ALEXI LAIHO OF CHILDREN OF BODOM
has put a spark back into guitar once again!
This shredder from Finland has the chops,
songwriting ability, and attitude to lead the
new generation of metal guitar players. I spent
a week with him creating two guitar instructional
programs and I can tell you this: Alexi
doesn’t f*ck around! He is 100 percent guitar
with dedication and passion 24/7.
Alexi’s style is melodic. Even when he
plays blistering fast passages, they seem to
carry strong melodies. With an arsenal of
varsity techniques under his belt, Alexi crafts
interesting and memorable lead sections for
his songs. As an aspiring guitarist, keep in
mind that simply slapping together a bunch
of arpeggios, quick scale runs, and bends
doesn’t mean that you will have a great solo.
You must think about phrasing and structure
to give a solo substance and melody.
For this lesson, note how Alexi puts
string-skipping arpeggios into a composition.
Before you get into the actual solo, play
through the arpeggios in Examples 1 and 2.
Many guitarists use hammer-ons and pulloffs
when executing these string skipping
arps, but Alexi chose to pick them to get a
steady, even flow. I recommend that you do
both so you can choose how you want to
apply them to your own leads.
Ex. 3 is a piece inspired by the lead section
of the Children of Bodom song “Six
Pounder.” It is broken into three parts, each
moving up a half-step. Be sure to use alternate
picking and beware of the six-fret
stretch on the first string. Work on first part
and you’ll be able to rip through the rest
with ease. You can download a backing track
that corresponds to this lesson at rockhousemethod.
com. Happy shredding!
John McCarthy is the creator of the Rock