Nita Strauss Names One Aspect of Eddie Van Halen’s Playing That She Always Tried to Replicate

Modern metal guitar shredder Nita Strauss reflected on some of the aspects of Eddie Van Halen’s musicianship that she’s been trying to emulate for years now.

Bearing Nita’s style in mind, both with her solo material and in other projects, it’s not a surprise to know that she’s a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen. Well, most guitar players are. But we could say that she’s one of the classic metal shredders these days, where the speed and precision collide with more melodic and intense expressive elements.

But as Strauss said in a recent interview with Rob Rush of 94.3 The Shark, she simply can’t imagine talking about modern guitar without thinking of Eddie.

Rob Rush Interviews Nita Strauss

“There’s no guitar conversation about great guitar players that can be had without talking about Edward Van Halen,” she explained (transcript via Ultimate Guitar). “There’s just not.”

On top of this, there’s this one aspect of Eddie’s musicianship that Nita always tried to focus on and emulate herself. But it’s probably not what you’d expect. She continued:

“And, for myself personally, I was always struck by the utter joy and passion in Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing. And I’ve always really tried to emulate that myself, to bring that same joy and passion and energy into what I do.”

Fortunately for Nita, she also got the chance to tour with Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, in 2023 and again in early 2024. Discussing the mattee of the Van Halen family, Nita then also added how working with Wolfgang was pretty inspiring. As she explained:

“And now to be out here with Wolf is really inspiring because here we are, two guitar players that are known for doing other things, and we’re out here striking it out on our own. I’m not playing any Alice Cooper songs — he’s not playing any Van Halen songs.”

“We’re out here with our own names in the marquee, doing our own music that we feel so passionately about.”

Since Nita is probably best-known for her work with Alice Cooper, the audience often expects to hear the legendary shock rocker’s material at her live shows. And she admits that she does feel some pressure about it.

NITA STRAUSS - Dead Inside (ft. David Draiman of Disturbed)

“You want to, of course, have everybody leave happy,” she explained. “You never want people to go, ‘Man, I wish I would have left hearing ‘I’m Eighteen’ or ‘Poison’ or ‘Billion Dollar Babies,” whatever it is.”

“But I’m gonna come back,” Nita added. “I’ll be at the PNC with Alice Cooper in a couple of months.”

But at this point, she wants to use every moment to play her own original material:

“I have a 40-minute set on this tour, and I just wanna hit him with everything that I have from this new record and show what I can do.”

NITA STRAUSS - The Wolf You Feed ft. Alissa White-Gluz (Official Music Video)

Nita released her new solo record on July 7, 2023. Titled “The Call of the Void,” this album is a collection of 14 songs featuring an all-star lineup of hard rock and metal guests, including David Draiman and Alice Cooper.

Known for her guitar skills, Nita is always full of great advice when it comes to practicing proper technique. Last year, in an interview, Nita shared some interesting insights into how to properly do sweep picking. She said:

“It’s all about starting off slowly and cleanly. Then you start doing it a little less slowly and keep going from there – don’t think ‘fast’ in terms of how you imagine it. Think ‘less slow’ every time you slightly increase the tempo.”

“That’s the only way you can get fast and still sound very clean. It’s very painstaking. Honestly, getting good at sweep picking for me was like rolling a heavy ball up a steep hill. It has to be baby steps, one bit at a time.”

Nita Strauss, Dorothy & Josh Villalta- Victorious LIVE at SoFi Stadium

However, when it comes to some other techniques, Nita admits that she still has work to do in order to perfect them.

“I still don’t think of myself as a good alternate picker,” the Alice Cooper shredder explained. “It’s never been a strong point. I don’t know if there was one particular exercise that helped. I just knew I wanted to approach this record as a more rounded player. I took more time with it, too.”

Photos: Raph_PH (AliceCooperO2 250522 (101 of 133) (52101067381)), Carl Lender (Eddie Van Halen at the New Haven Coliseum 2)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.