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Hot Rock Licks by Greg Howe

OK, so I have written this article about Greg Howe... I think it would be a nice addition if Id tell you a bit about the video hes done for REH... Its called "Hot Rock Licks", and the title is quite appropriate (maybe a bit corny, and so is the cover, but hey, were talking about the late 80s here)...

Anyway, this video is quite interesting. Many of these videos I really cant appreciate, cuz its tough for me to pay attention throughout the whole video.
Usually, its: A mind-boggling intro-solo, then the "Lets tune-section", then we see and hear like 15 jaw-dropping riffs which are played once fast and once slow... usually, that gets boring after a while.

Its a bit different with Howes video. First of all, it starts off with a little play... Greg is picked up at his place by a wacko cab-driver (I think the dude whos playing the cab-driver is his brother Al, I am not sure though... he plays all the wacko characters throughout the video). Then comes the mind-boggling intro-solo, which is actually pretty long. When I first watched this, I was like "Oh, so THAT is how he does it"... it really helps to see this if you like his style of playing.

After a short introduction and a tuning-section, Greg shows us the first exercise. Now, first of all, he comes over like a really nice guy. He is quite relaxed and seems to have fun doing this, although he looks as if he feels a bit awkward in between.

Anyway, he starts off with a cool picking-sequence. This section of the video is called "Melodic warm-ups". The lick actually is a true chop-builder, I like that one.

Next, Greg shows us some of his favorite licks, some of them featuring his awesome tapping-technique.

In between, the dude from the intro keeps popping in, once playing a weird old man who accidentally drops by, and another time, hes supposed to be "Gregs first music teacher". (it cracks me up when Greg plays "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and messes up the final note)

Anyway, its a both a bit entertaining and a bit corny, but if you dont like it, just hit fast forward.

Greg shows us his really neat "barring"-technique with some licks, and eventually gives away some pentatonic based licks which sound awesome. Once the credits are shown, he starts jamming on "The Pepper Shake".

This video makes most sense for fans of Greg and his playing, or people who really wanna get into the non-neoclassical-shred style ala Howe, Kotzen and Joey Tafolla. The licks are cool and should help you to understand how Greg does much of that amazing light speed-stuff he does on his records.

Some things that make this video a bit less valuable for other people: No harmonic background given (no chords), which would be helpful to apply the licks. Not much instruction on how to use this stuff in a song-context or in your improvisation. One other point is: Only ON-Screen-Tab. No Booklet.

So, my bottom line is:
For Howe-addicts and fans of his playing, and for shred-freaks: it will show you a bunch of great new techniques and licks.

In general, I give it a 3 (believe me, I have seen many videos that would get a lower rating!). I assume (JUST MY OPINION) that this lack of deeper info and background-info might be due to the production-process at REH back then, as they were putting out a LOT of videos back then...

Reviewed by: Eric Vandenberg

iBreatheMusic Rating:

Suitability: Shred Freaks

Available at:

Reviewed by:
Eric Vandenberg

iBreatheMusic Rating:

Shred Freaks

Available at: