Write an Alchemy profile on yourself!

This could fun and hilarious if we do it well.  Create a Guitar Alchemy profile for yourself.  Be as serious and/or as silly as you like (hint: the best ones will undoubtedly be both), but please be thorough. Don't half-ass it. If their good, I'll leave them up.  Obviously, I'll do one. too.

1. Use the established Alchemy template (shown below).
2. Use a photo of yourself. (I can host it if you need that)
3. Link in whichever of the Dino icons is appropriate for your style from here:
4. Note: It might be a good idea to draft it elsewhere, then paste it in here.

List any relevant bands

Famous / Infamous for
Make these as funny and as silly as you like, but try to base them on some reality -- i.e. even if your only famous for something in your band or in your own mind.

Not-So Obvious



Please don't make this just another gear list. Describe your tone and how to get it in general terms the way the profiles do.

Guitar Style
Rhythm Style
Lead Style


Recommended listening
If you have any recordings, link to them here.


Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.


  • Gunner4LifeGunner4Life Posts: 6,319
    Rob Lodespoto (Gunner4Life)

    Living Room


    Famous/Infamous For:
    Famous for - Countless NGD's.

    Infamous for - Modding every guitar he buys, after proclaiming it perfect out of the box, and then selling it a month later, for half of what he paid. Posting poor quality iPhone videos of his playing. Writing one guitar solo in 1995, and playing it to death.

    Obvious - Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry. At his core, he is a blues based hard rock player. He also has a little bit of an obvious Eddie influence. And will tap his Zak influence, to throw in a few inappropriate pinch squeals, even when not necessary.

    Not So Obvious - Classical music, Neo-Classical Metal, Flamenco guitar, Thrash. The Beatles were his favorite band as a kid, but you'd never guess it from his playing. More recently, he's been drawing more influence from Black Metal bands such as Venom and Merciful Fate. He often sites Maiden and Priest also.

    Rob's limited musical vocabulary, and skill set, will all but guarantee that he will never overplay.

    His rhythm playing, while basic, is solid, he can riff.

    Some have compared Rob's playing to Jake E. Lee.

    Lack of technique.

    Lack of stage presence. None.

    Lack of chops.

    Abundance of stage fright. Tons.

    The comparisons to Jake E. Lee center around his reclusiveness, Rob is rarely seen playing in front of a living creature.

    While he can improvise a solid, off the cuff riff, Rob has never been able to create a full song out of that.

    The more he practices something, the sloppier he seems to get.

    Rob's amp sound used to be full on gain, but that has changed a bit in recent years. Playing through a 50 watt EVH 5150iii and a Celestion Vintage 30 and G12H30 loaded Avatar 2x12 closed back cab, he focuses most on the bass and mids, his bass is usually at 12 o'clock, and mid around 1 or 2, he likes to feel some thump in front of the cab, and sets the 5150iii's resonance dimed out or close to it, and the treble rolled back below the halfway point, with the presence at noon. His tone does tend to fluctuate, due to inconsistencies in his touch. Rob will often use different types of picks, Dunlop Tortex Jazz III picks to add some bite, and Tortex Gator Grip 2.0 mm picks for a warmer tone.

    Rob has used a lot of different guitars to achieve, and experiment with his tone over the last several years, A LOT! Everything from Les Paul's and Charvel's, to Fender Strat's and Ibanez's, and few small custom shop axes. He's described his desired sound to be a classic hard rock and metal Les Paul sound, but he doesn't care for the guitar. Rob is all about humbuckers, he's dabbled with single coils, but often tries to make them sound like humbuckers... Did I mention Rob is a little mental?

    For effects, Rob has been known to use an MXR Chorus pedal of varying models, most recently a Black Label Chorus, and a TC Flashback delay pedal, both for subtle ambience, and has used various wah pedals, most notably a RMC3. But these days plugs straight into the amp.

    He often tries to achieve a Les Paul through a Marshall sound, using 6L6 amps and Superstrats, with mostly failure. He's rarely held on to a piece of gear long enough to dial it in properly though.

    His clean tone is just his OD tone, with the guitar volume rolled back.

    Guitar Style:
    Rob is largely self taught, most of what he has learned has been by ear. He was making progress with the Metal Method, for a brief period, but found himself distracted by more important career moves. He may seek to study under someone in the near future.

    Rhythm - Rob is almost exclusively a rhythm player. His chord vocabulary doesn't extend much beyond power chords, and some open chords, but he's a Hard Rock and Metal player, not Jazz. Palm muting figures heavily in his playing, very little jingly playing.

    Lead - His lead playing is really sloppy, and mostly alternate picking. Not much in the speed picking department, relies heavily on poorly executed Legato runs, but has improved. He also sometimes incorporates Staccato. His use of 2 handed tapping is very basic, and is based entirely on the style employed by EVH. Rob lives in the Pentatonic and Blues scales, when he does stray he uses the Harmonic Minor scale.

    Vibrato - Used to be narrow and wild, in more recent years it's become wide and slow.

    Recommended Listening:
    None recommended, but for comic relief.

  • Gunner4LifeGunner4Life Posts: 6,319
    Bwaaaaahahaha I look so ridiculous
  • Dude, that was very brave, very entertaining, and AWESOME!   :chuckle:

    If I had a prize to give for first person to jump off the cliff and do this, you'd get it.   :clap: :clap: :clap:
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • EugenicScumEugenicScum Posts: 5,321
    Well done Gunner. Fun read.
    Check out my band: Bevar Sea
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,678
    Beat me to it :up:
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,678

    Guitar Alchemy Profile : Joost "Sancho" Vlasschaert


    Groupology :
    Monster Joe
    Fisted Sister


    Famous for/Infamous for :
    Joining bands that implode when they're ready to take the next step.
    Changing his rig more often than most players change strings.
    He has been known to stop rehearsals with an onslaught of gas (the other kind...)
    His biggest claim to fame is probably his blue casting couch, where he photographs his new purchases with one of his long suffering wife's furry stuffed animals.

    Influences :
    Obvious : The most obvious influence when it comes to lead playing is Dave Murray. Joost incorporates lots of trills in his solos, and they come straight from Dave. There's also traces of Manilla Road's Mark Shelton in the sometimes less than perfect bends and odd note choice.
    For rhythm playing, it's a mix of Ted Nugent's rock n roll free for all and Scott Ian's chunky metal riffing.
    Less obvious : Roy Buchanan. Joost hopes to one day capture a tenth of the emotion of the great man, but he has Roy's total lack of guitar face down to an art form.

    Strengths : Joost is a solid rhythm player and he can hold his own (to a degree) when it comes to lead playing as well. He has a good vibrato. He's also an easy guy to be in a band with. Until you ask him to do something he doesn't want to, like dress up as a knight.

    Weaknesses : Joost suffers from an underdeveloped musical ear, which severely limits his ability to craft memorable melodic leads. Sometimes his solos fizzle out rather than build to a climax.

    Tone : Joost's tone is as basic as it gets. Throw a Tubescreamer in front of a 2203 and you're basically there. He has been using a Splawn Quickrod to deliver just that tone for several years now.
    When it comes to guitars, it's either solid chunks of mahogany from Gibson, or an assortment of superstrats. The Seymour Duncan JB is his preferred pickup, for its ability to cut through the band mix.
    For effects, some chorus or phasing (only a Phase 90 will do) are as far as he goes. Joost has no use for reverb or delay as it would mean complicating his setup.

    Guitar Style :
    Rhythm : Joost is a meat and potatoes metal player with a clear 80s influence. Left to his own devices, he'll usually come up with riffs based on a pedal note (the low E, obviously).
    Lead : mostly pentatonic based, with the odd chromatic run. Most of Joost's solos are improvised, but he tends to structure them and keep the good bits for the next time. Playing in cover bands for five years now has seen him add to his vocabulary. He's not averse to throwing in a pick squeal here and there.

    Recommended listening :
    Crusader's second CD "Fools" has some decent (and some dodgy) lead playing by Joost.
    For a good, composed lead, check out the song Flowers Of War.
    Monster Joe's Meet Monster Joe has some good twin guitar work.
    You won't find much (if anything) on Youtube, alas...

    Some covers with his current band Thundersteel :
  • Gunner4LifeGunner4Life Posts: 6,319
    lol good :up:

    BTW, if anyone is wondering, that's a 1999 MIM Tele... And yes, I did sell it
  • RED_SGRED_SG Posts: 2,058
    Very fun to read so far!!

    Here's Mine:

    Alchemy Profile: Max "red_sg"


    Groupology :
    Adrenaline (Canadian artist Eric Lapointe Tribute Band)
    The Fool and Me
    Solo, Instrumental Project


    Famous/Infamous for :

    Embrassing a flashy, yellow with black splatters  Jackson guitar, even if it’s way out of fashion.

    Wearing WWE T-shirts during live performances as a fashion statement.

    Drinking Tequila shooters on any given occasion.

    Influences :
    Obvious :  Vai, Malmsteen, George Lynch, Ozzy’s axemen, Iron Maiden,  and Fu Manchu (with his band The Fool and Me).
    He claims that Eddie Van Halen was his main influence as a teenager, but he sounds more like a post EVH, 80s/90s guitarist.

    Less Obvious :  Slash, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Frank Marino, The Rolling Stones, Kiss.

    Strenghts :

    Chops :  Max has great chops. He can alternate pick and play arpeggios with ease and his playing is fluid.  He can play complex runs with speed easily.

    Melodic  Sense :  Max is also capable of writing nice melodies that are memorable and that will catch the attention of musicians, as well as non-musicians.

    Quirkyness/Originality : He sure ain’t the most original guitarist out there, but sometimes Max likes to have  a "I play weird"  approach that works, and that gives his sound a very unique twist. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but those who like that edge of his playing usually enjoy  it.  A good example of that is the second part of the solo in the song These Things (That I’ve Been Doin’) from his band The Fool and Me. He plays what seems to be the phrygian mode of the hamonic minor scale, but throws  some odd notes into it.
    He’s also known for recording tracks with odd objects like frying pans, talking toys and using odd dialogues samples, usually taken from random youtube clips.

    Weaknesses :

    Production :
    Since his recordings  are mostly done by himself in his home studio, Max’s productions haven’t reached a pro level, yet. We can hear a growing  improvement  from one release to another, but by today’s standards  his productions remain "quality demos" at best. Unfortunately Max is an unsigned musician with no serious recording budget.

    Diversity : With Max you get two types of music…. Simple, straight forward rock (almost punk sometimes) with his band The Fool  and Me, or instrumental music when  on his own. He rarely records  ballads or acoustic songs.  His compositions are fondamental hard rock songs. He is the opposite of Jimmy Page on the diversity level.

    Consistency : Having a "real" job, 2 kids to raise with his girlfirend and being busy outside of the studio makes Max’s releases a little inconsistent.  He’ll release 3-4 songs a year, either with his band TFAM, or an instrumental from time to time, but no real packaged product (aka a real album).

    Tone :
    Max uses a variety of guitars and amps, but he usually gigs with a EVH 5153 amp and super strats with  his tribute band Adrenaline. When recording with The Fool and Me, he  uses low wattage Marshall and Orange  amps with  either Gibson guitars or G&L Telecasters (one that is stock, the other one with humbuckers).  He uses the same amps for his instrumentals but with super strats.  He likes to play straight in the amp with small amount of delay in fx loop, although he’ll sometimes boost his signal with a Tube Screamer or Fuzz. His tone is usually very raw and mostly gainy.

    Guitar Style :
    Max is basically a Jurassic, 80’s hard rock/metal guitarist caught in the 2000’s. He’s not a pure neo-classical guitarist, but he sometimes  throws sweeps and arpeggios in his solos.  Although he brings a modern edge and sometimes a loose, punk-ish sound with his band The Fool and Me, you can clearly hear his 80’s background in his solos. His instrumentals showcase his true nature and it would be nice to hear him in a context of a 80’s/90’s rock band ala Lynch Mob or Ozzy, but unfortunately Max is caught in an era where melodic, hard rock/metal singers are hard to find. Because of that,  he hasn’t been able to put together a project of that genre, yet. He mostly uses power chords and single notes riffs for rythm. He also plays basic folk chords, root 5 and 6 chords and might throw some jazzy chords here and there for added colors. His lead style consists of alternate picking, arpeggios, major and minor scales, modes and blues scale. He often plays in harmonic minor and phrygian to add an exotic  feel to his leads.

    Vibrato :

    His vibrato is either fast and narrow or slow and wide, depending of the mood he wants to create. He also uses the bar a lot.

    See Him in action :

    Recommended Listenings :

    Monkey Hour (Instrumental) :

    The Fool and Me :


    Adrenaline (Tribute Band) :

  • These are great!  :clap:
    I'll get mine up today.
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • RED_SGRED_SG Posts: 2,058
    Some covers with his current band Thundersteel :

    Good show Joost! Good playing, awesome band and you know how much I like that Jackson of yours!!  :guitar:

    Damn, you guys have a killer singer!  :shock:
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601

    Early Theropod or Advanced Theropod



    Zero Hour (1984-1986)
    Skinny Vinny and the West Virginians (1985)
    SPAM (1986)
    Prime Directive (2003 – 2005, currently on hiatus)
    Sausage Party and Metal Jam (late 2000’s, currently on hiatus)

    Famous / Infamous for

    Being a crappy guitarist
    Starting at age 12 in 1983, Art was one of the worst guitarists in San Jose for about two years until his friends started to play better than him and he decided to crush their lousy Iron Maiden and Armored Saint riff robbing skills. Prior to actually picking up a guitar, he read guitar magazines at bookstores and actually managed to buy a few to learn everything possible about the instrument. His mom would leave him at Waldenbooks or B. Dalton Bookstores where he’d read hardcover guitar books after perusing The Silmarillion, D&D Ravenloft Modules, and Dirty Jokes books. All booksmart, zero streetsmarts.

    Being a good guitarist
    But his persistency paid off. In between learning blues and jazz licks, Art’s guitar teachers taught him solos from Michael Schenker and Iron Maiden. He also learned and assortment of lead scales that allowed him to make sense of all the Iron Maiden and Metallica leads he was learning from songbooks, records and tapes. Immediately following Iron Maiden’s Live After Death release, Art and friends learned the entire record (Art taking Dave Murray’s solos, his friend Tim aping Adrian Smith). Soon after he moved onto Metallica’s Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning, copying what he could, faking the rest.

    Upon the release of Megadeth’s Peace Sells, Art and friends learned as much of the record as they could and didn’t even bother faking the really hard stuff. Beacause that shit is hard. By shamelessly copying these songs, along with much of Anthrax’s Among the Living and SOD’s Speak English or Die, he dramatically improved his right hand picking technique (and did all this with picking from his fingers, not his wrist…more on that later). His drummer Miguel would play the songs in almost double time, with a single bass pedal. Miguel also licked a burrito off the steering wheel of his Ford Ranchero on the way to band practice, but that’s a different story.

    Art’s honed his skill as a teacher by telling his friend Keith to learn all of the Cliff 'Em All videotape overnight. Keith obliged. Art was kidding. But Keith turned out to be a badass on bass. They would sing the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s Bad over Metallica’s Sanitarium and wrote the most creative song of their careers (ok, wrote the lyrics), an epic take on Iron Maiden’s The Trooper as performed by Jimi Hendrix. Creatively titled Hendrix Does the Trooper. They also rewrote many lyrics to poke fun at their drummer, most notably Anthrax’s I Am The Law, which featured the line “he crushed the Sov’s with a belly whack”. You had to be there.

    During this time Art also would jam to just about any kind of music: new wave, rap, country, etc. He’d learn the leads from Mr. Crowley then the next day try to perfect The Police’s Message in a Bottle. And all of this was played on a Fender Bullet S2 which eventually got an EMG81 pickup…because Metallica.

    Owning pointy guitars
    For about 10 years Art played the same Fender Bullet Guitar, then on an unplanned trip to Guitar Center, bought his first Jackson, a Stealth HX with three humbuckers, which were later swapped for EMGs: 81/85/58. Yes, an original 58, sold to him from a good friend. Warning: contains mojo. But he always wanted pointy guitars, the more points, the more metal. Fast forward a few years to the acquisition of an Ibanez Rocket Roll II and Destroyer II. Then an assortment of pointies from Lado, BC Rich, and Moser. Laugh now, but Art sees ownership of pointy guitars as a fountain of youth, much like the made-famous-to-teenagers-by-Venom Countess Bathory’s blood baths.

    Owning crappy amps
    Art’s first amp was a Roland Spirit 10, which was often goosed with a Ibanez Sonic Distortion  This was then upgraded (ok not really) to a Gallien-Krueger 112LC. If you don’t know about this amp, don’t google it. You won’t learn anything and you wouldn’t like it if you played it. It didn’t give the Iron Maiden Somewhere in Time sound. It should have been blasted by Eddie’s pistol. Even the fabled Klon Centaur with Keeley Clapton Eric Johnson Bonnamossa mod can’t save that amp. After much trial and error, Art finally got a real amp: a Framus Cobra head and 412 cab. Which he would like to supplant with a Diezel VH4, KSR Colossus, and Randall 667. Because metal.

    Being lazy
    For all the riffs the guy claims he can write, you’d think he’d actually write a decent (or just one!) song. Nope.

    Improving his picking technique
    Somewhere in the early 2000’s, Art finally realized he wasn’t picking in the most efficient manner. So he changed that. And now his family has to hear even more Rust in Peace riffs. Every. Freaking. Night.


    The good metal and hard rock bands: Iron Maiden, (Early) Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Warlord (hey, that EP is good), UFO, MSG, Ozzy. Guitarists specifically include: Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Glenn Tipton, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Andy LaRocque, Michael Denner, Hank Shermann, Jannick Gers (kidding…just checking if you’re paying attention), Chris Poland, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Wolf Hoffmann, Tony Iommi and John Petrucci.

    AC-DC was one of his favorite early bands, but Angus’ playing didn’t seem to leave a mark on him. Same with Jimmy Page’s playing. Maybe because Page can’t play the same thing twice?

    Not-So Obvious
    Most guitarists can’t understand why he doesn’t like Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton, etc. And can’t understand why when he tells people he plays guitar they immediately start talking about how awesome Santana, James Browne, and Adam Levine are. Though his mom doesn’t play guitar, Art’s mom always encouraged him to play and always said such inspirational phrases as, “That’s nice”, “I don’t know what you’re playing but it sounds good”, “I think that’s The Scorpions, right? See I know something!”, and “Would you like more spaghetti? You don’t eat enough”.

    Andy Summers, Alex Lifeson, and Stevie Ray Vaughan were also early influences. Andy Summers and Alex Lifeson for their phrasing, odd chords, and textural playing, and Stevie Ray for his licks. Not his boots or blouses. Even though he likes Dream Theater and Blind Guardian, he ain’t gonna wear a blouse. Knee high leather boots are an option, but only in the Frozen Hinterlands whilst hunting Frost Giants.


    Art is a riff machine. The riffs never stop. It would be nice if they turned into songs one day. But that’s just me.

    He’s a quick learner. When and IF he actually makes the time, he can learn just about anything. Some have said it would be great if he learned more than 1/4 of Megadeth’s Take No Prisoners. Art has really long fingers and in his teenage years could stretch them really far across the fretboard. If he practiced more he might be able to sustain that agility. When he’s finally warmed up, Art can play fast pretty consistently. Again, it requires actually playing and warming up instead of reading the back of amplifier datasheets.

    Early on, Art wasn’t a fast picker so he developed his left hand strength and speed. This allowed him to quickly learn Dave Murray-esque trills and leads. One teacher told him he sounded like George Lynch. His mom told him he played very nicely.

    Art is always willing to try something new when he plays (or IF he plays). If he were to actually write a song, it wouldn’t follow any formulas and would probably sound like a Born Again interlude played by Testament in triple time. He learned a lot from one if his early guitar teachers on adding in odd notes or notes that “don’t belong” to build tension or add interest. Or maybe he just copied Tony Iommi.

    See songwriting comments above. He can kinda sorta sweep pick. Just imagine if he practiced more. Though the knows he could speed pick like Petrucci if he applied himself…if he applied himself being the operative phrase. He’s never owned a Marshall or an overdrive pedal and refuses to do so. Some would say that blooming notes and complex midrange would ensure. As Art gets older, he’ll probably need Ensure, because his mom said he doesn’t eat enough.

    Art’s has 3 main sounds: clean, rhythm, and lead. He’s not too picky about his clean sound as long as it doesn’t distort and typically adds a bit of chorus from his TC Electronic GMajor or SCF pedal. He almost always uses the neck pickup for clean playing, usually an EMG 85 or DiMarzio LiquiFire. For rhythm, he uses the Crunch channel of his Framus Cobra, with the gain at about 2 o’clock and a lot of mids. He likes gain and sustain, but won’t sacrifice clarity. For leads, he uses the Lead channel (duh) but isn’t entirely satisfied with it. Occasionally for leads he’ll add some delay or chorus. Phasers and octavers are used sparingly, because they’re a pain to program on the GMajor. His cabinet of choice is a Framus 4x12 with Greenbacks and he swears that one day he’ll get a Bogner or other boutique cabinet and that will make him a better player.

    Guitar Style

    Rhythm Style
    Combine Dave Mustaine, James Hetfield, Scott Ian, and you’ll get an idea of how Art plays rhythm. Palm mutes, chugging…think Raining Blood. Not a problem at all. Due to the jazz and blues lessons in his youth, and his freakishly long fingers, it’s easy for him to play odd chords and fingerings. His timing is good as are his dynamics. Pick harmonics: yes. Sometimes. He’s always working on improving his picking technique thanks to YouTube players showing him how wrong he is.

    Lead Style
    You’ll hear lots of Dave Murray and legato playing in Art’s leads. Recently he’s tried to add more Petrucci-esque speed picking and has been working on his phrasing. Turns out you can tell a story with a lead. He can write a story, too bad he hasn’t actually played one this decade. He’ll never have that Zakk/Sykes/Aldrich style of playing, probably because he doesn’t wear vests or his wife’s jeans. Again, the knee high boots provide defense against wolves and Mind Flayer tentacles. He really wishes he could play just like Randy Rhoads but has been able to copy a lot of his licks and pretend like they’re his own. “Dude, did you just make that up???” “Yes. Yes I did”.

    Early on Art didn’t really work on his vibrato. Thanks to the peer pressure from certain Dinosaur-themed websites, Art has been actively working on improving his vibrato. It can be described as “not sucking”. And his mom says he plays very nicely and if he just had some dessert he might have a bit more strength and wouldn’t be so tired all the time.

    Recommended listening
    Art’s CD catalog is available…oh wait, no it’s not.

    Some pickup tests have surfaced on YouTube. Earplugs and/or headphones suggested:
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,493
    edited July 2019
    Dave Baron (Dinosaur David B )

    Shelter (on bass)
    Silent Rage (on bass)
    Ninja (on bass)
    Dinosaur David B. (on guitar)
    Feints (on guitar)
    MDsoul (on guitar)


    Famous for
    Starting Dinosaur Rock Guitar. Still having his hair. Wearing sunglasses on stage. Eating doughnuts in music videos. Being told he’s too loud by soundmen, blues players at jams, and bandmates – even at less than 15 watts – Dave always sounds like a T-Rex driving a steamroller.  

    Infamous for
    Marrying a lead singer, then being stupid enough to start a band with her. Having the most anal retentive guitar tech on the planet and no “stock” guitars. Two-fisted whisky drinking. Dropping his flask at inopportune moments. Sweating on stage – fortunately, Dave’s biggest fan shows up at every one of his gigs. His name is Vornado.

    You can hear many Jimmy Page-like ideas in Dave’s songs and production ideas in songs like So Far to Go; and Hudson Valley Stomp is basically a love letter to Page the player/producer.  Ritchie Blackmore (extensive use of diad 4th riffs), and Tony Iommi in Dave’s riffs and songs (T-Rection).

    There are Michael Schenker and Gary Moore elements in Dave’s lead guitar style approach (see Dogs and Dinosaur Loose in the Theme Park respectively), though he doesn’t have anywhere near the chops of those players. Dave’s more metal moments are influenced by Wolf Hoffmann, and more recently, George Lynch and John Norum. There is also plenty of Thin Lizzy.

    Not-So Obvious
    The Beatles, The Stones, Elton John, Paul Simon, and the Beach Boys shaped Dave’s early melodic sense.  There are some Jeff Beck-like melodies in Dave’s instrumental songs. There is some Hendrix, and even some Jake E. Lee in some of Dave’s chord voicings.


    Innate Musicality. Dave is not a musical prodigy, but he is an intuitive musician who knows how to make things sound good with a guitar in his hands or behind a mixing console.

    Riff/Songwriting. Arguably present even in Dave’s early solo recordings, Dave’s riffs and song ideas started to come to the forefront of Feints’ music about halfway through the writing of their first album with Loaded Dice and Hudson Valley Stomp. By the second album, Dave’s riffs (and writing partnership with singer Amy Douglas) began to take the band further into a guitar-riff-dominated direction with songs like Dogs, The Finest Line, and Dirty Whisky.  While such riffy songs were written on electric guitar, Dave also often writes songs on acoustic guitar, such as Loaded Dice and Pearl DeVere.

    Melodic sense. Dave has a good melodic sense he tends to lean on in his lead work.

    Compositional solos. Dave’s been preaching Attitude, Melody, Emotion, and Chops in lead-work for as long as he’s run DRG, and thus, his recorded guitar solos are never improvised off-the-cuff. He works hard to make sure his solos have those elements in them so that the solos become a song within a song.  When Dave hears his bandmates singing his guitar solos back to him, he knows he did his job. The solo you hear on the recording is the solo you'll hear live. Unless Dave screws it up.

    Production. Dave has always been interested in musical production, and has spent many hours studying and analyzing production techniques. He got into home recording in the late 90s and now co-produces Feints. Tracks like Little America and Pearl Devere are indicative of his progress as a producer.  

    Tone. Dave is a gear snob and very old-school about his tone. He insists on getting power amp saturation from real tube amps, and micing them in the studio. He works hard at creating both his live and studio tones. Consequently, Dave’s sound is always as huge as he can make it.

    Chops. Dave wasted too many years not playing guitar, thus he is a fairly rudimentary guitarist who’s musical brain is far more facile than his hands.  For years he got it done by leaning on his strengths, but no one was going to confuse Dave with a shredder. But when Feints went on permanent vacation, Dave took some lessons and rededicated himself to improving his chops. He began filling in missing gaps in his Dino style lead work and has upped his game. He's now a significantly faster and flashier lead player than you hear on his recorded output Feints. Proving the old dog could learn some new tricks after all.

    Lack of other styles. For better or worse, Dave is a ROCK guitarist, though his time in the cover band MDsoul forced him to play a lot of styles he hadn't played much before, including horrid modern pop, and even reggae. Wherever possible, Dave played these songs like a Dino, choosing to stomp all over them rather than show them respect they didn't deserve. When asked to play STP's Wicked Garden, Dave only agreed to do so if he could put a solo in it -- because the original version should have had one in the first place! FUSTP!   And sure, like every other idiot Dave can play blues – but he doesn’t really want to.  He can play some funk if he works at it, but it doesn’t come up much. He’d love to be able to finger pick on acoustic, but he hasn’t been able to add that skill.  


    Primarily a Les Paul player, Dave also has Strats and a Byrd Super Avianti, but even his single coil tone often confuses listeners into thinking he’s still using a Gibson because Dave gravitates to a thick, brown, British tone, regardless of the guitar and amp combination he's using.  Live, he uses more gain than was typical of 70s players (Zeppelin and Lizzy), but avoids overly gainy tone. His tonal benchmark is generally Gary Moore’s early 80s level tone/gain. When recording, Dave consciously uses less gain than he does live, claiming doing so creates a bigger overall sound.

    Dave uses a variety of British-sounding EL34 and EL84-based amps, both live and in the studio. Dave’s live tone is based on a classic Marshall + Orange in-stereo concept where the Marshall provides the toppy bite, and the Orange provides midrange beef. But Dave likes to achieve this sound with low wattage amps – where a Fargen MPIII and a Bogner ATMA play the Marshall and Orange roles respectively.  Dave has also used Orange and Ampeg low waters in his stereo rig.   For live work with MDsoul, Dave switched to a BlugGuitar Amp1 and a scaled-down pedalboard, both for convenience, and because the music he was playing didn't deserve a true tube (or stereo) sound.

    In the studio, Dave tends to use whatever amps he feels are right for a given track. For example, if he wants a 70s Stonesy tone, he’ll use an Ampeg (his only American-sounding amp).  Dave almost always double-tracks his rhythms in the studio, but usually uses a different guitar/amp combination on each side for sonic interest. For studio lead work, Dave almost always uses a custom, stereo Marshall amp that was created for, and once owned by Wolf Hoffmann.

    Dave runs whatever amps he’s using through Bogner 1x12 cube cabs loaded with Celestion speakers. In the studio, Dave generally mics the cab with an SM57 and a Royer 121, and decides which of the two mics sounds best for the track at mix time.  

    Dave’s primary guitar has always been a heavily modified 1954 Les Paul, with vintage PAFs. This guitar is all over Dave’s solo music and Feints recordings.  In the late 90s, Dave built a custom Strat with Duncan Quarter Pounders based on Ritchie Blackmore’s 1974 (80s Rainbow-era) Strat in an attempt to tap into some Blackmore, Gary Moore and Jeff Beck tones. This is a very brown sounding Strat, and is best featured on Dinosaur Loose in the Theme Park. After 19 years with this guitar, Dave recently added a 22 fret to the fingerboard.  With Feints, he found this Strat’s single coil noise to be impractical for live work, and added the Super Avianti.  In 2014, he added a Gibson Custom Shop lightweight/chambered 1959 reissue Les Paul so he wouldn’t have to gig with the 1954 Les Paul. Post-Feints, Dave finally added a (Chubtone) Superstrat to the arsenal, with two humbuckers and a hipshot non-locking tremolo. He used this guitar live with MDsoul. Dave doesn’t have a ton of guitars, but those he has are all customized to his preferences.

    Dave loves acoustic guitars, and uses them whenever possible for recording – even if it’s only to add spice to a track.  His go-to acoustics for recording are a Gibson Pete Townshend signature SJ-200 (Hudson Valley Stomp, Little America), a Collings D2 Dreadnought (Loaded Dice), and a Martin 12 string (Little America).

    Dave only uses a few basic effects. Live, Dave runs his stereo rig through a Boss Dimension C chorus. You get some phase shifter, some wah, some octave pedal, some delay on leads. In the studio, Dave usually prefers Echoplex over digital delay for lead work. Toward the end of Feints, Dave’s most characteristic effect was a ground loopish pedalboard noise/hum he couldn’t seem to get rid of. He checked every element of the pedalboard, tried ground loop switchers, hush units, and even modded the Blackmocaster with dummy coils and some other things to quiet it down, but all to no avail. Turns out the problem was wiring in the 60 year-old house he was living in. When Dave moved back to NYC, the problem vanished. D'oh.

    Guitar Style
    Dave is not a schooled musician, and knows only enough theory to get by.  He succeeds mostly on a good ear and musical instincts. Though Dave uses a few 80s flash staples such as pinch harmonics, Dave is still primarily a 70s hard rock stylist who's only recently been able to add some 80s metal flash to his toolbox.  

    Dave’s template of what he wants to do and be on guitar is really Jimmy Page. Dave wants to create great songs with catchy riffs and tasty leads, but he also loves using guitars as sonic architecture. Like Page, Dave is always looking to add acoustic flavors. On Hudson Valley Stomp, Dave played acoustic guitar and mandolin. On Little America, Dave played 6 and 12 string acoustic and lap steel. And like Page, Dave wants to play it and produce it all himself in the studio.

    Dave is a very basic rock rhythm guitarist. You get the standard folk chords, plus root 6, and root 5 bar chords. Dave also frequently uses the root 1 chord – a characteristically British voicing, employed by Page and Blackmore (among others).  Dave also uses a lot of Blackmore-esque diad 4ths in his riffs and rhythms.

    Characteristic trademarks of Dave’s rhythm style is that he always voices the G maj folk chord with the additional D on the B string. Similarly, Dave often voices the D folk chord without the F# (2nd fret on the high E) for a ballsier voicing. Dave also frequently uses the Jake E. Lee-inspired technique of playing a Root 5 power chord (for example, a C5 at the third fret: C-G-C) and then adding a another 5th (in this case G) on the low E (i.e. G-C-G-C). This simple variation changes the tonal character of the chord dramatically because the root is no longer the first note heard when the chord is strummed. Instead, you get the 5th voiced lower than the root, and on beefier string where we typically expect to hear the root. This chord voicing sounds very dark and angry. Dave also likes voicing some melodies using octaves.

    As a lead player, Dave is primarily a Minor Pentatonic and Blues scale player, though you'll hear some Aeolian, a little Dorian, and occasionally some Mixolydian.

    Dave would have loved to have been a great, pure alternate picker, and post-Feints, has noticeably improved in that area, but Dave will always be playing catch-up on that. As such, Dave's lead style never demanded too much of alternate picking. Dave is, at best, a good, tasty, lead player, who relies on his musicality to create compositional solos that are designed to serve the song rather than show off technique he doesn’t possess. But while Dave has improved in this area post-Feints, having more flash at his disposal will not change his approach to soloing at all. He'll still work to create melodic, memorable solos, but the flash bits will now be flashier.

    Characteristic lead trademarks include unison bends, and crunchy double stops to inject attitude into his playing (ala Wolf Hoffmann and Michael Schenker). You get a lot of repeating, Jimmy Page, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, and George Lynch style licks. Dave also uses a lot of licks (called turns) where the root note is surrounded by higher and lower notes.  These may have come from Iommi, but they might have just developed naturally as well.

    Dave’s natural finger vibrato is about a medium speed and width – influenced mostly by Michael Schenker and Gary Moore, though it’s a little more ragged than those players’ vibratos. On occasion, Dave goes for a wider, John Sykes-like slow, wide vibrato, but that’s usually for a specific effect.  He doesn’t use the whammy bar much except for the occasional dive bomb effects.

    Recommended listening

    Dinosaur Loose in the Theme Park
    So Far to Go

    Hudson Valley Stomp
    The Finest Line
    Little America
    Pearl DeVere
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • Gunner4LifeGunner4Life Posts: 6,319
    Dave, you look like you wrote a few of these before  :LOL:
  • gqn_angelgqn_angel Posts: 1,302
    I can't believe I finished this at work, hahaha.  Haven't read everyone else's yet, but am very much looking forward to it!  Here's mine:

    Gabriel Ngo (gqn_angel)

    The Jerry Hat Tricks (cover)
    Epoch Fail (cover)
    The Tripods (cover)
    American X (original)
    Carranza (original)
    Cries of Solace (original)


    Famous / Infamous for
    Being somewhat sought after and in & out of local original projects that don’t end up going anywhere only to spend longer periods of time in cover bands that don’t end up going anywhere either.

    Having picked up the guitar at 14 years of age mainly because of a football knee injury, young Gabe was initially influenced by John Sykes, George Lynch, Jake E. Lee, Vivian Campbell and Yngwie Malmsteen.  Learning by ear and practicing 4-6 hours a day earned him some adulation of being technically proficient in high school and around the very “quaint” rock music community of southeast Houston, Texas.  Two and a half years later in 1992 when the Nirvana “Nevermind” album hit the public, Gabe had taken a cue from one of his early influencers, Jake E. Lee, and gave up playing guitar altogether for over eight years.  In December 2000 having been inspired by the Megadeth song, Dread & The Fugitive Mind, Gabe snapped out of listening to blues and new age music and began playing again.  During this period, there was a renaissance for Gabe where he rediscovered his deep appreciation for Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Michael Schenker and Gary Moore.

    Having played in variety cover bands, Gabe is somewhat versatile.  However, he has always retained that crunchy, searing dino-heavy sound.

    Obvious:  Heavy doses of Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Dio and some dark shades of classic Megadeth.  All of his early influences are represented in his playing:  Sykes (slow wide vibrato and over-bends), Lynch (multiple vibratos including the “jack-off” vibrato), Lee (hardtail Strats & alternate picking), Campbell (cramming a ton a notes in during the cadenza of a solo), and YJM (he’ll play just one strategically-placed sweep every now and then just to let other guitarists—the ones standing at the back of the bar with arms folded—in the crowd know that he can). 

    There is also a heavy nod to Blackmore’s touch sensitivity.  Gabe favors Blackmore-scalloped rosewood fingerboards on hardtail Strats.  An example of when the Blackmore-isms come out can be seen in his electric interpretation of the acoustic Hell Freezes Over version of the Eagles’ Hotel California where he semi-improvises a very Arabic, Middle Eastern, Spanish style guitar intro and then takes every fill and solo in the song (despite often times having another guitarist in the band).  This has sometimes extended Hotel Cali to being over 10 minutes long at wedding reception gigs—WEDDING receptions!  How Blackmore is that?!

    Not-So Obvious:  There is a bit of Dave Mustaine’s style in Gabe’s rhythm playing—especially in how he inverts chords and “spiders” power chords between strings.  While acoustically or playing clean parts, Gabe often likes to substitute alternative chord shapes and voicings whenever possible.  Adrian Smith’s lyrical phrasing is also a quiet influence on Gabe (Schenker as well but Schenker’s phrasing is un-Godly so…).

    Versatility.  Due to his extensive experience in cover bands, Gabe reasonably pulls off a variety of styles ranging from alternative to country to hard rock to metal.  Carranza is an original group who sounds similar to the Foo Fighters-meets-Creed.  Cries of Solace is an original group influenced by Godsmack and Metallica.  American X is an original project with heavy dosages of Texas Hippie Coalition and Pantera.  The Tripods was a wedding cover band; Epoch Fail was a variety cover band; and Jerry Hat Tricks is a corporate-function focused cover band.

    Attitude.  While Gabe plays for the song, he still brings that dino attitude.  For example, in the cover band Epoch Fail, Gabe’s interpretation of the U2 song “One” sounds closer to something Doug Aldrich would have played in Burning Rain on a slower ballad-y tune (Cherie, Don’t Break My Heart).  Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” at a wedding gig?  Try imagining an Icarus Dream Suite-inspired solo playing while the bride and groom are dancing away.

    Musicality.  As stated before, Gabe always plays for the song—be it an original or a cover.  Even in “spotlight” songs (like the aforementioned Hotel California or an extended, rocked up version of Sultans of Swing), Gabe usually doesn’t wank away.  It sounds as though there is a pre-determined start, middle and end to the extended solo with bits in-between to improvise.  And when he runs out of musical inspiration for these improvised moments, he either moves on the next point or the end.

    Time…or lack thereof.  Music is a labor of love for Gabe.  To support this (and an ever growing GAS problem), he is a workaholic junior executive by day for a publicly traded company in the death care services industry :evillaugh:.  While not to be confused for being the biggest fan of Jimmy Page (the guitarist), this is where Gabe takes a…err, page from Zoso in that he just simply does not practice unless he has to due to lack of time.  If he has rehearsals on a particular week, he’s admitted to cramming the night before.  And similar to Page, Gabe’s chops on more challenging songs improves over a short period of time because of this.

    This lack of time has also impacted his songwriting/songwriting ideas for original projects.  Tons of riff ideas, very little time to put them all together into something cohesive.  And even when he gets a cohesive "song" together musically, Gabe requires a songwriting partner lyrically, and he just has not meshed well with any of the local talent songwriters.

    He also does not have the meticulousness to learn covers (or more so solos) note-for-note and therefore would be terrible in a pure tribute band.  He'd rather pay tribute by covering the song well but adding something subtle of his own.  No...he actually just doesn't have the patience to learn someone else's 6-bar 32nd note run note-for-note.

    Gabe primarily uses Strats, Les Pauls and similar variants (super Strats, SGs, PRS).  He is like Gary Moore in that he can switch effortlessly between Fender and Gibson scale lengths.  Gabe only likes hardtail Strats with rosewood, scalloped fingerboards.  His tone is usually big, fat and warm without being muddy or overly bright—a little more searing on Strats (9s) while fatter on Les Pauls (10s).  Despite having a nice amp farm to choose from, Gabe’s main amp of choice is the Budda Superdrive 45 and Eminence Red Coat series loaded cabinets. 

    This combo of guitars and amp (plus a tube screamer of some sort) yields him a tone that sits somewhere between Gary Moore and John Sykes—probably John Norum would be a good benchmark.  Gainier and more saturated than Gary’s tone, but not as much as John’s. 

    Guitar Style
    Gabe blends his influences well.  Rhythmically, he can groove on heavy or lighter songs—usually lagging on the beat a bit.  On heavier and all-out rock/metal songs, he applies that heavy palm-muted, staccato attack whenever possible.  He prefers using inversions, especially if there is another guitarist in the band that is already playing power chords.  Lead-wise, he loves staying sexy in pentatonic and blues scale expressions but also generally prefers Phrygian and Aeolian-flavored runs and likes mixing pentatonic and harmonic minor (Blackmore).  He employs palm-muted staccato lines (a la Randy Rhoads and Adrian Vandenberg) to vary the contrast between regularly played lines or legato style phrasing.

    He is not as flashy as Jake E. Lee or George Lynch, but not as in-the-pocket as the guys in Maiden (Smith/Murray) or Lizzy (Robertson/Gorham).  More like a “reserved” flash like Randy Rhoads without the compositional and structural ingenuity.  His picking attack is pretty heavy naturally, but can soften up immensely for softer, ballad work.

    As stated above, Gabe has a few vibratos at his disposal—both horizontally and vertically.  This probably comes from the fact that he was a violin player in junior high and high school.  His natural guitar vibrato is wide and slow like John Sykes but he can adapt and change both the range of the vibrato as well as the technique of the vibrato depending on the song, the tempo, required flash for the gig (George’s “jack-off”, sliding vibrato), etc.

    Recommended listening

    Epoch Fail - Stormbringer cover

    Epoch Fail - Still Got The Blues cover
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    We should have D&D style character sheets for each of us.

    Dexterity: 18
    Can play any Petrucci Solo

    Charisma: 3
    Can't bend, use vibrato, and complete lack of dynamics. AXE-FX spell permanently embedded to rob playing of life and tone.
Sign In or Register to comment.