If you’re not a fan of the Floyd, you might want to look away. Because this post is about how to make a whole bunch of freaky alien horse noises with your Floyd Rose.
The 1980s are a difficult era. On one hand this era was awful: tight lycra pants, big hair, the rise of the synthesizer… One the other hand, the 1980s were amazing! Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Winger’s debut album, Metallica’s first string of albums, Megadeth’s first few albums, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms… Timeless bands and albums, written and recorded in the 1980s. I am sure I missed a ‘few’ amazing 1980s acts and albums! The impact the 1980s had on us, guitar players and guitar lovers, is unmistakable and undeniable. Not in the least due to the amazing guitars the 1980s spawned unto the world! In this article I wish to take a look at some common traits of the best 1980s ‘shredstick’ guitars, as well as some neat wiring tricks those guitars had!
I’m sure we’ve all glared at our keyboardist friends with envy at the sheer volume of sounds they’re able to call up at will while we’re happily stuck within the confines of what a guitar, effect and amp setup can naturally do. And not to get all ‘infomercial’ about it, but synth/MIDI guitar can be pretty expensive to implement. You need a guitar with a suitable pickup for capturing the basic information from each individual string, and this can take the form of a special hex pickup or piezo elements linked into an electronic brain. You need an interface to turn that information into MIDI data. And then you need a MIDI sound module to turn that data into music again.
Zombies and Zombettes, gather ye round. It’s that ghoulish time of year when a guitarist’s thoughts turn to such devilish delights as the tritone, the minor third and – gasp! – even the dreaded flat second! The horror! These demonic musical intervals can create an unsettling feeling in the listener, scare off household pets, open a gate to the land of the undead, and maybe even make a few shirtless dudes crowdsurf.
Breaking strings can be stressful at the best of times. But in the middle of a concert, in front of an audience of critical eyes? Forget it. It’s enough to reduce grown men to tears. What on earth do you do if you pop a string mid-gig without a backup? Call for a drum solo while you duck off to the side and change it? What if you don’t have a spare for some reason? What do you do?
We caught up with Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell to see what’s up in his world, and to chat about his new Buddy Blaze 25h Anniversary VC Shredder guitar.