Char­lie Grif­fiths en­ters a Dog Eat Dog world and gets a slice of Cherry Pie as he takes a look at Erik Turner and Joey Allen of War­rant.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Erik Turner and Joey Allen of War­rant get the Char­lie Grif­fiths treat­ment this time around.

Gui­tarist Erik Turner formed War­rant in 1984 and worked the LA club scene for years. Joey Allen com­pleted a gui­tar part­ner­ship that would take the scene by storm. Their first demo was recorded in 1987 at Prince’s Pais­ley Park, and one of the tracks, Game Of War, was used in Bill & Ted’s Ex­cel­lent Ad­ven­ture. In 1988 Dirty Rot­ten Filthy Stink­ing Rich be­came an instant hit on the metal scene and con­tained some ex­cel­lent gui­tar play­ing. 1990’s Cherry Pie and its ti­tle track be­came a bona fide rock an­them with its sin­ga­long cho­rus, driv­ing riff and slinky solo (ac­tu­ally played by Poi­son’s CC DeVille). In this pe­riod the band en­joyed world tours with Poi­son, Möt­ley Crüe and David Lee Roth. 1992’s Dog Eat Dog was heav­ier and darker and a big crit­i­cal hit, al­though com­mer­cial suc­cess was wan­ing due to the rise of grunge and a loss of in­ter­est in hair metal. This would also be the fi­nal al­bum to fea­ture the orig­i­nal line-up. In 1994 Joey Allen quit to work as a soft­ware en­gi­neer, and Rick Steier ap­peared on the 1995 re­lease Ul­tra­pho­bic. The al­bum re­flected the times with a grungier sound, drop D riffs and grit­tier tones. Steer ap­peared on three more re­leases, but was re­placed by Quiet Riot’s Billy Mor­ris for 2006’s Born Again, only for Allen to re­turn for Rock­a­holic in 2011. War­rant con­tin­ues to this day de­spite the death of lead singer Jani Lane in 2011.

We have five ex­am­ples, the first typ­i­cal of the play­ing on Cherry Pie, which starts with some AC/DC-style open chords and a de­scend­ing lick on the low­est two strings. Joey Allen and Erik Turner play with at­ti­tude and en­ergy; the notes are picked con­fi­dently and vi­brato is ex­pres­sive.

The next two riffs are in­spired by tracks from Dirty Rot­ten Filthy Stink­ing Rich. First

(1-2-3-4-5-6-b7) is a Mixoly­dian riff but with added it has a lot of for­ward mo­men­tum due to the con­stant 16th-note phras­ing. The next riff in­cor­po­rates nat­u­ral har­mon­ics, pro­duced by lightly touch­ing the string over the fretwire and lift­ing off as you pick. Riff 4 takes on the band’s more pro­gres­sive in­flu­ence; in two parts it uses the same har­mony and chords but played in two dif­fer­ent styles; first as bal­lad-es­que clean chords, then as a heavy metal style riff. Our fi­nal ex­am­ple harks back to Ul­tra­sonic’s grungier sound and is in drop D tun­ing.

The solo is a col­lec­tion of tech­niques used by Joey Allen, with blues licks, wide stretch Pen­ta­ton­ics, scale se­quences and tap­ping. Prac­tice each lick slowly and care­fully be­fore join­ing them all to­gether for the full solo.


NEXT MONTH Char­lie looks at the dev­as­tat­ing hard rock style of Yng­wie Malm­steen

Joey Allen of War­rant: pre-grunge hair metal kings!

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