Cancel all appointments! In a weeks time, whatever your standard of playing, youll have a handle on the chords, scales and licks that make Slash tick. Douglas Noble has the method
We’re going to give you all the ammunition you need to get a handle on Slash‘s playing style in just one week. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? However, if you take on board the key elements and put in the time you’ll be darn surprised at how far you can go in a short space of time.
An important part of Slash‘s style and sound is his Eb tuning, with all the strings tuned one fret lower than normal. The open strings – from bottom string to top string, or from thickest to thinnest – should be tuned Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb and Eb. This means the strings are slightly slacker than usual for any given gauge, which makes bends easier; it gives the guitar a slightly heavier sound, especially when playing in E minor, which makes much use of the bottom E – or the bottom Eb, as it now is! What’s more, in a band situation it makes singing easier. Tuning down a semitone is a common trick, and it’s accommodated by many electronic tuners. Many merely require pressing the ‘flat’ button once, and all the conventional open string pitches will be moved down by one fret. So, if playing these exercises on an electric, an acoustic or a nylon string, it’s probably best to tune down before you start.
The exercises for Days 1, 2, 3 and 6 can be played on acoustic and nylon-string guitars, but the exercises for Days 4, 5, and 7 require access to the notes above the 12th fret, so these are best tackled on an electric. Slash‘s tone comes from the combination of a Les Paul through a Marshall stack with an overdriven tone, but this isn’t essential to learn about his style (nor is the hat).
Our seven-day plan tackles different elements of Slash‘s style, starting with easier elements and moving on to trickier ones. The techniques worked on any day will be useful, directly or indirectly, on the following days.