Number: #1 - March/April
Guitar Guru: Joe
Hi, I was just wondering, is
it possible (realistic/playable) to play ultra fast licks on a
les paul custom? I've been trying to do so and finding it really
hard to get up to speed! Thanks, Anon
Guru: Hey Anon a Les Paul custom
is a fine guitar for ripping and shredding. Just look at Al Dimeola
during his early electric period (Elegant Gypsy, Casino , killer
fast guitar shit) his main axe was a Les Paul. Gary Moore, John
Norum, John Sykes ,all bad-ass players and all use Les Pauls at
least some of the time. The tone and technique are all inside
the player the guitar is just a tool to express it.
Joe, In the January 2006 issue of Guitar One Mag, you play an
alternate picking lick which has the last 2 beats as 9 notes per
beat played at 160bpm which you confirmed to me in an e-mail.
Firstly, that is stupidly fast- the first 6 beats are at a speed
of 16nps & the final 2 beats are 24nps. This makes you officially
the fastest alternate picker around. I wanted to know- 1- Do you
sit at home or in a studio with a metronome clicking, practising
6's @ 240bpm & 9's @ 160bpm etc or does the speed come naturally
& as a by-product of playing high tech shred for years &
years? Also, as a sub-part of my question- How fast do you sweep?
I have NEVER heard a guitarist in the neoclassical genre who can
alternate pick faster than they can sweep so i guess you can do
6's @ 300bpm which is 30nps sweeping. Have you ever thought of
just doing a technique show-off song on say your next album? Nothing
to do with composition, just a speed fest of 24nps ALternate Picking
& 30nps Sweep Arpeggios!!!!!! That'd be sick. Anyways, thanks
for reading my question & i look forward to your future stuff.
Peace & the Yankees kick ass!!!!! Steve Hyland, London, England."
Guru: Hey Steve I do play and practice
all the time still . I usually use the drum machine section of
my trusty Korg-PX4 and work on all different kinds of things at
all kinds of various tempos and time feels. I work many different
alternate picked, economy picked and sweep -picking techniques
but it`s most of the time in the context of a track I`m composing
or preparing to record. I`m not sure what my maximum sweep speed
is although I can tell you it`s certainly faster than anyone would
care to listen to. I manage to get plenty of fairly sick and over
the top guitar shit into most of my tunes one way or another and
I do always try to push myself as a player with every newer release.
Hi Joe. I was wondering how you approach
ear training. Is there any particular methods you have used. I
keep getting told to sing what i play in order to intergrate the
sounds in my head into my guitar. Thanks, Alex
Guru: Hey Alex , as far as my own
ear training goes I developed my ear the old school way by learning
my favorite players solos , tunes and licks. That of course is
great for developing your style, ears and also your playing vocabulary.
Sight singing , interval singing and trying to play ideas you
hear in your head are also great.
do get the lead sound of someone like Malmsteen or Joe Satriani?
Guru: Satch and Yngwie have completely
different guitar tones . Joe uses a fat very saturated tone and
humbucking pickups while Yngwie is a hard core strat through a
Marshall purist. The sound of your guitar and tone inside your
hands is a product and reflection of your combined influences.
I always knew every piece of gear all my heroe`s used and managed
to make my tone my own by combining elements of my influences
and adding my own thing to it. But regardless of the gear the
tone is in your hands.
Hi Joe, what are some of your
favourite bands to listen to, not including solo artists? Michael,
Guru: I still listen to all of
my favorite players and heroes, Blackmore with Deep Purple and
Rainbow, Yngwie, Gary Moore, Hendrix, Frank Marino, Uli Jon Roth
and the early Scorpions stuff. Michael Schenker with MSG and UFO,
Thin Lizzy as well . I also like all kinds of power metal and
neo-classical stuff , a great German band called Atvance, a band
from Argentina called Rata Blanca, Japan`s Double Dealer , Concerto
Moon and ArkStorm, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Force of Evil.I
also listen to alot of classical music as well.
Which would be best, 6 fingers
on your fretting hand, or 2 hands on your picking arm???? Anon
Guru: Hey Anon , I`m not sure either
of those would really be all that much of an advantage. I think
I`ll stick with what I`ve got , it seems to be working ok to this