A Question For My Hero, Heavy Metal-San

What’s the haps, it’s TheAndySan hurr with a quick post.

I just posted a question for my numba-juan guitar idol, Marty Friedman aka Heavy Metal-san. Here is what I posted on his site’s Contact Form:

Subject: It’s About Anime.

Hey Marty! I’ve been playing guitar for about 3 years now and you’ve always been a consistant source of inspiration for me as a musician and as a guitar player. Everyone else can have their Jimmys and their Jimis, but if I were stuck on a Desert Island (Cacophony reference), all I need is your work on Rock Fujiyama, your solo albums, the Cacophony albums, and of course the Megadeth albums (Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction especially) and I’d die a happy man.

My question to you is this: have you ever performed or are considering performing an anime opening or ending theme? One of the first artists that got me into Japanese music was The Pillows and they pretty much did the entire soundtrack for FLCL!

Everyone except for my dorkiest of friends thinks I’m crazy for liking this kind of music, but I insist on listening to it because of the uncanny amount of beautiful melodies in the songs. You were the one who showed me that you could like even the hokiest music in the world and turn it into something really rockin’! I sincerely thank you for this!! It has opened me up as a musician, a player, and as a listener of music! Thank-you so much for what you have done!!

Andy

www.theandysan.com

Well, I’m gonna eat ‘cuz I’m hungry. I’m ending this post with a vid from Mr. Heavy Metal himself doing Last September from his album True Obsessions. Later daze!

TheAndySan

"マーティ"

“Ok, so what do the little squiggles in the title mean, Andy?!!” It’s Marty Friedman’s name in katakana, the Japanese alphabet used mostly for translating foreign words. Hello again, it’s TheAndySan here with 5 tips on how to be a better guitar player. These can be applicable to anyone who plays music, but for the intents and purposes of this article, it’s about guitar players.

Tip 1 – Stretch out your ears. No, I don’t mean physically stretching your ears (editor’s note: TheAndySan does not condone any acts of ear mutilation. Seriously, don’t do it!!), what I’m talking about is expanding what you listen to. I suggest delving into every kind of music that you can. Sure, not all of it will be good, but I’m positive you’ll find a player or two that tickles your fancy. For example, I’m not a fan of country music, but I love Vince Gill. I think he’s an amazing singer and one heck of a guitar player to boot! By expanding your musical library, you’ll be able to break out of ruts much easier than by just listening to the same-o same-o music, incorporate unique techniques such as pre-bending which will help to mold your personal playing style, and you’ll be more well-rounded as a musician. You’ll be surprised as to what kind of music your guitar heroes listen to. My main man Marty Friedman, for example, listened to KISS and The Ramones when he was first learning to play guitar. Later on, he got stuck in a rut and began to listen to foreign music. While he was living in Hawaii, he would listen to a Japanese radio station that would play enka music. I’ll try to explain enka music in the form of an analogy: Enka music is to Japan as country music is to America. It’s very ethnic-sounding. Ok, so my explanation is pretty sucky. Here’s a video clip of one of the greatest enka singers ever, Misora Hibari, performing “Ringo Oiwake”:

Tip 2 – Value those with more experience. You’ve probably seen them popping in the music store: the old geezers who can blaze on guitar. Some people would brush off guys like them since they’re “too old” and “uncool”. Not me, boy! I’m asking ’em questions, watching them play, and gauging their skills. I highly recommend that you take note from guys who have more experience, even if they are uncool old geezers lol!

Tip 3 – Join or start up a band. I know that several professional musicians started their first band when they only knew one chord (*coughTomMorellocough*). Even if none of you guys know how to play anything, being around other people will generate ideas and will better encourage those ideas to be exacuted.

Tip 4 – Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I’m not trying to sound discouraging, but what I mean is that, for example, if you try to master the solo for Tornado of Souls in its entirety and expect to play it spot-on by the end of the day, chances are you’ll fail miserably. However, if you break the solo into sections and begin mastering each section one at a time, you’ll have a much higher chance of not only playing the whole thing, but to play it flawlessly. Also, if you’re just learning to play guitar and you want to learn a very technically challenging song like Far Beyond The Sun by Yngwie Malmsteen, you’ll get very discouraged. Learn the basics like power chords and a couple scales before tackling a tough song like that. And, of course, break it into parts when you do sit down and learn it.

Tip 5 – Don’t cave in to peer pressure. One of the main reasons that popular music stagnates before “reinventing” itself is that it tries to “cookie-cutter” bands. In other words, they try to make every band sound the same in hopes of repeated financial success. It never quite works out, does it? Although he’s very VERY overused, Kurt Cobain is probably one of the best/worst examples of what the music industry can do to an artist. At that point in time, hair metal was the name of the game and anybody who wanted to be somebody slipped in to some spandex, slapped on some makeup, fluffed their hair and POOF! You were popular. After a while, people got tired of watching different guys doing the same old things that all the other bands were doing. Then along comes Kurt, a guy who was living in his car and applied to be a dog kennel cleaner right before the album Nevermind turned the music industry on its ear. Then came Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, etc. And then people got sick of listening to grunge all the time. Now, it’s emo music. Every band is supposed to sound like Fall Out Boy because Fall Out Boy is a highly successful band. BOLLOCKS!! If bands would just be themselves, people would be able to relate to them and success will naturally come.

Well, I’m gonna get me some shuteye so I’ll see you guys later. Good-night!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 1,508 days since I had a website.