Started: Age 16 in 1984
Styles: Progressive / Power METAL, Classic Rock, Blues
Recordings: Defiance Firepower
Lesson Text: Learn to Play Guitar with Ken Steiger Ken's guitar lessons are for the intermediate Rock guitarist who wants to add some essential skills to his or her playing. A true rocker, Ken wants you to pick up that guitar and get your hands dirty practicing the following subjects: Dorian mode with expanded fingerings; natural minor triad arpeggio forms; guitaristic chords, Hendrix fills, vamps using 3rds over pedal notes; movable 6th patterns; three-note-per-string G-Major pentatonic; legato, vibrato; latin rhythms; phrase construction; sweep picking and hybrid picking.
Ken Steiger, aka, "guitar terminator" (20th Century Guitar) and "guitar hero" (Metal Perspective), has also been labeled as "...a great guitarist with impeccable technique and a superb sound by Insaneguitar.com. Steiger coached Mark Wahlberg on guitar for the movie 'Rock Star', He is a Rock/Metal guitar instructor at The Musician's Institute (G.I.T.), where he graduated with honors, and at the National Guitar Workshop. In a well-rounded range of musical talents, Steiger also runs a full production studio, writes, composes, teaches privately, performs regularly, and contributes to Guitar Player magazine.
STEIGER's specialty is instru-METAL music - "heavy, fast, hard-hitting over-the-top shred guitar music for those who really want to ROCK!!" (He also likes CAPITAL LETTERS a lot, as you will see.) His latest release is "PROJECT STEIGER - DEFIANCE" which has NOT ONE wimpy note on it. When did you start to play? In Junior High I was introduced to the playing of Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen. So from there I always strived to be as good as the GREATEST players... still a road to travel. I found that everyone has a place in the world of guitar and music; no matter how good you are you still have something to offer the world. When did you start to notice that your playing was different from everyone else's? I found my dedication to the instrument far exceeded those around me at the time, and when you put in the practice time in (or wood-shedding as we use to call it.), RESULTS happen. Remember what you listen to affects how you play, so GUITARISTS - put away those Britney Spears albums. When did you find your voice as a player? When I let the music flow, the guitar is a very mathematical instrument, so it's easy to over think it - you must learn as much as you can early on, then learn to forget about the theory behind the fretboard, and let it flow. Your voice is a combination of many ingredients: Feel, Touch, Soul, Gear, chops, etc. How do you keep your playing fresh? I teach at two of North America's biggest guitar schools (National Guitar Workshop - NGW and Musicians Institute - GIT) so the kids at these schools keep me motivated to continue carrying the torch. Plus I listen to more extreme music, and I am constantly learning and teaching all the newest METAL bands around, (Slayer, Pantera, Metallica, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, In Flames, C.O.B., etc.) so I'm always pushing myself - with my own music, as well. What do you do when you get stuck? I shift into 4 wheel drive?? Doesn't everyone? What do you still find hard to do? Putting the guitar down. How often are you surprised by your playing, or what you're listening to, or music in general? When I'm in the ZONE with the perfect tone, I feel as though I'm channeling other beings from a parallel universe with my eyes closed. Lol. That's when I surprise myself. I also love the new METAL coming out of Europe (Century Media / Nuclear Blast / Magna Carta) Melodic Progressive Trash type-stuff. AMAZING productions, players, and songs!! Music and technique have really sucked for the 1st part of the new century. Do you have a regular practice regimen? I did for my formative yearslately I just play all the time and teach, so everything stays HOT!! I do still like to go through all the guitar mags each month. I love GUITAR ONE magazine. Do you have a practice "tool-kit"? Most definitely, I don't even like to goof around on the guitar without recording myself. So many ideas come out, that I have to record them and work the ideas out later. You should always practice with a metronome or drum machine. Do you have a special place for practice set aside in your home? My whole bedroom is my practice area and studio. How do you practice on the road or when you travel? Basic warm-up and stretching exercises. Is there a piece of gear you just can't live without? My LINE 6 POD 2.0. I love my 1990 Ibanez Steve Vai Jem. Are there one or two core ideas that are central to your teaching that you make sure every student learns? Learn all your minor scales on one-string, as well as all the shapes and patterns. Learn the notes of the FRETBOARD and interval relationships from each string. Do you find yourself returning to listen to the artists who inspired you when you first started to play? Who are they? Yes - Van Halen, Satriani, Dimebag, Randy Rhoads, Malmsteen. Does your playing change when you switch instruments? A little, each guitar is setup with different string gauges and action. I bounce between my Les Paul, Ibanez and Jackson all the time. How often, when you're playing, do you find those moments of pure music, when your head is clear, your fingers are working, there are no distractions, and it's just you and the music? All the time. I call it the "ZONE". It's like the music speaks right through you and it's all in the sub-concious. It just FLOWS. You need to find these moments as much as you can. What music would you suggest for students? The bibles of ROCK guitar: OZZY - Diary of a Madman Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force Van Halen I & II Metallica - Master Of Puppets Pantera - Cowboys From Hell Steve Vai - Passion & Warfare Satriani - Surfing With The Alien & Flying in a Blue Dream Dream Theater - Images & Words Project Steiger - DEFIANCE (oops..small plug) Children Of Bodom - Hatecrew Deathroll LEARN EVERY NOTE!! Watch out for that Yngwie stuff. What are you listening to these days? All the new European Power Metal - Children Of Bodom, Nevermore, In Flames, Lamb Of God, Dream Theater, etc. Do you search out music that's new and unfamiliar to you? Sometimes, as long as it has rippin guitars!! Do you have a musical wish list - other instruments to learn, people to play with, artists or styles to explore? Jazz Fusion and Flamenco styles could be cool. Have you ever had a really great teacher? What made him/her so good? Yes. Their passion and talent combined into one learning package. Quite a mix. How do you learn best? Slow and Steady. Make sure I have the right EXACT fingering the first time I play anything new. NO MISTAKES ever!!
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