Dave Mustaine: “The truth is it’s not that hard to shred really fast if you learn the patterns”

The Megadeth leader weighs in on guitarists who shred on social media.


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Technical ability vs. feel is an ever-present debate in the guitar sphere. Those in support of the former argue sheer speed is one of the key factors in determining a guitarist’s skill level, while those in support of the latter say the ability to coax emotion out of the instrument in far more important.

Now, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has weighed in on the issue, arguing that shredding is somewhat of a cheat code, and shouldn’t be a measure of how good a guitarist is.

Speaking to Guitar World, the guitarist explains that social media has increased the popularity of the guitar, but it has led to a rise in people shredding to valuable internet attention.

“I’ve seen a lot of guys and gals that can play well. So, those people are out there. I don’t want to name any specific people, but I have noticed that a lot of these people are faster and fancier,” he says.

“They’re all doing the proper things. But the thing for me is that it’s not about how fast you can shred, you know? I mean… I can do that, so I know how difficult it is. And the truth is that it’s not really that hard to shred really fast if you learn the patterns. The other truth is that most people who are watching these people shred really fast don’t know what they’re actually watching.”

Instead, Mustaine advocates for guitarists to think about what kind of guitarist they’d like to be, and focus on areas other than shredding, too.

“What kind of songwriter are they? What kind of rhythm player are they? How do they execute solos? How do they do with layering? That last one is big – you need to be able to layer guitar tones properly,” he urges. “If you can’t, you’re missing a massive piece of the puzzle.”

Earlier this month, Dave Mustaine said his Gibson and Epiphone models “feel the same” – despite the $5,000 price difference.


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