Chris Broderick: The Guitar Techniques I Used on the New Act of Defiance Album

UG exclusive: "This CD is more about a culmination of my techniques rather than the perfection of any one of them."

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Chris Broderick: The Guitar Techniques I Used on the New Act of Defiance Album
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Chris Broderick discussed the new Act of Defiance album "Old Scars, New Wounds," telling UG interviewer Justin Beckner about the techniques he utilized in the studio:

"I think this CD is more about a culmination of my techniques rather than the perfection of any one of them.

"Some of the solos I did on this record, for example, include me almost taking out my classical guitar, right-hand technique with octave dispersed arpeggios and sliding in and out of them, trying to build a counterpointed melody between the bass and the upper voice, intervallic tapping going into sweeps, tremolo bar work that I've always wanted to experiment with more.

"So to me it's about all these styles and techniques that I like to use."

During a separate Guitar World interview, Chris said:

"I had all these techniques that I'd always wanted to work into my playing, and through the course of developing them, they organically - and kind of inadvertently - worked their way into my playing."

Focusing on the second solo in "M.I.A.", Broderick added:

"I do this octave-dispersed arpeggio technique in it where I use P.I.M.A., my classical right-hand fingering, and then I pair that up with sliding into melodic notes on the top and bottom end with my left hand.

"So, basically, I'm doing this kind of counterpoint between the upper melody and the lower melody, that develops between these octave-dispersed arpeggios. I thought it came out really well!"

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Back to the UG chat, the guitarist said about his approach to soloing:

"You know, I wish I did leave more room for improvisation.

"But typically, I tend to listen to the rhythm that I am going to be playing over and listen to its entrance - where it's coming from, where it's going - and imagine what I want to hear in the guitar solo.

"And then I just do my best to bring that to flourish on to me that is the most musical organic way to make it happen when I hear the entrance to a solo say I wanna hear a blazing 16th note or sextuplet entrance as a run into the solo I'll do that and then decide how to transition it back into the rhythm it's just about using your imagination and being able to dissect what your imagining and make it a reality."

Asked on how many presets he actually utilizes as a Fractal user, Chris replied:

"I keep it pretty basic.

"I have a lead with a few variations as far as wah and phaser. And I'll also use it when I play live - to fill in the gaps of only having one guitar player, I use my harmonizer a lot on those harmonized leads that I recorded on the album.

"My rhythm is pretty basic - it's a single amp straight into a cabinet simulation. That's about it.

"I try to have a really clean pristine guitar tone for the clean guitar sounds like strumming and picking and stuff - I like to have a really clean tone when I do my two handed tapping that's a little more mid-range focused so that the notes pop out a little bit better. That's about it for the presets that I use."

Asked to single out "a riff or a solo or a part of a song that you are most proud of on the new album," Broderick replied:

"I would say that would probably be the solo section of 'Rise of Rebellion.' It's just such an epic song and anthem and it's got this nice elongated guitar interlude.

"That and maybe the entrance of 'Broken Dialect,' it's just insanity and it still kicks my ass."

Asked about the tunings used on the record, Broderick said:

"So we tend to tune a half step down and that was a very conscious effort because there was the potential for some of these songs to be done in altered tunings and ultimately I wanted to keep it simple when we got back to the live situation so we arranged them in our standard half step down tuning."

Asked if the band ever considered adding a second guitar player to the fold, Chris replied:

"Yeah, I mean I would love it because it would take some of the weight off of trying to make the live show as full as possible because most of the material could always use a second guitar.

"The problem is - logistically right now it just doesn't make sense for us to add another guitarist.

"I talked to some of my good friends about touring with us. I don't think right now Act of Defiance can offer somebody else what they deserve to put up with our torture.

"There are so many great players out there and I almost don't want to name them because it almost presumes that they would want to be a part of it, but there are a lot of great players that I would love to play with.

"It would have to be someone who is very technically proficient."

He also talked about the first guitar he ever owned, saying with a laugh:

"The first guitar I ever owned was this Sears guitar - it had like 18 frets and you couldn't even tune it.

"I had it spray painted red and put black electric tape on it like I was Eddie Van Halen. It was pretty hilarious but it was my first guitar and it's definitely what got me into playing the instrument."

"Old Scars, New Wounds" was released on September 29, you can stream it below.

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