Dave Mustaine: 'When It Comes to Solos, You Can't Just Do Scales and Sweeps'

Megadeth frontman talks essence of guitar solos, claims Chris Broderick is the best guitarist he's ever played with.

Ultimate Guitar

The six-string-wielding duo of Megadeth, frontman Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick recently talked guitars along with several aspects of the group's rich history. When asked by Guitar World about his statement that Broderick is "without a doubt the best guitarist" he's ever played with, Mustaine once again praised the axeman, but also revealed what he considers as critical aspects of soloing in Megadeth. "He's such an enigma. What Chris is capable of doing and what he does are two totally different things," Dave said. "He could do a mind-blowing, over-the-fretboard seven-string solo for six minutes. But he can also play something incredibly melodic. You need to be able to play what fits the song. And that's the cool thing about the journey we've been on together: we've learned a lot about each other as people and learned a lot from each other as players." The frontman then focused on solos, "And when it comes to solos, especially for a band like this, you gotta think about it. You gotta really think about where you’re going. You can’t just do scales and sweeps. That said, the guy can do 800 notes in four bars if he wants to." Broderick could't help feeling humbled, especially considering all the top-notch guitarist that played in Megadeth prior to his arrival. "Every past player in Megadeth has brought something great to the table, and I think I’m lucky to be counted among them," Chris said. Mustaine also discussed the latest record "Super Collider" and its title track. After noting that the song "kind of came from that 'Symphony of Destruction' corner" of his mind, Dave confessed that some of the parts date way back to mid-'90s. "Parts of it were very old," he explained. "I think I had just done the MD.45 record [in 1996]. The majority of it - that kind of 'Baba O’Riley,' 'Highway to Hell' kind of thing - is from that era." Can scales and sweeps do the trick, or does it take more? And do you agree with Broderick being better than Friedman, Poland and others? Let us know in the comments.

86 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Truth is Broderick is surely the best guitarist Megadeth ever had from a technical point of view, but in terms of originality and creativity Marty steals the show.
    I don't think Marty steals the show in terms of creativity. I do think he was the best at it, but too many people forget or rule out Chris Poland. That dude had the technical chops of Broderick and could write some of the most original solos (i.e. little jazzy lick in solo in Devil's Island)
    Agreed. Chris didn't record any "bad" Megadeth albums. Marty did.
    don't know why you got downvoted, Marty's one of my favorite players, but the people on this site need to crawl out of his ass Cryptic Warnings and Risk were mostly shit. KIMB, Peace Sells and The System Has Failed are amazing start to finish.
    This is all a matter of opinion anyway. Risk is more objectively a bad album (most would agree on that), but I love Cryptic WRITINGS. The guitar tone and songwriting is stellar. Marty does some great work on there. I think it's silly to even argue about who's "better." Each player has their own gems and qualities to bring to the table.
    Agreed Cryptic Writings is an excellent record period. Trust, Almost Honest, Secret Place, FFF, good album from top to bottom.
    i thjinkits more of marty fit the band more, chris is for sure better but martys spot in the band was more filled because of what he did on the guitar during his megadeth years
    This exactly. Marty is incredibly inventive, but there are some videos on youtube comparing the two guitarists playing the same solo and Chris's always sounds cleaner
    Sleaze Disease
    Chris' may be cleaner, but playing someone else's solo and actually coming up with that solo are two different things.
    This is true. Broderick is a more technical and clean player than Marty will ever be. But Marty has Broderick whipped on cleverness and memorable solos.
    Hes too good for Megadeth,
    My Last Words
    I wouldn't say he's "too" good for Megadeth (One can never be good enough, let alone "too good") but his technical capacities clearly transcend those of Dave, Jr., and Shawn together.
    I dont think he is the best guitarist Megadeth ever had. Most technical Guitarist... My Favorite has always been Dave Mustaine Hands down. He is Megadeth and he writes some crazy solos him self and the best riffs in Metal IMO. Chris Poland and Marty Friedman are both Amazing but id pick CP cause Peace sells is my favorite album of all time.
    Yeah some off the BEST Megadeth came when Marty was there. Chris P. very, very close 2nd. Even the last one he just played on IMO has the best Megadeth hooks to the songs so Marty and Chris P. just fit I am still waiting for the same from hopefully from Brodrick yes he is gifted but Megadeth is just not sound wise IMO at Marty and Chris P. for some reason.
    Chris is an amazing guitarist in so many ways. He was my guitar instructor in the late 90's and I just remember watching him in awe as he would noodle around here and there, not to mention his classical guitar skills. I think Mustaine needs to let Chris be more involved in the songwriting process. I am still waiting for a killer finger picking acoustic section to open a song that transitions to a full on metal thrash fest.
    I was extremely impressed with Chis's classical skills. It shows in all his technique, just an amazing technical perfectionist. Which is why I am a little let down about what he does in Megadeth...
    this is the first time in like 200 years that i read about dave mustaine talking about musical stuff actually
    No this is probably the first time you've read UG reporting on something Mustaine is talking about musically, because he talks about his music all the time. UG just likes to ignore that stuff mostly in favor of his political stuff to get all of us to comment about it.
    Not comment, but to view it...Pageloads get them cash from ads assuming they have them. (I run adblock so I have no idea)
    I agree.
    I never thought I'd live to see the day that this got downvoted. That'll teach me to post in metal threads.
    you just have to wait a while till enough people have read and seen your comment...
    Still, the thought that at least 2 people downvoted it totally weirds me out.
    The thought that people don't share your taste weirds you out? Weird.
    "You can’t just do scales and sweeps." >99% of the solos on the last 3 albums were scale raping/sweeps
    My Last Words
    Interesting article about Marty on solo's in Megadeth: http://www.martyfriedman.com/info_archiv... excerpt: "TORNADO OF SOULS When I finished the solo to this one, Mustaine came into the studio, listened to it down once, turned around and without saying a word, shook my hand. It was at that moment that I felt like I was truly the guitarist for this band. " So dave is a bit contradictoir here..
    I have a hard time saying who is better Marty or Chris. Marty's solo and Cacophony stuff is a lot more technical than his Megadeth solos. That said, I never got bored listening to Marty's solos and the way they sounded like mini-compositions. I have found some of Chris's to be quite similar - scales and sweeps. I am a big fan of shredding done right. I liked Glen Drover's solos more than Chris's.
    Not a huge fan of Broderick. He has no dirt. To play in Megadeth you MUST have dirt. Dave has dirt, Ellefson has dirt, Marty, Menza, Poland, Samuelson all had dirt. BRODERICK HAS NO DIRT!
    Well then, I guess he better get a shovel and dig some up, pronto, and start munching on it like Cookie Monster.
    "Mustaine also discussed the latest record "Super Collider" and its title track. After noting that the song "kind of came from that 'Symphony of Destruction' corner" of his mind..." I'm sorry, but what the hell? Symphony of Destruction has a riff. Super Collider does not.
    Remember when Dave had no sense of melody and just played completely ill-fitting chromatic runs back in Metallica? Good times.
    I think all of the guitarists mentioned here have their merits, but the first album by Megadeth that really resonated with me when it came out was "Rust in Peace," and Marty's left of center approach was a big part of that. He has a very unique sound and style and it just happened to mesh perfectly with the rest of Megadeth. For my money both "Rust" and "Countdown" are perfect metal classics!
    I can get what Dave is getting at with this statement, but Ill have to disagree. Scales and sweeps are misunderstood WAAAAY too often in the guitar world. Scales are just theoretical tools, nothing more. they are meant to sound best with certain notes and progressions. you can do anything with a scale and it will likely sound great with a matching chord progression. the scale is used to make the melody, or no scale at all, but it more often than not sounds better using the scale in the progression. Just look at martys "tornado of souls" solo just to give an example. one of the greatest melodic solos of all time and not once in the solo did he deviate from a B minor scale(iirc). Its easier to sound bad by deviating from the scale.
    There's no black and white here, its a trade off Playing slow notes is like singing through a guitar, the important part is tone, harmonics, and melody Playing really fast takes immense skill and endurance, but if you play that way all the time, it stops being interesting. Its like when your school teacher said highlighting everything is like highlighting nothing. its damn true and its why i don't listen to speed metal.
    Doesn't Dave pretty much always use the same one scale? Also i like Broderick, he's a phenomenal guitarist, but it feels like all his solo's are sweeps and scales too : / Marty Friedman had a lot of feel to his play but Dave bashes him any time he gets mentioned.
    Actually Dave is far from using one scale. Unless you count chromatic which technically everybody who has ever played music of any kind uses. Dave's musicianship on the first few records is unparalleled, he really does deserve a place in the "important guitarists" section of music. Maybe not the smartest guy, but has, or at least had, one knack for good riffs that make no sense from a music theory standpoint.
    Don't get me wrong, i'm a huge Megadeth fan and every album up to Risk is timeless in my opinion. But it feels like Daves originality is somewhat lacking these days. I'd love to hear another solo from Dave that rivals Holy Wars or Good Mourning/Black Friday but i feel like he's past his peak and is just regurgitating licks and riffs.
    Friedman>Poland>Young>Broderick. IMO Broderick sounds like a robot in Megadeth. In addition, Marty, Chris, and Jeff all had recognizable tones in the songs in their respective times in Megadeth. Chris does not.
    Chris Broderick is just as good as Marty friedman and Chris Poland. All you need to do is look at chaos theory no.3 to get a taste of his style. If you don't hear Chris Broderick's style then you must be deaf.
    Broderick is better, he is a true metal guitarist! unfortunately, he is pushed to play all the shit composed by Mustaine
    Um, you had better just do scales. Lead guitarists without proper training suck. Cough, Kerry King, cough.
    What he means is that it's about how you play the scale. There are a lot of guitarist that just "create" the same generic sound over and over again. Also as far as leat guitarists without proper training go, I'd say it depends.
    You know absolutely nothing about music and you should probably quit while you're ahead.
    "That said, the guy can do 800 notes in four bars if he wants to." ahh, Dave. Modest as always
    Doesn't modesty usually refer to statements about yourself, rather than other people?
    Come on Dave, I bet you know Friedman kicks Broderick's ass ten thousand times. Melodies in the Friedman solos are amazing: take Poison Was the Cure as an esample.. Friedman>Drover>Poland>Broderick>Pitrelli
    sad to see how underrated pitrelli is as a megadeth guitarist. the "dread and fugitive mind" solo has to be one of the best solos if megadeth.
    "When I finished the solo to this one, Mustaine came into the studio, listened to it down once, turned around and without saying a word, shook my hand. It was at that moment that I felt like I was truly the guitarist for this band." -Marty Friedman in a 2002 interview on "Tornado of Souls"
    I must have done close to 100 takes of lead guitar on my last track before I realized I was overplaying. Then I think I had to do a bunch more before I finally got something that was workable. I might record it again still when it's time for mastering.
    Ou gosh...Marty made Megadeth so uncomparable to others,such as using neoclassic runs and scales.Chris is brave,but a lil bit Loomis style if you ask me
    saying he is loomis style is a bit too good to be honest. chris is a great guitar player, no doubt about that. but in megadeth, he hasnt shown a tenth of the lead chops loomis has shown. Id describe loomis as the lovechild of friedman and becker.
    bustapr: True, but I also think that Chris does not want to really humiliate Dave in his own band. He is holding back a lot, I think. Pulling all his artistry would make Mustaine, let alone force him to go in his practice room and re-learn scales and sweeps again...
    Chris Broderick and Jeff Loomis are the same person, just one has blonde hair and the other has brown IMO. I mean they play guitar very similarly and look a lot alike too.
    My Last Words
    Meh more like oriental runs if you ask me (and an overall oriental-easternesque sound).. Check out Cacophony for the neo-classical vibes.
    i will never understand the whole "i'm humbled to hear this or that, or its humbling to me" shouldn't being praised about how great you are in fact be the complete opposite of humbling? it should make you full of yourself and a jackass, not humble you. its like when obama got elected and said something like, this is so humbling being up here. no its not! it is in no way humbling you
    "Every past player in Megadeth has brought something great to the table , and I think I’m lucky to be counted among them," Chris said.