Manowar: Early Years

by Ben Higgins

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    Developing your Manowar style, in the slick manner that Ben demos in this lesson, means having a strong rhythmic component to your playing, but also a good understanding of a couple common yet important harmonic devices. 

    As Ben shows, and explains in the text for this lesson, Manowar used a lot of Natural Minor Scale sounds, also known as the Aeolian Mode, in their riffage. As well, they were influenced by blues rock sounds, and so learning how to play and build the Minor Blues Scale is also essential when learning how to play in the Manowar style on guitar.

    Welcome to my lesson in the early style of Manowar!

    "Manowar is an American heavy metal band from Auburn, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for its lyrics based on fantasy (particularly sword and sorcery), mythological topics (particularly Norse mythology) and for playing a lot of songs about heavy metal music, along with their "loud and bombastic" sound." - Wikipedia

    I've focused on the sound of Into Glory Ride, Hail to England and Sign of the Hammer. On these albums, Manowar introduced more Nordic and fantasy elements, not to mention choral effects. The mixing was also unusual. The bass would sit in the left channel and the guitar would sit in the right channel. This gave these albums a very distinctive sound.

    Their guitar player during this period (and up to 1988's Kings of Metal) was Ross 'The Boss' Friedman. Ross's guitar playing is influenced heavily by the blues and even rock n roll and punk. Consequently his riffs and soloing had a lot of anarchic attitude that a lot of subsequent metal guitarists lacked. It was unschooled, non technical but full of passion and in music, passion makes the difference!

    This lesson will work on:

    - Chord shifting
    - Palm muting
    - Hammer ons
    - Power chords
    - Bending

    Death to False Metal! Hail and Kill!

    Tuning: E A D G B E Standard tuning

    Tempo: 105 bpm

    Key: A Minor

    Gear: Marshall JVM 410H. OD1, Red setting. BASS 3 MID 4 TREB 8 GAIN 4

    Scales: (Solo) A Minor

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