Steve Lukather Gives a Classic Lesson in Shred

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Steve Lukather has established himself as one of the most prolific session guitarists. Back in 1984, when he was still known primarily for his work in Toto, he released the Steve Lukather Starlicks Master Series instructional video, shown here.

In this classic video, Lukather shows several techniques by demonstrating their use in Toto songs, including the hit “Rosanna,” “Lovers in the Night,” “Carmen” and “Lion.” These include double-picking, speed picking, tremolo effects, chromatics, bending, position shifting, false harmonics, traveling scales and melodic phrasing.

The clip begins with Lukather shredding for a minute, after which he gives a walk-through of his gear from the time, including his custom Valley Arts guitar and Mesa/Boogie amp. He wraps up the 35-minute lesson with a solo that uses several of the techniques demonstrated in the video.

** A Disclaimer from Steve Lukather About the 1984 Starlicks Lesson You're About to See **

Sent while on tour in Dubai on February 24, 2016—Okay, it WAS 1984, when MORE was MORE all the time! I had just gotten my new Bradshaw rig with all the bells and whistles, and the tri-stereo chorus, stereo pan delays, etc. were all the rage then. All the effects were new, and a lot of producers ASKED for this sound at the time. I just turned EVERYTHING ON, and played with what was probably a blistering hangover. Hahaha. 

It WAS 1984! 

My pal Wolf Marshall wrote a "music minus one" thing, and I was very nervous, this being the second Starlicks video ever. He said "PLAY," and that was a one-take jam on something I had never heard before, and the tone sounds a bit like a kazoo in all honesty. Hahaha.

I am VERY sorry. It was all NEW, and I never thought this would be seen after 30+ years had past. This was also NOT Bob Bradshaw's fault that I turned EVERY effect on! Please. I love the guy and his gear.


Understand that I do NOT sound like this anymore. I was having a laugh, and please remember the era it was made in. I mean its hard for ME to watch. Remember, it's not nice to beat up old people, so have a laugh and take it for what it is worth. MY name and the word "shred" hardly makes sense. There are ten year old kids that have better chops than me.

I CAN laugh at myself — and DO daily — and I also know how fortunate I am for my life and career but..

Please be gentle.

It was another era. I was another person. Shit happens, but I get to live it in public.

Oh, regrets I have had a few...

Wish you all well,