Music Dorkery

Testament’s Alex Skolnick Shares His Top Five Tips for Guitarists

  • Axl Rosenberg

Alex Skolnick Guitar TipsIf you’re reading MetalSucks, I’m guessing I don’t need to tell you what an A+++++++ guitarist Alex Skolnick is — or that he has a real knack for teaching. Hell, at this point, dude is  asically a professor: he’s shared his lifetime of musical knowledge via the Metal Injection web series Louder Education, an upcoming lecture of the same name at Metal and Cultural Impact Conference at Ohio’s University of Dayton , and now, he’s given Music Radar his “Top Five Tips for Guitarists.” Which, duh, you should totally absorb if you’re a guitarist. Here’s a sample from the first tip, “Control Your Vibrato”:

“Too often, vibrato seems to be in control of the guitarist, when it should be the other way around. Think about why vibrato exists: to enhance, embellish and add character to a ringing note. By violently attacking a note on guitar before it has even been struck, you become like a singer shaking his or her throat as a note comes forth. That doesn’t really work on the guitar, just as it’s a tone most vocalists would try to avoid – unless you’re Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys.

“Though vibrato can sound great in licks, it shouldn’t be present when practicing scales or other rudimentary exercises. If your vibrato is sounding excessive and uncontrollable, then perhaps it’s time to wean yourself off of it and go vibrato-less for a while. When you come back to it, you can sneak it in slowly. But don’t let it control you. You control it.”

Good stuff! Check out the rest of Skolnick’s tips here.

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