Takayoshi Ohmura & Friends. Some sick playing from Japan

Surprised we don’t discuss some of these players more frequently in the west. Aside from attention paid to child prodigies, there’s a super elite player cadre in heavy rock and metal in Japan.

This vid featuring Takayoshi Ohmura & Katsu Ohta is a showcase of crazy chops and compositional ability from both players.

Takayoshi is especially eclectic and creative with his approach, the execution is flawless. Katsu Ohta’s neo-classical approach is at the level of Michael Romeo in sheer speed and fluidity.

More Takayoshi, this is a total shredfest.

The competition is fierce is these 1-on-1 battles.


These gents rip. Always down for some new influences. Got any band names?

A lot of these guys are hired gun session musicians. Takeyoshi’s big gig now is Babymetal, a crazy mashup of a teen idol pop trio with these veteran metal players lol

Just the band going nuts

Katsu Ohta plays in Ark Storm

Syu plays in Galneryus

Miyavi is cool, he plays a lot of funky slap and fingerstyle

Some classic Japanese bands from the 80’s


X Japan

Also, here is Ohta-san again with a very clean cover of Far Beyond the Sun, apparently recorded in a literal woodshed lol. A reminder for us all to keep up the practice.


@LuckyMojo you might have seen the video so you can help identify it: Japanese guitarist that shows how to control picking dynamics by just syncopating different patterns on a muted string. Seen it before? Might have been Takayoshi Ohmura but I couldn’t find it again.

I was hoping to be exposed to more Japanese guitarists when I was in Tokyo, but I did hear some sick rock / pop stuff. Also randomly stumbled into a Marty Friedman gig, lol.

That would be a cool video to see, hope you guys find it!

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the video @pepepicks is talking about could be this one, around 7:30?

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@jdrummond looks like it!

Some other YouTube videos say he does circle picking? What exactly is that? His picking just looks similar to Yngwie

There’s not a real standard definition. Some people use ‘circle picking’ to mean picking motion controlled primarily from the thumb joint. Takayoshi plays his fastest with hyper-efficient thumb control. There’s some good closeups of his right hand here. I haven’t analyzed his technique to the same level of Yngwie, but he looks like more of a pure alternate picker. Yngwie uses some thumb motion in his setup, but it’s more of an assist to forearm rotation.

Katsu Ohta (see above videos) is much closer to Yngwie’s setup with a clear preference to DWPS and ascending economy/sweeping. His big difference is using mostly legato pulloffs in descending scales, where Yngwie mostly uses escape upstroke+pulloff moves for descending string changes.

The “circle picking” or thumb motion stuff is not something I ever acquired naturally but always wanted to get that “tool” on my tool belt. Maybe I’ll throw it into my practice here and there

Did someone mention Japanese guitarists? :grinning:

Kelly Simonz is definitely worth a look if any of you haven’t heard of him before.

They’re great, but I presume that they execute the usual CtC techniques? The most interesting Japanese guitarist for me right now is Ichika Nito, because I’m missing all of that finger stuff that he does. I think that the ultimate guitarist would have no weak spots.

What always impressed me with Takayoshis playing is the ability to change pickups purely for the tone of one note. just look at any of the demo videos posted above and pay attention to the pickup selector. So Quick!

I am just going to say sometimes you can have too much speed. That just sounds terrible, although very impressive, it doesn’t sound that cool.

Not saying he doesn’t have awesome songs, but that video, the really fast one a few posts down, it is rather lame. :laughing:

I wouldn’t even attribute that problem to speed, if you take a selection of notes solely for how efficient they are in order to play as fast as possible - it’s probably a really boring selection of notes. But it’s mostly demonstrating the technique anyway.

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Part of it is Ohmura’s tone, he’s a single-coil guy except for gigs where he needs humbuckers, like Babymetal (though IDK if he still plays for them). His solo stuff is a lot more tasteful, but it’s kinda the sound he gets. He loves Yngwie (and George Lynch).

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Just heard Cataclysm, excellent writing and chops.

edit: Does anybody have access to the tabs for these numbered exercises?

I’ve been waiting years to see someone aside from myself sharing these crazy Japanese players Infact I just shared a Katsu Ohta video on a thread on the forum just a few moments ago. There’s some new players that are also insane like Yo Onityan and Yas Nomura. And Lisa X has been killing it for years now

Some of my favorite japanese players are Leda who plays with Baby Metal now:

Syu from Galneryus:

Gentaro Satomura, he now plays with a band called Naked Machine, his so called Neo classical sweep song was popular a decade ago and his band Storm Rider was killer aswell:

And of course Hizaki and Teru from Versailles, but there are many others:


that Ohmura-Yokozeki battle is just killer licks all around

I find the Cataclysm very reminiscent of Impelliteris 17th century chicken picking song, he must have been a big influence

I believe he was Ohmura’s guitar teacher

That’s interesting, it definitely had a swing to it. I was thinking of Joey Taffolas Mississippi mud and some greg howe on introspection.