Steven Rosen of Ultimate Guitar spoke with Synyster Gates at his Guitar Center Master Class and has now published the very informative interview. Gates talks about guitar players being better at younger ages, actively pursuing new styles of guitar playing, where he finds his outside influences, his approach to harmonic progressions and soloing, enlisting outside opinions regarding his solos, practicing and practice tips, how he works on his tempo, his pre-show warmup routine, re-learning his original solos, where his music theory came from, focusing more on being a guitar player, going from being a would-be session player to Avenged Sevenfold, learning how to use harmony more effectively and much much more.
How do you work on tempo?
SG: I almost always play to a click. I really find that is an essential thing for time. If you’re just watching TV and going through scales and stuff like that, it’s always great to have a metronome going. Always practice with an intent. Sometimes you’re gonna have the TV on and you’re gonna zone on and that’s perfect to put the click on. Your mind will be blown at how hard it is to play half as f–kin’ slow as you can play but play it in time. It’s brutal. If you can’t play it slow, you’ll never be able to play it fast. Try to listen to what you’re doing so you can get rid of bad habits. Stay very keen and aware of the wanted and unwanted nuances of your playing.