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Ben Higgins

Location: Dorset, England, UK
Date of Birth: 26th February 1985
Been playing guitar since: 1995

Born in Yeovil, England and growing up in rural Dorset, my exposure to guitars and music in general was my parents and all their friends. There was always a couple of acoustic guitars hung on the wall and, when people would come and visit, inevitably the guitars would come down to play ! However, it wasn't until my mum showed me my first few chords ( I won't embarrass myself by revealing the song.. but it was a big hit for a certain Scottish band in the nineties which never seemed to leave the number 1 spot – think what the opposite to 'dry' is 3 times ! ) that I begun my journey into the wonderful world of guitar.

I bashed away with old Irish folk songs that my Dad had taught me.. and I often found myself jamming along with anybody who was round the house. One thing, in hindsight, that these invaluable experiences did for me, was to help develop my musical ear.. which helped me progress beyond the acoustic into the scarily exciting world of the electric...

The thing that changed it all was discovering an old Iron Maiden tape in a dusty corner at home. The album was 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'. Never before had I heard music so broodingly atmospheric, yet so anthemic. There was no going back. I had to have an electric guitar ! Being very blessed with having parents who actually supported my wish to delve into the world of music, I eventually did get my hands on a ¾ size, black Washburn. My Dad mentioned something about needing a distortion pedal, whatever that was. However, I wasn't particularly interested in what a distortion pedal was or what it did. How things change....! In this case, they changed pretty quickly !

A couple of bands followed, each getting closer to the music I so wanted to be playing, until I now play guitar with the best musicians I've ever worked with and people I'm proud to call my friends in a band called The Reckoning.

Playing and Influences
As much as my favourite rock and metal bands kept fuelling my inspiration, the first guitarist who really turned my head around was Joe Satriani with his Surfing With The Alien album. His playing seemed untouchable.. divine, in fact. However, the player who spoke to me the most is Marty Friedman. It's the way he really gets into his guitar and bends and phrases like his hands are both elasticated but also made of iron... the passion of a true master.

I also deeply admire the man who inspired Friedman himself, the incredible Michael Schenker. In recent years it's not just the music that's inspired me.. the words of the late and brilliant Philip Toshio Sudo and his book 'Zen Guitar' should be definite reading material for all musicians.

At GMC
The brilliant thing about GMC is being able to share not just playing tips and approaches but our philosophy towards playing guitar. The true spirit of being a musician who is open to all learning is something that is ever present at GMC and I look forward to learning as much as teaching. And if I can one day end up with a picking technique anywhere near as good as Muris's then I'll be very happy !

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Ben Higgins's lessons (819,796 views)

Name Level Type Technique Category
Yngwie Meets Zakk 8 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Vinnie Moore Arpeggios 7 of 10 Etude Picking (more than one type) Shred - Picking
Yngwie Malmsteen: Runs 8 of 10 Solo Picking (more than one type) Shred - Picking
Chris Impellitteri Style 9 of 10 Solo Alternate Picking Shred - Picking
Yngwie Malmsteen: Arpeggios 7 of 10 Exercise Sweep Picking Shred - Sweep Picking
Sliding Arpeggios: Jason Becker Style 5 of 10 Exercise Sweep Picking Shred - Sweep Picking
Legato & Picking: Paul Gilbert Style 8 of 10 Solo Alternate Picking Shred - Picking
Alexi Laiho Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Extreme
30 Misplaced Shredders 10 of 10 Solo Phrasing Shred - Picking
Jeff Loomis Style 9 of 10 Solo Picking (more than one type) Metal - Modern
Schenker Style Hammer Ons 6 of 10 Solo Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Metal - Classic
Silent Night: Ballad for Xmas 5 of 10 Christmas Phrasing Traditional
Tony MacAlpine Style 8 of 10 Solo Sweep Picking Shred - Sweep Picking
Hirajoshi Scale: Marty Friedman Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock - Other
Targeting Chord Tones: Marty Friedman Style 6 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock - Other
Manowar: Early Years 5 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Bending from Outside Notes: Marty Friedman Style 5 of 10 Solo Bending Rock Ballad
Hangin with Vai & Satch 6 of 10 Solo Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Rock Ballad
Rusty Cooley Inspired Picking 10 of 10 Solo Picking (more than one type) Metal - Other
Rock Like Brian May 3 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Chords Hard Rock
Morbid Angel Style 7 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Rhythm Metal - Extreme
Dio Style 4 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Skid Row Style Riffing 5 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Hard Rock
Testament Style 7 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Glenn Tipton Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Dave Murray Style 6 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Paul Gilbert Riff & Shred 8 of 10 Solo Phrasing Hard Rock
Tony Iommi Style 5 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Chris Poland Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Andy LaRocque Style 8 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Jake E Lee Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Ritchie Blackmore Style 6 of 10 Solo Phrasing Hard Rock
George Lynch Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Hard Rock
Randy Rhoads Style 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Jason Becker Style 9 of 10 Solo Picking (more than one type) Shred - Sweep Picking
Rockin' The Blues 3 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Rhythm Rock - Other
Drop D Heavy Time 4 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Modern
In Harmony 2 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock - Other
Slides & Bends 3 of 10 Solo Phrasing Ambient
Slayer Style Riffing 6 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Extreme
30 Shredders In One Solo 10 of 10 Solo Phrasing Shred - Picking
Epic Metal Beginner Solo 3 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Epic
Linear Shred Zone 6 of 10 Etude Alternate Picking Shred - Picking
Adrian Smith Style 6 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Machine Gun Riffing 5 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
My Picking Patterns 6 of 10 Solo Picking (more than one type) Other
Megadeth Made Easy 3 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Rhythm Metal - Classic
Time To Gallop 3 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Rhythm Metal - Classic
Ben's Blues 4 of 10 Solo Phrasing Blues
Kirk Hammett Style 6 of 10 Solo Alternate Picking Metal - Classic
Power Chord Shifting 2 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Chords Hard Rock
Michael Angelo Batio Style 10 of 10 Solo Alternate Picking Shred - Picking
Hand Synch II 4 of 10 Etude Alternate Picking Rock - Other
Hand Synch 3 of 10 Etude Alternate Picking Rock - Other
Open String Solo 3 of 10 Solo Metal rhythm Hard Rock
Staccato Power Chords 2 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Rock Rhythm Hard Rock
Tritone Terror 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Iced Earth Style 7 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Diminished Responsibility 4 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock - Other
Scorpions: The Zoo 3 of 10 Full Song Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Sub Zero 7 of 10 Full Song Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 5 2 of 10 Etude Vibrato Rock Ballad
Picking Arpeggios 3 of 10 Chords Alternate Picking
Inside Outside Picking 2 of 10 Exercise Alternate Picking
Running Around 6 of 10 Alternate Picking Shred - Picking
Thrash Like Mustaine 6 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Progressive
Phrase Book: Pre Bends 3 of 10 Solo Bending Rock - Other
Uli Jon Roth Style 6 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock - Vintage
Phrase Book 3 of 10 Solo Phrasing Rock Ballad
Heavy Metal Shuffle 5 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Picking Hand Basics 2 of 10 Exercise Alternate Picking
Stamina School 2: Downpicking 2 of 10 Exercise Rhythm Metal - Other
Power Of Mini Sweeps 7 of 10 Solo Sweep Picking Shred - Picking
Stamina School 2 of 10 Exercise Alternate Picking
Scorpions Style: Solo 8 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Scorpions Style: Rhythm 4 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Set The Pace 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
The Devil Is In The Diad 4 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Defining Armageddon - Solo 7 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Ben's Land Of Legato 5 7 of 10 Etude Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Shred - Legato
Ben's Land Of Legato 4 5 of 10 Etude Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Shred - Legato
Ben's Land Of Legato 3 6 of 10 Etude Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Shred - Legato
Ben's Land Of Legato 2 4 of 10 Etude Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Shred - Legato
Ben's Land Of Legato 3 of 10 Etude Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Shred - Legato
Festive Challenge 2010 7 of 10 Christmas Picking (more than one type) Traditional
Judas Priest Style Riffing 6 of 10 Rhythm/Riffs Metal rhythm Metal - Classic
Marty Friedman Rocks 8 of 10 Solo Legato (both hammer-ons and pull-offs) Metal - Classic
Michael Schenker Style 8 of 10 Solo Phrasing Metal - Classic
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 4 5 of 10 Etude Vibrato Rock Ballad
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 3 5 of 10 Etude Vibrato Rock Ballad
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 2 4 of 10 Etude Vibrato Rock Ballad
Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 1 4 of 10 Etude Vibrato Metal - Epic