Zakk Wylde Style Riffs

by Zsolt Galambos

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  • Hi everyone at GMC,

    and welcome to my first rhythms lesson, where I'll try to cover Zakk Wylde's style of playing riffs and pinched harmonics.

    Zakk Wylde is probably the most influencial musician out there nowadays and is best konwn for being the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. He is also the founding member of his whiskey fuelled band Black Label Society, where he smothed his style.
    Zakk Wylde's techniques roots in classic rock and southern blues. His style is easily recognisable which involves strong, wide vibratos, low tuned guitars and screaming pinched harmonics.

    This lesson is fairly easy to play, except for the pinched harmonics parts. Pinch harmonics are produced by the picking hand's thumb, by picking the fretted note and immediately touching and releasing with the thumb. A strong and wide vibrato with the fretting hand is also required to achieve the desired sound.
    For this lesson I tuned my guitar to a dorpped C tuning: C, G, C, F, A, D. However, to play these riffs it is enough to tune down the two lowest strings to C and G.

    Setting on Line6 Toneport Ux1:
    Amp: Line6 Spinal Puppet - Drive 7, Bass 5, Middle 7, Treble 6, Presence 5,5.
    Cab: 4x12 2001 Treadplate with 57 Sure mic off axis.
    Reverb: Line 6 Bright Room

    Have fun practicing it!
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