Number: #4 - August 2006
Guitar Guru: Fredrik
With the guitar clocking in at a respectable 500
years old (Spain 1500's), the modern guitar is a far cry from
its origional conception. From the first five-course guitars,
to the later six-string, and finally to the development of George
Van Eps (1930's) the seven string guitar, the guitar has changed
so much. Our modern perception of the guitar is nothing like its
origional incarnation, my question is do you think that with modern
guitarist adopting 7,8,9,- or more string guitars, that 7+ string
guitars might be the norm and not
the exception? Do you think it is possible that within the next
50's ,we will see an evolution to extended range instruments?
Guru: Absolutely! I think
the guitar will evolve a lot in the future. With today's technique,
one can only imagine what guitars will look like in the future.
More strings, different pickup ideas, new materials to build guitars
from... who knows. Only the future will tell, and I'm looking
forward to it!
Why are Scandinavian guitarists so damn excellent?
Is it the fermented shark, long hours of daylight (or darkness
depending on the time of year) or exposure to classical music
on the radio during your youth? Don't you guys have cable TV and
video games over there to distract you from practicing? I have
been checking out a lot of guitarists from Finland, Sweden, and
Denmark and you guys are seriously some of the most inspiring
I have ever heard. Players such as yourself, Mattias Eklundh,
Roine Stolt, Magnus Olsson, Janne Stark, etc, are all outstanding.
Guru: Hey Paul! I
guess it must be a result of drinking Scandinavian water. Or maybe
ancestors were aliens..... On
a more serious note, I actually don't think that Scandinavian
players are better, or any different than players from any other
countries. But perhaps Scandinavians have a "typical scandinavian
sound", like you can hear in Indian music, or Japanese music.
I can't really say that I hear some special flavours in scandinavian
guitar players, but maybe it's just because I'm from Sweden myself.
I know in the metal scene, the "scandinavian sound"
has become really popular with bands like In Flames and Soilwork
etc. Maybe it's the same thing with our guitar players. I really
I've gotten real good at sweeping, but only when
the notes are on non adjacent frets. I can't roll my finger when
I'm coming up with a sweep for the life of me. Any tips or suggestions
on how to get better at this? Dumpster510
Guru: Well, the obvious
answer would be that you come up with some exercises that will
work on this typical problem. One piece of advice I can give you
is to practice in front of a mirror. It may sound cheesy, but
then you can actually see how your hand is working from a different
point of view, and maybe solve the problem that you have. Otherwise
you might have to find some other ways to play these typical intervals.
Remember that our hands are different, and a thing that may work
for my hands, may be completely impossible for your hands. But
there are always ways to solve these problems.
first of all I would like to encourage you to really analyze why
this problem occurs, and then solve it. Look at some guitar videos
to see how other players handle this technique. But always remember,
that their hands are completely different from yours, so it may
not work for you. And that doens't mean that you have strange
or bad hands. If you try, and try but can't do it, then just find
another way that will fit your hands better. There are no right
or wrong ways. And finding other ways isn't cheating, like some
players think. In the end it's all just a matter of playing notes
and tones. How we play them isn't very important. You can do it!!
I been doing exercises for quite a while now and
have tried to keep my speed and techinique as cohesive as possible.
However, I began to realize that when I go from the upper notes
to the lower notes I can go considerably faster than going from
the higher notes to the lower ones. The same thing goes for my
hammer ons and Legato playing. How should I try to adjust this
so I can play down the neck as fast as I can play up it.
Guru: Well, this might
sound as a typical cliche answer.... but it's very simple:
First of all, examine what you do real carefully. Everything from
your picking hand's angle, to your left hands finger movements,
Make sure that you pick the same way up the neck as you do down
the neck. For the legato part, it's always harder in my opinion
to do clean pull of's than hammer ons. So come up with some exercises
that will work on
your legato technique. Especially your pull off's in this case.
When I learned legato I had a great help of watching Brett Garsed's
Rock fusion inscructional video, as well as Shawn Lane's Power
licks video (both released by REH videos). Check out these videos
and I'll guarantee that you will have your legato chops going
in no time. Good Luck!!