ROCK LEGENDS II - EDDIE VAN HALEN
you'll explore the style of rock guitar legend Edward Van
Halen. In the '80s, he was a guitar player who made his own template
for rock guitar licks. He combined hammer-ons, pull-offs, two-handed tapping,
and a trunk full of effects and other techniques to create his own style that
was mimicked by almost every other guitarist in that
Lyle: Listen to the "Lesson Sample". You will
hear many trademark licks from EVH. During the lesson, you will learn how to
play all of these licks.
Lyle: So much has been written and documented
on Eddie's guitars, amps, tone, effects and technique. I'll try to break it down
simply for you. Starting with his guitar, he used a
strat style guitar with a humbucker in the bridge position during the first part
of his career. He used Marshall amps and cabs.
The effects he typically used at different times include Phase, Flanger,
Echo/Delay and Chorus. Later in his career he designed his own guitars
(Wolfgang) and amps (5150), which were mass-produced by a major instrument
company so you too could sound just like
him! Suggested listening: Van Halen,
Fair Warning, and 1984 are 3 of my favorite
Lyle: The first part of the lesson sample has
a two-handed tapping riff that EVH is well know for.
Lyle: Rest your thumb of your right
hand on the top side of the neck for support as your right hand index finger
taps/hammers the notes on the 12th fret.
Lyle: I'll show you a video clip of this riff
in a minute. Notice the riff has 2 parts - ascending
and descending. What I'm doing in the intro of the
lesson sample is playing this riff plus ascending again, then I go into this
Watch this video clip of both riffs
Lyle: The virtual fretboard displays what
fingers to use.
T = tap with right hand index finger,
1 is index finger of left hand,
3 is ring finger of left hand...
Lyle: Let's move on to rhythm guitar riffs in
the style of EVH.
Lyle: After the tapping intro riff, I made a
rhythm riff that has the EVH sound and feel to it. Listen to this
As far as tone, try using a phase effect set to a slow speed. Eddie used the MXR
Phase 90 pedal for this type of sound.
Lyle: The use of major and minor 3rds in this
rhythm riff is a signature style of EVH. Here's a jam track to practice this riff
jam track -
rhythm riff 1
think of that riff as the "chorus"
riff. I made a "verse" riff that goes like
do you do the palm mute?
Kevin, rest the heal of your hand on the open 6th string.
So the heal is used to mute the string?
Lyle: Yes Kevin.
Lyle: Rhythm riff 2 has the open 6th string
again, droning through the whole riff.
Lyle: The chords are built on the "inside" of
the neck, using just the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings.
Lyle: Here's a jam track
for rhythm riff 2:
jam track - rhythm riff 2
Teacher: You don't have to palm mute
the open 6th string for rhythm riff 2. If you listen carefully to the tab file
you'll hear how clear the sound of the open 6th string rings through,
Lyle: In the lesson sample, the "song
tapping riff - intro
chorus - rhythm riff 1
verse - rhythm riff 2
chorus - rhythm riff 1 again
solo - rhythm riff 3
Lyle: You've just learned the intro, and the
two rhythm riffs that make up what I call a chorus and verse
Lyle: If you analyze other signature riffs
from other rock legends, you notice that each legend has a little different way
of playing. That's what I'm trying to show you in these
Lyle: Ok, now on to the rhythm guitar part for
the solo section at the end of the lesson sample:
Lyle: Here's a dedicated jam track for rhythm
- rhythm riff 3
Lyle: The solo section (key of E minor) of the lesson sample
has some signature riffs in the style of EVH.
The first riff is using basic blues/rock
riffs but the cool riff that has the EVH sound to it in my opinion is the 2nd
half of bar 4, (12th fret/2nd string to 15th fret/3rd string and repeat).
solo - riff 1
Lyle: The next riff has a whammy bar attached
solo - riff 2
Lyle: The next riff has a familiar type of
hammer-on run that you would hear EVH play in solos from Jump and Top
solo - riff 3
Lyle: The next riff uses the two-handed
tapping technique like the intro riff of the lesson.
Steve: Any tips
on getting a good tapping sound?
Lyle: Keep the other strings muted so they
don't make noise.
Lyle: This next riff is the
Lyle: Here's a video that I hope will show
this better for riff 4:
- riff 4
This riff has a couple of signature techniques of
1. The sliding of the right hand
index finger (16th fret/3rd string),
"pre-dip/bend" of the whammy bar before the 14th fret of the 3rd string is
played in the 3rd and 4th measure.
Lyle: The final riff of the solo is another
signature riff in the EVH style, playing a scale on one string while picking
each note as fast as you can!
solo - riff
Steve: Yea, he
does that in Eruption
Lyle: Memorize all of these solo riffs and use
this jam track to help you play them all together:
track - with solo
Lyle: Here's a jam track of all the rhythm
riffs covered in this lesson.
Lyle: You'll first play:
rhythm riff 1, then
rhythm riff 2, then
rhythm riff 1, then to
3 - solo section, just like in the lesson
- full version
Lyle: These have been a few rhythm riffs and
solo riffs in the style of one of the all time great legends of the rock guitar,
EVH. If you would like to learn more of his style, riffs or even songs, I can
teach you in your own private lesson just like this archive. Contact me by email
at: Lyle@theguitar.net for more info.
Thanks and hope you enjoyed this lesson on one of my favorite rock legends! -