I'm a blues guy, but I've always wanted to be able to do the whole Van Halen thing, and yet I've never known where to start. Any ideas? 80s cheesy stuff's my favourite, I'd prefer anything that steers clear of the Metallica-and-beyond shindig.
Learning some stuff by Satriani is where I started. I found it very tough, but make sure you work heavily on Legato, while taking a modal approach to music - That's what the Satch seems to do
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Have you tried Humans Being by Van Halen? I can do that one up to speed pretty well, and I'm a fairly green guitarist(been playing for 3 and a half years but it's been coming along very slowly for me...xD). 18 and Life by Skid Row's not too bad either. Cheers!
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Nah, I prefer to tune lower. My tunings usually go into weird Hebrew symbols.
If you want to do the whole "Van Halen thing" then why not try learning to play some Van Halen songs? Or are you looking for something different, but sounds similar?
80's cheese fest! Try Skid row, Extreme, Europe, Ratt, Stryper (..........), Mr.Big, Night Ranger, or anything else. These are the more well known ones, but it's a start
Consider instructional books (or better yet, DVDs) by Dave Celentano, Greg Harrison, or Troy Stetina. They tend to cover the obligatory 3 notes per string sequences, arpeggios, sweeps, neo-classical phrasing, pedals, etc.

Gilbert's Intense Rock is still valid (and is freely available on Youtube).