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Slash Turns 50
Rock guitar hero Slash, the guitarist responsible for such memorable riffs as "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City," as well as for bringing that crucial element of grit and raw energy back to rock guitar in the late 1980s, turns 50 today.
Here are 10 of our favorite highlights from the top-hatted picker's distinguished career.
10. Beggars and Hangers On Slash's Snakepit
We love the swampy country-blues influence heard in the open-tuned slide riff here. The whole song has a 1970s Southern rock vibe, which Slash and the Snakepit crew meld seamlessly with their modern heavy rock sound.
9. Fall to Pieces Velvet Revolver
The arpeggio-driven riff and soaring melodic solo make this one of the top power ballads in Slash's canon.
8. Patience Guns N' Roses
Slash may be forever known as the top-hatted guitarist wielding a Les Paul, but his work with the ol' Guild acoustic on this track is equally memorable, showing off some of his tastiest lines.
7. Black or White Michael Jackson
Contrary to popular belief, Slash did not record "Black or White"; he was just a guest guitarist for Michael Jackson's performance of "Black or White" on the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. He did, however, play on "Give In to Me," also from the Dangerous album.
6. Mr. Brownstone Guns N' Roses
As our friend Greg Koch once wrote, the main riff here "is so savage it makes even the most wholesome individual contemplate tattoos or piercing."
5. Anastasia Slash
Neoclassical Slash? That opening riff may be inspired by Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," but the rest of the track is FM radio rock at its finest. Working with Myles Kennedy—arguably the best vocalist Slash has ever worked with—certainly seems to have reinvigorated the guitarist.
4. Slither Velvet Revolver
Possibly the best representation of the Stone Temple Pilots/Guns N' Roses hybrid that was Velvet Revolver, the main riff offers a sinister street vibe, and Slash's solo is blistering wah-drenched classic rock at its best.
3. November Rain Guns N' Roses
Widely considered one of the greatest rock guitar solo extravaganzas of all time, Slash cranks out not one, not two, but three solos. Epic—in the truest sense of the word.
2. Sweet Child O' Mine Guns N' Roses
The riff that launched a million guitar store headaches. But seriously, who'd have thought a warm-up picking exercise could become one of the greatest hard rock riffs of all time? Furthermore, who'd have thought you could incorporate the harmonic minor scale into a classic rock solo without sounding pretentious?
1. Paradise City Guns N' Roses
This song is nearly 30 years old, and still, whenever it comes on, the volume knob immediately goes up. "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle" get more attention, but this track is the balls-out rocker that will most assuredly stand the test of time—and it's Slash's favorite!
Learn How to Play Four Beatles Classics
This past week, we posted new video song lessons for four Beatles classics: "Birthday," "Dear Prudence," "Hey Jude," and "Come Together." In each lesson, instructor Doug Boduch takes you step-by-step through every riff, lick, and chord change, to ensure you'll be able to play every part correctly.
"Birthday" Video Lesson and Guitar Tab
"Hey Jude" Video Lesson and Guitar Tab
"Dear Prudence" Video Lesson and Guitar Tab
"Come Together" Video Lesson and Guitar Tab
New Def Leppard G-Plus Song Lessons
Def Leppard's 1981 album High 'N' Dry and their 1983 follow-up Pyromania are widely recognized as two of the most important releases of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Indeed, Pyromania would go on to sell over 10 million copies and cement the young British quintet as bona fide superstars. Over 30 years later, the band is still packing arenas and amphitheaters all across the globe.
We're excited to bring you two of the band's biggest hits from that era, "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" and "Foolin'," in our new G-Plus Song lesson format, featuring guitar tab, audio backing track, and a video lesson all in one.