Slash was born Saul Hudson in Hampstead, London, on the 23rd of July, 1965.
His Mother was an African American costume designer who designed onstage outfits for David Bowie, and his father was a white English artist who designed album covers for musicians like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.
His Mother left the family to pursue her career shortly after Slash was born leaving Slash to be raised by his Father. When Slash was 5 years old he and his father moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his Mother. Slash earned his nickname from Seymour Cassel because he always seemed to be in a hurry.
After becoming friends with soon to become “Guns N Roses” drummer Steven Adler, the pair decided to make a band together even though Slash didn’t play an instrument at the time. Seeing as Steven had already claimed the position of guitarist, Slash decided to take up the bass.
He began taking guitar lessons at Fairfax Music School with a guitar teacher called Robert Wolin, after hearing Robert play “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones Slash decided he wanted to become a guitarist.
He who at the time was riding BMX bikes semi professionally stopped riding and began devoting his time to mastering rock guitar, practicing up to 12 hours a day.
In 1981 he joined his first band called “Tidus Sloan”, by 1983 he had formed a new band called “Road Crew” with Steven Adler who by that time had learned to play the drums. Slash
began advertising for a bass guitar player and was contacted by Duff McKagan.
A year later the group separated out of frustration for not finding a suitable lead singer. In 1985 Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler joined singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin in their group “Hollywood Rose” replacing guitarist Tracii Guns, bassist Ole Beich, and Drummer Rod Gardner. Soon after the band changed their name from “Hollywood Rose” to “Guns N Roses”.
Though famous for using a Les Paul, Slash does occasionally play other notable models including a BC Rich “Mockingbird”, a Travis Bean 1000 slide guitar, a Gibson EDS-1275 Doubleneck and a Fender Stratocaster.
He has maintained an equally loyal relationship with Marshall amplifiers for the majority of his career.
Musical Techniques, Concepts and Approaches
He generally prefers to play with another guitarists, having the two players compliment one another with slightly alternative rhythms.
His lead guitar style is largely blues based. Influenced heavily by such classic rock guitar God’s as Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young and Eric Clapton as well as blues guitar legends like B.B. King and Albert King, Slash‘s lead guitar playing style is a mixture of soulful blues rock phrasing, mixtures of major and minor pentatonic and fast legato and picking scale runs.
Influence In Rock Guitar Playing
Slash is considered to be one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time.
His masterful style of classic rock guitar playing payed homage to the rock guitar greats of the 1960’s and the 1970’s, and built a bridge between the golden era of rock music and rock music of the 1980’s.
His brand of speedy, soulful guitar solos and driving riffs bought a more organic, 1970’s style of guitar playing back into the mainstream rock world and inspired countless rock guitar players all over the world to do the same.
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