Symphony X - (Michael Romeo) Style

by Emir Hot

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  • Hi! Here is something interesting for all neoclassical prog/power metal fans.

    When I first heard Michael Romeo, I thought that was something unreachable on the guitar. His precision, picking, technique, vibrato, exotic scales etc..., all packed in various different time signatures and perfect production just blew me away. Later I found all Symphony X and his solo discography. The album called "Divine Wings of Tragedy" is probably number 1 prog metal album of all times in my opinion. If you like perfectly executed neoclassical shred packed in a crystal clear prog metal production then you shouldn't wait a second to get this album. All other albums are just as perfect but they made their name in the industry with the above one. Michael's and other S X guys compositional and arranging skills are good enough to get any possible job for the most expensive movie soundtrack. Michael has also released a world famous instructional video called "The Guitar Chapter". I learned so much from that video and it is highly recommended for everybody interested in virtuoso/shred playing.

    In this lesson I tried to make some parts that are easily recognisable in Michael's playing and Symphony X song writing. As I am a huge neoclassical fan, I mostly used Phrygian dominant, Harmonic minor and diminished scales but Michael is also well known for playing various exotic and wholetone scales. The important thing is a very aggressive vibrato. Every phrase ends with a very wide and deep vibrato. He often uses floyd rose for this but you can simulate it with left hand as well. Picking is mainly alternate while arpeggios should be played with the right fingering (see slow videos). There are no other special advices for this lesson. The best recommendation is to listen to Michael's playing as much as you can and you will eventually get the feeling.

    Enjoy playing :)

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