Zakk Wylde was interviewed by Art Thompson and talked about his guitar teaching days.
“A lot of it was just helping them learn how to play the stuff they loved listening to. I mean, you can tell a kid that it’s important to learn from Clapton or Hendrix or whoever, but it’s not going to do them any good if they don’t like that kind of music.”
“I always tell kids, ‘Whatever music moves you, just do that.’ When Bon Jovi was selling 60 gazillion records, the record company told Guns N’ Roses they needed to be more like Bon Jovi if they wanted to get signed.
“Then, Guns is the biggest thing on the planet, and they’re telling Soundgarden they need to be more like Guns or whatever. By the time that grunge was the biggest thing on the planet, they were telling Green Day they needed to be like the grunge guys.
“But all these bands I’m talking about stuck to their guns, and they played what they loved playing. That’s what it comes down to.”
“The cool thing is that so much of that stuff, whether you’re talkin’ Zeppelin or AC/DC or Sabbath, can be played on one or two strings. That’s why I sometimes just grab a bass when practicing.
“That’s all it takes – so you learn those riffs and you expand on them. You learn certain things from Dime and certain things from Metallica – like how to compose song structures and stuff like that – and certain things from Zeppelin or Sabbath. That’s your Rolodex of knowledge, and your pantry of flavors.
“So when you’re cooking stuff, you can put a little bit of seasoning salt from everything you’ve learned from all these different amazing players and bands that you love listening to. You can go from playing pentatonic scales and diatonic scales and harmonic minor scales, then you start working in passing notes, and bring things up to speed by constant repetition.
“This is stuff you can do while watching TV, but the important thing is to do it constantly. I mean King Edward [Van Halen] didn’t just wake up one day knowing how to play ‘Spanish Fly.'”
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG