GUS G. IS THE LEAD GUITARIST AND
songwriter for the Greek power metal band
Firewind. He has also played in Arch Enemy,
Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, and Dream Evil.
Although Gus has the chops to shred the
neck effortlessly, he never wanted to be one
of what he calls “bedroom warriors,” guys
who sit in their room trying to play as fast
as they can to post a video on YouTube. He
aspires to write solos that people will listen
to for years to come. His philosophy on
creating a solo is to take the listener on a
journey with a beginning, middle, and end.
With this mindset he has emerged as one
of the great new metal guitarists.
In this lesson, I want to show you a section
inspired by the lead from the Firewind
song “Head Up High” from their CD The Premonition.
Gus shreds this riff with the technical
ability of the elite, but finds a way to add
finesse and feel to the mix, creating a wellrounded
yet challenging lead. The first section
in Ex. 1 is an A minor scale pattern moving
up diatonically with the chords changes. The
chord progression he plays over is Am-F-Dm-
Em7-Am-F-Dm-E. Be sure to use alternate
picking and start off slow while learning this
section, because it is blazing fast and you’ll
need precise picking to keep up. In Ex. 2, the
section ends with a riff ascending up the first
four strings followed by a two-string descending
In Ex. 3, check out how this lead ends
with a descending diminished run on the
first string—three riffs played back to back
symmetrically, moving down a minor third
(or three frets) at a time. This is not an
easy one to play because your hand has to
span six frets for each position. The entire
lead is constant sixteenth-notes and is a
great technical exercise, so get your
metronome out and get your shred on.
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