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Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Hot For Teacher Guitar" Van Halen Isolated Guitar

Today we take a listen to Eddie Van Halen's smoking isolated guitar on "Hot For Teacher." For many guitar players this song is the ultimate in guitar dexterity, and even isolated, Edward does not disappoint.
The song was part of Van Halen's "1984" that was recorded at Eddie's 5150 home studio. It was voted the 39th greatest rock song by VH1. Here are a few things to listen to:

1) What can you say about Eddie's playing except "mind blowing." He's one of the true innovators of modern rock guitar and this song is an excellent example of why.

2) Eddie seamlessly goes between rhythm and lead during the song. Since this was done at home with presumably as much time as needed, I suspect that we're hearing a lot of takes comped into one. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this was one entire performance though.

3) The sound of the guitar is great for both the rhythm and lead parts. I'm not sure exactly what gear he used (I suspect it was his "Frakenstrat" and "brown sound" Marshall), but it's the sound that guitar players have obsessed over for years afterwards.

4) The studio sound of the isolated track is different from the original record (the video is at the bottom), in that it's in stereo with a short reverb and long delay timed to the track. While it's basically the same effects setup on the record, the dry sound is panned left while the effects are panned right, which is the same on most of the early Van Halen albums. It's also interesting how low in the mix the guitar is on the final version.

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