I Love George Lynch

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In guitarland, I have a Big Four. These are Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker. This is how I got to know George. 


 Again, it was early 80’s San Jose rock radio that got me onto George Lynch. The station was playing stuff off that first Dokken album: Paris is Burning, Breaking The Chains, and Live to Rock. When I heard Paris is Burning, I was like, “Ahhh, shit, my precious Eddie!!” I thought that any time I heard a mad solo by anyone other than Eddie on the radio.


So I bought that first Dokken album. I think at least half the songs on there were pretty average, but George’s solos made them a little more palatable. For me, anways. It’s funny, on the back sleeve of that album, it shows all the band members. George is so tan I thought he was African American until Tooth N Nail came out.


There was something I liked more about George than I did Eddie, and I couldn’t really put my finger on it ‘til Tooth N Nail came out. By this time I was 16 or 17, and I was starting to get pretty serious about heavy music and guitar. I started figuring out the songs on that album, and then it hit me.

What separates George from Eddie (and everybody else) was finger vibrato (Ed’s vibrato is pretty tough, it’s just that George’s was a tad tougher). In my brain, Lynch vibrato was the key. A wide, slow deliberate massaging of the string. Consistent everywhere on the neck.  That is the key, man. Fast playing, slow playing, it didn’t matter. When you hit a note and apply Lynch vibrato, it screams, “I meant this!!” Even if you’re out of key but apply Lynch vibrato, it tells the listener that all that wacky shit was deliberate. It is the perfect punctuation to a whisper or a scream. And he was the first guy I ever heard apply vibrato to power chords, how rad is that?


From that day forward, I started applying Lynch vibrato to my style. Even now if I have a shit night playing live, I always go, “At least my vibrato rocked!” And that saves me from beating myself up. Cuz that ain’t gonna help.

At age 18, I remember thinking, “Well, now that I’ve found the definitive Metal finger vibrato, I guess everyone will catch on and follow suit.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s fairly apparent in the early 80’s as it is now; no one really gives a fuck about vibrato. How is that? Why is that?  It’s an easy technique to correct, and it falls under the ‘feel’ category. The judgmental asshole blues pricks will cut you a bit of slack. Everybody has a guitar pet peeve, and mine is vibrato. Friends know I can be harsh with this, and that’s why I get so down on Kirk Hammet at times. And trust me, I love Metallica’s early work. Ride the Lightning is thee shit! So is Master….

And I know a lot of people think I’m right into EVH, and I am, but really only the first four albums. I was more into George, actually. I thought he was a bit more aggressive. And while Eddie was doing Jump, George was guest soloing on a Tony MacAlpine album. And trying to become better. I think Ed was just coasting.


“Bitch, I got your coasting..”

The last Dokken album I bought was Back for the Attack. I do have Lynch Mob Wicked Sensation. And as you may or may not know, by the age of 20 I started moving from Cock Rock to Thrash.

George, I love you man. You fucking fixed my vibrato, and I told you this every time I saw you at NAMM. As a tenth grader, I even had the half and half bleach dye job as well. I got teased at school, but fuck those clowns. My dad hated it, and fuck him, too. Ha ha.


Dokken gigs I’ve seen that I remember: 87 with Loverboy at Marriott’s Great America, and ’89 supporting Aerosmith. Oh, and a Day on the Green, with Metallica, and Van Hagar were headlining. My friends and I were walking to the car as “There’s Only One Way to Rock” was playing.

George, do me a favor; fuck off the single coil strats, the shitty phaser pedal you’re now using, and burn the fucking black fingerless gloves. Play for an hour a day and show every mutherfucker you mean business!

Ah! It won’t happen, I’ve been told:

I do love you though. I’ll always have a soft spot for you. And EVH. And Gilbert. And Becker. You four, baby. You four.

Another vibrato rant can be found HERE


I Love Warren DeMartini

How can you not? He’s bad ass!!


Thanks to California radio in the 80’s, I was introduced to quite a few dudes who burned; Lynch, EVH, Rhoads, Yngwie, DeVille (JK), The Nightranger guys, Gary Moore, Vivian Campbell, etc. (Yes, the list is bigger than this, but I’m not going to spend 46 minutes typing every fucker’s name out.)

To me I always kind of thought of Warren as Lynch’s little brother. I acknowledged long ago that Warren was probably the better player (Frank Zappa LOVED Warren), but I looooove first four albums Lynch. The heart wants what the ears want. I think if Lynch were in the Robin Crosby position my fucking head would’ve exploded. Matching vibrato and harmony leads? Kill me now.

But then of course I heard Racer X and Cacophony and I was off again!!

Why I love Warren: Legato madness, VIBRATO, cool blues vibe, the Lynch-isms, the Japanese art Charvel, LA hot shot guitar flash, give it to me!! Dude looked young as fuck, too. That’s always inspiring. Makes you want to pick up your guitar and follow suit.


“This guitar weighs more than me!”

I was about 15 and my buddy Dave Hull had the Rock Palace Ratt performance on VHS. We’d watch those 4 songs for hours, get inspired, then go into the other room and jam our asses off. We’d get our other guitar playing buddy Eric Fraser in on the action as well. Dave may move over to bass, we switched it up. This was actually (for me anyways) one of the first experiences I had of watching a guy burn on guitar via televised recording. I’d rewind and watch and watch and watch. It was absolutely mesmerizing. I didn’t know what was going on, but I was going to learn how to do that fast finger shit if it killed me. Ed lit the fire, Warren and the others kept that shit burnin’.

The Morning After guitar duel was especially mind blowing. Left hand going wild, right hand (which was that Lynch fan picking technique – AVOID) dipping in every now and then to keep the notes flowing…Hell, you check it out!

I owned Out of the Cellar, and that was about it. This was another one of those albums where I liked pretty much every song. Warren’s solo on In Your Direction was quite frightening and definitely a highlight for me. I learned a bunch of their songs and will most likely post how-to lessons on YouTube at some stage. Like this one I did last night:

Warren? You’re a fucking gun. I’m a tad annoyed I never saw you guys live, you are such an inspiration and an ass kicker. I’d love to know about your time being roommates with Jake and George. If Carlos ever leaves, call my ass.

Fix your vibrato (Rock – Metal – Shred only)

It’s easy, watch the video below, do what he does, and thank me later. I’m sick of dudes who can sweep, tap, do all kinds of whacky shit on the guitar, but as soon as it’s time to shake a note, they have the strength of a 6 year old. Girl. Now, be a fucking man or fuck off. Paul Gilbert even said the two biggest challenges of most guitarists he’s encountered has been vibrato and phrasing.

Vibrato: easily fixed, vastly ignored.

George Lynch vibrato is  THEE DEFINITIVE METAL LEAD VIBRATO. Period. It’s slow, controlled all over the neck. Vibrato is supposed to emulate vocal vibrato. It also falls under the ‘feel’ category, so blues players will be less harsh on your robotic ass.You wanna be Tiny Tim or a MAN? Please, out of respect for ears around the world, be a man.

Do you REALLY want your guitar vibrato to sound like this guy’s vocal vibrato?


“It is better to have no speed and Lynch style vibrato than it is to have Guthrie style chops with nervous, shaky uncontrolled horseshit vibrato. I guarantee it.”

– Me, just now (Friday Jan 27, 2017. 2:23 pm)


Me in 10th grade. I loved Lynch so much I did my hair like his. I copped a lot of shit for it, but fuck ’em.


“I’m flattered, Doug..Really!!”

A bit of in depth discussion on George’s vibrato

And instead of being a mad pussy, you’ll be GETTING mad pussy.

Mad vibrato guys: Andy La Roque, Martin Goulding, EVH, Yngwie, Andy James, Zakk, the Periphery guys (especially Nolly), PG and Bruce back in the day, Brandon Ellis, Blues Saraceno, Ty Tybor and that’s pretty much it. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!


Dokken Tooth “N Nail. Great album.

Other mad vibrato dudes: