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2023-07-09 14:29:27

Guitar Lessons with Daron Malakian from System of a Down

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Hey , it is Darren from the system of down and your log on at guitar dot dot com .

I just always want to play the drums .

And so my parents said that they wouldn't buy me the drums because you can't turn them off .

So I had bought , they got me a guitar and I started playing the guitar and I started getting better at it .

So I said , OK , I'll stick to this and then I started realizing I could write songs and then that became like something that , you know , just made me stick to the guitar .

And I still love the drums though .

I mean , the drums are my favorite instrument .

I played very light drums .

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Like , you know , it's like if I was playing for the Stones or something , I can keep a 44 beat .

But like , uh , I don't do any Neil pert type of stuff .

I , I mean , you know , so I'm not a drummer .

I have like a drummer's mind , you can say , but I'm not , I , I'm not physically a drummer but you have at times you play very percussive way .

Yeah , I'm a , I'm a better rhythm player but than I am a solo player by far , I think .

Yeah , like , uh , Maiden Records and , uh , anything metal back in those days except for a man or , um , I don't know , Aussie stuff , Randy Rhodes .

Um , just a whole bunch of different guitar players .

Too many to even mention .

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And it's not just the guitar that influences me to go places , it's like different , you know , sometimes there's so many lead singers that , like Iggy pop , you know , is a big inspiration for me when it comes to just attitude and playing and doing it all with attitude and uh just different people .

There's too many to name , you know , who is your first big guitar here right now ?

Well , my first big band ever was Kiss .

So I , I guess I'd have to say Ace Fraley , you know , because he was in Kiss .

But then again , that's like saying , you know , back in those days I say Peter Chris , the greatest drummer on earth .

No offense to Peter Chris .

But hey , you know , John Bonham will whip his ass , you know .

So , uh , I don't know , I , I guess Ace Fraley was the first guitar player ever that I ever like , you know , knew the guitar hero .

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I don't know , like Randy Rhodes , Eddie Van Halen , a lot of eighties guys because I , I basically grew up in the eighties , you know , as an eighties kid and metals really big back then .

So I remember I used , I used to play Iron Man like this really bad .

Someone said that's not how you hold the power glory .

Like someone just taught me how to , like someone told me , hey , put your finger down power .

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Don't not point it , right .

That's just the key that I chose right now .

It was and B Iron Man and B that's just off , you know , sitting in your room for like 7 to 10 hours a day and playing and every day and I was like , I don't know , still sometimes .

So if I can get the chance I do II , I remember when I was like a teenager , I used to get home and play for hours , like seven or 8 , 10 hours a day and like , I'd realize damn time just flew by and like , I , I'd be like , damn , I gotta eat something , you know .

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You know , I'll tell you , masturbation is great for the right arm .

I doodle around is do stuff like , I don't know , nothing in particular .

Just I feel like playing the guitar .

So let's play the guitar .

But yeah , do the round .

I don't know how this screw around .

It's really hard to say what I used to do .

Exactly .

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Play Sabbath Riffs or something .

Try to figure out how to play South of Heaven , like , just by listening to it on the stereo or something .

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I'd hear whoa there new Slayer record and then , like , try to play it , go through like , oh , do the riff of the first song we're gonna play or like , right .

I just make sure I'm warmed up to play the first song .

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If I'm gonna start the first song , you know , or whatever , the first song , usually Sleepy or no , or pluck or something .

Yes .

Salsa .

Anything like , uh , like Elvis Crespo , the guy who sings that guy is cool .

Uh , I like , uh , you know , a lot of different .

I like the , uh , Apex Twin .

He's a really cool electronic guy .

And , um , I don't know , there's a , there's a lot of cool DJ .

S like Frankie Bones and , uh DJ Shadow .

He's , he's really cool .

Um , Carl Cox , I , I've been listening to some of his C DS lately .

So , yeah , I do like some dance music DJ stuff because it's all , like , very drum orientated .

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So , I'm , I'm , I'm really into the rhythm and vocals .

When it comes down to music , the guitar is pretty much the last thing I think about and I'm the guitar part of the band but I , I , as , as a composer or someone who writes music or , or whatever that when I'm in the frame of mind of doing that , I'm really not thinking of my part too much as much as I'm thinking about what else would be going on while I'm doing my part .

You know what I mean ?

And they'll think of then I'll do it , you know , I'll , I'll do my thing more , you know , So , basically , you know , I do a lot of writing for the band .

So I write some music here and I'll take it to the band and , you know , create a vibe .

I try to create the vibe with , you know , iii , I , like I said , I'm , I'm a drummer in my head .

So it's like when I'm playing these riffs , sometimes I have all these beats that are going into my head .

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You know , it's like I might be playing a Tony Io , but I have like a break beat in the background and I'd be going to John and say , hey , try that , that'd be funny .

You know what I mean ?

It'd be fun .

It's like if you listen to our song on the tribute record , I mean , it's sort of like James Brown meets Salsa version of Snow Blind .

And uh that's , that's just like sort of what we like to do , you know , and expand it a little bit .

Like , still keep it heavy , keep it serious yet .

Have a light side to it .

I don't know .

It's hard to explain .

It's , it's , it's some people try to have us explain , you know , what , why does it work ?

You know , you have like uh a singer , he talks about some serious issues and then I'm a guitar player and I do some quacky stuff sometimes and like I say , I'm the dude that says sugar or whatever and like , how does that work ?

And we're like , I don't know , you guys are the ones that bought the records .

We don't , we don't know how it works .

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We were just doing it , like , trying to explain , trying to expand , you know , ourselves to what we want to do , you know .

Well , I play solos but my solos would tend to be something closer to , like , not like what , um , you know , I just mentioned maybe Randy Rose and Eddie Van , but I probably wouldn't play like them .

I probably played closer to like someone like a Martin Knoff or a Jerry Garcia or a , or a Jimmy Page mixed , you know , Miss Carlos Santana David Gilmore .

When it comes to my soloing , I keep it simple .

I don't , I don't like the whole , you know , it's not that I don't like it .

I like listening to like stuff like in teen .

I love bucket head .

I think he's great .

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Uh But uh i it's just not the path that I , I mean , I used to have friends that played like that and I never really , it's not the path that I take in my playing .

I , I just never was interested in going and doing that .

I'm more into songwriters and people who write songs and how you , there's a certain attitude you can bring out of the guitar that like , you don't really need to be playing 100 notes at a time .

And Carl Santana can probably tell you the same thing , you know , like he can take a note and take it forever and it'll make you feel something .

And when I play , I play more melodically and , uh , you know , I like to have melodic type of solos .

If I have a solo , like , not very many heavy guitar players been soloing these days and like , on our record you'll hear like , I don't know , three or four songs maybe that have guitar solos in them just because as a songwriter , I said , hey , you know , it , it fits , it's not like , you know , the eighties , like where every song had to have one .

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But like , it doesn't mean , like now that we're in a different era that you can't have one .

You know what I mean ?

I think you can have guitar solos every now and then .

It just don't overdo it , you know , tastefully , I love playing Ice Man .

I really love them .

The , there's actually , uh , this is a baritone they just made for me .

It's an Iceman two .

So they're gonna start making these , they're quite different .

So you can see that used to be the old Ice Man and here it was a little bit so they haven't really made any of these in the market yet .

So I'm pretty much the first student that has it .

So I'm cool .

Does it sound any different ?

Yeah , because it's a baritone .

This is , uh , just the regular standard type of guitar .

This one is in between a guitar and a bass .

So this pretty much has like a lot more of like a basi type of sound .

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You get more chunky and still have that quicker attack that have like a really low base because it's in between , you know , like I 60 on top and it's a 12 on bottom with the strings .

So the strings are a lot thicker than that .

I think it's a 56 on that and tens on the bottom .

You know , that , that's gonna give you a lot more attack .

This one is gonna give you a lot more chunk .

You know , if you wanna come off sounding like , you know what I mean ?

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It's like if you want to come out with that bulk , then I would use this guitar if you want to come out with , uh , you know , say more tacky type of , you know , Diamond Herald Dane bag , sorry , Darrel type of stuff .

Uh , I don't know , I , I would use something more like that because the strings are thinner and it's just more tacky and you can play quicker on that .

So , on the next record , I just want to combine both on stage .

I've been using this lately because it just gives me a bit of both .

You know , it's probably gonna sound the same .

These are differences , you can tell only on record .

Yes .

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And I miss this is what I used .

I used to play on stage a lot .

I mean , we did Conan with this one , I can tell as a player and it's just more attacking , like , you'd be able to , something like that easier on this guitar .

Like , make it scream on that guitar .

It would be a lot harder to make it scream .

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I , I don't want seven strings .

Uh , that's just , you know , it's like , if I like the bass , I like the play bass .

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I've written some songs on the bass and that can give me a vibe of having like a Basie type of vibe yet .

Still being the guitar , I can hold the same guitar chords .

Um , you know , seven strings .

I've never played one before , but I don't see myself wanting to play one .

I , I don't , I don't , I don't know , it's not my thing .

I , I saw that was one way of getting a thicker sound in the lower tone without d tuning like drop .

We've dropped it already that we dropped down a seat .

So it's like without going any lower .

That was one way of like getting the guitar to be sounding more bulkier and more bigger without changing my , you know , scales or anything , you know , just staying six and it's not exactly normal .

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It's a , it's a baritone that it's just , oh , that's , that's the only way that I thought that I can do that , you know , just get a bigger sound with , without changing my whole rig round or whatever , you know .

Um , well , you just answered my next question , which is about tunings if you use any other odd tunings .

Well , and the guitars are drop one step from this , like , it's just regular nothing .

This last drink , you can hold a power cord with one .

You want scattering it be deep .

So the whole guitar sort of like dropped down one step and then the string has dropped down too .

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We can have like , you can do things that you can do with one finger .

Like going up here with riffs over here because you're still playing the riff with one thing .

You know what I mean ?

Like , yeah , like it would be a lot more difficult if you were trying to do fingers like this way .


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