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  • Writer's pictureBilly Jones

Three Things We Love About Eddie Van Halen

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

In honor of the late Eddie Van Halen’s birthday on January 26, we are celebrating the things we love about this behemoth of a guitarist.

From his incredible skill at writing riffs to his undeniable technical playing, Eddie Van Halen is one of the best guitarists of all time.

Check out this solo in a 2013 live performance of Ain't Talking Bout Love.

No surprise that a guitarist as skilled as EVH is difficult to imitate! While there are so many things to appreciate about Eddie Van Halen, we’ve come up with our three favorites things about this legendary musician, along with some ways you can learn how to channel him in your guitar playing.

1. Tapping.

Tapping is where you use your picking hand to tap on the fretboard instead of picking the strings.

Eddie Van Halen was the king of this technique!

This produces some very cool sounds and isn’t quite as difficult as you might think. Here’s why: as a beginner learning to use a pick, you have to find the string with each stroke. When you are tapping, the strings are easier for your fingers to find and land on correctly.

Listen to this live version of Eruption:

As you can see and hear, Eddie’s work with tapping includes quick, repetitive patterns to form arpeggios.

You can make this much more doable by starting with simple patterns on one string.

Need some help with tapping? Contact us to set up a free intro lesson!

2. Eddie’s signature sound.

You know we have some gear-head tendencies here so of course we want to know what kind of gear Eddie used to create his signature sound. He often did dive bombs with a whammy bar. You know that guitar sound like a video game character falling off a cliff? Most electric guitars come with whammy bars including most Ibanez guitars and Fender Strats.

Eddie was also responsible for making the Flanger Pedal popular among guitar players. This pedal uses a filter that makes the sounds of the notes oscillate up and down. It sounds like a sweeping jet plane sound.

Listen for the Flanger pedal sound at the very beginning of The Cradle Will Rock:

So, what's the very best thing about Eddie Van Halen?

3. His smiling.

Seriously. I dare you to find a photo of Eddie Van Halen playing guitar and NOT smiling. He clearly loved playing. There was a huge smile of delight on his face every time he had a guitar in his hands.

This joy is the thing we want most for folks who are learning to play guitar here at Bones Jones Music.

Contact us to schedule a free intro lesson!

It will take some time for you to play as well as Eddie Van Halen but we promise you’ll have a great time getting there.


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