As a child you dreamed of being an axe god. In front of the bedroom mirror you were Slash, you were James Hetfield, you were Kirk Hammett- only much better than them. But you waited and waited; you listened to your parents and learned classical piano instead; you got a sensible job, married and had children; and now you’re nearly 40 and still not a famous guitarist.
Well I’m here to tell you that it’s Not Too Late. As long as you’re prepared to spend lots of money and live in a fantasy world, you can still be a guitar god with surprisingly little effort.
I have dabbled in guitar pedagogy in the past; my ‘Ten Very Easy Metal Riffs’ (see link) is a classic of the genre. But that was before I became the virtuoso I am today. For example, I now own three guitars, one of which has SEVEN STRINGS and is, to quote my sons, ‘epic’. I haven’t actually played it yet, but simply owning it is proof of my abilities. Furthermore, I can now play Master of Puppets at about 70% of full speed. I have also become a recording artist; my guitar teacher and I are currently recording my one-woman goregrind album, entitled Episiotomy. I’ve composed two tracks so far, one of which has an ACTUAL GUITAR SOLO in it.
So it’s time to impart some of my wisdom. Here are a few excerpts from my forthcoming instructional book; I hope they help you to attain the same shredding skills that I have acquired. Forget that whole 10,000 hours theory- just follow these simple rules.
- If you make this facial expression while playing, you automatically sound better:
2. If you buy loads of random pedals it automatically makes you a better player. Just buy a new and differently-coloured pedal every time you go to the guitar shop, even when they tell you it’s a waste of money.
3. Small amplifiers are ok for home use, but if you get one that’s bigger than your fitted wardrobes, it automatically makes you a better player.
4. If no-one has tried to strangle you yet, it’s probably ok to play The Trooper riff a few hundred more times in a row.
5. If you wear a Slayer t-shirt it automatically makes you play Raining Blood faster. Matching your t-shirt to your riff is not lame at all.
6. The noise suppressor is your friend. Crank it right up, it’s definitely definitely not cheating.
7. Phrygian is your friend. Don’t bother learning the other modes, it’s not like you’re ever gonna play a solo, you’re terrible.
8. Don’t bother practicing scales or arpeggios. Who has time for that? Who do you think you are, Van Halen? And NEVER play on the clean channel. Stick with the power chords you know and trust.
9. It’s fine to just play the same riff over and over again and never learn a whole song. It’s not like you’ll ever be in a proper band.
10. Always, always finish your practice sessions with Black Sabbath’s Iron Man.
Finally, when you hear comments like ‘Mummy you sound horrible’, ‘I am actually going to divorce you if you don’t turn it down’, ‘Mum when are you going to make dinner’- IGNORE. These people are haters and they don’t understand about metal.
So there you have it- there’s no need to thank me, I’m all about giving back to the fans.
For more tips- get some proper lessons.