Number: #3 - June-July
Guitar Guru: Joe
Hey Joe, I am 15 and mental about
guitar. I was wondering, i have been playing guitar for 3 years
now and i have been practicing to get that shred metal sound but
i have aways ended up with a more blues rock / classic rock sound.
Do you have any tips on how to get that sound? Also, I am looking
into going to Berklee when I graduate, what are some of the advantages
of going there?
Thanks, - Brennan, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Guru: Well Brennan, to
get those shred and classically influenced types of ideas in your
guitar playing you have to develop that type of playing vocabulary.
You have to listen to the players that excel in that style. Learn
things from them, transcribe their tunes and solos, find out what
players or composers influenced them and listen to them as well.
Pick up dvds , cds and start to go at it. Take things from everyone
and start to try to make them your own. Also Berklee is a great
school , one of the best in the world, so of course there are
many advantages to studying there, but it`s certainly not essential
in becoming a killer rock/metal player.
what is the correct way to hold
a plectrum as I have tried many ways and I am unable to find a
position that I like best, and feels most comfortable? please
help, - Josh Rutherford
Guru: I hold the pick
the very standard old fashion way with my index finger tucked
in a little, the wide part of the pick across the top joint of
that finger and my thumb on top over the writing.
Hi! Speed and technical accolades
aside, I was wondering how you go about working out a solo. I
think you're the guy to go to for this, because you do the longest
solos in your albums, yet they never lose coherence or inspiration.
Thanks mate! Joe S. (yes, we share the same initials, go figure)
Guru: An excellent question
Joe and thanks for the nice words about my solos. All the players
that inspired me (Blackmore, Gary Moore , Uli-Jon Roth , Schenker,
Malmsteen) could all really build a solo and many of their solos
were like mini compositions within the track. So taking things
like contour, structure and how a solo builds are great things
to take from your favorite players and heroes as well as things
like inflection, note choice , vibrato, etc. When I work on a
solo I just loop the groove and chord sequence and then start
to play over it. As I`m improvising I come across things I play
while being very inspired and I end of keeping them then tidying
them up technically. Then I continue to play and take ideas and
connect and marry them to each other. So when I`m done the end
result is a somewhat worked out scripted solo comprised of many
things I came upon while improvising. That`s one way I go about
it , but in many cases I`ve just flown by the seat of my pants
just letting it go and doing it off the cuff and letting inspiration
take over. That`s what rock guitar is all about using your hands
, your heart and your ballz together not playing hot lick number
62 and connecting it to difficult arpeggio number 26.
Hello, I am currently taking distance
lessons from a guitar teacher on improvisation and while I feel
I am learning a lot from these lessons it has become somewhat
apparent that to make the most of these lessons, I need to “learn
the fretboard”, but I find that while playing exercises
I find it incredibly hard to recognize notes I have previously
learnt. Do you have any strategies for learning and recall for
all the notes on the fretboard? Thank you and Regards, - Vaughan
Guru: Many of the students
at Berklee that study with me don`t know the neck very well at
all. If I had an exact formula for you guys I`d bottle it and
make a fortune. But one way is by doing things in octaves, , also
taking scales , easy melodies and other types of single note phrases
and trying to play them in the same octave but in different areas
of the neck and on different string sets. And also in different
octaves. Start by learning and familiarizing yourself with the
neck in sections ,(from the nut to the 5th fret, then 7th to the
12th, etc.) Don`t rush ... better to learn the instrument well
in sections then to try to take on the entire neck and still be
shaky in many areas.
Hi Joe! I just wanted to ask you,
- Would you recommended extra light guage strings (.008 )for a
shred beginner ? Thanks !
Guru: String guage is
a personal preference type of thing and has much more to do with
bending and vibrato due to the tension on the neck , than playing
fast or shredding. You don`t get a heavier tone by using heavier
strings on the higher strings. For example an .010 high doesn`t
sound fatter than a.008 high e. But you do get more ballz when
it comes to the three lower strings by using heavier strings.
I`d say experiment with different guages and see what works best