Hi everyone, and welcome to my new column for Guitar World.
Over the next few months, I will be demonstrating many of the totally awesome solos, rhythm parts and techniques I use in creating the incredible music for my band, Steel Panther, surely one of the greatest heavy metal bands to come out of Canoga Park in the last three years.
I’d like to kick things off with a song of mine called “Gold-Digging Whore.”
This is a topic I think everyone can relate to, even you eight-year olds out there, because there’s always some girl that is just talking to you because you have extra lunch money. It never stops. At my age, ladies see me driving by in my ’92 Toyota Corolla with 22-inch rims and they know immediately that I have a lot of expendable money.
The solo in “Gold-Digging Whore” is a timeless classic, so let’s focus on the rhythm and lead parts for this section of the song in this column.
FIGURE 1a illustrates the primary four-bar rhythm pattern (see Gtr. 1 part) behind the solo. Starting on C#m, I use a palm-muted low C# note as a pedal tone, played in steady eighth notes. This note serves as a common bass note for the next two chords, B/C# and A/C#, which are both accented on the last eighth note of bars 1 and 2, respectively.
This four-bar rhythm part is basically played three times, but the third time I end it by going to the “five” chord, G#5. This is shown as the first bar of FIGURE 1b, at the end of bar 12. The G#5 tonality holds through bars 12–15, with little power chord slides between A5, G#5 and F#5. In bar 16, I descend to F#5 and E5, ending with a vibratoed D# note, which is the fifth of G#.
Onto the solo, which is shown as FIGURE 2 (see bars 1–16). In most of my solos, I like to rely on melody and slow, wide vibratos, because I know this is what the ladies like to hear. In bars 1–4, I use notes from C# Aeolian, or natural minor (C# D# E F# G# A B). Bar 5 features a cool lick built from repeated hammer-ons that move across the first through fifth strings, starting with a wide stretch on the high E, with the index finger at the fourth fret and the pinkie hammering onto the ninth fret.
Let me tell you that, even though they don’t have Grammys for guitar solos, this solo was nominated for a Guammy on the island of Guam, for Best Solo, based on the note choice alone.