Well, I’ve clocked up over two and a half years now since picking up a guitar for the very first time and I’m still practicing each and every day, but I know it’s been a while since I’ve uploaded a video. I’m at a strange place in my playing at the moment, in that I am working on a few songs currently that, I have discovered, contain guitar parts my existing skills just aren’t quite ready for yet. As such, I have been practicing regularly but just haven’t quite got these songs in the bag yet, so to speak.
Having realised, however, that the months were rapidly passing by, and also desperately wanting to put the newly acquired guitar and amp through their paces in their debut video journal appearance, I decided to change things up a bit and picked a new song to work on for a while. My inspiration? In my quest to explore the work of so many of the talented guitarists gracing the rock, metal and blues genres with their unique styles, I found myself curiously intrigued by John 5.
If you have heard of him, then you have my respect. If not, then just know that he was formerly Marilyn Manson‘s guitarist, and that should give you some insight into his unique gothic style, though that is just the beginning. John 5 is indeed a unique character, captivating any audience with his dark and other-Worldly presence, but it is his guitar playing ability that blows my mind! It’s doubtful you would find another player who fuses such a unique style of industrial metal with country-style guitar licks.
His dexterity on the fretboard is phenomenal, but so too is his humble ability when playing in a band situation, to hold back and simply play in an always heavy but ultimately more basic manner. Many guitarists out there with anything approaching his abilities would use any opportunity to shred the fretboard in a blaze of self-proclaimed glory, but John 5, despite having these skills in abundance and whether playing with Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie, always just seems to use his exceptional talents for the greater good of the entire band, in contributing with his unique style of dark industrial rock without ever putting himself ahead of the music.
So, paying homage to the exceptional and quite unique guitarist John 5, I have recorded a cover of Marilyn Manson’s ‘Sweet Dreams’!
There is just something about the slightly sinister and generally haunting feeling of this song, that makes it without a doubt, my current favourite cover to play! Whether I do it justice or not though, is another matter entirely. For now, I am just enjoying having a new song to play, especially one that includes a basic solo featuring some string bends, to keep the skills developing and the passion for playing burning brightly! The darker undertones in this version, in particular, also make it all the more appealing to play, though, I still have a long way to go!
Until next time, however dark they may be …sweet dreams!
– Joel BB