Phil Brodie Band "Muso" Information Page
TOP GUITARISTS . . ROCK GUITAR SOLOS . . ROCK GUITAR RIFFS
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
THE 10 FASTEST
SHRED GUITARISTS
(with courtesy of Guitar One Magazine ~ NOT my list or choice)

+
SHRED GUITAR ROOTS
+

"YOUR CHOICES"


Voted the world's fastest shred guitarists
'Guitar One Magazine
' readers vote: 2005

VOTED No 1 OF ALL TIME
MICHAEL ANGELO
BATIO

Michael invented the Dean Double-Guitar and was the first person in the world to successfully play it. AWESOME!! Michael started playing piano and composing at age 5, started playing guitar at age 10. Michael has performed over 1100 shows in 31 different countries since 1993. He tours the world performing guitar workshops, also records, tours and plays with various bands and solo. He also invented and successfully played the very first 'quad' guitar. However, the instrument was stolen during a Nitro show in El Paso, Texas, and only two of the four parts required for its assembly have ever been recovered. However, Dean Guitars recently finished production on a new quad guitar for Michael.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
voted No 2
CHRIS IMPELLITTERI
CHRIS IMPELLITTERI
Chris Impellitteri is one of the most unique, intense, and dynamic guitarists in heavy rock today. His influences range from Al Di Meola to Uli John Roth to Edward Van Halen. Chris has released some of the best progressive, neo-classical guitar work around since the mid-'80's, inspiring countless musicians. The founder of the heavy metal band Impellitteri, they released their first album Impellitteri which was filled with music featuring shredding guitar solos, and a fast rhythm section, followed by a second album, Victim of the System. In 1996 they recorded Screaming Symphony followed by 1997's successful Eye of the Hurricane and in 2000 released Crunch, which was their most experimental musically using drum loops and samples, then in 2009 Impellitteri released their latest record titled Wicked Maiden. In 2008 Guitarworld Magazine also officially named Chris Impellitteri as one of the Fastest Guitarists of all time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
voted No 3
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
When he was young, Yngwie didn't want much to do with music. Music was soft, a thing for wimps, and Yngwie was into all things destructive. An unruly child, Yngwie took delight in anything that went against the grain. But, one night while watching television, 7-year-old Yngwie saw guitar maestro Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar. Jimi's death had spurred the birth of a new guitar hero: Yngwie J. Malmsteen. He cites Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth, Brian May, Steve Hackett and Ritchie Blackmore as his influences.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 4
PAUL GILBERT

PAUL GILBERT
Guitarist Paul Gilbert has sold over three million records in the United States stemming from his brilliant work with Racer X, Mr. Big and as a solo artist. Long known as one of the top shredders in the business, Gilbert sometimes returns to his blues rock roots as on his Raw Blues Power album
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 5
THE LATE SHAWN LANE
SHAWN LANE
Lane began his musical interests very young, studying piano and cello from the age of four. He took up the guitar at eight, and it remained his principal instrument from then on. He quickly became a legend in Memphis' music scene as the feisty young kid, began his professional playing and recording career when he was 12. The teen wonder shocked and amazed audiences at stadium shows across the USA. Before becoming a world renown guitarist. Tragically Shawn died of a lung disease Sept 26th 2003 at the age of 40.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 6
JOE STUMP
JOE STUMP
Joe Stump is one of the leading guitarists of the shred genre. Having released numerous solo albums and four with his band project Reign Of Terror, Stump has a reputation of for combining guitar virtuosity with strong hooks and killer riffs. Joe is also Berklee School Of Music's head authority on shred guitar. His main influeneces in his career are Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Uli- Jon Roth, David Chastain, classical music too - Bach, Paganini, Vivaldi, Mendelson etc.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 7
RUSTY COOLEY
RUSTY COOLEY
Rusty’s early influences included: Rhoads, Malmsteen, Becker, Gilbert, Holdsworth, Paganini, Bach, Vai, Gambale, Moore, MacAlpine, Taffolla, Friedman. He was also influenced by many styles including: Jazz, Classical, Funk, Blues and even Country. There where times when Rusty was pulled in so many different directions by music, he didn’t know if he wanted to be a Classical Conductor or a Jazz guitarist. “Remember play from your heart and never be swayed by the current trends.” Rusty Cooley
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 8
BUCKETHEAD
BUCKETHEAD
Buckethead is one of the most bizarre and enigmatic figures in American underground. Real name Brian Carroll says he was raised by hens in a henhouse!. He got the idea of a bucket and mask one day when he was eating fried chicken. He stands about 7 Feet tall with his bucket on. He has robotic movements. Not much is known about Buckethead, but one things for sure, this greased lightin' is finger lickin' fast. Well the Colonel hasn't caught him yet! His bands include: Deli Creeps, Cornbugs, Praxis, Cobra Strike, Buckethead (Solo), Primus (Ozzfest 1999), Guns N' Roses.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 9
JOHN PETRUCCI
JOHN PETRUCCI
John Petrucci grew up on Long Island, Kings Park He started playing guitar at the age of 12 (After a brief fling at age 8 when he noticed his sister got to stay up late for her organ lessons. His little plan didn’t work out being that his guitar lesson was after school, and soon lost interest.) He quickly realized his influences and was determined to reach their level of ability. Some early influences include Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads, Iron Maiden, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Yes, Rush etc. As the rise of thrash & metal hit John expanded his influences to include bands like Metallica & Queensryche.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
No 10
THE GREAT KAT
THE GREAT KAT
The Great Kat was born Katherine Thomas in Swindon, England (on a U.S. Air Force Base Military Hospital), moved to USA aged 3. After touring the world as a violinist, she realised that Classical music was dead, so she began updating Classical Music with Speed Metal and transcribed intricate violin solos to the guitar. The Great Kat is the only musician taking note-for-note authentic Classical Music scores (from Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Liszt, and Rossini) and re-orchestrating the entire scores with Shred Guitar virtuosity and mixing it with Speed Metal band and Classical orchestra.


:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:
WORLD RECORD
GUITAR SPEED
Guinness World Record ~
2008
TIAGO DELLA VEGA
The Guinness Book has recognised Tiago Della Vega
as the "guitarist with the biggest number of strokes per second"

Tiago Della Vega
Brazilian guitarist Tiago started taking acoustic guitar lessons at aged 5, changing to electric guitar at the age of 6. By the time he was 10 he was studying 14 to 16 hours a day and by 16 he was giving guitar lessons. He played in the bands After Dark, then Fermatha with who he recorded the album "Adventh of the Truth, before becoming lead guitarist for the band Burning In Hell, recording the album "Believe". He has also recorded a solo CD "Lost". More recently he tours attending clinics, work shops, making special appearances, writes a column for the magazine "Chops from Hell", as well as being in the process of recording his own video class, where he teaches stroke techniques, arpeggios, leggatos and tapping.
The video (link below) shows him playing at 170bps working up to 320 bps, precise supersonic tempo, but please remember this is purely for "speed", so do not judge it or him for musical value, listen to Tiago elsewhere for that.
LISTEN & WATCH

:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:

Here is a guitarist who's actual guitar playing career was very short, so he may get passed over by the younger generations and the media; but in many peoples minds .. he should have been in that top 10 list

A VERY SPECIAL MENTION
~ to one of the greatest ~

JASON BECKER
Jason Becker
Jason Becker started playing guitar at the age of 5, by sixth grade he was playing local gigs and at 16 was in his first professional band "Cacophony", a neoclassical speed metal/shred band, which he formed with fellow guitarist Marty Friedman. Their debute album 'Speed Metal Symphony' features some of the most incredible, fast, complex and melodic guitar playing ever recorded. Some of Jason's influences have been his father, his uncle, Jimi Hendrix, Niccolò Paganini, Bob Dylan, Django Reinhart, Yngwie Malmsteen & Jeff Beck. 1988 see's his first solo album, 'Perpetual Burn'. At the age of 20 he joined David Lee Roth's legendary band. 1990, he won a readers' poll for best new guitarist in "Guitar Magazine". But tragidy struck whilst recording the album 'A Little Ain't Enough' he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and given only five years to live. This did not deter this true virtuoso, he managed to complete the album. Robbed of his speech, crippled in body, breathing via a machine, Jason has never given up his love of music. He communicates via eye movements and composes many magnificent works with his computer. His medical condition has remained stable since 1997. Jason's life as an artist and person should be inspirational not only to fellow guitarists but every musician. In his own words "If you have control over your mind, you can do anything."

:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:


THE SHRED GUITARIST
(the foundations in a very little nutshell)
Speed has been in music for many generations, on many instruments and guitarists have been speed playing and duelling since the beginnings of guitar history . Rock guitaring, by the early 1960s, had distanced itself from its jazz and pop roots, and began to embrace a more blues-based approach. The mid 60's see notably Jimi Hendrix introducing different and extreme guitar techniques and more rock into the blues with his revolutionary fast melodic power guitaring. Towards the end of the 60's the development of rock guitar technique and speed, was pushed even further notably by Jimi Hendrix again, Alvin Lee, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page. By the early 70's a few guitarists, mainly John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Allan Holdsworth, Robert Fripp and Carlos Santana had began experimenting with a new fusion of 3 genres ... jazz, rock and world music, but in particular, Holdworth, McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, were renowned for their super speed and their picking dexterity on the guitar. Ulirch Jon Roth, had started experimental work mixing Hendrix sounds with the classical composers. All this was paving the path for an entire new breed of guitarist, who would fuse the fast rock and power blues styles of Hendrix and Lee with the high-speed jazz phrasing of Di Meola and McLaughlin. The super fast rock guitarists were emerging, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, and Yngwie Malmsteen, who popularized the Ulirch Jon Roth classical influences in rock guitar with his extremely fast picking speed. This was the 80's ... this fast playing style, speed or blind speed guitaring with it's many influences, combined with the heavily distorted tone of heavy metal music resulted in a new nickname, 'shred'. Shredding immediately became popular with the younger heavy metal rock fans who hadn't been exposed to this guitar style in the past. Guitar shredding techniques played usually on a 'super strat' include: Alternate picking, Economy picking, Hammer-ons, Hybrid picking, Legato, Pull-offs, String skipping, Sweep picking, Tapping, Tremolo picking, and Wide intervals. Blind speed or shred guitaring has been successful in bluegrass, jazz, rock-blues, hard rock, instrumental rock, jazz fusion, progressive rock, heavy metal, neo-classical metal & other metal genre.

:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:
Early Influencers
& Pioneers


JIMI HENDRIX

In the 60's the revolutionary guitarist .. Jimi Hendrix dug the path and laid the solid foundations for the rock guitarists in the 70's to pathe that the modern rock guitarist play along today. He made the biggest impact and change to rock guitaring in the history of modern music. In the 50's and early 60's Jimi started on the road gigging with the likes of the Isley Brothers, Little Richard and King Curtis, recording with each of those acts, but was unable to adapt to the discipline their performances required. Soon after he let loose with his own bands, his own music which made the whole world 'kiss the sky'.

FULLER BIOGRAPHY
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ALVIN LEE

Pioneer rock and speed guitarist, Graham Barnes aka Alvin Lee from Nottingham, England, began playing guitar at the age of 13, originally influenced by his parent's collection of jazz and blues records, it was the rock and roll of guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore who provided his inspiration to form his band Ivan Jay and the Jaymen by the age 15. After local gigs and success in Hamburg, Germany the band moved to London and changed their name to Ten Years After. TYA had success with Europen and US tours, releasing ten albums. Alvin was very experimental and brave guitarist, enjoying new techniques. By 1973 Alvin felt held back by the band's style, so with US gospel singer Mylon LeFevre and a host of rock talents like George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood, he recorded and released On the Road to Freedom, a highly acclaimed album that was at the forefront of country rock. A year later, Alvin formed Alvin Lee & Company to play a show at the Rainbow in London and released it as a double live album, 'In Flight', a very energetic mix of rhythm and blues and rock. He finished out the 1970s with his power trio 'Ten Years Later'. Alvin has gone on to record 20 albums, his most recent to date, Saguitar, Sept 2007.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
JEFF BECK

Rock and speed pioneer guitarist Jeff Beck from Wallington, Greater London started as a guitar sessionist and played in his band Trident before joining The Yardbirds. They had most of thier hits the 18 months Jeff was in the band. 1967 sees him recording the one-off song "Beck's Bolero" with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, and Keith Moon, after which he formed a new band, The Jeff Beck Group, which also featured Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Nicky and Micky Waller.
The group produced two albums, Truth in 1968 and Beck-Ola in June, 1969. Both albums are highly acclaimed, and considered by many critics to have inspired the heavy metal genre. In 1973 while in US he recorded 2 albums with his power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. He has gone on to play with countless artists as well as a huge solo career recording 15 solo albums. Jeff does not use a pick/plectrum but relies on his fingernails and thumbnail for his attack. He produces a wide variety of sounds by using his fingers and the vibrato bar on his signature Fender Stratocaster, although he frequently uses a wah-wah pedal both live and in the studio. He has been a huge influence and still is to guitar players and the music industry throughout long career.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

JOHN McLAUGHLIN
John Mclaughlin
Guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin from Doncaster, Yorkshire is regarded by many as one of the most influential and technically gifted guitarists of all time, having over his long career mastered a remarkable range of styles and genres, including jazz, Indian classical music, fusion, and Flamenco. Initially inspired by blues and swing players he started on guitar when he was 11 and worked Tony Oxley and John Surman before moving to America in 1969. He played with Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Miles Davis and reputation as a session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, The Rolling Stones and others. In 1970 he formed The Mahavishnu Orchestra which included violinist Jerry Goodman (later Jean-Luc Ponty), keyboardist Jan Hammer (later Gayle Moran and Stu Goldberg), bassist Rick Laird (later Ralphe Armstrong), and drummer Billy Cobham (later Narada Michael Walden). The band performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused eclectic jazz and rock with eastern and Indian influences. He has gone on to play and record dozens of albums with many greats of different genre as well as a busy solo career and continues writing, recording and touring.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH

Virtuoso Allan Holdsworth from Bradford, Yorkshire is one of a handful who pioneered the fusion of rock and jazz music with speed in the early 70's. His influences include Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane. Allen pioneered several techniques including using an eight-voice modulated delay to create a chorusing effect that, combined with unusual closed voiced chords, create a very piano-like sound from an ordinary electric guitar. He uses a legato phrasing technique with light picking that causes a distorted guitar amplifier to produce a reedy, clarinet-like tone. A third innovative technique is using a volume pedal to "swell" chords into a long delay/reverb effect, generating the impression of an orchestral string section. These three techniques were used by Allen to create the aural illusion of classical instruments, years before the invention of guitar synthesizers, and have been adopted by increasing numbers of guitarists such as Frank Gambale, Eddie Van Halen, Scott Henderson, Bill Connors, Steve Vai, Alex Lifeson and David Sylvian to mention a few. Allen has been a band member with Soft Works, Bruford, Gongzilla, U.K., Tempest, Soft Machine, Level 42 and Gong. He has played on 54 collaboration albums and to date recorded 18 solo albums. Sadly his work has been neglected by the media and the public as a whole, where as fellow musicians have held him in high esteem for over 35 years.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
RITCHIE BLACKMORE


Coming Soon
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ULRICH JON ROTH
Ulrich Roth aka Uli Jon Roth
Neo-classical guitar pioneer Ulrich Jon Roth born in Düsseldorf, Germany formed his first serious band, Dawn Road, while in his mid teens. At 19, in 1973 he was asked to finished a tour off with the up and coming Scorpians, later that year, this led to a new line-up for Scorpians of 4 former Sporpians and 2 members of Dawn Road, with Uli as lead guitarist. Although he recorded 5 albums with them, establishing them as a top band, Uli's soul, his writings, composing and guitaring, were heavily influenced by Hendrix and tendings toward blending this with the classical, a very different direction to Scorpian. In 1978 he formed his own band "Electric Sun" to pursue and showcase his hendrix-classical pioneering. Elecrtic Sun released 3 albums which opened the door and influenced all the neo-classical guitarists which followed, including Yngwie Malmsteen who later popularised neo-classical more with the media. Uli invented his own unique instrument the 6-octave Sky guitar to further his 'ever' evolving creations and techniques. Uli went solo in the late 80's and has since written 4 symphonies, 2 concertos, numerous songs, released 3 albums, done many world tours, guested with too many artists to mention, inducted into the Walk of Fame by Europe's only Rock & Pop Museum, which is situated in Gronau, Germany, and is currently working on a new full-length studio album "Under A Dark Sky", which is to be released next year, also for 2008 he has another World Tour planned.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
AL Di MEOLA
Al Di Meola
To many, virtuoso Al Di Meola is one of the most important pioneers of shred guitar, his 70's work opened up a new era of rock and influenced guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen,
John Petrucci, Jason Becker, Chris Impellitteri and many, many others. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Al joined the bands Chick Corea and Return to Forever before embarking on his solo career in 1976. His first solo album Land of the Midnight Sun, is noted for his technical mastery and extremely fast speed guitaring, complex guitar solos and compositions. He gradually introduced his love for latin and flamenco into his music. Al went on to explore a variety of styles, but is now most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. He is a four time winner as Best Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine's Reader Poll. In addition to a prolific solo career of 25 albums, tours and world appearances , he has engaged in successful collaborations with bassist Stanley Clarke, synthesizer player Jan Hammer, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía and guested on countless tracks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Enjoy YOUR CHOICES Enjoy
Here are some great shred guitarists from all around the world who YOU enjoy.
They are of many genre, and are in order of when you send me their name
~ the latest at the top ~

* * * * * * * * *

TERU

Japanese kei guitarist and songwriter, Teru, was born in Kyoto Prefecture; he started out professionally with the band Aikaryu in 2002, when he replaced fellow guitarist Death and they released their first single in September of 2003. For the next three years they toured extensively and released 2 albums, but in early 2006, they were involved in a car accident with most members having serious injuries. During this hiatus Teru worked with his friend Hizaki's solo project, Hizaki Grace Project, then in December Aikaryu regrouped and performed a small tour before disbanding, after which,
Teru joined Hizaki Grace Project, as a full member of the band. He released 3 albums Hizaki Grace Project in 2007 before leaving and joining the symphonic metal band Versailles. They quickly developed a large following worldwide, having their debut EP released in Europe and to date have gone on two world tours, which took them across Asia, Europe and Latin America. On April 1st 2013, members of Versailles minus singer Kamijo announced they had formed a new band named Jupiter and released their debut single, "Blessing of the Future", in the summer of 2013.
*********
CHRIS BRADLEY
Canadian guitarist Chris Bradley
Born and raised in Montreal, Canadian guitarist Chris Bradley is a founding member of the technical death metal band Beneath the Massacre which was formed in Montreal, in 2004. They are known to occasionally incorporate influences from hardcore punk.Their debut album, Evidence of Inequity, was released in 2005, under Galy Records. In early 2006, the band signed with Prosthetic Records and has since released their first full-length album, Mechanics of Dysfunction, on the label on February 20, 2007. They were on the 2007 Brutalitour alongside Animosity, As Blood Runs Black, and The Faceless. They also played the Summer Slaughter Tour with Decapitated, Necrophagist, As Blood Runs Black, The Faceless, Ion Dissonance, and Cephalic Carnage. They were on the 2007 Radio Rebellion Tour along with Job for a Cowboy, Behemoth, and Gojira. In 2009, the band was nominated "Best Underground Band" at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.
2012, saw the release of their third LP entitled, Incongruous and a European tour as part of the Bonecrusher fest with Carnifex, Molotov Solution, Within the Ruins and Betraying the Martyrs.
*********
SCOTT HENDERSON
Scott Henderson
American guitarist Scott Henderson was born in Lantana, Palm Beach, Florida; he took up guitar at an early age influenced by many genres: rock, blues, funk, soul, and soon after jazz. He played in local bands and attended Florida Atlantic University, before moving to L.A. where he joined therock band Twilight. After which he became the original guitarist for the Chick Corea Elektric Band. In
1984 along with bassist Gary Willis, he formed Tribal Tech which went on to become one of the most highly-regarded fusion bands of the 1990s. He toured and recorded with the band up until their dissolution following the 2000 album Rocket Science, and during that time brought himself to the forefront of modern jazz/fusion guitar playing. In 1991 he was named '#1 Jazz Guitarist' by Guitar World magazine, and in January 1992 he was voted best jazz guitarist in Guitar Player magazine's Annual Reader's Poll. In the 90's he also launched a solo career going back to his blues roots, releasing the blues album Dog Party in 1994, Tore Down House in 1997, Well To The Bone in 2003 and his latest solo release Scott Henderson Live in 2005. Scott is also a member of the fusion supergroup Vital Tech Tones with Victor Wooten and Steve Smith, which released two CDs in 2006. In 2011Tribal Tech reformed to release thier first album in over a decade 'X'.

*********
GLENN TIPTON
Glenn Tipton
English Grammy Award winning heavy metal guitarist, Glenn Tipton born in Blackheath, West Midlands learnt to play piano at an early age, he didn't take up the guitar until he was 19. His first band was Shave Em' Dry, which became Merlin, which became the Flying Hat Band. In May 1974, Glenn joined Judas Priest during the recording for Rocka Rolla, and he quickly added his guitar parts to the album. On Sad Wings of Destiny, Glenn showed off more of his guitar work on songs like Tyrant, Dreamer Deceiver and Victim of Changes. Like fellow Priest guitarist Glenn has appeared on all the Judas Preist albums. He also presented his own songwriting on the songs Prelude, Epitaph and The Ripper. Epitaph and Prelude include some of his work on keyboard instruments. The 1980's British Steel album combined the band's trademark heavy metal sound with pop-style song structures and hooks. United and Breaking the Law were some of Judas Priest's first guitar-driven songs not to include any solo sections. Judas Priest's popularity progressed through the 1980s with their albums Point of Entry, Screaming for Vengeance, Defenders of the Faith, Turbo, Ram It Down and Painkiller. Glenn released his first solo album, Baptizm of Fire in 1997. The follow-up album Edge of the World was released in 2006. On 14 July 2009, Judas Priest released a new live album, featuring 11 previously unreleased live tracks from the 2005 and 2008 world tours, A Touch of Evil: Live. The performance of "Dissident Aggressor" won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
*********
K.K. DOWNING
K.K. Downing
English Grammy Award winning
heavy metal guitarist, songwriter and shredder K.K., born Kenneth Downing Jr. in Yew Tree Estate, West Bromwich, dropped out of school when he was 16 years old. In the late 1960s, he discovered rock music and the guitar and was heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, who he modelled his playing style. In 1969 K.K. decided to form a band with his friend Ian Hill, and this band would become Judas Priest. He is noted for his aggressive, rock influenced guitar solos and dual leads with fellow Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton and has played on every Judas Priest album from Rocka Rolla to A Touch of Evil: Live. Some of his guitar solos can be heard on such tracks as "Victim of Changes", the 2nd solo in "Beyond the Realms of Death", "Before The Dawn", "Sinner", "Don't Go", the 2nd solo in "Painkiller", and the live version of "Breaking The Law", although naturally which solos are most notable is debated among fans. Notable guitar duels are on such tracks as "Hellrider", "Bullet Train", "Nostradamus", "The Sentinel", "Ram It Down", "Metal Meltdown", "Eat Me Alive" and "Riding On The Wind". On 14 July '09, Judas Priest released a new live album, featuring 11 previously unreleased live tracks from the 2005 and 2008 world tours, A Touch of Evil: Live. The performance of "Dissident Aggressor" won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. Sadly for his fans K.K. officially retired from Judas Priest on April 20th 2011.
*********
WARREN DeMARTINI
American guitarist Warren DeMartini
American guitarist Warren DeMartini, nicknamed Torch was born in Chicago, Illinois, but later relocated to San Diego, California, where he became interested in rock music. He formed a band called The Plague, then he formed another band known as Aircraft and in
1979, he played his first concert in front of a small crowd at San Diego's La Jolla High School. He began taking classes at a local college, but in the first semester was invited to join Mickey Ratt; the band that would eventually become the highly successful 1980s metal band, Ratt. Warren's lead guitar became one of Ratt's most recognizable aspects, and he would co-write several of the band's best known songs, including "Round and Round", "Lay It Down", "Dance", and "Way Cool Jr". Ratt would ultimately become one of the top-selling and most popular glam metal acts of the decade, issuing four consecutive platinum albums and one EP in the 1980s before disbanding in February 1992. After Ratt broke up, he had a short stint with the band Dokken before briefly becoming a touring guitarist for hard rock band Whitesnake in 1994. More recently he played with the band Dio, and Ratt reformed again in 2007.
*********
DAVE SHARMAN
Dave Sharman
Self taught British guitar virtuoso’s prodigious talent was discovered whilst still in his teens. Born in Birmingham he was introduced to the world by legendary rock DJ Tommy Vance with a session on the BBC Radio 1 Friday Rock Show, shortly afterwards a critically acclaimed debut album ‘1990’ was released worldwide, which included the tracks 'Spellbinder', 'Southern Comfort', and 'Cloud 9's'.
In his power trio 'Wave', he entered a new phase of his musical journey now writing for his own voice, Dave's songwriting took on a more natural flow, with tracks such as 'Lift', 'Nowhere', 'Drown' and 'Priest On A Hill'. He has also played with Ian Gillan, Neil Murray, Don Airey (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osborne) among others as well as on Sting manager Miles Copland’s the ‘Night of The Guitars II’ tour alongside other guitar legends such as Ronnie Montrose. He has 4 albums as well as numerous sessions to his name, which includes those with MTV, VH1, Sky and BBC2. In his power trio 'Wave', he entered a new phase of his musical journey now writing for his own voice, Dave's songwriting took on a more natural flow, with tracks such as 'Lift', 'Nowhere', 'Drown' and 'Priest On A Hill'
*********
HITTAR CUESTA
Hittar Cuesta
Born in Quito, Ecuador, guitar hero Hittar Cuesta had a love of music from an early age inspired by classical masters such as Paganini, Mozart, Vivaldi, and influenced by the electrics of Hendrix, Steve Vai, Gary Moore, and Joe Satriani. By 19 he had moved to the cultural city of Cuenca to teach guitar. He also joined the rock-pop group Crucks En Karnak, but he had to put his love for true virtuosic metal on one side due to the limitations of the band's genre. After a stint with the metal band Falk, Hittar decided to persue a solo career, leaving him free to explore the different, intriguing corners of his musical mind. Not only a shredder, he makes beautiful music too and was recognized as one of Ecuador's greatest guitar players before going solo. Hittar release of his debute full-length CD, "El Lenguaje de los Espiritus"/The Language of the Spirits in 2000. He has shared the stage with many greats including Baron Rojo, Mago de Oz, Tierra Santa, Rata Blanca, Megadeth among others and in 2009 he was a semifinalist at Guitar Idol.
*********
REX CARROLL
Rex Carroll
American guitarist and a trained neo-classical shredder with the soul and heart of a true bluesman, but he is maybe best known for his work in the Christian metal band Whitecross, Rex is also the leader and guitarist of other bands like Fierce Heart, King James and The Rex Carroll Band and filled in and did all the guitar work on Eden's 1994 album "Fan The Flame".
In Whitecross, he is not only the lead guitarist, but is also the primary songwriter. In 1989 Whitecross was the first American rock band to perform in Guatemala City. Also with Whitecross, Rex has completed six world tours, and won two Dove Awards for "Metal Album of the Year" in 1990 and 1992. In June 2004, he placed third in the North American Rock Guitar Competition sponsored by Guitar Player magazine and WNED/New York. Max also holds a Bachelors degree in classical guitar performance from Northern Illinois University.
In 2010, Rex participated in a tribute album titled Mister Bolin’s Late Night Revival, a compilation of 17 previously unreleased tracks written by guitar legend Tommy Bolin prior to his death in 1976. The CD includes other artists such as HiFi Superstar, Doogie White, Eric Martin, Troy Luccketta, Jeff Pilson, Randy Jackson, Rachel Barton, Derek St. Holmes, Kimberley Dahme, and The 77’s
*********
ANTTI KOKKO
Antti Kokko
Finnish guitarist Antti Kokko joined the band Ancester in 1994, in 1998 after five demos, Ancestor disbanded. Later in that same year, Antti became a founding member of the melodic death metal band Kalmah, along with Pekka Kokko, Pasi Hiltula , Altti Veteläinen and Petri Sankala.
. With thier promotional CD, Svieri Obraza, they acquired a recording contract with Spinefarm Records. By November 2001, they had recorded their second studio album, They Will Return. In 2002, Kalmah played shows in Finland and at Wacken Open Air. In February 2003, they recorded their third studio album, Swampsong. The band released The Black Waltz in 2006 and For the Revolution in 2008. Kalmah toured in Canada and Finland to promote the latter album. To date they have released 6 studio albums the last being 12 Gauge in 2010.
*********
VINNIE VINCENT
Vinnie Vincent
American guitarist and songwriter Vincent John Cusano aka Vinnie Vincent, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the early mid 1960's, many of his groups were winners of the battle of the band contests, the most popular being "the Younger Generation". In the late 60's/early 70's, he formed "Hunter" a heavy metal band patterning their style after Led Zeppelin with original songs written by himself. In 1972 Vinnie toured as guitarist with Little Anthony and The Imperials. But he is maybe most famous for his membership in the band Kiss performing as The Ankh Warrior. He was brought in as an uncredited studio replacement for Ace Frehley during the recording sessions for Kiss' Creatures of the Night album. Vinnie was chosen out of hundreds of tryouts of the cream of the country's lead guitarists who were vying for the lead guitar position in Kiss. After playing on the Creatures album, Vinnie was asked by the band to be a member of Kiss and tour with Kiss for the upcoming Creatures of the Night Tour , an album in which he had a vested interest as a co-writer of the band's songs, such as "I Love It Loud", "Killer", and "I Still Love You". Vincent was the last member of Kiss to join during the original "makeup" era and toured as "The Ankh Warrior". Vinnie stayed with Kiss for another two albums, The "Creatures" album and tour as well as the Lick It Up album and tour. After Kiss, he formed Vinnie Vincent Invasion / VVI, and released two LPs: Vinnie Vincent Invasion in 1986 and All Systems Go in 1988, before going solo in the 90s.
*********
RICHIE KOTZEN

Richie Kotzen
American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, he made his big break in 1991 when he joined the rock band Poison at age 21, performing on the album Native Tongue, which produced two top 20 singles which Richie co-wrote, "Stand" and "Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice)". In 1999 he replaced Paul Gilbert as guitarist in the rock band Mr. Big. He performed on the Mr. Big record Get Over It, which sold more than 175,000 copies in its first two weeks in Japan, eventually reaching platinum status. He also contributed guitars to Mr. Big's subsequent release Actual Size, which included Richie's song Shine, debuting at No.1 on Japanese radio charts. He released his 13th solo album Change, in 2003. The title track, and the song Get A Life were featured in TV commercials throughout Japan. In 2002 Richie established a recording Studio/Production company, producing acclaimed solo albums and collaborating with various figures in rock, jazz, and fusion. In mid-2006 he was the opening act in Japan for The Rolling Stones on their Bigger Bang tour.

*********

DAVE WEINER
Dave Weiner
American guitarist, most widely known for being one of Steve Vai's touring guitarists. He also posts instructional videos, called the "Riff of the Week", every Wednesday on Youtube, iTunes and his own website, he also gives online lessons. Dave has also released two solo albums, the first, entitled Shove the Sun Aside was released originally in June 2004 on the Meyer Jane Music label and re-released in March 2005 on Favored Nations. It is an instrumental album on which he primarily plays a seven string guitar. This was folowed by his second album "On Revolute" in 2010. Dave continues to tour with his own band.

*********
KEN SNYDER
Ken Snyder
American guitarist based in Encino, California, who reveals his playing style as instrumental hard rock, mixing elements of hard rock, heavy metal and blues, as a listener can readily experience on his albums, "One", "Nevermore", and "Progressive By Nature". Ken began playing guitar at age 13 inspired by guitarists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. Ken spent several years in the LA Based metal band Cut Throat, releasing two cds with that band...1998's self titled debut "Cut Throat" and 2001's "Slave" cd, before releasing his first solo "One" in 2003.

*********
DOUG DOPPLER
Doug Doppler
American guitarist, in addition to serving as a house musician for WaveGroup Sound , Doug has toured America and Europe with acts like Michael Schenker and Gilby Clarke, and as a clinician for Ibanez guitars in Italy, U.K., New Zealand, Australia and U.S. Doug has also shared the stage with the likes of Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, and Uli Jon Roth. June 2007 saw the release of the Guitar Masters CD. Doug's "Zero Gravity", originally recorded as a promotional piece for the Ibanez ZR tremolo, sits along side songs by Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Stanley Clarke, Zakk Wylde, John Paul Jones, Steve Morse, and Billy Sheehan.
*********

JENNIFER BATTEN
Jennifer Batten
American guitarist, she has worked as both a session musician and a solo artist.
Jennifer has released three solo albums. Her 1992 debut, Above Below and Beyond, in 1997, she released the worldbeat-influenced Jennifer Batten's Tribal Rage: Momentum and her third album, Whatever, was released in Japan in September 2007 and the US on April 18, 2008. She has appeared on recordings such as Jeff Beck's Who Else! and You Had It Coming, Carmine Appice's Guitar Zeus, Michael Sembello's Heavy Weather, Carl Anderson's Sunlight Again, Cindy Cruz's debut, Public Image bassist Bret Helm's "Doc Tahri" and the debut of The Immigrants. Her music video appearances include Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole and Sara Hickman and Miguel Mateos's "Obsesión". Jennifer played lead and rhythm guitar on Michael Jackson's Bad, Dangerous and HIStory world tours, as well as his 1993 Super Bowl half-time performance. Between 1994-99 she joined Dave Rodgers and Domino as featured guitarist on the eurobeat songs "Sun City", "Music For the People", "Fly" and "Woa Woa Woa". Her live Eurobeat appearances were limited to playing at the Tokyo Do-me with Dave Rodgers and Queen of Hearts. In 2010 she recorded a solo for the song "Bad Girls" for a Polish singer Doda.
* * * * * * * * *
ANDY JAMES

English guitarist Andy is a founder member of the band Sacred Mother Tongue, a 4-piece British metal band from Northampton.
The band has performed at music festivals throughout the UK including Download Festival 2009, and Sonisphere Festival 2010. Metal Hammer Magazine has called them "The most convincing young British Metal band to emerge in a long time". They have released their debut album Revenge Is Personal , in 2009. Andy, who has played guitar since he was is widely regarded as the best breakthrough guitarist in the UK with a developed fan base of his own. He has released three solo albums called Machine, In the Wake of Chaos and Kaos 7. He has also taught guitarists around the world through his successful range of tuition DVDs with the Guitar Community.
*********
MIKE CAMPESE
Mike Campese
American guitarist and composer known for being a member of the multi-platinum group Trans-Siberian Orchestra since 2004, as well as his solo career. He appeared on the Jason Becker tribute CD "Warmth In The Wilderness", and his music was featured in the movie, "Vampire Assassins". Mike has been featured in magazines such as Guitar One, Guitar World and Guitar Player and is a Columnist for these publications. He also writes many online guitar columns on sites such as Guitar Nine, Premier Guitar and Shred Academy Mike has released 7 solo CD's under his name, his second album "Full Circle" was featured on National Public Radio stations across the country and was on regular rotation.
Mike tours with his trio and as a solo artist and has opened and performed with many national acts such as The B-52's the Spin Doctors, KC and The Sunshine Band, Dokken, Sebastian Bach, Lou Reed, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, the members of Yes and Asia, Kip Winger and many more. He has also performed on the Cruefest 2 tour, which featured Motley Crue, Godsmack, Drowning Pool, Theory of a Deadman, Rev Theory and more.
*********
MICHAEL SCHENKER
Michael schenker
German rock guitarist, pioneer and legend, played his first gig when he was 11 with Rudy and the Scorpions in a nightclub and debuted with Scorpions on their first album Lonesome Crow at aged 17. UFO recruited Michael from Scorpions in June 1973 while on tour in Europe, although he was only 18 at the time, he was already a well-respected guitarist. He wrote much of the early UFO material and was crucial to their success. He stayed with the band until 1978. He briefly re-joined the Scorpions in late 1978, when they were recording the album Lovedrive and toured to support the album. In '79, he entered upon a solo career by founding the Michael Schenker Group, one of a few MSG line ups which he still tours and records with. In 1995, he briefly rejoined UFO for their reunion album Walk on Water and toured with them briefly. He then resurrected the Michael Schenker Group with all new members and recorded three more albums, The Unforgiven, Written in Sand, and Beware of Scorpions. He later rejoined UFO for two further releases, Covenant and Sharks. 2009 Michael toured extensively including Russia, UK and the USA with MSG. On Nov 10th 2010 Michael was honored with The Marshall “11” award in London, giving him universal recognition as one of the most legendary figures in metal guitar history, the award was presented to him by Alice Cooper.
*********
GUS G.
Kostas Karamitroudis aka Gus G
Greece heavy metal guitarist, born Kostas Karamitroudis in Thessaloniki, Greece currently plays with his band Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne. He has also played in Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy and Dream Evil. At the age of 18 he left Greece to enroll in the Berklee College of Music, but left after only a few weeks and began working on making a name on the Metal scene. In July 2005, he temporarily replaced Christopher Amott as guitarist of melodic death metal band Arch Enemy on their Ozzfest dates, and also contributed to their album Doomsday Machine by playing lead guitar on the song "Taking Back my Soul". He has made guest appearances for various artists,including the title track song on the latest Rob Rock release "Garden of Chaos" as well as providing solos on the songs "Felonies of the Christian Art" and "Life Deprived" by Old Man's Child, from the album In Defiance of Existence, and a few solos on the album Gallows Gallery by the Japanese avant-garde black metal band Sigh. More recently Gus gave two guest solos for the new Nightrage 2009 album Wearing A Martyr's Crown and appeared in In This Moment's 2010 album A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Gus was chosen as the third of the three best guitar players all over the world in 2003 by the Japanese magazine BURRN!
*********
JEFF "The Riffer" WATERS
Jeff "The Riffer" Waters
Canadian guitarist born in Ottawa, the mastermind of the thrash metal band Annihilator and remains as the only original member in the band. As the main songwriter for Annihilator, he is considered among the most influential guitarists to up and coming modern metal guitar players. He is ranked at number 3 in Joel McIver's 2009 book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.Jeff performs most of Annihilator's guitar and bass parts himself in his home studio and hires various rotating members to cover tours. The exception is vocalist/guitarist Dave Padden who has been with Annihilator since 2003. Jeff is the main producer of all of Annihilator's albums from King of the Kill up until now, and also performed lead vocals for the band between 1994 and 1997. Jeff also played on Roadrunner Records' Roadrunner United CD He was the producer of Defiance's debut album entitled "Product of Society", and made a guest appearance on After Forever's self-titled album. Jeff was twice asked by Dave Mustaine to join Megadeth in 1989, and again in 2004, but declined due to his commitments to Annihilator.
*********
ASTENNU

Metal guitarist Astennu born James Stinson in Sydney, Australia, first came to notice as a member of the Australian black metal band Lord Kaos recording Thorns of Impurity in 1995 before he moved to Norway where he created his solo project Carpe Tenebrum releasing his first of 3 albums Mirrored Hate Painting in 1997. Astennu also joined the Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir releasing 2 albums with them Godless Savage Garden in 1998 followed by Spiritual Black Dimensions in 1999. At the same time he was a member the band, The Kovenant, was featured on the band's 1998 album Nexus Polaris. He returned to Australia, in 1999 and worked as a live sound engineer for a number of bands on the Sydney heavy metal scene and also acted as mixer, engineer and producer on a number of albums and releases. In 2002 he recorded and released his third Carpe Tenebrum album, Dreaded Chaotic Reign, this time performing vocals himself. Dreaded Chaotic Reign was a death metal album whereas previous Carpe Tenebrum recordings had been black metal. In May 2003, Astennu returned to the live circuit with Sydney band Infernal Method.
*********
IGOR PASPALJ
Igor Pasaplj
Up and coming young guitarist, Igor Pasaplj was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1981, but at the beginning of the war in 1991 his family moved to Prijedor, Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is here where he found his love for the guitar. Igor was influenced mostly by Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, and classical musicians such as Paganini, Bach, and Liszt. He gained experience playing in local bands before his work in the studios. In 2002, Igor was admitted to the Academy of Arts of Banja Luka and finished the 4 year program in 3 years and honoured as “the Best student of Banja Luka 2005” by the government of the Republic Of Srpska.
Igor joined the progressive metal band 'Heaven Rain' as lead guitarist in 2006. Their debut album, Far And Forever, was released on July 4th 2008 on Moonwolf Records. The following year he achieved 13th place in the rock guitar competition "Guitar Idol 2009", the Jury described his work as “A gloriously over the top dramatic and film score type blend of neo classical high emotion with great early Yngwie style playing – superb stuff“. Igor also works as a professor of Harmony at the Academy of Arts of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Igor released his debut solo album "Gravity", on Moonwolf Records, January 1st 2010.
*********
ERIK SPROOTEN
Erik Sprooten
Dutch guitar player Erik Sprooten
took up playing guitar inspired and influenced by the likes of Glenn Tipton, Ritchie Blackmore, Toni Iommi, K.K. Downing, and Uli-Jon Rothas. He was a founder member of the death metal Inquisitor, before he joined the metal band Ancient Rites in 1996 in time for their headling Europen tour and to record thieir album Blasfemia Eternal. Over the years, Ancient Rites performed at all the major rock festivals and have played with bands like Deicide, Motörhead, Judas Priest, Cradle of Filth, Metallica, Dissection, Morbid Angel, Stormtroopers of Death, Mercyful Fate, Impaled Nazarene, Manowar, Sepultura, Malevolent Creation, Rotting Christ and Slayer. Erik is also a member of the hardrock coverband called Plusminus.
*********
GEORGE SABOL
shred guitarist George Sabol
American guitarist George Sabol started playing guitar at the age of age 6, inspired by icons such as Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi, and later Andy LaRocque, Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, and Joe Satriani, by the age of 10 he had started playing in bands from 80s rock to Black Metal. In 1992, he joined Death Metal band Fatality, sharing the stage with national acts such as Fear of God, Incantation, Obituary, and OverKill. In the summer of 2001, he paired up with a bassist to create Infernal Soul and in June of 2004, he was offered a spot on the Black Sabbath tribute album entitled, Evil Lives, a True Metal Tribute to Black Sabbath, he was the sole guitarist for the project band, Funeral Wine (now Icarus Witch). This release showcased his playing along with Primal Fear, Jag Panzer, George Lynch of Dokken, and Vince Neil of Motley Crue. In October of 2004, he released his first gothic, orchestrated CD entitled, "Eternal Darkness". This year he will be releasing a new instrumental guitar album, "Vamp 442", along with another gothic soundscape.
*********
RANDALL PADILLA
Randall Padilla at NAMM 2009.
Monster Guitarist Randall Padilla, a professional demo artist for HotPicksUSA and full-time teacher for Langlois Music in Modesto, CA, plays an astounding 23.5 notes per second!! Randall has been playing guitar for roughly 13yrs and teaches all styles at any level for Langlois and Modesto Advanced Guitar Instruction and has his own weekly shred TV show about technique, theory, etc. He also takes his talent and art and applies himself towards humanitarian efforts such as raising money for veterans organizations, bringing awarenes to animal shelters such as the SPCA, and doing fundraisers for school districts. He is currently under Guinness review for fastest guitarist most notes per second. Endorsed by Digitech, Randall Padilla plays a single RP350 effects pedal and a heavily modified Ibanez RG220B with scalloped fretboard.
*********
GEORGE LYNCH
Image : George Lynch
Born in Spokane, WA, guitarist George Lynch was raised in Sacramento, CA, where he took up the guitar as a teenager. Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Leslie West, Jeff Beck, and Allan Holdsworth, he played the L.A. club circuit throughout the '70s, including gigs with such forgotten acts as Sergeant Rocks, Xciter, and the Boyz. It was as a member of the latter band that George met drummer Mick Brown and singer Don Dokken, which led to the formation of Dokken by the early '80s.... READ MORE
*********
DAVEY KNOWLES

Born in the Isle of Man, self taught British blues guitarist Davey Knowles was inspired by the likes of Mark Knoffler, Rory Gallagher, Pete Green and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. At the age of 11, he taught himself the songs
of his heros on an old acoustic guitar. As a young teenager he played in local older bands until he formed the blues band Back Door Slam with his school mates,Ross Doyle on drums and bassist Adam Jones. In June of 2007, they debuted with Davey's self penned (all but 1) album "Roll Away", which reached No.5 on Billboard's Blues chart. On their tours of the US, Back Door Slam have shared billings with Kid Rock, George Thorogood, Buddy Guy, REO Speedwagon, Styx, & Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who and Gov't Mule among others. They have appeared on television's CBS Early Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as on NPR's World Cafe and Voice of America's Border Crossings. With Ross and Adam wanting to pursue a career in Europe, Back Door Slam split in January 2009. At just 21, Davey is taking North America by storm again with his new band Davey Knowles and Back Door Slam and his new album "Coming Up For Air", which has already reached No.3 in the Billboard Blues Chart. He is touring America for most of this year, 2009. Blues guitar virtuoso .. but can he shred!
*********
MATT KIICHI HEAFY
Matt Heafy
Born in Iwakuni, Japan, guitarist Matt Heafy claims among his influences, bands such as Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Iron Maiden, Queen, The Beatles, Muse, Coldplay and Radiohead. After dropping out of Lake Brantley High School, he has had considerable success as a young, up and coming artist, as lead guitaris
t, vocalist and main songwriter for the metal band Trivium, formed in Orlando, Florida, he and the band have gathered a large following in Europe. Since the band was formed in 1999 they have released four studio albums, eleven singles and twelve music videos. Signed to Roadrunner Records, the band has attended major music festivals including Ozzfest, Road Rage, Jägermeister and Download Festival where they shared the main stage with Korn and Metallica. In 2005 he appeared on Roadrunner United album, a project organized by the heavy metal record label Roadrunner Records to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In 2006 Matt won the "Golden God Award" at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards. Also in 2006 they toured with Iron Maiden and Metallica, promoting their album "The Crusade". Matt with Trivium continue to play and headline many of the European top metal and rock festivals.
*********
COREY BEAULIEU
Corey Beaulieu
Another up and coming metal guitarist, Corey King Beaulieu attended high school at Foxcroft Academy in Maine and cites Alex Skolnick, Chuck Schuldiner, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Dimebag Darrell, George Lynch and Kasper Törnqvist as influences. Alongside Matt Heafy, Corey is currently the co-lead guitarist in Trivium, joining the band after their first album "Ember to Inferno" in 2003. (read above about Trivim) In 2007 he made a guest appearance Annihilator's album "Metal".
*********
JAN CYRKA
Jan Cyrka
British guitar player Jan Cyrka formed The Broadway Metal Choir rock band in the early 80's. They released the album 'And God Gave Us Max' in 1985, but soon after the band split when US lead singer Max Gelt broke his leg 6 weeks into a tour and returned to America. Jan spent the next few years with the bands Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, going under the name of Flash Bastard, supporting bands such as Guns 'n' Roses. In 1992 he embarked on his solo career releasing his debut album "Beyond The Common Ground," that same year. The album contained the track "Western Eyes" which was used as the theme to the Radio 1 Rock Show. This has been followed by 2 more albums "Spirit" and "Prickly Pear" which features the vocals of T'Pau singer Carol Decker. Jan also writes a long-running column for Guitarist magazine.
*********
MARC BONILLA
Marc Bonilla
Axe man, Marc Bonilla is originally from the San Francisco Bay area where he was one of the preeminent rock guitar teachers in the Bay area during the 80s. He moved to LA in the early 90's to work on TV and movie scoring working with James Newton Howard, John Debney, and others, earning an emmy nomination in 2001. He has worked with the likes of Keith Emerson (he also appears on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute album Encores, Legends & Paradox ), Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale and Kevin Gilbert. Marc has released a number of solo albums, including, EE Ticket and American Matador, which includes covers of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and "I Am The Walrus". Marc currently plays in California Transit Authority, a project led by former Chicago drummer and founding member Danny Seraphine, featuring some updates to early Chicago songs as well as new material.
*********
IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS
Ioannis Anastassak
Born in the Greek island of Crete, Ioannis Anastassakis began playing the guitar at the age of 11. He studied at the Greek National Conservatory and the Nakas Conservatory in Athens. He completed his Bachelor degree at the American College of Greece, and studied at the distinguished Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, where he subsequently tutored, after graduating at the top 1% of his class. He continued his graduate studies, specializing in Solo Flamenco Guitar, under the tutelage of Juan Serrano, at the California State University, completing an MA in Guitar Performance, and graduating Magna cum Laude. Ioannis has gone on to perform and/or recorded in a variety of settings & venues with band members of Whitesnake Dio, Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, Santana, Celine Dion, Sara Vaughan, Tito Puente, Julio Iglesias, Tower of Power, Chick Corea Electric Band, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai Band, Badlands, Tribal Tech, Natalie Cole, Joe Cocker, Cher, Blood Sweat & Tears and more. He has released 3 solo albums 'Flamenco Live at Ioannina', 'Suspension of Disbelief', 'Orbital Attempt' and 'Traditional Flamenco Guitar Selections' is scheduled to be released later in 2009.
*********
PASCAL ALLAIGRE
Pascal Allaigre
French hard rock and metal rock guitarist Pascal Allaigre, born in Nouméa, New Caledonia, France, started playing guitar in 1985. He enrolled in the Guitar Institute of Technology in 1996 and graduated in 1997. Pascal has since played with a few bands in France, namely Summertime, Black Diamond, Revenge, B-NUM, performing at many dozens of concerts. He
also works as a guitar instructor, teaching harmony, theory and velocity. Pascal enjoys composing instrumental songs, experimenting with and stretching his guitar technique. He has released 4 solo albums to date.. debuting with "Out Of Nowhere" in 2000 which features ten hard rock, metal and shred themes dominated by incredible technique and crystalline production. This was followed up by "Timeless" in 2002, "Firelight" in 2004 and his 2007 album "Attitude".
*********
FRANK GAMBALE
Frank Gambale photo by Tasic Dragan.
Born in Austalia, jazz fusion guitarist Frank Gambale graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology after he published his first book, Speed Picking. In 1985 he signed with Legato Records with his debut solo album "Brave New Guitar". As a solo artist he has released 15 albums, mostly on the JVC label and his own record label called Wombat Records, the last to date 2007's "Made In Australia". In 1986 he toured with Jean-Luc Ponty, after he played 6 years with Chick Corea's band, featuring on 5 albums and sharing a Grammy award, plus two Grammy nominations. In 2004, he reunited with Chick Corea and toured with the Chick Corea Elektric Band. Also in 1986 an endorsement deal with Ibanez guitars came about, which spawned the bright yellow-coloured Frank Gambale, now FGM series, model guitar. As well as his solo career, Frank has been a member of the band Vital Information since 1988, plus in 1990 and 1991, he collaborated with the Mark Varney Project on the albums "Truth in Shredding" and "Centrifugal Funk" and between 1998 and 2002 he worked on 3 albums with Stuart Hamm and Steve Smith.
He has become renowned for his use of the sweep picking and economy picking techniques.
*********
NUNO BETTENCOURT
Nuno Bettencourt
Portuguese-American guitarist Nuno Bettencourt first started on the drums and he played them exclusively until his brother, Luis, began to teach him how to play guitar. Influenced by Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Paco de Lucía, Vito Bratta, Al Di Meola and Aerosmith, he would skip many school days to practice upwards of 7 hours a day, and eventually dropped out of school to follow his musical dream. Nuno is maybe to many, is best known for his role as the lead guitarist of the Boston hard rock band Extreme whose hits include the acoustic ballads "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted", both from their "Pornograffitti" album
released 1990 . He has since recorded a solo project called Schizophonic as well as with bands he founded including Mourning Widows, Population 1, DramaGods, and more recently with The Satellite Party with Jane's Addiction's former front man and Lollapalooza co-founder Perry Farrell. Since 1990, Nuno has had his own line of custom guitars designed by Washburn Guitars. His line is known as the N-Series, and is currently promoting the Washburn N4.
*********
BUCK DHARMA
Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser
American guitarist and songwriter Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser known for his 42 years with Blue Öyster Cult since the group's formation in 1967. The band is one of the pioneering bands in heavy metal music, both for its hard-edged musical assault and its use of sci-fi and occult imagery and subject matter. Buck wrote and sang the lead vocal on many of the band's best-known hits, including "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Burnin' for You". The band has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. Buck is notable for his use of the Gibson SG and numerous custom Steinberger models. He also plays a Giuliano Balestra Vulcan, a Fender Stratocaster, a St. Blues and custom models built by Rick Kresiak, Harper Guitars and Warren Guitars. Many heavy metal bands have cited Blue Öyster Cult as a major influence, and bands such as Metallica, HIM, and Iced Earth have covered their songs on studio recordings and during live performances.
*********
MIIKA TENKULA
Miika Tenkula
Finnish guitarist Miika Tenkula, born in Muhos, is
recognised as one of the greatest metal guitarist to come out of Finland. He founded the death metal band Deformity in 1988. The following year, he changed the band's name to Sentenced. Miika was the main songwriter and lead guitarist for Sentenced until it disbanded in 2005 and was also the band's original vocalist from 1989 to late 1992. They released their debut album "Shadows of the Past" in 1991. This was followed by "North from Here" in 1993 and "Amok" in 1995. Over 15 years the band recorded several demos, released two EPs, one double cd live album "Buried Alive" and 8 studio albums, their last-ever studio CD, was entitled "The Funeral Album", which entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 1 in June 2005
.
*********
JEREMY BARNES

Australian Jeremy Barnes started playing guitar at aged 15. His aim is to take technique and musicality to the ultimate level. His love for technical music led him to write extreme instrumental pieces from early in his career. When he visited LA, he turned heads winning guitar competitions, running sought after clinics and playing with his heavy fusion band "Iksentrik". Returning to Australia, Jeremy continued his career as a session guitarist and also toured with Dave Gleeson and the Stilsons, did a brief stint with The Screaming Jets, and still found time to play with his own fusion band. His session work covers everything from progressive metal to rock, funk, jazz, blues and even country. Jeremy is now widely gaining a reputation as one of the fastest guitarists in the world, a fact that can be heard on his debut solo album 'ON'.
*********
CHRIS BRODERICK
Chris Broderick
Chris Broderick started playing guitar when he was 11 years old, playing styles ranging from pop to RnB to classical and jazz. He gained a degree in 'classical guitar music performance' at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. In 1997 he joined the band Jag Panzer as lead guitarist and keyboardist, appearing on the last 4 Jag Panzer albums "The Age of Mastery", "Thane to the Throne", "Mechanized Warfare" and "Casting the Stones". While with Jag Panzer, he was also a touring guitarist for the band Nevermore between 2001, 2003, part of 2004 and then again between 2006 and 2007. Then in 2008 Chris joined the legendary Megadeth, replacing Glen Drover, making his live debut with the band on February 4th, 2008 in Finland and toured with them on Gigantour 2008 and is also scheduled to play on their upcoming album.
*********
GEORGE BELLAS
George Bellas
American guitarist George Bellas started playing guitar at the age of 7 on a classical guitar. His influences have included J.S.Bach, L.V.Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Paganini, Debussey, Walter Piston, Ted Greene, Robin Trower, Montrose, Van Halen, Michael Schenker, Dream Theater, Magellan, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker among others. He began performing live very early on, and gigged extensively with his bands: Union Jack, Destiny, FreeFall and Prodigy, while continually studying music and theory. George began teaching guitar in his early teens and opened a school of music called "Prodigy's School Of Music".
He released his debut album "Turn Of The Centry" in 1996. George has gone on recording albums, teaching and collaborating with musicians such as Vitalij Kuprij, Matthew D. Guarnere, Marco Ferrigno, Mistheria and many others. In 2007 George was invited by Uli Jon Roth to perform live with him in Hollywood, CA at the Musicians Institute auditorium. During the two concerts George performed with Uli Jon Roth, Joe Stump, Michael Batio, Mark Boals, Robbie Kreager, Johnny Highland, Jeff Scott Soto, Paul Gilbert and other guitarists. Also in 2007 George's new vocal band 'Palace Terrace' signed with Lion Music debuting with their album "Flying Through Infinity". George's latest instrumental album to date titled "Planetary Alignment" was released worldwide February 2008.
*********
DAVE MARTONE
Dave Martone
Canadian musician Dave Martone started playing guitar when he was 6 years old. Dave is a lefty, but after months of pursuation at a young age, his father eventually made him play the regular way. He had classical guitar lessons with Gary Santucci from Spain until he was 13 and heard his first rock album. Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' changed his life and musical conception forever, other early influences were Gary Moore and Tony Macalpine. Dave went to Berklee College of Music in Boston USA. to study music and theory. Later influences have been Patrick O’Hearn, Peter Gabriel, Strunz and Farah, Allan Holdsworth and Greg Howe. Dave has gone on to play, host clinics or perform with 3 Doors Down, Steve Morse, Jennifer Batten, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Seymour Duncan, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani and drum greats Chester Thompson, Mike Portnoy, Greg Bissionet and Gene Hoglan. Dave also works for the National Guitar Workshop as well as Berklee College of Music doing clinics/master classes for them. He has directed 3 successful School of Rock Guitar Sessions for Tom Lee Music in Vancouver, Canada. Dave’s latest solo album to date, with Nickelback's Daniel Adair on drums is "When the Aliens Come", just released by Lion Music in Europe with world wide distribution. It has already made it up the charts at Guitar9.com as their top seller.

*********
RANDY RHOADS
Randy Rhoads
Randy Rhoads, born in Santa Monica, California, started playing guitar at the age of 7 on his grandfather's old Gibson "Army-Navy" classical acoustic guitar, he learnt by playing folk guitar, but was always evolving toward a hard rock/metal lead guitar style and he was heavily influenced by classical music as well.
At 14 he formed a band called Violet Fox, after which he played in a rock band called The Whore. At 17, in 1973, Randy taught his best friend Kelly Garni to play bass, and together they formed Quiet Riot. Eventually, the band landed a record deal with Japanese label CBS/Sony Records and Quiet Riot and Quiet Riot II were released in Japan. Then in 1979, ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne was forming a new band, then known as the Blizzard of Ozz, offered Randy the job of lead guitarist, recording their debut self titled album in the UK in March 1980. The band toured extensively in the UK and USA and recorded their follow up album Diary of a Madman in 1981. Despite his short career, (dying in a freak air crash while on tour in March 1982), he is cited as a main influence by many heavy metal guitarists. A devoted student of classical guitar, Randy combined his classical music influences with his own heavy metal style.
*********
ROBERT FLYNN
Robert Flynn
Robert "Robb" Flynn, born Lawrence Matthew Cardine born in Oakland, California is best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the thrash metal/groove metal band Machine Head. Robert formed the band along with Adam Duce, Logan Mader and Tony Costanza after leaving Bay Area thrash titans Vio-Lence in 1992. Before this he also spent two years in the thrash metal band Forbidden from 1985 to 1987. In August 2004 he was selected as one of the 4 "team captains" of Roadrunner United, an act to celebrate Roadrunner's 25 year anniversary. On 11 June 2007, Robb Flynn received the Metal Hammer 2007 Golden God Award. Robert was also temporarily the 5th member of the thrash band, Octavian's Plague. He played alongside Lyes Hassaine, Jonathan Hancock and bassist Saad Siddique for a few weeks. He continues his work with Machine Head who have recorded 6 albums, the last to date being The Blackening in 2007, and they were awarded the 2008 Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the track "Aesthetics of Hate".
*********
PHIL DEMMEL
Phil Demmel
Phil Demmel is one of the two lead guitarists for the American thrash metal band Machine Head. He was formerly a member of Technocracy, Torque, and Vio-Lence, where he played guitar along with Robb Flynn, co-founder of Machine Head. He joined Machine Head in 2003, the band replaced Bullet For My Valentine supporting Metallica's Wembley Stadium show on Sunday July 8, 2007, Machine Head have recently completed a world tour where they hit even Tel Aviv, Israel in March of 2008. The band will be touring Europe with Slipknot and Children of Bodom in November and December 2008.
*********
MARK MORTON
Mark Morton
Guitarist Mark Morton grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia. His first group was a local band, Axis which
, in 1988 won the local battle of the bands competition, better known as the famed "Stockwood" annual event to locals. Mark formed Lamb of God in 1990 with fellow students Chris Adler and John Campbell while at Virginia Commonwealth University. As Mark frequently uses pentatonic scales and harmonic minor scale, it has been noted that he has a blues style to his music. He composes and plays almost all of Lamb of God's guitar solos and forms most of the heavy groove rhythms. Co-guitarist, Willie Adler, composes most of the fast picking staccato riffs. He is known for writing some of Lamb of God's more unconventional songs including "Descending", "Vigil", and "Remorse is For the Dead". He has recently worked with underground emcee/producer Necro for his upcoming album entitled Death Rap.
*********
WILLIE ADLER

Willie Adler
Self-taught, US musician Willie Adler is one of the two guitarists in the heavy metal band Lamb of God.
Willie joined Lamb of God after the first guitarist, Abe Spear, left the band. Willie is well-known for his unconventional style of playing, which includes odd chord shapes, unique timing patterns, odd rhythms, and high usage of his fretting hand's pinky finger. He plays mostly the jagged staccato riffs in Lamb of God's songs, while Mark Morton plays more of the groove-oriented rhythms and solos. Willie is a primary songwriter in Lamb of God. His songs include "Black Label," "11th Hour," "Blood Junkie," "Hourglass," "Blood of the Scribe," "Beating on Death's Door," "Ashes of the Wake," and "Again We Rise.". Willie has recently worked in the studio with metal band Vehement from Houston, Texas to produce their six-track demo.
*********
LORI LINSTRUST
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
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
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
.
*********

KIKO LOUREIRO
Pedro "Kiko" Loureiro
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
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, h
e 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
James Byrd
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
Akira Takasaki
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
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
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
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.
*********
SYU
SYU
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 MARCIELO
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

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
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.
READ MORE ~ FULL BIOGRAPHY
*********
FARAZ ANWAR
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
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
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
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
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
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
READ MORE
*********

RON JARZOMBEK
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
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 FORTE
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
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
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.
READ MORE
*********
FREDRIK THORDENDAL
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
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
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
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.
*********
TREY AZAGTHOTH

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 SUICMEZ
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
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
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
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 EKLUNDH
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.
*********
ROOPE LATVALA
Latvala Roope
Finnish pioneering heavy metal guitarist
Roope Latvala 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. Roope is at present an active member of Sinergy and Children of Bodom.
*********
DIMEBAG DARRELL
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
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 ~ BUMBLEFOOT
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 ~ 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
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
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 "SATCH" SATRIANI
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
MacAlpine
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
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
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
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 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 ~ !!!

FULLER BIOG
*********
Allen "ROBOT" Van Wert

FULLER BIOG
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
********
A tip for would-be shredders whether it be on guitar, piano, violin, sax or even voice ... practise all your scales over and over and over again, get them PERFECT, THEN practice them a little faster and faster, back to the basics. Remember to play 'well' very quickly, is an outcome of being able to play 'well' slowly. After the scales, do not forget about the importance of phrasing and dynamics, and one day you too might be among the greats ... at the least, you will be a far better and more talented musician!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
TOP GUITARISTS . . ROCK GUITAR SOLOS . . ROCK GUITAR RIFFS

MUSO INDEX PAGE
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
PLEASE SIGN THE
TERRY KATH PETITION
CLICK HERE
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

IF YOU THINK A SHRED GUITARIST DESERVES A MENTIONED
PLEASE
EMAIL ME
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
WIKIPEDIA
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~