Dave Mustaine Talks Signature Guitar: 'This Thing Will Stop Ted Nugent's Guitar!'

"Guitarists know their guitars better than their own family," adds Megadeth mainman.

Ultimate Guitar

Presenting his signature Dean guitar at this year's NAMM convention, Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine discussed the specs of the Zero model, as well as some of the personal preferences when it comes to guitars.

Describing his "Gibson Explorer on steroids," Dave explained: "To me, this guitar - it's a weapon, it's not something you make pretty music with. Of course, you can, but when I'm standing on stage I want something that I know if I get it in trouble - like Ted Nugent used to say - I can stop a charging rhino at a hundred yards."

"And this thing, this thing will stop Ted Nugent's guitar!" Mustaine jokingly added.

Further getting into the details, Dave noted he prefers using a wider neck and jumbo frets on the guitar, since the nerve damage he sustained in 2002 is still taking its toll. "I like jumbo frets because it's a lot easier when you're playing," he told Metal Sanaz. "If sometimes you miss-fret, the [jumbo] frets will save you.

"For me, because I had all the nerve damage in my hand, this [left hand's little] finger's still half-numb, this [left hand's ring] finger's still about a quarter-numb, so sometimes when I'm going to fret this [little] finger won't exactly go where I want it to."

During the rest of the chat, Dave touched on the matter of relationship between guitarists and their equipment in general, noting that "guitarists know their guitars better than their own family."

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74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i know its unrelated to this article but i have to say this somewhere... UG, don't you think you're missing a pretty big announcement in the metal community that was made yesterday?! *cough cough* Motley Crue *cough cough*
    Not only that but Jake E. Lee made a return in December with Red Dragon Cartel.
    That chicks hot.
    Also, it's Mustaine not Mustiane, for ****s sake guys.
    You think they'd know that after a million previous articles about the guy. Shocking, huh?
    I never thought I'd say this, but after seeing this dude "bellend" left and right in the few weeks I've seen him here, I miss that character quirk. Please Mr. Bellend, make your return so we can laugh, rage, and even hate on you for no reason. I want to hate you. Let me hate you.
    Oh, don't worry. I haven't stopped. I just haven't felt as though I've had a good opportunity to use the word in both a humorous and suitable manner for the past few days. Fear not, though, bellends. I'm not going anywhere.
    in all honesty this is the interview that you have to watch to really understand dave is a really cool down to earth guy. He can be a dick to people that are messing around with him but to a normal everyday person he gives the respect people deserve. Good interview, Nice guitars, the girl seemed to be a bit of a dunce though
    I was at NAMM met Mustaine cool dude but **** Ultimate-Guitar the people at the booths and the ones that I saw walking around were pieces of shit.
    Anyone who watches this interview can see he's super nice and super cool but people keep asking controversial questions so they can publish them instead of letting him talk about guitars and music, the only things that really matter when interviewing Dave Mustaine!
    A guitar-weapon?So the laser add-on in that Duck Dodgers episode gave him ideas...
    Wouldn't it be fun listening to these to argue and UG posting it constantly we can only wish
    'This Thing Will Stop Ted Nugent's Guitar!' shame it wont stop you talking shite.
    Nor will it stop ted nugent's shittalking
    Ted Nugent/Dave Mustaine feud? That would be freaking epic!
    we all know that Ted, being the typical American he is would pull out a ****ing assault rifle
    With their crazy bat sh*t mentalities and all the crap they love to talk, a war of words between those two would be quite entertaining.
    Mustaine would win that one. He watched youtube videos on conspiracy theories, im sure he's picked up a few words
    don't want to be a d*ck here, but to be honest, i never believed that whole nerve damage thing... i mean, he wrote in his book, he had to learn playing the guitar all over again from the start and 1,5 years later, he is able to shred at the exact same level as before, to tour the world and whatnot... and if you just look at that article; he mentioned, his pinky and ring-finger are mostly numb to this day - those fingers are essential for shredding... sorry, i just really have my doubts about that...
    Not really, I have a similar issue with my left hand pinky (although I don't shred). Through practice and exercise it can be overcome but there are still "misfires" (delayed response time most often) and it's also weaker than the others. For me, it's really plausible. Plus, he had to retrain his hand, not his brain, to shred.
    kill it
    you should wiki jazz guitarist pat martino. he had to learn the guitar all over again after a brain aneurysm. it can be done, i bet if jason becker was cured he'd be shredding insanely again within a couple years. i hope to see that day.
    Dave Mustaine is no Jason Becker...not even in his wildest dreams.....
    To be fair, you can't compare a run of the mill thrash guitarist with someone who was a child prodigy
    I can only speak for myself, but if I were to see someone play Holy Wars flawlessly, I'd admit that that person is pretty damn skilled at guitar. How useful is it to forever compare someone to the very best guitarist who ever lived? I'd like to suggest that you can be pretty damn good and noteworthy at guitar and still not be Jason Becker.
    Yeah, Dave is pretty good by his own rights. His rhythm section is flawless! His leads after The System Has Failed, however... are f*cking mindless. Sure, he can rip it up; but he rips it up mindlessly, and once you've taken it apart, you can see that the licks are not very complicated, just a flurry of notes. Some of his licks are damn hard, though. Especially the ones requiring long stretches.
    I have nerve damage in my hand and it's taken me about 1 1/2 years to regain my full playing ability so yeah... what are you thinking anyways? He wants to pretend he has nerve damage? trust me when i say this, it ****ing sucks when one little accident forces you to recondition your hand for months on end in order to be able to play the same thing you were playing one day previous to the accident, so **** off. It's a physical limitation, not a mental one, you still remember how to play, you simply can't play at full speed and depending on your situation it can be extremely painful. Also i'm not defending mustaine, i hate this douche with a passion, he made some good music but besides that i'd love to punch him in the face.
    theres pictures of his hand inside of a stretcher for his tendons t get back to normal, youre literally belitting him saying he never messed up his arm..... make fun of him for his political statements and whatnot but dont question is nerves you idiot...
    How can you dismis that when you have no idea on his actual situation? I did a similar thing where I fell asleep on my arm and had restricted movement for days. Luckily for me I woke up and moved position.
    Nah, I think read that he had pinched off blood supply to his ulnar nerve, and that nerve innervates the pinky and ring finger. It's not unlikely he sustained some permanent damage.
    I don't know man... What I do know is that it's %100 possible. I have damaged nerves in my hand from an accident that affect the feeling in the last two knuckles in my pinky. It's mostly numbing issues and sometimes some burning after long sessions of playing. Many times and to this day, I can't feel how my pinky-tip is pushing on the string, although it never did affect my reaction time in a perceivable way. Yes, I shred and do a lot of scale-runs/sweep picking. Other that certain barre chords, that's the only time it is noticeable to me.
    He still had the knowledge though. He already knew how to play the guitar, he just couldn't execute it because of his injury.
    Yeah, he has the knowledge to rip up mindless pentatonic licks that don't do his rhythm section justice.
    His original level wasn't something you spend more than 1.5 years practicing, anyway...
    wow... people calling me an idiot and to f*ck off just because i politely phrased my doubts about this nerve damage situation - very mature, guys... there have been some very insightful comments on this whole thing (that might have proven me wrong, which i'm more than willing to accept if that's the case) for which i'm thankful, but people reaching out to insult and taking evidence in a picture of a hand in a stretcher (that picture in his book just shows a hand which could have been anyone's...) is just not the way to go... i don't want to defend myself, but mustaine is known for not being the most sincere person around and for that i wouldn't be surprised if that whole situation was just to try to show yet again how great he is... as i said earlier, i am thankful for those insightful comments made by people, who have gone through similar situations and again i wish to repeat, that this is not a desperate try to defend myself, but you guys didn't have to go on a worldtour right after that, did you?
    Steve Vai!!!
    You are aware that he, in fact, cannot play as well now though, right? He has become very, very sloppy. So your point is kinda moot, and misinformed. Yes he had nerve damage - and now he cant play the things properly. "Exact same level"? Not even close!
    Really? He quit Megadeth when this happened. Only to be resurrected by the label as they knew his new album would sell better under the megadeth banner.
    No Megadeth was brought back for The System Has Failed because Dave was on contract for another Megadeth album. And he disbanded Megadeth when the nerve damage happened because he couldn't hold a guitar.
    It is possible, just difficult. I broke my wrist and half my hand two years ago, never got it set, and let it grow back wrong. I still can shred, it's just different. The good thing about playing with high gain, is even if you miss slightly, the notes are so fast you can't distinguish a noticeable difference.
    I shattered the bottom joint of my pinky on my left hand about 3 years ago and let it grow back normally. I lost all strength in it and because of how it felt, it took me a long time to start using it again, and now it just feels weird. Dave is a drama queen and attention *****, but sometimes things are legit. Such as this. Getting used to playing again isnt that hard, its just hand training, the easy part of learning guitar. To learn any song you need to master your hand for that song, its essentially what he needs to do, and someone with a brain for guitar like him, 1.5 years is actually a very feasible timescale
    Still a moron. No special guitar at all. And he refers to it as a 'thing'. Way to go.
    Sewage Rat
    What's he supposed to call it? 'She'?
    What is with this gaetarded phucking voting? Comment by SstanN is phrased well, effective and most amusing--yet people downvote the hell out of it. By contrast, Sewage Rat's is both highly predictably and lowbrow, yet it gets shitloads of upvotes. Get ya phucking shit together, people, and cease this retardation. Thank you. \m/
    Cool enough guitar. Girl looks a wee bit like a man, in the face. Dave looks like an auld leather bag.
    How many damn signature models for one artist does Dean need to make? I swear they introduce like 3 Dimebag models and 1 Mustaine model per year. Things really went bad when Dean Zelinsky left.
    I can't tell if Mustaine was always this damn unintelligent or if something happened to him at some point. Can anyone tell me? Is he an idiot or is he broken? I can't tell. Not meant to be offensive, by the way. But it's rather obvious.