Shredmistress Rynata

German-born Shredmistress Rynata not only possesses awesome technical chops, she’s also an evangelist for female musicians who puts her words into action. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Rynata runs her own label, Go-Girl Records, as well as FemMuse—an online musician network geared towards female artists.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is competition among musicians,” says Rynata. “So I wanted to start a little network where people can post their gigs and support each other.”

Her “little network” now serves hundreds of musicians from all over the globe who share information, review each other’s music, and even get together to play shows. Rynata plans to take FemMuse on the road to showcase some of the network’s talent and release compilation CDs of female guitarists through her label. Somehow, she’s also finding the time to record her next solo album.

How did you get your start?

My father was a violinist and conductor, so classical music was always being played in the house. He bought me my first guitar when I was 15, and I started off on classical lessons. It didn’t last long [laughs]. I really got drawn to pop music—I’d play Beatles songs or whatever hits were out at the time—and, to my father’s dismay, I abandoned the classical route. However, as with most German guitarists, the analytical side of classical music is part of who I am. I try to fuse that sensibility with the feel of blues and soul.

What brought you to the United States?

I’ve always been fascinated by this country, and I felt such an affinity for American music that I wanted to come here and experience it right at the source.

What’s your current gear setup?

I own about 16 electric guitars, including a ’68 goldtop Les Paul, a Minarik Inferno, a Burns Flyte, an Ibanez Roadstar, and a handmade Tipton. For big venues, I run a Marshall JMP-1 into a Marshall 9200 Dual MonoBlock power amp and Marshall 4x12 cabs. It’s pure power! For smaller gigs, I might use a Roland or Crate amp, or a POD Pro through JBL powered monitors. I have Alesis and Rocktron multieffects processors linked to a MIDI footcontroller, and I have a whole trunk full of stompboxes. My strings are usually a .009-.042 set of Dean Markley Blue Steels, and I’ve been using an 1895 Queen Victoria silver coin as a pick to get a meaty sound with lots of overtones, although the 1914 King George is better for funk and blues [laughs].

How do you write songs?

I typically lay down a drum groove to play over, and then I just see what comes to mind, depending on the mood I’m in. My styles are from A to Z. I love it all, because I love playing guitar, so I’ve never limited myself to any one thing. I can get self-indulgent, because I want to cram everything into one piece. But as I’m playing guitar instrumentals now, I’m trying to make things more coherent, with a consistent melody that has a lot of substance. Some players just shred, shred, shred—it’s like “How many riffs can I pull off in one second?” Now, that’s fantastic, but I try to combine shredding with my Top 40 background that loves a good hook. I think my songs are very lyrical—sometimes very fast, but very melodic!