Practice Tips: Dimebag Darrell

by Dimebag Darrell
Posted Apr 18, 2013 at 10:50am

In our classic Practice Tips feature from the magazine, we brought you practice and warm-up techniques from your favorite guitar players. Here's one from the late, great Dimebag Darrell.

01. Play trills.

Whenever I feel my chops are slacking, I’ll play some widestretch trilling exercises and take them up and down the neck as well as across it. I’ll start off with a two-fret stretch trill between my index and middle fingers and do that until I feel a burn. Then I’ll do the same thing with a three-fret trill between my index and ring fingers, and then a four-fret one between my index and pinkie.

02. Run through scales.

Play the pentatonic blues scale, just for fret- and pick-hand dexterity and to mesh them both together.

03. Practice to records.

Learn licks and songs from records.

04. Play with yourself.

Set up up a four-track or a jambox, lay down a rhythm track off the top of your head and then jam a solo over the playback.

05. Play from the heart.

Even though I’ll do finger warm-ups that go up and down the neck to build up my chops and dexterity, I never, ever sit around and practice the actual licks I’m gonna play live. If you do then you’ll be all worried about the complexity of getting the fingering right and everything else about it, as opposed to the feel…and to me the feel overrides everything.

Recommended Book: Riffer Madness by Dimebag Darrell (Warner Bros. Books)

I don’t use books or videos, so the only one I can really recommend is my Riffer Madness book, not because it’s mine but just because I know this one isn’t a bullshitter and that the techniques in it really do work.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

The Lost Lesson: Dimebag Darrell's Destructional Home Videos (1/9/2014)
From the GW archive: This story — in a longer form — originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Guitar World, which is pictured below. “F--- it, Hitchcock,” drawled Dime, downing the dregs of his beer. “We’ve been hammering this for hours an...
100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 19 "Floods" (Dimebag Darrell) (12/8/2013)
“That particular solo was thought-out in a more orchestrated fashion than some of the others I play where I just start ripping right off the bat,” says Dimebag Darrell. “The thing that really makes the ‘Floods’ solo come across like it does is ...
Thirty Guitar Legends — Including Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell and Jeff Beck — Choose the Song They'd Most Want to Be Remembered By, Part 1 (11/15/2013)
From the GW Archive: This feature originally appeared in the May 2002 issue of Guitar World. The story has a "time capsule" theme: We asked several veteran guitarists to choose the one song they'd most want to be remembered by after many years. ...
From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell Discusses Pantera's New Album, 'Reinventing the Steel' (8/18/2013)
Here's an interview with Pantera's Dimebag Darrell from the May 2000 issue of Guitar World. To see the complete cover, and all the GW covers from 2000, click here. "Come on, dude!" shouts Dimebag Darrell. "We've got steaks to eat, booze to drink...
From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell and Zakk Wylde Discuss the State of Metal and Dissolution of Pantera (7/19/2013)
Here's an interview with Zakk Wylde and Dimebag Darrell from the March 2003 issue of Guitar World. To see the cover — and all the GW covers from 2003 — check out our 2003 GW covers gallery. “Okay, Zakk, it’s time!” As the morning sun begins to b...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 2 — "Floods" (Dimebag Darrell) Vs. "No More Tears" (Zakk Wylde) (7/19/2013)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, sta...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 1 — "Hotel California" (Don Felder, Joe Walsh) Vs. "Walk" (Dimebag Darrell) (7/7/2013)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, sta...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 1 — "Floods" (Dimebag Darrell) Vs. "Hot for Teacher" (Eddie Van Halen) (6/18/2013)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, sta...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 1 — "Surfing with the Alien" (Joe Satriani) Vs. "Cemetery Gates" (Dimebag Darrell) (6/10/2013)
A few years back, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, st...
From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell Discusses Pantera's 1996 Album, 'The Great Southern Trendkill' (1/22/2013)
Here's an interview with Pantera's Dimebag Darrell from the June 1996 issue of Guitar World. To see the Dimebag cover, and all the GW covers from 1996, click here. A man’s home may be his castle, but for Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, it's also a fu...
Play Guitar Like Dimebag Darrell app available now! (1/9/2013)
Read more about Play Guitar Like Dimebag Darrell app available now! at MusicRadar.com Undoubtedly one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time, Dimebag Darrell's pioneering riffery with Pantera and Damageplan is still a huge influence on met...
Dimebag Darrell: How to Pump Up Your Riffs (9/20/2012)
This entry comes from Dimebag Darrell's classic Guitar World column, "Riffer Madness" Hey, Dad! What's shaking? This month we're gonna rap about a few ways you can pump maximum heaviness into a riff. DROP 'EM! One of the simplest ways to get som...
Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 4 — Dimebag Darrell Vs. Alex Lifeson (9/19/2012)
Welcome to the Sweet 16 portion of our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll! It all started a few months back, when 128 132 guitarists went head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format. We filled all but four of the slots with the names of ...
From the Archive: Dimebag Darrell’s Top 5 Guitar Boot Camp Tips (8/31/2012)
Back in 2000, Guitar World asked the legendary Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell to give our readers the best ways to stay fit when slinging six strings. 1) Keep a positive outlook. A lot of bands whine about the road and how toug...
Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 3 — Dimebag Darrell Vs. Vernon Reid (8/23/2012)
Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host ...