Tag: Metal Method

Metal Method’s Doug Marks Talks “Speed and Accuracy for Lead Guitar”

DougMarksSince its beginnings in 1982, Doug Marks’ Metal Method has become one of the most successful rock guitar courses of all time.

What started out as a supplement to help him achieve his own dreams of rock stardom, Marks’ lessons have taught guitarists everything from fundamental shapes and barre chords to improvising leads and writing songs.

From his early days of snail-mail cassette tapes and booklets to today’s digital downloads, Marks continues to inspire and make thousands of guitarists better players.

I recently caught up with Marks, who told me about “Speed and Accuracy for Lead Guitar,” his first new lesson in years. In the program, Marks uses his easy-going teaching style to present rapid-fire three-note-per-string patterns that increase essential skills. Marks also discussed his Hawk project from 1985, which was associated with some very familiar musicians.

GUITAR WORLD: What prompted this new program?

Last year, I started giving Skype guitar lessons. It was the first time I had given actual private lessons since I put together Metal Method. As I watched students work through the course, I was able to see first-hand one of the biggest struggles most students face: lack of precision due to a lack of focus. It was working with students through Skype that really inspired me to get to work on something new.

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You can read my complete Guitar World interview with Doug Marks and see a demo for “Speed and Accuracy” by Clicking Here!

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Guitarist Dee J Nelson Discusses New Dope Album, ‘Blood Money,’ and the Phrygian Mode

Dee J NelsonIt’s been a busy year for south-paw guitarist Dee J Nelson.

In addition to creating his popular guitar lessons for Metal Method and offering private instruction, Nelson has contributed music to the upcoming Dope album, Blood Money, that’s set for release in 2014.

I spoke with Nelson and got an update on his collaboration with Edsel Dope as well as his new guitar program based on the Phrygian mode. He also explains why developing an understanding of modal theory can be an important tool for guitarists at any level.

GUITAR WORLD: How did you hook up with Edsel Dope?

I met him through my good friends at Wornstar Clothing, Stephen and Sylvia Jense

What can you tell us about the new Dope album? Release date? Sound?

The new album is called Blood Money and will likely be out in the summer of 2014. I’m excited that it will have at least four tracks that I co-wrote with Edsel. One of which is the first track, which already has a video in the can. It looks badass! Dope fans will be very pleased with the visuals and sound!

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Read the rest of my Guitar World interview with Dee J Nelson by Clicking Here!

My Metal Method Story

It was sometime in the summer of 1985. I was a young, skinny, pimply faced teenager who had just started taking guitar lessons at the local music store. My Mom had rented me a Gibson Explorer with the only stipulation being, I take weekly lessons. Now a junior metal-head and armed with a black guitar, there was no stopping me.

I’ll admit, those first few months of learning how to play were rough. I had to endure my siblings berating me for playing “the same thing over and over” and to this day still have nightmares about muddling my way through a Mel Bay lesson book and painfully maneuvering my left hand in a futile attempt to form a “G” chord properly.

Fortunately though, my teacher always saved the best part of every lesson for last. Towards the end of each session, he would take a recording of any song I brought in from home and we (or should I say, “HE”) would figure out the chords to it for me. He was one of those little weasels who could figure out any song and lead on the guitar just by listening to it on the stereo. So songs by Bon Jovi, The Scorpions, AC/DC and Quiet Riot were all quickly added to my repertoire. My arsenal of music was slowly beginning to grow, and I was on my way to becoming the metal head I wanted to be.

But still, it felt like something was missing.

One day, I was at my local music store performing my ritual of staring at the expensive Gibson Les Paul guitars hanging on the wall when I happened to pick up my very first  guitar magazine. As a new player (and well before the advent of the Internet), those magazines were like the Bible. As I perused through the pages of gospel, I suddenly stopped when the face pictured in this post caught my eye. It was a picture of Doug Marks and an advertisement for his Metal Method guitar lessons.

These were lessons that were geared towards teaching how to play “METAL”, which was right up my alley. So, over the next few years I supplemented my weekly guitar lessons by purchasing all eight of the initial lessons and immersing myself in playing chords and leads geared towards the style of music I wanted to play. It was wonderful.

The thing I loved the most about Metal Method was the fact that there was always something you could use to make you better. And it wasn’t something that you had to rush to figure out; you could take your time with it. I’ll never forget the first time I learned how to play the two-handed tapping method that Eddie Van Halen made famous. If you listen to Eddie do it, you say to yourself: “This is impossible”. But the fact is, as long as you have the desire to play it, you can do it.

I’ve come a long way since the day I first picked up that tattered magazine. Today, I actually own one of the Les Pauls I spent years gawking at on the rack. And Metal Method is still going strong; continuing to make countless guitarists better players.

Even I, someone who now plays “G” chords with ease, recently checked out some of the updated lessons and still benefited from them. But I suppose that’s the real power and joy you get out of being a musician, no matter how long you’ve been playing.

You truly never stop learning.

You can read my Guitar World interview with Doug Marks from Metal Method Here.