Frank Gambale and the Metalocalypse


Frank’s picking looks like an epson printer head zipping across the page - Wonderful to watch. Even though I don’t necessarily plan to go full on economy picking, Frank’s playing is too good not to watch!


Man, this is so awesome! How in depth do you guys get into sweep picking and arpeggios? Are there a lot of lick examples? For some reason I have a feeling/worry that Frank would be most interested in talking Jazz theory and not so much the playing techniques.

PS- See that moving pinky anchor? :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s the opposite:

Frank has kind of built the whole house on sweeping a little like an evangelist. I get it, he did a thing and influenced people. If I die and they write “pickslanting” on my tombstone, well, that’s what you get for doing something in life!

So anyway we do talk about the mechanics of it, in both the old interview and the new. But I also think the amazing stuff Frank plays is just as important, so I try to get into that a little. But I sort of fail to phrase the question right to extract the “how” of the way he gets around the fretboard. I don’t think he was being evasive at all, I just think great improvisers really don’t think about that as much as we think they do. I need to figure out more specifically pointed ways of asking “how do you know what note to play next”!


I think they might think about it even more than we think they think about it. And the time it took to get there; I think the great players, in general, like to hide for some reason. One thing I know about Frank is that he went a extremely difficult route in mastering the fingerboard. He learned the whole fingerboard at once. Every note in the C Major scale. He studied a fingerboard diagram and learned where all of the C Major notes are. Then he learned all of the Key and Mode formulas (theory) and applied them to the C major road map he memorized. Maybe that was the introduction to being able to know what to play next. :thinking:

Pickslanting on your tombstone… lmao. Hey did Frank not want to hear about pickslanting AT ALL? Marshall Harrison gets agitated as hell if you mention pickslanting. There seems to be a divide between Sweepers and Alternate pickers. They hate each other. I see the value in and try to do both when needed. I know you do both extremely well. Makin’ them boyz drink that Haterade Troy. :rofl:



This is what they all say - I learned every scale in every position. Oz Noy said the same thing. That’s great but that doesn’t really answer the question. What you need is a system for locating the next note when the underlying chord changes. In other words the map has changed, how do you know where the next note is in the new map based on where you are coming from in the old map. I’m attempting to not leap to conclusions but so far what I’ve seen suggests that great improvisers almost universally do some variation of chord/scale mapping like CAGED. This is what we address in the Martin Miller / Through the Changes interview, and Martin is the closest I’ve heard any of the jazz types articulate a step by step process for doing it. I’m sure plenty of others have done so but it’s not something I’ve looked into.

Frank doesn’t know the term pickslanting but he is well aware he does it. He doesn’t think about it as an alternate picking thing, he thinks about it as necessary for sweeping.


This must happen!!! :grin:


Where would I find this MM video?


Right here!


Really? I’ve never noticed this. Just a few guys who do both who immediately come to mind are Paul Gilbert, Tony Macalpine, Vinnie Moore, Dallas Perkins, Dannyjoe Carter, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio, Marty Friedman, etc.


Hmm… Isn’t this pretty much (+1) a 7-string without the top E?
Just my 2 cents.


A 7 string without the top E, tuned up a step.

Or, 6 string tuned down two steps.

Or, an 8 String, without the bottom F# or the top E, tuned up a step.

Or, a 9 string without… ok that’s enough.

Just my 2 cents.

OR a mandolin with a longer scale length, without the double courses, with 6 strings, with a solid…


Yes, or a baritone or a base guitar tuned up a sixth…

What I was trying to say is it should pretty much sound as huge as a 7-string, replying to @aliendough, who stated: “The tone from them must sound huge”




See that moving pinky anchor?

OMG! I thought I was the only one who did this?

When I play fast my pinky “skates” along the top of my guitar (keeping my picking had reasonably consistent height above the strings)

Not comparing myself to FG AT ALL. But was amazed to see “a name” player doing this.


I’m dying to see the interview. I don’t want to rush anything, but was wondering, did this even happen? Are you guys currently working on publishing it?


Hehehe, yeah. I think they should not let anyone know what they are going to release until a month before, or when they have a definite release date. It would be less stress on everyone. I have my next guitar talk show shot, but I don’t let subscribers know until a week before I upload. That way I’m not feeling pressure for any backlog of footage I might have.

I would have kept a lid on this Gambale, Noy, and Metalocalypse stuff. Especially when you know it won’t be released for a year. But that is me.

I think it’s also better presentation of the interviews/products this way. Because the unknown of the backlogged footage takes away the “ah, this was shot a year ago” stigma that your subscribers might have towards the packages. Keep a lid on it… Present the releases as new and fresh. It WOWs your subs because it’s a pleasant surprise with no waiting game.



Yeah, I see your point. I mean, it was being discussed back in February and it has kinda just been crickets ever since. Frank is one of my favorite players, so I want to hear and see everything Frank.


I’ve mentioned this in another thread in the past week or so - we should have that next week. Frank is touring in China with poor internet so it’s tough for him to review the final edit - when he gets a chance to do it, we’ll put it up.


Really looking forward to Frank. I’ve been jamming the Chick Corea Elektric Band stuff lately and it’s full of tight licks


I love the album Light Years, especially Time Track.


Just got the email in my inbox, going there now. Thanks, a huge accomplishment and huge props to you for getting Frank to do this interview!