Nightwish Style

by Ben Higgins

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  • Welcome to my new lesson. This time we're looking at the Finnish symphonic metal group Nightwish.

    Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. The band soon picked up drummer Jukka Nevalainen, and then bassist Sami Vänskä after the release of its debut album, Angels Fall First (1997). In 2002, Vänskä was replaced by Marco Hietala, who also took over the male vocalist role previously filled by Holopainen or guest singers - WIkipedia

    Nightwish's musical style involves heavily distorted guitar riffing, courtesy of Emmpu Vourinen, which mostly use of chunky power chords and single note lines. Vourinen's riffs often have a Phrygian Dominant sound, which means that the chords and / or notes used relate to the intervals of the Phrygian Dominant scale. A good example of this is 'Dark Chest of Wonders' which uses both power chords and single notes. Vourinen's guitar sound is incredibly thick and tight, bringing to mind the early 90's Metallica sound.

    Vourinen is known for writing melodic solos that avoid too much cliched shredding. He's a very tasteful guitarist who serves the song with restraint.

    Outside of the guitar, Nightwish's sound is all about epic bombast, using synth and real orchestra to create their unique sound.

    This lesson will work on:

    -Palm muting
    -Tapped bends

    You don't have to be a guitar virtuoso to play this style of music. It's very attainable but you do need to develop good control over your tone by use of palm muting and good hand coordination. You also have to have great timing. So, what are you waiting for?

    E A D G B E - Standard tuning
    Em, Am
    Ibanez RG7421, Nick Crow 8505 Amp Plugin, Guitar Suite Tube Screamer, Poulin LeCab 2.

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