Layne Staley Guitar Technique

author: CGB89 date: 07/08/2009 category: guitar gurus
rating: 5.2 / votes: 5 
A lot of Layne's guitar style involved a cop of the vocal melody in power chords. But, the root note of the power chords would mostly lie on the first 3 frets of the first two strings. The chords would also be easy to transition from one to the other. From Angry Chair:
eb|-------------------------------------|
Bb|-------------------------------------|
Gb|---2--4-----------2--4---------------|
Db|---2--4--4--5-----2--4--2------------|
Ab|---0--2--4--5-----0--2--2------------|
Eb|---------2--3-----------0---5b5b5b5--|
Another technique Layne would use was natural harmonics in the power chord shape. Again, the harmonics would be easy to reach from the previous chord. From Hate to Feel:
eb|---------------------------------|
Bb|---------------------------------|
Gb|---------------------------------|
Db|--2-2-8-<7><7>-2-2-8------<7>-<7>|
Ab|--2-2-8-<7><7>-2-2-8------<7>-<7>|
Eb|--0-0-6-<5><5>-0-0-6------<5>-<5>|
The next technique was the bend. He used this quite a bit. I would assume he picked it up from Jerry, who has said the bend was a major part of his playing style. From Angry Chair:
eb|-------------|
Bb|-------------|
Gb|-------------|
Db|-------------| 
Ab|-----2---3qb-|
Eb|---0---0-----|

eb|-----------------------|   
Bb|-----------------------|    
Gb|-----------------------| 
Db|---3-3-3-3--2-2--------| 
Ab|---3-3-3-3--2-2--------|  
Eb|---1-1-1-1--0-0---5fb--|    

eb|-------------------------------------|
Bb|-------------------------------------|
Gb|---2--4-----------2--4---------------|
Db|---2--4--4--5-----2--4--2------------|
Ab|---0--2--4--5-----0--2--2------------|
Eb|---------2--3-----------0---5b5b5b5--|
The final technique was just single notes. In Hate to Feel, he cops the vocal melody, in Angry Chair he doesn't. His notes were not based on scales as he wasn't usually a guitarist. From Hate to Feel:
eb|--------------------------------|
Bb|--------------------------------|
Gb|--------------------------------|
Db|--------------------------------|
Ab|---7--6--5----------------------|
Eb|---------------7--6--5--0--3b---|

From Angry Chair:
eb|-------------|
Bb|-------------|
Gb|-------------|
Db|-------------| 
Ab|-----2---3qb-|
Eb|---0---0-----|
Overall Layne Staley's guitar technique is very simple as he neede to sing too. Follow these tips and you'll be writing like Mr. Staley did in no time.
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