Zakk Wylde: “Scales are like the combination on a lock – you can have eight numbers and come up with endless alternatives”

Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

Let’s face it, guitar players don’t really come much more metal than Zakk Wylde. His wide vibrato, blistering three-note-per-string pentatonic runs and squealing pinched harmonics are the mark of a berserker hell-bent on sonic warfare – the very epitome of brute force. Very few have been able to bludgeon their guitars in such an uncompromising way, and with such dependable results.

In Ozzy Osbourne’s band, he’s been responsible for some of the most memorable riffs and solos over the last three decades, making his debut on 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked as a fresh-faced and beardless 21 year-old. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).