“You don’t have to be as technically accurate as the latest TikTok guy”: Marty Friedman shares advice for developing your own identity as a guitarist
“What you have to be is exactly yourself, what you want to represent yourself as,” the former Megadeth man says.
Marty Friedman. Credit: Jun Sato
Marty Friedman has offered some advice to young musicians trying to develop an identity as a guitar player.
The ex-Megadeth guitarist speaks to Sweetwater‘s Nick Bowcott in a new interview where he emphasises the importance of establishing your own creative voice with the guitar.
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“It’s one thing to practice, and practice, obviously, is extremely important. But at the same time, thinking of your own, ‘Why am I doing this? What am I making music for? What do I have to say? What do I wanna say? What is my expression gonna be?’” Friedman says [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “And it doesn’t have to be all figured out at once. You learn it as you go. It changes as you go.”
He continues: “I think a lot of young people would benefit to know that you don’t have to be as technically accurate as the latest TikTok guy who’s just unbelievable. What you have to be is exactly yourself, what you want to represent yourself as.
“And I think a lot of people see the guy who practiced with the metronome for months and years and plays these flawless 16th notes at 200 beats per minute, and they say, ‘That’s what I wanna do.’ And if that’s your goal, that’s absolutely fine, but you’re not gonna get really good advice from me from that because it’s very simple to do that – very, very simple to do that: take anything and practice it.
“What you and I are talking about today is how to somewhat develop your own voice over the same chords everybody has. Everybody has A, everybody has F, everybody has E and all these chords. And how do you do that? You just try a lot of different things, and you have to decide for yourself, ‘I like this.’”
Friedman goes on: “There’s only one of you. Every single person is an individual. Every single person has something inside of them that’s different from the next person. You think a lot of these guitar players, they sound the same. Well, it’s because they’re learning the same way. They’re just learning these theories, and they’re learning from lazy guitar teachers, and they’re learning these techniques and tricks and sweep picking and tapping and all this. It’s the same shit everybody’s learning.
“So, at some point, you have to decide in very small detail which of these things that you really wanna represent yourself with. And I think I probably said that a thousand times.”