In a sad turn of events, the world of rock music mourns the loss of Bernie Marsden, the talented guitarist who co-founded the iconic British rock group Whitesnake. Marsden’s contributions to music, particularly his distinctive guitar playing, have left an indelible mark on the rock genre. In this tutorial, we’ll take a closer look at Bernie Marsden’s guitar style and explore some key aspects that made his playing so unique.
Tutorial: Bernie Marsden’s Guitar Style
1. Blues Influence: One of the defining features of Bernie Marsden’s guitar style was his deep-rooted blues influence. To capture his essence, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of blues guitar playing. Focus on techniques like bending, vibrato, and slides, which Marsden expertly incorporated into his playing to infuse emotion and soul into his solos.
2. Melodic Phrasing: Marsden had a knack for creating melodic guitar solos that resonated with listeners. Study his approach to soloing, paying attention to how he weaved memorable melodies into his guitar work. Practice playing simple, memorable melodies over chord progressions to develop your own melodic phrasing skills.
3. Hybrid Picking: Hybrid picking involves using a pick and fingers to pluck strings, creating a unique and versatile sound. Marsden often employed this technique to achieve a rich and varied tonal palette. Experiment with hybrid picking by combining pick strokes with finger plucking to add texture to your playing.
4. Rhythm Guitar Techniques: In addition to his impressive lead guitar skills, Marsden was a skilled rhythm guitarist. His rhythm playing added depth and groove to Whitesnake’s music. Work on your chord strumming, rhythm patterns, and muting techniques to capture the dynamic energy Marsden brought to his rhythm guitar parts.
5. Slide Guitar: Marsden’s slide guitar work was an integral part of his style. While not exclusively a slide guitarist, he used this technique to add a touch of rawness to his solos. Explore slide guitar techniques, such as proper slide placement, muting strings, and achieving smooth transitions between notes.
6. Tone and Gear: Marsden’s tone was an essential part of his signature sound. While gear won’t make you play like Bernie Marsden, it’s worth considering his preferences. He often used Gibson guitars and Marshall amplifiers. Experiment with your gear to find a tone that resonates with his blues-infused sound.
7. Study His Solos: To truly grasp Marsden’s guitar style, study his solos in Whitesnake’s hit songs like “Here I Go Again” and “Fool For Your Loving.” Analyze his note choices, phrasing, and dynamics. While emulation is not the goal, understanding his playing will help you incorporate some of his techniques into your own style.
Conclusion: Bernie Marsden’s passing is a reminder of the immense impact he had on the world of rock music. His guitar style blended blues, melody, and emotion, creating a unique voice that will be remembered for generations. By studying his techniques and incorporating elements of his style into your own playing, you can pay tribute to his legacy while also developing as a guitarist. Rest in peace, Bernie Marsden. Your music will continue to inspire guitarists around the world.