and others (she even performs a rollicking version of Neil Giraldo’s memorable lead in Rick Springfield’s Jesse’s Girl), and she’s amassed a following of 500,000 fans across her social media platforms.
To her amazement, she’s even caught the attention of some of her idols. “Zakk Wylde commented on some of my videos, which was unbelievable,” she says. “Metallica shared a clip of me playing the solo to Master of Puppets on their Instagram page. Talk about unbelievable!”
At 20 years old, the Poughkeepsie-based guitarist is weighing her options – she’s split between starting her own band or joining an existing outfit. At the same time, she’s writing her own music and is planning a release of some kind by the end of the year.
“It could be an EP or a whole album,” she says. “I’m teaching myself production and engineering, and of course, I practice guitar as much as I can. That’ll never change.”