Watch: Here's What It Sounds Like When Zakk Wylde Improvises a Solo for 5 Minutes

One take only, folks.

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Watch: Here's What It Sounds Like When Zakk Wylde Improvises a Solo for 5 Minutes
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Mr. Zakk Wylde stopped by EMG TV to deliver a one-take improvised solo over an Andy James backing track provided by Jam Track Central.

You can check out the outcome in the embedded player below.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Farbeyondfukd88
    Man When i was younger Zakk was one of the main dudes that got me into heavy guitar and cool ass solos. But somewhere along the way it just seems like he lost the feeling and all you ever heard were those same super fast runs that he does here around the 2:40 mark. But i will say the first part of this shows me that he still got it. I just wish he would apply that more soulful style that atleast made me love the dude a long time ago
    Arunas
    Its hard to draw ideas when you've been doing it for 30+ years. Otherwise we would have all our guitar gods pumping out material that would constantly top or rival the previous albums. But...That seldom happens anymore and everyone has their "top/best/supreme unmatchable" period....
    mobidguitar
    Nice to see somebody understands. Most of these comments about "oh i wish he only played this or that.." are usually from music fans that don't understand what its like to live and breath a career of music decade after decade. If he wants to drop the guitar and play a triangle, then great, let him play.
    jdperdomoq1
    " all you ever heard were those same super fast runs that he does " ...and pinch harmonics. Don't forget unlimited pinch harmonics.
    GR84
    I agree - i caught him on a television special with an acoustic guitar, and he was doing these superfast runs on it, and i had to change the channel cause it just sounded so mechanical and non-musical
    mobidguitar
    How dare he play that fast. How offensive to those such as yourself. Forever life changing event it sounds like.
    Metal_Lo
    He might be repetitive now, but if you haven't already did it, listen to his solo in "Darkest Hour" from Book of Shadows 2. In my opinion, one of his best pieces in ages.
    Farbeyondfukd88
    It is a great solo. Right there with his solos in Layne,new religion or prob my personal favorite is the main solo in Sold my soul. But when i hear him now alot of times all it reminds me of is that awful (imo) intro solo or whatever you want to call that noise on the acoustic version of Still born from the Skullage package he put out a while ago
    mokeefe1319
    Totally agree. Probably one of my main reasons for getting into heavy guitar and cool ass solos too. To this day I still love his guitar sound and the way he plays more than 98% of people regardless of the repetitive runs or excessive speed. Just the way it sounds always strikes the right chord with me, IMO
    Farbeyondfukd88
    Yep im with when ever im in a dicussion with someone about music and the question on favoite guitarist comes up 9 times out of 10 i will still say zakk wylde but usually with a disclaimer if that person isn't familiar with his work. Ill give a few specific things to check out because if youre new to him and you just google random shit, it can be easy for a new comer to get a not so great impression with all the repetition out there
    Sandman4991
    He still has this soul of a younger, less wild Zakk. Book of Shadows 2 was great. But this solo here is shit.
    cooper9934
    Damn.   Might be the best video UG has shown us in a while... way better than "lars said this" or "tool might be recording" "or this youtube guy can play 25 guitars at once" ---interesting to see how his mind works and how he almost makes the solo into verses and choruses  
    GR84
    ".... the guy that can play 25 guitars at once" - that cracked me up hahaha!
    GR84
    Note : I'm not saying that i can do better by any stretch. And, its not a knock on Zack But, i will say that, as this is technically impressive, and i dont know how his fingers can keep up, but emotionally and "musically" this is hollow. It starts out great, then goes into a series of scale exercises and rundowns that just dont really connect with my ear in a pleasing way. It gets repetitive and im ready to hear something else 2 minutes in. I don't know, i always feel that a solo needs a purpose. I.E. Comfortably Numb (as clique as it is to bring it up) that, IMO, is the perfect example of a solo(s) that is just pure heart/power and is absolutely essential to the core of the song - you cant hear the song without the solo(s) - and i cant imagine the song having the same power without it. Its from a different place all together. Pulled out of the Musical Heavens Again, i admire the skill, but i cant connect to this.
    dfrooney
    I'm not disagreeing with you overall...but to look at this from a different direction... This is a generic chord progression he's playing over, not a song, so how do you serve a song when there isn't one?  In this case, the guitar solo is the entire melody. If you pull the CN solo out of the song and didn't know the context around it, would you like it as much?  Impossible to answer because none of us can erase the rest of the song, but interesting to think about.
    GR84
    Valid point, i see what you are saying - thank you for not simply saying "you do better".
    parisatnite
    I totaly get you. Even if i do admire him for his technic, that I'm not able to do this, that it represents a lot of work behind this, blablabla... You don't have the little thing that we can call "soul" on this. Dfrooney was right concerning your point on the CN solo. But I think you were thinking more like a blues impro, where no matter what the backtrack is, the bluesman put something "more magical" on the solo.  I get your point, and maybe that's why, if we stay in the same range of guitarists, I always preferred Slash on his way to approach a solo...
    Jyrgen
    But you gotta also note that this is just the first take - it's probably not gonna be perfect, no matter who's playing it. Comfortably Numb and tons of other great solos were pieced together from multiple takes.
    mobidguitar
    Can you please show us how to play it properly? You seem to have a keen ear for elitist perfection. Please do show us the "Right" way to play this, ya?
    Dioptri
    If someone didn't see this yet - pretty cool "waiting" while mic troubles.
    stixhogan
    I will tell you right now that if you get a chance to see the experience Hendrix tour to do it.  Zakk's sections always destroy everyone in the building. 
    SpaceCadetK
    Oh look, it's another soulless, wanky guitar solo by Mr. Wylde.
    RisingForce1990
    Well let's hear your one take improv over this backing track and we'll see what's what.
    austhrax
    Heaven forbid he's having some fun,isn't that abig part of music in general?
    travislausch
    I was never really a fan of Zakk's style, just seemed a little too tasteless and reckless (ie he plays like a guy who understands the mechanics of playing fast, but not the dynamics or theory behind the tonalities) for me, personally. In no way am I saying I can do better, I haven't built a career around my guitar playing like he has.  But I have to say, the first half or so of this solo is not bad at all. Nothing unexpected, but at least it was tasteful. Actually enjoyed some of his playing in this. Last time he did something on EMG TV that I remember was some backing track over an Andy McKee thing, and his tone was absolute garbage on that (way too much chorus or something going on with his pedalboard), but his tone on this video is much better.  
    IvyRock
    4 minutes in the video: When you are in a hurry and need to catch the buss