Video: Alex Skolnick Teaches Us How to Sound Like Him

Alex Skolnick (2016). Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Alex Skolnick is an iconic shredder. He's best-known as the lead guitarist for the band Testament but has also played with countless other metal acts, including the eponymous Alex Skolnick Trio, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and more.

Reverb's resident shredder, Joe Shadid, had a chance to sit down with Skolnick over Zoom to learn more about how the metal guitarist practices and sharpens his lightning-fast playing skills. "He showed me," Joe says, "some of the coolest harmonic ideas that I've learned in years."

Interestingly, Skolnick says that when he starts to practice, he likes to practice on a guitar that's harder to play before switching to his ESP LTD AS-1 signature model. Sometimes it's a Taylor acoustic, and other times he reaches for his 1976 Gibson L-5. "It's probably my best-sounding instrument that I own, but it's a bit more of a challenge," he tells us.

As for the practice routines, Skolnick kicks off with his own fresh takes on how to think about, break down, and practice the diminished scale. From there, he and Joe move into Randy Rhoads-inspired licks, with Skolnick explaining how he creates little lines and practices them in several different ways. Be sure to check out the video above to learn all of this and more.

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