Magazine article Strings

Party like a Rock Star

Magazine article Strings

Party like a Rock Star

Article excerpt

Inspiration to make your rock playing sound authentic

You've been taking classical lessons since you were too young to know better. Now you know how to read music, when to start a trill on the upper note, and play in an orchestra with 50 of your closest friends. Bad news is, after all those years of classical programming, it's hard to pick up an electric and not sound like a wanksta. No worries, more than one rock star has faced the same demons and emerged with a hit single or two. All you've got to do is surf YouTube, type in the artist's name, watch, and learn!

Mark Wood is a most excellent player to start with. He started out at Juilliard, but today, when he's not pimping out classical melodies with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his solos are pure metal shred. On stage, he's a guitar god without the guitar, and the blur of his bow is cooler than anything you can do with a guitar pick. Wood is living proof that a wah-wah guitar pedal is a good thing, as are '80s metal guitar licks. It certainly doesn't hurt to design and play (and sell) the coolest six-string fretted electric violin on earth.

Boyd Tinsley's got a country-tinged, jam band state of mind. While he prefers a more mellow, acoustic sound with the Dave Matthews Band, the man is a force of nature, his bow whipping over his strings, with a headful of dreadlocks ready to explode over his fiddle.

Tinsley demonstrates how you, too, can milk short licks from every angle, over and over again. A country-style open string drone can fill out the sound. And see what happens when you attack the riff of your choice with relentless rhythmic drive. He's got a few clips of his own.

Jerry Goodman's work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Dixie Dregs reveals a jazz man who never surrendered his rock 'n' roll mojo. No matter how twisted the chords or meter, he mutates a melody you can follow through the maze. In Goodman's hands, the humble, fivenote pentatonic scale never has to get old, and a note is never just a note, but a living thing to be wiggled and slid with whatever East Indian music-influenced ornament you can think of. …

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