Mercyful Fate Soloing

by Ben Higgins

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  • Difficulty: 6
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  • Welcome to my new lesson!

    This time we are learning some soloing in the style of Mercyful Fate. Mercyful Fate's classic lineup featured the guitar playing of Hank Shermann and Michael Denner.

    "Hank Shermann (real name René Krolmark) is a Danish heavy metal guitarist. He began playing guitar in 1977.
    Shermann is best known for his work with Mercyful Fate.

    Michael Denner (born 5 November 1958) is a Danish heavy metal guitarist. Denner is known for playing a Gibson Flying V guitar. He lists his inspirations as Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Ollie Halsall. He was a member of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond amongst others." - Wikipedia

    Both Shermann and Denner use traditional guitar techniques such as hammer-ons / pull-offs, alternate picking, trills. It was the early 80's so sweeping and tapping were not in many people's repertoire by then. Their style was very old school and most likely influenced by the British and European hard rock acts of the 70's.

    Shermann's solos feature wild bends and aggressive, fast blues inspired shredding. Denner has a slightly more linear, Schenker inspired style involving lots of pull-offs and slides. Their tones are very distinctive. Both used Marhsall in the 80's with Shermann favouring Strats and Denner favouring the Gibson Flying V.

    This lesson will work on:

    -Hammer-ons and Pull-offs.
    -Bending in time
    -Alternate Picking

    I've kept this lesson very manageable for any intermediate metalhead so there's no excuses not to give this a go!


    Tuning: E A D G B E - E standard Tuning

    Tempo: 150 bmp

    Gear: Ibanez RG7421, Nick Crow 8505 Amp Plugin, Guitar Suite Tube Screamer, Poulin LeCab 2.


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