Roy Marchbank? Is he for real?

So I watched all of Roy Marchbank’s videos on youtube.

Next, I came here to try and read any threads about him.

It seems SOMETHING happened “behind the scenes” that I’m missing, because the tone of the threads suddenly jumped from, “Roy, you’ve got amazing technique, let’s get together,” to “Your hands don’t match up with what you’re playing” and then that’s the end of it.

What happened? Why was there some fallout?

So what’s the deal, is this guy really “only” capable of playing Shawn Lane-esque speeds of 22-25 notes per second, and then fakes all his other things?

In my opinion, (based upon my own freakish fast twitch muscles/nerves, Shawn Lane’s admission of having the same genetic oddity, and reading about the potential abilities and limitations of the human body,) as well as the fact that Roy’s hyperspeed playing sounds pitch-shifted higher, IS Roy Marchbank just a hoaxer?

I guess one potential reason for his fast playing sounding pitch-shifted is that he picks so close to the saddles. I tried doing that, and indeed, it DOES make the notes sound higher pitched, plinky, and artificial.

Anyhow, perhaps I’m the last guy here to stumble upon Roy, but I was curious what the final verdict was on whether or not he was dishonest in his abilities.

Now, WITHOUT regard to speed, I saw his video on a slow acoustic tune, and I can say he absolutely has the ability to play wonderful moving music.


Thanks for reading guys!

Kinda poking a big 'ol beehive on this one my guy. Last time someone asked about this the thread got pretty spicy for a minute if I recall! :smiley:

I think there’s a standing offer / truce between him and Troy for ‘If Time Permits’ to do an in depth Magnet based analysis of his playing. I’ve no further insight into if that’s something that’s realistically likely to happen or not. I would personally put it in the ‘maybe don’t hold your breath’ kind of thing, but never say never.

Either way, I think the hatchet was (mostly?) buried in the last thread and it wasn’t even directly into anyone so yeah… I think that’s about all I know about it.

My 2 cents, there is something there. If you watch this video even from the point I’ve queued it up, to the end, (in case you only have a little over 60 seconds to spare) you’ll notice that the super synthetic sound is intentional, at least on the guitar he and Rowan are playing.

I believe the beef in the other ‘spicy’ thread (see what I did there? spicy beef lol) was that the sound we heard was in no way synced up with the hand movements. Roy’s explanation was that this was something called a ‘play-through’, which I’ve never heard of.

So, I dunno. The mechanics seem real to me. I saw another video of him where he shows you how to play some shawn lane stuff note for note:

I have a hard time believing someone would go through all the trouble to play all this stuff note perfect and then speed it up. I’ll admit I’m a sucker and want to believe the best for people, but it seems excessive to call him a hoax.


I was the guy who made the newer thread. Kind of disappointed that nothing ever came about the topic the post was actually about, but I guess it’s kind of my fault for letting it die.

Looking back on it, I’m fairly certain he’s real, what with the chamber orchestra video, the Rowan Parker interviews, The “Second Look” series, Dweezil Zappa’s endorsement, etc. Some of the “improv” stuff on his channel sounds too fast, complex, and, above all, clean to be real, although that could just be a testament to his skill.

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But the speed of those Shawn Lane solos is NOTHING like Roy’s other vids. Those Lane solos I think are not inhuman, and I think many guitarists could master them given time.

Roy undoubtedly has tremendous skill. How he can play at speeds of 22-25 notes per second when VARYING THE NUMBER OF NOTES PER STRING (ie, 3, 1, 2, 4, 1, 7) is mindblowing.

I can play symmetric scale patterns, with strictly 3 or 4 notes on EVERY STRING at Lane speeds, but no way in hell could I do it if I had to vary the number of notes drastically from string to string!

I’m curious if by using such a thick pick as Roy does if it
Is really essential to his technique.

I know when I tried to play using a super thin and flexible pick, that it was impossible for me to play fast.

I hope some day Roy and Troy DO get together to analyze his technique.


So that bit you queued up in the first vid - yeah he’s doing it but is it something that has a lot of musical value?

The Shawn Lane vid on the other hand sounds great and doesn’t have anything in it that makes me suspicious, but what do I know?

The one that everyone is dubious about is the supposed nylon string acoustic playing with absolutely zero handling/fretting/string noise and a tone unlike that produced by any actual guitar playing anyone has ever heard.

That fast lick in section 3 is speed up or midi for example. Section 5 is faked so badly it’s just funny, run it at 0.25 speed in youtube player.

Lol, didn’t even need to slow it down! Something definitely not right there!

I’ll say one thing, the Shawn Lane transcriptions are the best I’ve seen. No idea if he transcribed them himself, or got someone to do them for him, but they appear to be extremely accurate.

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I think we can all agree that the guy has some incredible skills. This live video for example seems totally legit to me and has some great playing in it:

On the other hand, the audio featured in other performances is suspicious, this is a blatant one:


I am sure he is legit, sure those “playback” videos might be out of sync a bit but 99% of guitarists on YouTube are miming to highly edited versions of their recordings. I don’t get why it is so acceptable to mime on guitar and pretend that it’s live? We’ve been ripping pop bands for miming for years but now it’s ok for guitar players to do it. Quite literally everyone does it.

There’s something fishy about his Lane videos too. I get skeptical about videos where there is very little pick sound coming from fast alternate picked runs (notice when he slows it right down you can hear the pick more clearly). There are cases where someone can clearly play but they’ll have videos that are doctored, then they’ll show another video where they are actually playing and say “look im legit everyone”. Hopefully I’m wrong on this though.

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The second video that @tommo posted sounds like Guitar Pro nylon guitar sped up x10. Or a bad synth preset that tries to emulated a nylon guitar sound.

I don’t know if it’s real or not, I wouldn’t want to sound like that either way.

I think this one presents an interesting contrast


That’s quite literally the most pleasant sounding clip I’ve seen from him. Thanks for posting that.

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Full of the actual sounds of someone playing an acoustic guitar


I have no idea if he speeds it up or not, but the fake/midi sound is surely coming from the synth pickup on his guitar,

near the end of this video Rowen picks up the guitar and plays it, and also mentions something about the synth patch, it sounds like a synth, could this be tbe reason people are calling fake?

I have slowed down some of the crazy fast stuff which does sound to me like its been quantized…its bang on the grid. So who knows.

6.40 sorry i have no idea how to get the vid to play at the right point

FYI to that point, if you go to the progress indicator (red bar at the bottom of the playing video) and you pause it where you want it to play from, you can right-click-copy and one of the options will be “play video starting at this time point” or something to that nature. It’ll just let you paste the link with an appended time coding that’ll start from there.

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