Video:Guitar History: Profile of Van Halenwith Matt
Van Halen was a 1970s rock band known for Eddie Van Halen's unique guitar playing. Learn about the Van Halen guitar style and some tips for replicating their legendary rock sound.See Transcript
Transcript:Guitar History: Profile of Van Halen
This is Matt from Chelsea Guitars and I am here with About.com and I am going to talk about Eddie Van Halen and his technique.
History of Van Halen
Van Halen was formed in 1972 in California and was started by two brothers. One of them was the drummer, Alex and the one who we know the most would be Eddie Van Halen who was the guitar player. Van Halen the band was a mark in a change in music because they added elements of a lot of different styles of music.
They blended a style of hard rock, metallish kind of music with more poppy upbeat melodies which kind of changed the face of music at that time. There were other bands like Black Sabbath that were very influential and they kind of changed that dark, deep sounding heavy music into a more aggressive and happier kind of style.
Different Versions of Van Halen:
There were two different kind of versions of the band: the early version with David Lee Roth which was kind of more aggressive and heavier, and when Sammy Hagar joined the band they kind of took a turn to a lighter less hard rock approach. Where Van Halen played, he was less aggressive in his style, some would say he was more thoughtful in the notes he was choosing and the melodies he was using.
Eddie Van Halen is Known for Guitar Solos
He is noted in many guitar magazines and all around the world as being one of the more influential guitar players. He has a lot of really, really epic solos: one would be “Eruption” that's probably the most famous one, he also did the solo for Michael Jackson's song “Beat It” and there's also one of the most noted songs that he did which would be “Hot for Teacher” which came out in the early 80's.
Van Halen Used the Finger-Tapping Guitar Technique
Van Halen was really known for interesting technique that he used to play guitar, which would be finger-tapping. So instead of using a pick to hit the string he's actually hitting the fretboard with his finger right there. And the you pull off. And you can pull off to make sure you can play any note on the fretboard that's below where you are tapping and it will make that noise.
So if you do that, you can do it in order of your fingers and pull on and push off with all your fingers. And if you do that faster and faster you'll end up sounding like Eddie Van Halen. Like this....
So that's a quick history on Van Halen and some of the techniques that he used in his guitar playing that made him sound completely unique. This is Matt at Chelsea Guitars and to find out more go to About.com.