Essential Licks - Eddie van Halen

Eddie van Halen is, maybe, the most influential guitar player since Jimi Hendrix. Playing solos that are perfectly built to serve the song, Van Halen's techniques had a major impact over all rock guitarists. We'll take a look at some of them:

Van Halen often uses fast scale patterns, played three notes per string (see 3 by 3 scales). An example from Jump:

Jump

The MIDI File

And another one from Girl Gone Bad:

Girl Gone Bad

The MIDI File

Repetitive intervals are another Van Halen trademark. From Finish What You Started:

Finish What You Started

The MIDI File

Van Halen often uses double-stops. The riff from Hot For Teacher:

Hot For Teacher

The MIDI File

Thirds from The Full Bug:

The Full Bug

The MIDI File

Tremolo picking is one of the most preferd Van Halen techniques. Here is a short example of thirds played with tremolo picking from Girl Gone Bad:

Girl Gone Bad

The MIDI File

Van Halen chooses carefully the sound of every note. Noone prior to Van Halen used the whammy bar and the pinched harmonics as powerful and frequently. From House Of Pain:

House Of Pain

The MIDI File

Van Halen's use of arpeggios is complex and melodic. An example from Cathedral:

Cathedra

The MIDI File

There are also fast runs that are backed by free strings, like this one from Spanish Fly:

Spanish Fly

The MIDI File

And the same technique in Eruption:

Eruption

The MIDI File

Again from Spanish Fly, the next lick where Van Halen uses tapping and free strings:

Spanish Fly

The MIDI File

And a more extended piece, the riff of Source Of Infection:

Source Of Infection

The MIDI File

Eruption was the piece of music where Van Halen and his tapping technique emerged:

Eruption

The MIDI File

Van Halen also experienced with two fingers tapping. The right hand in the next example from Judgement Day is marked with T:

Judgement Day

The MIDI File

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