Eddie Van Halen Style
|What you learn:
Storm: Hello everyone. Continuing
with Van Halen style tonight. A jam track from the Van Halen band 'keyboard'
era. The album '1984' and up. Many of Van
Halen's biggest hits included keyboard, including 'Jump', their first #1 single. We'll look
at how to create some of these 'keyboard' chords on the guitar and some more
sample riffs over the jam track. The
progression is in the key of F. A couple of suggested
Storm: This is the major
pentatonic scale, a favorite note group for Eddie over major key
progressions. And this is the Major Scale, laid out in a three-note-per-string pattern. Sets up nicely
for hammer-on and pull-off runs.
Storm: Eddie favors a lot of sus moves to
flavor static chords, similar idea over the D minor chord in
bar 3 of the progression. Bb and C major share the last bar to
turnaround to the start. Another favorite sus move of Eddie's on the C chord.
F chord moves
Dm chord moves
Bb + C chord moves
This is from the 1984 era?
From the 'Van Hagar' era. A bit like 'Love Walks In'. More than a bit,
Here is a tab of the entire part. To get a keyboard sound on guitar, try using
your thumb, index and middle fingers for the part. Something Eddie does often
for it's piano-like sound and dynamics.
Storm: And here come the licks for tonight.
This riff moves slides of a whole step and back. Moving up the neck in 5th and
4th intervals gives this riff and wide sound with few notes.
Ending with a whole step bend. Similar to a style riff in Van Halen's "I'll
Here is a similar lick, out of the major pentatonic scale. Using bends instead
of slides. I am running a pretty straight forward
distortion setting. Bridge humbucking pickup. You could try a little phasing
and/or delay would be Eddie approved.
jlancaster: What makes a chord sus2 . . .sus4 etc.?
Storm: The replacement of the '3rd' of the
chord with the named scale tone. This riff is a slippery 'legato' run.
Consecutive hammer-ons, mostly from the major scale but with a couple of
'outside' notes. Eddie will add whatever notes sound good to him and always
seems to make it all work.
Storm: This next lick uses some extreme bends,
of which Van Halen is fond. In the style of "When It's Love".
Storm: This next lick uses a bend of 1 1/2 steps to start. With a
stuttering sound caused by right hand muting. Then an extreme 2 step bend. Get
the extra packs of strings ready. The licks will work anywhere in the track but the videos demonstrate the
measures I thought them appropriate.
This next lick throws in some 'rakes' into notes for drama. Some legato
hammer-ons. Unison bends. A tapping riff on string 2 and a bend-tap-slide
tap-pull-off and bend release. 5 riffs in one, which is like listening
to one measure of Eddie Van Halen.
The first note should show a hole step bend. Hole step = whole step.
This next to last riff uses tapping through the major pentatonic scale. The same
motif moved across the strings but changing the shapes to fit the key.
Storm: This last riff
uses a Van Halen trademark - 'tap' harmonics. Similar style riff heard in Van
Halen's "Dreams" and "Poundcake".
Storm: With this
technique Eddie can actually bend the harmonic and put vibrato on them. Very
cool. Play the 3rd string - 5th fret then hammer the index finger of your left hand over the
12th fret. You should get the overtone G. Do the same at the 10th fret for the
octave, C. Hammer right over the fret. Heavy distortion helps.
The moves in order go tap harmonic, bend, tap next harmonic, tap
first harmonic, release bend, then next harmonic.
fenderblues: Teach I am shopping for a new amp and I want to get somewhere around that
sound but also play some more Hendrix sounding stuff. Do you have any suggestions?
I had a 5150 amp and that was as 'brown' sounding an amp as you could find.
Almost too much gain, though you could plug into the low gain setting too. Line 6 stuff I like a lot, very
versatile. For the recordings for the site I use them.
fenderblues: Storm, when i use my whammy
bar it detunes it right away. Is there some way I can fix that myself.
Storm: This riff uses the bar, depressed then
releasing as you pick the note to 'scoop' up to pitch.
Eddie uses a Floyd Rose tremolo which is very hard to knock out of tune.
Locking tuners, roller nuts and graphite under the string at the nut are some
solutions that don't require a new guitar or woodworking.
Well maybe not the roller nut.
that's it. One more Van Halen lesson to go. Eddie's keyboard playing uses small
chord voicings, no more than three note. Usually over a bass note sustained or
pedal. The bass guitar does the role in the jam track. Here are some of the
chord voicings the first two bars of the progression
are on an F major chord.
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