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How Did Eddie Van Halen Learn Guitar

How Did Eddie Van Halen Learn Guitar?

Eddie Van Halen would be sculpted smack in the center of a Mount Rushmore of guitar players, with frayed hair and a cigarette drooping from his smiling lips.

Eddie’s guitar habits are enticing to any guitarist wanting to develop or find inspiration. They are a manifestation of his on-stage antics: hypnotic, showy, confident, and, most importantly, enjoyable.

If you’ve never read any habits of renowned guitarists’ lessons before, this post will tease out the techniques and trains of thought behind our favorite guitar superstars. So, we might adopt their skills to our own guitar playing. The goal is to avoid becoming carbon clones of those guitarists, which will never happen.

The ultimate objective of every musician should be to retain and refine their voice on their instrument. Moreover, classes like these may help you achieve just that. Eddie may have never had a guitar lesson in his life, but he has a lot to teach us.

In What Age Did Eddie Van Halen Start to Play Guitar?

Eddie Van Halen’s parents purchased him a piece of drum equipment and his brother Alex a flamenco guitar in 1966. But Alex’s mastery of the drums turned Eddie down, and he began studying the guitar. Eddie was 11 years old at the time. Eddie purchased his first electric guitar, a $100 Teisco Del Rey when he was 12 years old. This allowed him to perform the music he liked. It was undoubtedly an essential milestone in his development as a guitar master.

The Beginning Years of Van Halen

Everything in the modern world is inevitably reduced to bits and bytes. As a result, the late Edward Van Halen’s legacy has been reduced to Jump and Beat It by the mainstream media. If you’re lucky, you could get some Eruption. Of course, they are all rock landmarks, but only a small selection.

Eddie Van Halen was raised in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, alongside his younger brother Alex. Their father was a multi-instrumentalist, so music was in their blood.

Eddie was a self-taught guitarist who never learned how to read music. He began playing the piano like his father, although he primarily improvised during concerts.

It could have been quite different, and he might not have picked up a guitar at all. As a kid, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen attended piano lessons with his elder brother Alex when his parents relocated the VH family from Holland to California, USA.

When the brothers heard The Dave Clark Five’s Glad All Over and The Surfaris’ Wipe Out, the starter pistol went off. Rock & roll! With new instruments, young Edward would be the drummer, and Alex would be the guitarist. When Alex took the throne, Eddie was busy delivering newspapers to pay for his drum kit. Long story short, the brothers decided to trade instruments. They both turned out to be great. Eddie grew enamored with six strings rapidly. He’d spend hours practicing guitar in his adolescent bedroom. His heroes were Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. But he heard other things in his thoughts as well.

The Beginning of The Rise

Alex and Eddie Van Halen created their first band, “The Broken Combs,” in elementary school. Eddie repeatedly admitted that this early band inspired him to become a professional guitarist. The brothers’ first formal band was called “Genesis,” but after a period, they were renamed “Mammoth” and then “Van Halen.”

Van Halen legendarily earned a demo session with Gene Simmons after his bar-band apprenticeship (under the moniker Mammoth). By the time the determined Van Halen released a full-length album of scintillating rock, their determination to keep to their moniker had proven justified. Not since Eric Clapton in the 1960s had a band been so focused on the guitarist. He didn’t even sing, save for the occasional chorus support. Despite this, the band and the brand were in sync.

Eddie Van Halen’s Background

Eddie Van Halen spent his entire life following the tunes in his brain. Since Van Halen’s passing on October 6, tributes have poured in, with parallels to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and others in the pantheon of rock’s mythical “guitar heroes.” A more telling comparison is with Les Paul, a pre-rock guitar prodigy who laid the groundwork for much of what came after. Van Halen, like Paul, was what we would call a “tinkering virtuoso.” That is, he devoted a significant portion of his skill and imagination not just to honing his fantastic guitar technique but also to altering and changing the fundamental tools of his trade.

Discontented with the specifications of the two most popular electric guitars of the time, the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul, Van Halen built his own guitar from borrowed parts sometime in 1976-77, developing a hybrid tool that appeared to be barely held together but had a sound and feels that spawned a whole new class of guitars, the “superstars,” that became an industry standard. Similarly, his famed “brown sound” – the highly saturated overdriven timbre that engulfed his playing – stemmed from his experimentation with amp modification and the plethora of effects pedals available to working rock guitarists in the 1970s.

Eddie Van Halen’s Extraordinary Techniques

His ability to tinker extended to his playing as well. Van Halen was more than simply a great guitarist. He created a repertory of methods that changed the way people played the guitar. The connection to Hendrix is accurate, as is the parallel to Les Paul, both of whom broadened the spectrum of what was possible with an electric guitar. Unlike Paul, who married his playing to similarly revolutionary recording techniques to produce a hyper-modern style of virtuosity that flaunted its technological debt, Van Halen exploited the resources at his disposal to create a feeling of rawness and immediacy. A terrific Van Halen solo or riff has the feel of something thrown together on the spur of the moment. His finest recorded performances are characterized by a mix of spontaneity and accuracy.

What Eddie Van Halen’s Guitar Style Can Teach You?

Eddie Van Halen introduced some of his ideas to the guitar world. He collaborated with guitarist Floyd Rose on a whammy bar mechanism that kept in tune, and he persuaded Rose to add fine tuners to the bridge. Afterwards, he invented a support mechanism that supports the guitar to make finger tapping easier, as well as a device dubbed the “D Tuna” that allows musicians to drop their lowest string a complete step, a distinctive headstock, and a stacked humbucking pickup. He also worked with Fender on a unique humbucker that is currently in the works.

Van Halen burst onto the scene in the early 1970s with their debut full-length album “Van Halen,” permanently changing the way guitarists think about lead guitar, harmonics, and blues rhythm guitar. His powerful blues shuffles, dramatic harmonics and vibrato, and groundbreaking usage of two-hand tapping exposed guitarists all over the world to an altogether new approach to classic blues guitar while updating it for the current rock sound.

1. Total command of his vibrato and bending

The dynamic part of guitar playing that mimics the human voice is known as vibrato. Van Halen’s intended use of vibrato with both his fretting hand and tremolo bar gave him an intense playing style that no other performer had come close to matching up to that point. His vibrato was not only entirely within his control in terms of how broad or thin he used it, but he also utilized it rhythmically, frequently matching his bends with the pulse of the song in various ways to help make the band swing and his guitar sing.

2. Extremely tight blues beat

Van Halen reinvented many old blues rhythm tropes in many of their hit songs. “I’m The One” and “Hot For Teacher” are two great instances of driving up-tempo blues shuffles turbocharged for high-energy rock performance. Notice how the band’s feel and sense of time are always at the forefront, allowing the listener to become lost in the rhythm.

3. Dynamics mastery

Another distinguishing feature of his guitar playing was the use of dynamics in his lead guitar phrase. The ability to swiftly shift the dynamic approach of his single note playing made his lines intriguing and surprising while yet keeping them familiar and bluesy. He was quite deliberate about how strongly or gently a string was tapped, whether a note was muffled or played wide open. He frequently employed pinch harmonics in his playing, sounding as if he was attempting to snap a string.

4. Traditional Blues Lead Guitar With A Touch Of Fire

Analyzing Van Halen’s solos reveal a range of vintage guitar riffs from previous generations of blues guitarists. Eddie emphasized the original lead guitar sound by using his new high-gain guitar tone. He was also playing at a rate that few guitarists had attained at the time.

5. Signature: Two-Handed Tapping

Eddie changed electric guitar playing forever with his distinct approach to the instrument and inventive approaches that have influenced generations. The Floyd Rose locking tremolo mechanism, effects pedals, and amplification are some of the more notable advancements. Countless guitar players across the world have adopted Eddie’s approach, mostly because of how he cemented the two-handed tapping method.

Van Halen popularized two-handed tapping in the rock world. According to mythology, in the early years of his career, he would turn his back on the crowd because he didn’t want other guitarists to see what he was doing to get that sound. By popularizing this method, he inspired a new approach to the guitar that would influence the following generation of guitarists. He employed tapping to play conventional blues-sounding turn arounds and arpeggios, allowing him to keep the old blues lead guitar sound while adding fresh and thrilling fire to it.


Eddie Van Halen left an unmistakable influence on the guitar world throughout the course of his four-decade career. Van Halen, who died of cancer in October 2020 at the age of 65, was the archetypal guitar hero, as well as a talented songwriter, arranger, engineer, and producer. He left us with music that is adored worldwide and will continue to influence rock artists and fans for centuries to come.

Van Halen is revered as a purveyor of all things electric guitar because of his striped “Frankenstein” instruments and mysterious “brown sound.” But, in reality, he was a quick and inventive multi-instrumentalist. Van Halen began recording sections with various keyboards on his eponymous band’s third album, Women and Children First (1980). In fact, the 1984 mega-hit “Jump,” constructed around a riff performed on an Oberheim OB-Xa synthesizer, cemented Van Halen’s status as a household name.

Unplugged Van Halen has plenty of gems to unearth, too, from the deep swing of “Take Your Whiskey Home” to blistering solo pieces like the flamenco-influenced “Little Guitars (Intro)” to the heartfelt homage to his son Wolfgang, “316.” throughout his recorded output, Van Halen adapted his virtuosity, originality, and rhythmic swagger to the acoustic guitar. In this lesson, we’ll look at songs from Van Halen’s complete repertoire, from 1979’s Van Halen II through the group’s 1995 CD, Balance.

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This article presents how heavy metal legend Eddie Van Halen learned to play the guitar and revolutionized rock guitar with his techniques. Eddie Van Halen continues to influence not only his generation but even younger guitarists with his unique tone and guitar techniques, inspired by the rock guitarists he admires. So, you want to get the tone of these songs? If you’re a big fan of Eddie Van Halen and wish to learn about his songs, keep following Deplike. You can access Deplike’s various virtual amps or, even better, create Eddie Van Halen’s unique sound. By learning the guitar skills you need using the Deplike Learning App, you can become a true guitarist like Eddie Van Halen!


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