Today I was going to write something about Yngwie getting a bad rap or maybe start looking into how Skynyrd got such great tones out of Peavey amps, but instead ran into this quote on the Van Halen News Desk. It’s from an interview with EVH’s guitar tech Tom Weber, who was on his maiden tour with Van Halen:
Ed is a force of nature. I understand the math behind how a guitar works. Ed does things on the guitar that defy the math. I’ve sat with him and watched him do things that you can’t do.
“Ed doesn’t play guitar — the guitar submits to Ed’s will. It’s truly an amazing thing. It’s a very inspiring place to be.”
Though I don’t get to sit where Tom sits every night, I find his comments to be dead on and well-articulated. Ed doesn’t just do things no one has done before. He makes the instrument do things musically that no one ever thought could be done. Meaning it’s not like they thought of them and wrote them off. They never thought of them.
Judging by Tom’s comments and 30 years of my own experience trying to decipher Ed’s riffs and style, it’s real possible no one else can do those things.
Ed’s not unique in that way — certainly Hendrix and a few others did amazing things — but Ed is unique in what he does. Particularly his right hand. That’s such a huge, largely unexplored part of what he does and how he does it. Check out these examples:
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