Sabtu, 07 Juni 2008

Guitar Master

Lori Linstruth
Swedish melodic metal guitar virtuoso Lori Linstruth's main influences are Rammstein, Uli Jon Roth, Zeno Roth, Michael Schenker, Arjen Lucassen, Brian May, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Wolf Hoffmann. In the late 80s she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of an all-female metal band, it was here she formed Warbride, recording a demo in 1989. After many band changes the band broke up in the early 2000s. In 2004 Lori released a solo demo CD of darkly melodic instrumental guitar music. The demo captured the attention of Arjen Lucassen, who recruited her for his band project Stream of Passion. The band released their debut album "Embrace the Storm" on October 24, 2005 which included their hit single "Out in the Real World " . She has also contributed some guest solos to Janne Stark's "Mountain of Power", "Revenge of the Ayreonauts", Joost Maglev's "Voluntary" and in 2008 Ayreon's "01011001". In 2007 she moved Holland and presently manages composer-musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen.
Karl Sanders
Born in California, American guitarist Karl Sanders started his career in the late 1980s as a member of the power metal band Moriah playing local shows with the young Morbid Angel and other US death metal bands. In 1993 he formed the Egyptian-themed technical death metal band Nile. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Ancient Egyptian mysticism, history, religion, art, and the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, of which he has a strong knowledge of. Karl is known for his extremely fast and technical guitar work, he and his band have released 5 albums to date the last being Ithyphallic in 2007. Karl has guested on Behemoth's 2004 CD release, Demigod, playing a guitar solo on the track "XUL". He also performed solo at the end of the track "God of Our Own Divinity" by Morbid Angel, on their 2003 album "Heretic". He has recorded one solo album, "Saurian Meditation", released in 2004. As well as his band work he is currently also working on tracks for a new solo album which is expected to be released somewhere by mid 2008.
Kirk Hammett
Kirk Hammett was raised in the East Bay town of El Sobrante, influenced by his brothers guitar collection, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Status Quo, The Rolling Stones, UFO, and his biggest inspiration Jimi Hendrix started playing guitar at the age of 15. His was gradually drawn to the thrash metal genre, and in 1980 he co-founded 'Exodus' with Paul Baloff, a band crucial in the early Bay Area thrash movement. In 1983 while taking private guitar lessons from Joe Satriani, he was invited to join Metallica replacing Dave Mustaine. Kirk has written and contributed riffs for Metallica songs since the mid-1980s, particularly in the 1990s during the Load era. One of these riffs, used in "Enter Sandman", was written in a hotel room at 3:00 am, and became one of Metallica's most popular songs. Metallica has won to date, 15 music awards, including seven Grammy Awards. Kirk has also played guitar on the track "Satan" with Orbital for The Spawn in July 1997, in 2005, he played guitar on the Carlos Santana track "Trinity" and in 2006, he voiced himself on The Simpsons, "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer". Kirk contineus his busy career with Metallica, working on their ninth studio album, which is expected to be released in September 2008.

Pedro "Kiko" Loureiro, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, inspired by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Randy Rhoads began studying music and playing acoustic guitar at age 1, changing to electric guitar two years later. By the time Kiko was 16 he was playing the clubs São Paulo with the bands Legalyze and A Chave, before he joined up with the newly formed power metal band Angra, with whom he still plays. The band has recorded 6 albums to date from their debut album 'Angels Cry' in 1993 to 'Aurora Consurgens' in 2006. Kiko has also released 2 solo albums, No Gravity in 2005 and Universo Inverso in 2006 and he has written columns for and appeared on the cover of magazines Cover Guitarra, Guitar & Bass, and Young Guitar and in March 2007 he was voted “Best Guitarist” by respected Japanese music publication BURRN.In addition to his rock/metal achievements, Kiko has also played guitars on several eurobeat songs in collaboration with Dave Rodgers, including "Fevernova", "Ring of Fire" and "The Road is on Fire"
Robert Marcello
Swedish Robert Marcello is a master of guitar, excelling in neoclassical shred, he now lives in the USA. His influences in music have included Def Leppard, Kiss, Eddie Money, Van Halen, Early Yngwie, Lynch, Randy Rhoads. Robert's skill and stylistic range have made him a much sought after tour and studio player for such artists as John Corabi, Bobby Blotzer, Mike Vescera, Tony Montana, Fergie Fredricksen, George Lynch, Twisted Sister, Sebastian Bach, Stet Howland and many others, he has also played in the bands Ironhorse, Obsession, and Twenty 4 Seven. In 2003 he replaced Andy Timmons as the lead guitarist in the band Danger Danger and has regularly toured with them, including European tours and performances at the famous Sweden Rock Festival before audiences of 25,000. Rob features on their last album to date "Live and Nude" in 2005. He is a highly regarded teacher and clinician, and currently travels the US training guitarists and amazing his audiences. Rob has a new project almost ready for release - Marcello/Vestry. The classic styled melodic rock album is due out in Europe this year (2008). He continues his teaching, composing, side projects and his work with the band Danger Danger who are releasing their 10th album later this year ~ 2008.

James Byrd has played guitar since he was 9, but like other musicians it took the death of Hendrix to make him take it seriously, after which he spent 5 years learning the blues and rock-blues guitar, influenced by Hendrix, BB King, Johnny Winter and Frank Marino. He then became influenced Ritchie Blackmore, Django Reinhardt, Uli Roth, Al DiMeola, Jan Akkerman, Jeff Beck, Paco DeLucia, all sorts of guitar greats of different styles and genre. At 18 he formed a heavy metal cover band and went on the road. His band won the "Northwest Battle Of The Bands". In 1980 James started putting together his first original band, by 1983 'Fifth Angel' had evolved, they recorded a self titled album the following year. James went solo for his second album, 'James Byrd's Atlantis Rising' released in Europe & Japan in 1990. He has gone on to release 8 more albums under his own name and he has appeared on tribute albums to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Marino, Uli Jon Roth and Jason Becker. Highly under-rated, a musician's musician, what ever the reason .. sadly like many great musicians he seems to get very little media attention. Guitar One Magazine named him one of “The 10 Best Guitarists You’ve Never Heard.” but I am sure you will look him up, he's well worth it, and although I have him on the shred page, by request, he certainly shreds, but he is far more than that.

Akira Takasaki from Osaka, Japan, started his career in the mid 70's with a pop-rock band called Lazy, where he went under the stage name of "Suzy". He became heavily influences by the hard rock and evolving heavy metal bands, so in 1981, Akira and drummer Munetaka Higuchi formed their own heavy metal band "Loudness", debuting with a Japanese language album 'Birthday Eve' the same year. Akira and his band toured the USA and Europe in 1983 to support their 3rd album 'The Law of the Devil's Land'. It was their 5th album in 1985 that got global recognition, and bought about tours with the likes of AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Stryper and Poison. They were the first Japanese heavy metal band to be signed in the United States, releasing five albums by 1997 and reaching the Billboard top 100. As well as many singles and EPs, they have releseased 5 DVDs, 7 live albums and 24 studio albums the last being 'Metal Mad' released this year 2008. Akira has had a very succesful solo career too, from 1982, he has relaesed 10 solo albums, the last to date 'Black Brown' in 2007. Thought by many as one of the best metal guitarist in Asia, Akira has influenced guitarists around the world, he continues his solo work and his work with his band "Loudness".
Synyster Gates
Synyster Gates, born Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. in Huntington Beach, California, US, cites as his main influences Django Reinhardt, Adam Aparicio and Dimebag Darrell. After studying jazz guitar at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, at 18 he joined hard rock/heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold as lead guitarist. He was featured on their EP, 'Warmness on the Soul' and on the reissue of their first album "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" released in 2001. Synyster was also a member of the side-project Pinkly Smooth, with The Rev, Avenged Sevenfold's drummer and former bassist of Avenged Sevenfold, Justin Meacham. Pinkly Smooth was shelved so Synyster and The Rev could focus full-time on Avenged Sevenfold. The band has released 4 studio albums which have produced 9 singles. The last album to date 2007's self-titled "Avenged Sevenfold" has produced 3 hit singles "Critical Acclaim" and "Almost Easy" and The third single, "Afterlife" and its video was released in January 2008. Synyster has won numerous awards, including the "Young Shredder" award of the year in the Metal Hammer awards in 2006 and the "Guitarist of the Year" Award for Total Guitar Magazine in 2006. Synyster continues his work with Avenged Sevenfold and for the moment, Pinkly Smooth is still shelved.
Zacky Vengeance
US speed guitarist Zacky Vengeance, born Zachary James Baker, who is a 'lefty' has played guitar since he was thirteen years old, and is self taught learning on his dad's right-handed guitar, which he played up-side-down. Zacky was influenced by heavy music such as Danny Elfman and Elvis Costello, which he still enjoys. He played in several punk bands as a teenager including the punk band called MPA, which stood for "Mad Porno Action. In 1999 aged 18, he and M. Shadows aka Matthew Sanders co-founded the hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold. The band has released 4 studio albums which have produced 9 singles. The last album to date 2007's self-titled "Avenged Sevenfold" has produced 3 hit singles "Critical Acclaim" and "Almost Easy" and The third single, "Afterlife" and its video was released in January 2008. Zacky who has been sponsored by Schecter Guitar Research since 2004, and has custom S-1 models out, started out as rhythm guitarist with his band Avenged Sevenfold, but is now a featured guitarist along side of Synyster Gates.
Walter Giardino
Argentinian guitarist Walter Giardino joined the Judas Priest, Motörhead, Black Sabbath influenced metal band, "V8" in 1985. The band bought out the first ever Argentinian metal album, full of the raw style of their idols. Walter left the band later that year to form his own band 'Rata Blanca' more influenced by Rainbow, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Yngwie Malmsteen. They released their first album, self titled "Rata Blanca" in 1987. Their second album "Magos, Espadas & Rosas" was promoted by support slots with Ian Gillan, the album sold over a million world wide. The bands third album "Guerrero del Arco Iris", titled in honour of the Greenpeace 'Rainbow Warrior' ship, was debuted live in front of over 30,000 fans at a single concert in Velez Sarsfield Stadium, still holding the record today as the biggest ever gig for a local band. In 1994 they were invited to play in "Festival Monsters of Rock" in São Paulo, Brazil, along with Ozzy Osbourne, Therapy?, and Alice Cooper. The band has released 13 albums in all and toured heavily in South America, North America and Europe. Walter has guested with many rock icons and been a huge influence to guitarists in Argentina who he has paved the way for. He continues his work with his band, Rata Blanca.
Japanese guitarist, Syu, is a founder member of the power metal/neoclassical metal band Galneryus from Osaka, Japan, which he formed in 2001. They have released to date, 6 albums, the latest to date being 'One For All - All For One' in August, 2007, and have released 5 music videos. Although he played guitar, at a young age, Syu started on the drums, but he was highly influenced by the band X-Japan and longed to be like Yoshiki, so he practised hours on his guitar techniques playing songs of X-Japan, Metallica and other heavy metal bands. Syu's first professional recording was with a band Animetal in 2003, on their 'Animetal V' album and has been on their last 4 albums from Animetal V to Decade of Bravehearts in 2006. Animetal is a Japanese novelty heavy metal band who specialize in metal covers of the theme songs of classic and modern Japanese anime and tokusatsu television series. Syu has played with several other bands including Valkyr and Masaki Project. He is currently playing in his metal band Galneryus & the metal band Aushvitz.
Claudio "El Tano" Marcielo
Argentinian guitarist Claudio "El Tano" Marcielo formed the heavy metal band Almafuerte with bassist Ricardo Iorio and drummer Claudio Cardacc in 1995. Later that year they released their first studio album, Mundo Guanaco. The band had several line-ups, but Claudio has been with the band throughout to this present day. He has recorded 11 albums with Almafuerte, the last to date being Toro y Pampa in 2006. In 1997 embarked on a side project with, Ricardo Iorio and Flavio Cianciarulo, they made one album "Peso argento". Claudio has also forged a solo career, releasing 2 albums "Puesto en marcha" in 2001 and "De pie" in 2004. He continues his solo work and recording and touring with his band Almafuerte.
Mike Sifringer
German speed guitarist Mike Sifringer was late taking up his guitar at the age of 17. As a young boy he enjoyed Status Quo but was soon to be knocked out by the excitement of the heavy metal bands such as Metallica and Motorhead, still loving the intencity of metal, he now also appreciates the old classics like Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and also enjoys the new bands, such as Transport League, Galatic Cowboys and Gurd. In 1982 Mike formed his first serious band 'Knight of Demon' in Lörrach, Germany, with vocalist/bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer and drummer Tommy Sandmann, soon changing their name to Destruction and released two demos, which got them signed to Steamhammer Records. The band released their debut album in 1985 'Infernal Overkill'. During the grunge explosion of early to mid 1990s, 'Destruction' lost their record label support and had to self-release and produce their own albums, until they were signed by Nuclear Blast. .The band has had a few member changes, the line up now being Mike & Marcel with drummer Marc Reign who joined them in 2001. Mike, who has been with the band throughout it's history, has recorded on all 12 albums, the last to date being 'Thrash Anthems', released in 2007.
Randy Thurman
Randy Thurman was born in Rockwood, Tennessee. He started reading at the age of 4 and was writing poetry by the age of 8. Randy was 12 years old when he first heard Jimi Hendrix, an event which inspired him to become a vocalist and performer, rather than immediately inspiring him to play guitar. "Hendrix will always be the king of rock-n-roll to me" says Randy "but he is much more than that. What he is cannot be described in words. It must be experienced." About the same time Randy was also exposed, quite accidentally, to classical music which had the same compelling effect on him.
Faraz Anwar
Faraz Anwar, born in Karachi, Pakistan was so highly influenced while in St. Paul and St. Andrew 6th grade by a Yngwie Malmsteen video, he took up playing the guitar. Starting in the studios as a session player in 1990, he worked hard on his techniques, covering many genre from acoustic classical guitar to jazz to Eastern Neo Classical and from classic rock right through to the shred of metal. This has made him the most sort after session guitarist, ever, in Pakistan; to date has recorded with over 50 different musicians. In 1996 Faraz got a Scholarship from Berklee after he won the Berklee Outstanding Musical Achievement Award, but due to finances he could not take up on this. In 2001 the legendary guitar player Allan Holdsworth heard Faraz calling him "King of Guitars in Pakistan" and Faraz recorded his debut solo album "Abstract Point of View" on Allan's label Gnarly Geezer Records, an album in which Faraz wrote all the music & sequenced all the tracks himself. This album gave him international recognition and also made him the first ever Pakistani guitar player and second Pakistani musician to release an album internationally. As well as all this Faraz, now Pakistan's leading guitar player, has had many projects ... the black metal band "Dusk"; ... playing Eastern Neo Classical with fellow musician as " Yasir & Faraz"; ... classic rock under "Imran Raza & Faraz Anwar" and his band "Mizraab", all great musicians playing an assortment of genre with influences of jazz to rock to progressive metal, showcasing Faraz's many supurb guitar abilities from haunting classical acoutic to his exciting, clean, melodic shed... if you haven't yet heard Faraz, you are missing out.
Patrick Rondat
Parisian guitarist Patrick Rondat started to play guitar at the age of 17, his influences ranged from Ronnie Montrose to the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie van Halen, Steve Morse and then he discovered the great Al di Meola. Apart from a few starting lessons Patrick is self taught, spending hours a day over the years to perfect his musical techniques. His professional debut was on the album "Time" with a German rock band 'The Element'. He left The Element to follow his own tastes in music and further his techniques. Patrick toured with Blue Öyster Cult prior to the release of his strong debut solo album "Just For Fun" in 1989. He has recorded 7 solo albums the latest to date being "Hervé N'Kaoua" be released March 17th 2008. 1998 saw Patrick touring with Joe Satriani on the great G3 tour, as one of the 3 featured guitarists. In 2000 he replaced Henk van de Laars in the Dutch power metal band 'Elegy' in time to record the album "Forbidden Fruit". Patrick continues his composing, his solo work and his work with Elegy.
Theodore Ziras
Guitarist, Theodore Ziras was born in Poros, Greece; he started playing piano at 13 enjoying Liszt, Bach, Paggani. Totally fascinated by the skills of Becker, Holdsworth, Malmsteen, Vai, Petrucci and Howe, he took up guitar aged 15 making it his first instrument. At 18, he moved to Athens where he continued his studies in Music and also joined the Greece progressive power metal band 'Ice Divine' as their lead guitarist. In 1997, Ice Divine was voted Metal Hammer's magazine polls Best Newcoming and Best Live Greek band. The band split and Theo joined Guardian Angel, before leaving Greece to registered at the Guitar Institute of London in the UK. He graduated 3 years later getting his degree, Bachelor, with Honours, in Music Performance & Composition. Returning to Greece, he signed a record deal with Steel Gallery Records. His debut instrumental solo CD called "Trained To Play" was a mix of Orchestral Neoclassical & Power Metal & mind-blowing lead guitar parts. With two solo albums and an album with Euroforce, Theo released his third solo instrumental album, with ex-Dream Theater's Derek Sherinian and Ozzy's Brian Tichy, "HyperpyrexiA" in 2007.
Rana Hasan
Rana Hasan, an up and coming, totally self taught young guitarist from Lahore City, Pakistan, started playing guitar at 18, influenced by the great rock/bluesmen Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. By the turn of the century he had new influences Yngwie Malmsteen, Todd "T.J." Helmerich, Rusty Cooley, Greg Howe and he went heavily into learning the shred techneques. In 2005, Rana won Best Talent Award Scholarship from Berklee College of Music, Boston, but could not take up the offer. Rana has gone on to work as a freelance session guitarist, music producer by artists of many different genre and teaches guitar at his home studio. He also composes, tours and records with his new rock fusion/shred band The Rana Hasan Project playing lead guitar on his 7 string Schecters. He and his band have released their debut album "Rana Hasan Project". Rana is now also known as "The Fastest Guitarist in Pakistan", and he has applied for the Guinness world record.. hoping to become the official fastest guitarist! Certainly a shred guitarist to watch out for.
Dave Mustaine
Californian self taught speed/thrash metal guitarist Dave Mustaine was highly influenced by Iron Maiden, Saxon, Motörhead, Venom. He left his first band Panic when he was offered the lead guitar position with the newly forming Metallica band. Dave toured with the band, wrote some of their material and lent a major hand in creating Metallica's groundbreaking thrash metal sound. Due to many personally clashes, drugs and heavy drinking he was thrown out of the band befor any recordings. This made Dave determind to have his own band, as good as Metallica. He formed a short lived band Fallen Angels, before forming Megadeth with himself as lead singer as well as lead guitar. Their debut, 1985's Killing Is My Business, created a buzz in the metal underground, but the buzz turned to a roar by the time of their major-label debut for Capitol a year later, 'Peace Sells...But Who's Buying', considered one of the greatest metal releases of all time, eventually reaching gold status. With over 20 million albums sold worldwide, nine top 40 albums,including 4 top 10 albums, 18 top 40 Mainstream Rock singles, and seven Grammy nominations, Megadeth remains one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. Of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands: Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, Megadeth is second only to Metallica in sales and commercial success.
Frank Marino
To say that Frank Marino excels in a live environment is a total understatement! The power of Frank "live" is the stuff of legend as everyone who has seen him will agree and he certainly lives up to his reputation on his latest album. Quote: “When I was a kid and I first heard Frank Marino, I was stunned. His technique and tone was smooth yet aggressive. He is a very powerful performer and was an inspiration to me at a critical time in my musical evolution.”~ Steve Vai
Ron Jarzombek
Texan guitarist, Ron Jarzombek, has been playing guitar since a child and building his own guitars since he was 10. The band Rush had a huge influence on him and by his teens he was talented enough to join the top local band S.A.Slayer, recording an album with them in 1987, 'Go For The Throat' (released '88). Later in 1987, Ron joined the Austin based fusion metal band WatchTower. His first album with them in '89, 'Control And Resistance' was announced as one of "The Top Ten Shred Albums of the 80's" by Guitar World Magazine who reported "Guitarist Ron Jarzombek, with his complex harmony solos, strange scales and furious staccato lead bursts, performs tricks on his guitar that will leave you more than sufficiently breathless" Since his 2 years off and 4 ops for a hand injury, Ron has started the solo project 'Spastic Ink' in 1993, collaborated with many other musicians, teaches guitar in San Antonio, Texas and in 2005 he also launched Blotted Science, a new all-instrumental extreme metal project. Ron has recorded 8 albums in his own right, the last to date, being Blotted Science's "Machinations of Dementia" in 2007. He spends much time on his music composing, perfection in that area is as important to him as his playing it.
Simone Fiorletta
Critically acclaimed, up and coming Italian guitarist Simone Fiorletta, started learning the piano at the age of 7 years, taught by master pianist Gianluca Spalvieri. He was 12, when he bought his first guitar, self taught until he studied with Percento Musica in Rome, at this same time he also studied Spanish guitar for 2 years with Roberto Valle. In 1998 he co-founded the progressive metal band 'Moonlight Comedy' with a debut album 'The Life Inside' followed by a second album ”Dorothy”, the album is about the girl from ”Wizard of Oz”. The band regularly tour and have appeared at many European festivals. Simone has been following a solo career along side his band work, debuting with "The Beginning". Then in 2004 his second album "Parallel Worlds" was reviewed highly by American Guitar9 magazine and was a top 10 hit in the album charts in both Germany and Norway. His latest album to date "My Secret Diary" released worldwide in 2007 showcases his various styles. Simone is busy composing a new album, continues working with his band and solo career, as well as session work at studios in Rome and Frosinone, collaborations with Andrea De Paoli for TV and movies soundtracks and teaching guitar at the Music Station, a music centre he co-founded.
Stephan Forté
Young French guitarist Stephan Forté took up his instrument at the age of 5 practicing and learning Alice Cooper numbers. His next influence was Yngwie Malmsteen, he practiced his guitar 10 hours a day to learn all his mentors tracks. At 18 he moved to Nancy to study at CMCN, France's top music academy where he not only discoverded Baroque music and Mozart, but Shawn Lane and Allan Holdsworth too. At this time he made his first demo "Visions" which led him to opening a concert for Yngwie Malmsteen in 1998. In September 1999, he started collaborating with Ukranian keyboard virtuoso, Vitalij Kulprij on a series of vocal tunes. Kuprij was later replaced by Swedish keyboard wizard, Richard Andersson. From this the band Adagio was born , with vocalist, David Readman, bassist Franck Hermany and Dick Bruinenberg on drums. Stephan is the creative force behind Adagio. They have toured extensively and to date have recorded five albums, the latest "Archangels in Black" to be released in 2008. In 2004 Stephan also published a DVD "Underworld - Solos and Licks" and in 2006 recorded an album "Trance State" with Red Circuit.
Guthrie Govan
Versitile guitarist Guthrie Govan from Chelmsford, England, recent winner of Guitarist Magazine's "Guitarist of the Year" award, came to media attention when he became a member of Asia in 2001. Before this he was teaching guitar at the Academy of Contemporary Music. Guthrie toured extensively and recorded 2 albums with Asia, a remake of Aura in 2001 and Silent Nation in 2004. In February of 2006 Guthrie, John Payne and Jay Schellen left Asia to form a powerful progressive rock group, called "One", but now called GPS, with Ryo Okumoto on keys. They have to date, recorded one album' Window to the Soul' and done some international touring and festivals. As well as his band commitment, composing and clinics work, Guthrie teams up with The Young Punx (DJ duo) who have started performing as a live band this year (2007), they performed live at the Glastonbury Festival, the Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo and Osaka, and he performs on a number of tracks on their debut album "Your Music Is Killing Me". This very busy, exciting young guitar virtuoso, who over the years has played many genre of music from jazz to techno and melodic rock also plays with the jazz-fusion band 'The Fellowship'. 2007 has seen his long awaited, highly acclaimed by fellow guitarists and fans, Guthrie's debut solo album "Erotic Cake".
Francesco Fareri
Italian composer and guitarist Francesco Fareri, is now considered by many as one of the world's fastest shred guitarists. His main influences on his musical journey have been musicians Jason Becker, Yngwie Malsteen, Rusty Cooley, Greg Howe, George Bellas, Jon Doman, Deen Castronovo and bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X , but the greatest influence has been Ukrainian Vitalij Kuprij, the master keyboardist in the neo-classical progressive metal band Artension, who changed Francesco's concept of music. He has made 3 instructoinal DVD's, (different levels), recorded 3 solo albums, guested on several albums, and has more projects in the offing that you can read about further on his interview page. He also plays a mean keyboard and into graphic design, having designed his own and other musician's websites and album covers.
Fredrik Thordendal
Fredrik Thordendal is the lead guitarist and a founding member of the Swedish metal band Meshuggah. Fredrik uses a selection of custom 8-string and 7-string guitars made by Nevborn and Ibanez, although on occasions he plays Gibson Les Pauls, Ibanez Universe 777s, Schecter Diamond series guitars, Coral Electric sitars and various Paul Reed Smith guitars. He draws attention with his clean, jazz-influenced lead-playing and complex rhythm-playing, augmented by his use of low-tuned eight-string guitars. Most notable is the similarity between his solos and those of renowned jazz guitarist Allan Holdsworth. In 1997 Fredrik released a solo album "Sol Niger Within" and from 1987 to date, he has recorded 7 albums and 3 EPs with his band Meshuggah, the latest being "Catch Thirty-Three" in 2005, although the album "Nothing" was re-issued in 2007. He continues his work with Meshuggah
Zakk Wylde
Zakk Wylde, was born Jeffrey Phillip Wiedlandt in Jackson, New Jersey, now famous for his liberal use of pinch harmonics and the pentatonic scale, started playing the guitar at the age of 15, influenced by Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, Jake E. Lee, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Randy Rhoads, Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd. He practised 12 hours daily and formed his first band "Stone Henge", after which he started his solo career. At 19 years old, after just one audition, he was hired by Ozzy Osborne as lead guitarist and went on to record 7 albums with the band .. No Rest For The Wicked, Just Say Ozzy, No More Tears, Ozzmosis, Down to Earth, Live At Budokan and Black Rain in 2007. Zakk continued to work on his own solo material while with Ozzy. In 1994 he formed the short lived Pride & Glory, and in 1998 he formed heavy metal band Black Label Society which he continues with today. His band so far have released nine albums the latest being Shot to Hell in 2006.
Ilan Ashkenazi
Israeli, guitarist Ilan Ashkenazi was born and raised in USA, he started playing the violin at only 4 years, piano at 7 and the guitar when he was 10. Ilan is a totally self taught guitarist influenced by Paganini, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Vinnie Moore and Tony MacAlpine, spending long hours of daily practice sessions learning the modern advanced guitar techniques of speed picking, swept lines etc. and fusing his classical learning's with his jazz and rock influences when composing. Ilan is an amazing up and coming shred guitarist who has been awarded many "fastest guitar" titles, recorded several demo and instructional CDs and videos. Ilan continues to do his session work, teach, and compose guitar music.
Vinnie Moore
US guitarist Vinnie Moore started playing guitar at the age of 12, and took lessons at 14, before joining a variety of local bands. His early influences included Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Queen. He quit the bands and started composing and experimental guitar techneques. His first pro job was playing the music for a national Pepsi TV commercial. In 1987, he released his debut album, Mind's Eye. Vinnie was quickly heralded "best new talent" in Guitar Player, Guitar, and Guitar World magazines, and Mind's Eye sold more than 100,000 copies. He has gone on to record on many arists albums, such as Vicious Rumors - Soldiers Of The Night; Guitar's Practicing Musicians - Free; Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid ; Sega - "Burning Rangers" Game soundtrack for the 'Saturn' video game; Jordan Rudess - Rhythm of Time, and he has brought out 2 instructional videos and released 8 solo albums to date. Vinnie has done hundreds of guitar clinics all over the world in such places as, Japan, Scandanavia, Italy, Poland, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, England, Germany and Australia. He continues to teach, compose, record and tour and since 2003 he has played lead guitar for the British hard rock band UFO, with whom he has recorded 3 albums with.

George Emmanuel III aka Trey Azagthoth was born in the now Mecca of Death Metal, Tampa, Florida, and got his first guitar at the age of 16. His influences were mainly Eddie Van Halen, UFO, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Mozart. He has had an interest in paganism from childhood. In 1983 he formed the band Morbid Angel, they, along with Death, Possessed, Obituary & a handful of others were crucial in the development of the death metal genre and its standards. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked two Morbid Angel albums in its 'Top 40 Greatest Death Metal Albums', with' Altars of Madness' appearing at No.1. Their songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of Trey. He continues recording and touring with Morbid Angel.
Vernon Reid
Grammy Award winning guitarist Vernon Reid was born in London UK, but raised in New York, US. While at Brooklyn Tech, at the age 15 and inspired by Carlos Santana, he studied guitar privately with jazz masters Rodney Jones and Ted Dunbar. He founded the band Living Colour in 1985, who have released 6 albums and won numerous awards including, two Grammy Awards, two MTV Music Video Awards, two International Rock Awards and several New York Music Awards to date. Vernon has released several successful solo albums and although he seems mostly recalled by the general public for his shredding solos with Living Colour, he has a prolific session output in a variety of genre, he has played live or on record with the Roots, Eye & I, Mick Jagger, Rollins Band, Spearhead, Public Enemy, Mariah Carey, Tracey Chapman, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Don Byron, Defunkt , Santana, Bernie Worrell, MC 900 Foot Jesus, B.B. King, Madalyne Peyroux, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, G. Calvin Weston, Meridiem, Jack Bruce, Terry Bozzio, and DJ Spooky among many others and he was named No.66 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Marty Friedman
Marty Friedman, best known as the lead guitarist for the thrash metal band Megadeth is a largely self-taught guitarist, known for his improvisation and for fusing an Eastern musical feel with Western musical styles, such as neo-classical, thrash metal and later on into progressive rock. Prior to joining Megadeth, he formed and played lead guitar in several other bands, including Deuce, Hawaii, Vixen (not the all-female band of the same name), and notably Cacophony. Cacophony featured neoclassical metal elements and synchronized twin guitar harmonies and counterpoints shared with guitarist Jason Becker on their two albums, Go Off! and Speed Metal Symphony. Currently living in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, he travels the world giving clinics, performances and master classes in dozens of countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, and South America. He has become a major force in the Japanese music scene, playing lead guitar in the bands of some of the country's most famous performers.
Greg Howe
Greg Howe, originally from Easton, Pennsylvania started playing the guitar at the age of 10, and was greatly influenced by Van Halen. He and his brother Al formed a local rock band, performing in clubs and bars while perfecting his skills. In 1988 he recorded his first album "Greg Howe", at Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records which rocked the guitar community. He went on to record 2 albums with his brother and has recorded 6 more solo albums to date. Greg has developed a distinct style that is more rooted in jazz fusion rather than the neoclassical leanings of his shred contemporaries and is perhaps best known for his great skill at improvising. Being so talented on solid and acoustic guitar in many genres, virtuoso standard, Greg is a highly sought after session musician, he is hired to tour with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Enrique Iglesias, *NSYNC and guests on numerous albums . Greg is currently active with trade shows, guitar clinics, mini tours around the world and he is producing a series of online video lessons which can be found on his website.
Jeff Hanneman
Guitarist Jeff Hanneman grew up in Oakland, California, where he met fellow guitarist Kerry King when they were both auditioning for a band in 1981. The two decided to form their own band instead .. Slayer was born. In 1984 Jeff had a brief punk side project called "Pap Smear" His interest in music appears to be derived primarily from punk rock music, which led to Slayer's 1996 album Undisputed Attitude. He cites Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Exploited, Verbal Abuse, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and T.S.O.L as influential bands and Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Michael Schenker as his guitar influences Jeff’s and King’s dual guitar solos have been called "wildly chaotic", and "twisted genius". Slayer is credited as one of the “Big four” thrash metal bands along with Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica.
Kerry King
Los Angeles' Kerry King is best known as Slayer's founder lead guitarist, with fellow guitarist Jeff Hannemann (read above). Slayer have released 10 studio albums an 11th to be released in 2008, 4 EPs and 5 live albums/DVDs. Kerry has also played a lead guitar outro part to Pantera’s song "Goddamn Electric", & played on The Beastie Boys "No Sleep till Brooklyn", "Fight For Your Right (To Party)", and "She's Crafty", he also contributed lead guitar solos to on Rob Zombie’s "Dead Girl Superstar"; "Sucketh My Cocketh","Blow me Blow me you Horny Bitch" and "Fred dirst's a dickhead" "Disorder" with rapper Ice-T ;Hatebreed’s "Final Prayer"; and Sum 41’s "What We're All About (The Original Version)" from the June 2002 released Spider-Man movie soundtrack.
George Muto Jr
George Muto Jr. from Westchester County, New York, was a late comer to guitar compared with some. At 18 he took just one lesson, where he learnt just one musical scale. He went on to play in many local bands learning and perfecting his skill and composing his music. This year (2007) "Guitar Nine Records" has featured George in their The Undiscovered - Uncovering Guitar Potential. In George's most recent project, the band "MUTO", his superb guitaring has replaced the vocals, with Joe playing bass and Lee on drums this trio is an awesome instrumental mix. His main influences have been Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Robin Trower, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton, Blues Saracino, Michael Lee Firkins, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles.
Mark Tremonti
Mark Tremonti started playing guitar at 11 and formed his first band Wit's End while at high school, playing Motley Crue covers and other metal songs. After playing with several local and university bands he and Scott Stapp formed a group named Naked Toddler which became the band Creed. They had 8 Number 1 singles, 3 Multi Platinum albums (My Own Prison - 6 times platinum, Human clay - 10 times platinum or Diamond, Weathered - 6 times platinum) in the U.S. alone. Since Creed split up, he took extensive lessons from guitarist Troy Stetina.Mark and has worked with many different guitarists and musicians such as Michael Angelo Batio, Thomas Gospodareck, Guns 'n' Roses and Fozzy. In 2004 he and 3 other Creed musicians formed a new band Alter bridge. To date they have had one hit album and 4 hit singles. Their second album, Blackbird is set to be released on October 9, 2007. Some of Marks influences have been Stevie Ray Vaughan, Metallica, KISS, Megadeath, Anthrax, Slayer, Venom and Celtic Frost.
Alexi Laiho
Finnish guitarist Alexi Laiho, started music on the piano the age of 5 and violin at 7; at 11, he switched to guitar, heavily influenced by Steve Vai's song "For the Love of God". His first band was T.O.L.K. formed with friends from the Finnish Pop & Jazz Conservatory, where he was studying music. In 1993 Alexi founded the black/neo-classical metal band IneartheD which later became Children of Bodom, the band he still plays with today, with his mentor guitarist Roope Latvala. His influences have been Steve Vai, Roope Latvala, Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, Slash, Jeff Waters, Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Paul Gilbert. His vocal influences were mainly from Pantera's Phil Anselmo and Mille Petrozza from the band Kreator. He has recorded 11 albums, demos, and EPs with his band Children of Bodom, 3 albums with Sinergy, 1 album with Impaled Nazarene, 3 albums with Kylähullut and made guest appearances on Warmen, Rytmihäiriö, Raskaampaa Joulua, Pain, and Annihilator albums.
Muhammed Suiçmez
Guitarist, composer, singer Muhammed Suiçmez is of Turkish decent, but born & raised in Germany. He taught himself guitar, practising daily in secret, as his strict parents disapproved. His early influences were Carcass, Death, Entombed, Morbid Angel, and later the great Yngwie Malmsteen who he styled some work on. He wrote the dark lyrics for "Onset Of Putrefaction" at the age of only 14, inspired by Carcass. In 1991, Muhammed formed the technical death metal band Necrophagist, which has had an unsteady line-up history, and in 1998 he had to record their debut album "Onset Of Putrefaction" nearly single handed, but it had a huge impact on the underground scene and even bigger inpact on fellow musicians. The follow up album in 2004 "Epitaph" again show cases Muhammed's incredibly hard rhythmic licks. With a new, stable line-up, Necrophagist now tours in Europe & the US and hopefully there will be a new album out in 2008.
Jeff Loomis
Guitarist, Jeff Loomis from Seattle is totally self taught from an early age and he won the Wisconsin's Guitar Wars contest at only 16 years of age. Amoung his guitar influences are Jason Becker, Frank Zappa, Brian May, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen, and Marty Friedman. At 16 he also auditioned for Megadeth, although they admired his guitar work, it was his young age and lack of stage experience only, that went against him. Jeff's first band was the metal band Fear Tech, followed by the bands Experiment Fear, System and Sanctuary. After Sanctuary split, Jeff formed Nevermore, the band in which he still plays. Nevermore have produced 7 albums, the latest being 2005's "This Godless Endeavor" . He has also guested on albums with God Forbid, Pamela Moore and Annihilator. Jeff has recently been given a monthly column in Guitar World magazine entitled "Merchant of Menace" and been working on a solo album.
Chuck Schuldiner
The original death metal guitarist Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner came from Long Island, New York. Chuck started playing classical guitar at the age of 9, but soon changed to electric. He was originally inspired by Iron Maiden, Kiss and Billy Idol, among others. He was particularly interested in the movement N.W.O.B.H.M (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) and has cited bands of that genre among his favorites. Later influences were Slayer, Possessed, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and Metallica. In 1982 Chuck formed the metal band Mantas and in 1983 at the age of 15 recorded a four track demo "Death By Metal". He changed the band name to Death in 1984. In 1986 he joined the Canadian band Slaughter, but within months came back to his band Death releasing their debut album "Scream Bloody Gore in 1987. This album is considered to be a blueprint for death metal music and made death metal a more recognised genre. They went on to release 10 albums with his fast, relentless and shredding solos. During this time Chuck played guitar in the project Voodoocult on the album Jesus Killing Machine. In 1999 Chuck formed the band Control Denied, he continued to play with them throughout his brave battle with cancer. Chuck was a hugely important musician, composer and pioneer in the development of the death metal genre.
Tony Smotherman
Greece born guitar virtuoso, Tony Smotherman first musical influences were Bach and Paganini, who inspired him to play classical guitar. He was chosen Middleburg High School's "Most Talented Senior." and selected as a member in the annually published book Who's Who Among American High School Students. His musical work was submitted to Queen Elizabeth II. Her Highness sent notes of encouragement, describing his classical guitar skills as "highly sophisticated." Tony was next influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie Malmsteen and Ravi Shankar when he took up electric guitar. His eclectic mix of influences sets him apart from all of his peers with his own distinct sound, innovating new techniques and combining a huge array of different styles. He was invited to perform his work in an instructional and performance series in the Grand School of Music at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington. DVDs of this series have been released. He has also released 3 CDs and two instructional videos, Virtuoso Techniques and Licks of the Absurd and has acquired endorsements with Halo Guitars, Line 6, DR Strings, EMG Pick-ups, Stylus Picks, and Mid-East Musical Instruments.
Mattias "IA" Eklundh
Swedish vocalist and guitarist Mattias "IA" Eklundh is best known for his work with the power trio Freak Kitchen, recognised by his distinct, unconventional and complicated cutting edge style of playing. After starting on the drums at a young age, he began playing the guitar at the age of thirteen. His main musical influences are gypsy jazz, Miles Davis, Slayer, Kiss and Zappa. He played in the bands Frozen Eyes and Scratch 'n Sniff before he formed his own band Freak Kitchen in 1992. He has recorded several solo albums, and made appearances as a guest musician for Swedish heavy metal bands like Evergrey and Soilwork. In 2005, he also co-formed a second band, a touring super-group, the Jonas Hellborg Trio with friends Jonas Hellborg and Niclas Campagnol. This year Mattias has been voted "Best New Talent" in Guitar Player Magazine's 2007 Readers' Choice Awards.
Latvala Roope
Finnish pioneering heavy metal guitarist Latvala Roope co-founded the legendary metal band 'Stone' at the age of only 15. This influential band released four studio albums, the live Album "Free" , a compilation album and a dvd (released 2007) "Get Stoned, Stay Stoned". In 1991 he released an instrumental work with his brother, entitled Latvala bros. He then played with Dementia, and in 1995 he joined Waltari for 6 years, after which Latvala joined Sinergy. He joined his other present band "Children of Bodom" in 2003, having less than 4 weeks to learn their 20 tour tracks. Over his career he has also worked, guested and recorded with, to mention some, Corporal Punishment, Shaman, Cleverboys, Nomicon, Airdash, Warmen, Alaska Evil, Pornonorsu, Barathrum, Jailbreakers, Cross Of Iron, Soulgrind, Ei Siis/On Siis, Gloomy Grim, Heavyn, Nightmare, To/Die/For, Walhalla. Latvala was the first real "guitar hero" of Finnish Metal, he is the main influence of many Finnish guitarists especially Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, and is a huge influence in the Finnish metal scene. Latvala is at present an active member of Sinergy and Children of Bodom.
Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott
Texan guitarist Darrell Lance Abbott aka Diamond Darrell aka Dimebag Darrell, musical roots were in Country Western music and he would record with local musicians, including a rare recording with Dallas musician "Throbbin Donnie" Rodd's "Country Western Transvestite Whore" which features him on lead guitar & lead vocals. His influences included Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Kal Edmondson, Rusty Burns, Pat Travers, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi and Ace Frehley. Darrell and his brother Vinnie formed heavy metal band Pantera in 1981 recording 10 albums. After Pantera disbanded in 2003 the brothers formed Damageplan making 2 albums. He also recorded one album with his side project band Rebel Meets Rebel. Darrell played guest guitar solos on many Anthrax songs from their John Bush era; Anthrax bassist Frank Bello said "Darrell was basically the sixth member of Anthrax". He also performed a solo on the title track from King Diamond's Voodoo album, and played a guitar solo which has been put in the Nickelback song "Side of a Bullet". Shortly before his death, he recorded as a guest soloist on a Premenishen track titled "Eyes of the South". Darrell wrote a long-running Guitar World magazine column, which has been compiled in the book "Riffer Madness". On May 17, 2007 Dimebag Darrell was posthumously inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk.
Jani Liimatainen
Jani Liimatainen power guitarist from Kemi, Finland started his professional career with the Finnish band Altaria playing both the guitar and keyboards, but better known as a founding member of the power metal band Sonata Arctica. He is mainly a self taught guitarist, experimental in his techniques. Early influences were Dream Theatre and Freak Kitchen. He is now endorsed by Ibanez and plays the Ibanez JPM4 and a Destroyer DT 200 Custom. Jani also found time to form a second band with fellow Sonata Arctica band member, keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg, the death metal band Graveyard Shift .
Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot
Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot is from New York City, known for his punky guitar riffs, fast shredding, plus at times, a quirky and experimental style. He has 2 solo albums in his own name, and 6 albums using his pseudonym Bumblefoot, singing lead and playing lead guitar under both names. As well as his busy solo career he has worked on video games, TV shows and recorded with Q*Ball, Guthrie Govan, Mike Orlando, Christophe Godin, Freak Kitchen, Phi Yann-Zek, Mistheria, Richard Daude, Jessica Simpson which certainly shows his guitaring versatility. 2006 saw him replacing shred guitarist Buckethead in the hard rock band Guns 'n' Roses, Bumblefoot also appears on the Guns 'n' Roses' new album, Chinese Democracy, which has been in the making for the last 13 years.
John 5 ~ John Lowery
John 5 was born John Lowery at Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Over the years he has been influenced by Hendrix, Steve Vai, Kiss, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Buckethead, Albert Leean and other greats. He started playing guitar at the age of seven. At 18, he moved to California to pursue a career as a professional session guitarist. His first band in LA, was Alligator Soup, but he soon began working on a number of projects for Bob Marlette, which included TV shows, commercials and film soundtracks. He joined Marilyn Manson in 1999, for which to some people he is most famous for, but he has played with and/or recorded with a host of great rock names including Dirty Trixx, Raven Payne, John Wetton , Robin Zander, Pepperland, Wilson Phillips, Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Springfield, Red Square Black, Night Ranger, Lita Ford, Ryan Downe, froSTed, Leah Andreone, K.D. Lang, David Lee Roth, Rob Zombie, Garbage, Meat Loaf , Paul Stanley, FeFe Dobson, Static-X, Mike Libertoski and so many more. He endorsed Ibanez for a while, but he know has his own signature telecaster with Fender. He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie, working on his solo projects and song writing.
Eddie Van Halen
Edward Van Halen, born in The Netherlands, moving to California, America with his family in 1962. He first trained as a classical pianist (his amazing keyboard playing can be heard in #1 hit, "Jump".), but expressed himself better on the drums and from the age of 12 on guitar . He was highly influenced by the British band "Cream" , also guitarist Brian May and fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth. As a teenager, he co-founded the band Mammouth, which evenually changed it's name to Van Halen. Eddie pioneered many guitar techneques, but he is most famous for the 'two-handed tap', which became his trademark (and over the years it has been copied by many other players). With his awesome speed, new techneques and tasty phrasing, he quickly became one of the world's top guitarists. He has worked with the likes of Dweezil Zappa, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Thomas Dolby, John Waters, Brian May, Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, Ted Templeman, Donn Landee, David Lee Roth, Quincy Jones to mention a few. Eddie remains one of the world's top guitarists.
Steve Vai
Steve Vai was first inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck & took lessons from now guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, before attending Berklee College of Music in 1978. Steve worked with Frank Zappa for a few years; in 1994 Steve received a Grammy Award for his performance on the Frank Zappa song Sofa from the album Zappa's Universe. In 1982 he moved to California where he recorded his first solo album Flex-Able. In 1985 he replaced Yngwie Malmsteen as lead guitarist in Graham Bonnet's Alcatrazz with whom he recorded the album Disturbing the Peace. Later in 1985 he joined Van Halen front man David Lee Roth's group to record the albums Eat 'em and Smile and Skyscraper. In Steve's career he has to toured, played or recorded with most the greats in the world of rock including Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Coven, Bob Harris, Whitesnake, Gingger, Glenn Hughes, Wild Style, Joe Satriani, Billy Sheehan, David Lee Roth, Western Vacation, Alcatrazz, Shankar, Rebecca, Public Image Ltd., Joe Jackson, Al Di Meola, Yardbirds, Joe Lynn Turner, Gregg Bissonette, Thana Harris, Eric Sardinas, Steve Lukather, The Devin Townsend Band, Munetaka Higuchi with Dream Castle, Bob Carpenter, Mike Keneally, Dave Weiner, to mention some. In April of 2007, Steve confirmed the release of his next record, called Sound Theories, on June 26.
Joe Satriani
Joe Satriani, US guitarist and former guitar instructor, his self-released debut album, "Not of This Earth" in 1986 opened the way to a world of instrumental rock music in a pop-dominated world at that time. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, he often incorporates a warm sound of guitar with a dominant blues and rock tone. He has had 13 Grammy nominations, reached the ten million mark in CD sales, and is listed as one of the top 10 greatest guitarists of all time. Joe was recruited by Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for Mick's first solo tour, and also worked with a wide range of guitarists from many styles, including Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, and Robert Fripp through the annual G3 Jam Concerts.
Tony MacAlpine is best known as a solo guitarist but he has worked with many different bands and musicians like Planet X, Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, Mark Boals and Vitalij Kuprij. Chopin is one of Tony's major musical influences, he has a unique style blending elements of neo-classical and jazz fusion, his music made an immense contribution to the neo-classical movement of the late 1980s. Besides being a guitarist, Tony is also a classically trained pianist and violinist and plays all the keyboard parts on his own albums.
Michael Romeo
Michael Romeo was inspired at the age of 12 to play guitar by the band KISS, he takes his influences from Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Al Di Meola, Uli Jon Roth, J.S. Bach, Mozart, John Williams and Frank Zappa, and heavily from the neo-classical style of Yngwie Malmsteen. But Michael manages to maintain an identifiable signature that sets him apart from other players in this genre by fusing exotic scales and arpeggios, non-standard rhythms, and time signatures. An slight element of jazz is also fused into his music. Micheal is a founding member of the progressive metal group Symphony X, who he is currently playing with.
Timo Tolkki
Finnish guitarist Timo Tolkki played with the bands Antidote, Thunder and Road Block before joining Stratovarius in 1984. At this period his playing was more progressive and hard-edged making use of lower-register power chords, often in Eb tuning, and sometimes heavy palm muting, which made earlier Stratovarius songs rather dark and unnerving. Over the years Timo's style has gradually got more traditionally speedy and melodic that of power metal and neo-classical with various fast shredding techniques.
Herman Li
Herman Li from Hong Kong, formed the band Dragonforce in 1999, a band known for their dual guitar harmonies (Herman & Sam Totman), grandiose speed and style, and epic guitar. Herman, who is a self taught guitarist, is actually left handed, but as a child he could not afford a left-handed guitar, so he ended up playing right-handed! He won the 2005 Metal Hammer Golden Gods 'Best Shredder' award, also won 'Best Shredder', 'Best Metal', 'Best Riff' and 'Best New Talent (with 70% of the vote) in the Guitar World's Readers 2007 poll, and together with Sam Totman (Dragonforce's 2nd lead guitarist, also a great guitarist) won the 'Best Guitar Solo' with "Through The Fire & Flames" in 'Total Guitar' 2006 readers poll. Like Michael Angelo Batio, Herman is known for his signature guitar solos, wherein he frets notes with his left hand over the top of the fretboard instead of from beneath it. His other signature moves include "drum riser spin bounce" and the "whammy bar lift guitar slam." He also uses a Digitech Whammy II and a Digitech XP-100 Whammy-Wah to create some of his signature guitar sounds.
Bobby Ferrara.
Bobby, originally from Long Island, his jaw-dropping solo flurries, wah-drenched fusillades and high-energy freakout has won him New York's Hot Licks guitar contest twice, and have made him a world class guitarist. Bobby is an endorsee of Grem Guitars. He also writes a bimonthly guitar technique/effects column called "The Clinic" for New Jersey's only heavy metal magazine, "Ironworx". Bobby Ferrara is one of the cleanest playing shred guitarists I have heard, and at such speed keeps the passion, he looses nothing.
!!! ~ amazing musician ~ !!!
Allen "ROBOT" Van Wert

ROBOT has been credited as having a very futuristic sounding experimental style, exploding and breaking the limits of guitar based music. (without the use of FX or any editing tricks). This is true cutting edge guitar.

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