Zakk Wylde Reveals Why He Uses Pinch Harmonics So Much, Recalls First Reaction to Hearing Them Properly in Studio

Talking to Ultimate Guitar in a new interview, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde discussed his new guitar course and what’s probably the most famous aspect of his playing — pinch harmonics. The guitar course in question is called Zakk Wylde Berzerker Camp and has been available since October 14, 2022.

Asked about what guitar players can expect from the course and who it’s for, Zakk said:

“I mean, what’s in the Berserker Guitar Camp, you know, aside from the scales, pentatonic, diatonic, going over the chords, the breakdowns, talking about vibrato, talking about pinch harmonics. We also talk about steaks and how to make a wonderful chicken piccata, do laundry, dishes, we break it all down. It’s a lot of life skills we use in there as well.”

“You’ll definitely learn a couple of things. But as far as getting a date, or getting a girl to like you, yeah, this is not going to help. We can’t guarantee any results. If anything, you probably won’t get a date. At least I’m being honest.”

Zakk Wylde Berzerker Guitar Camp is here!

Up next, Zakk was asked about his use of pinch harmonics. Reflecting on how he began using the technique, he said:

“I just thought they sounded cool. I remember when I learned it from my guitar teacher, Leroy Wright — He was teaching, it was either ‘La Grange’ or ‘Tush,’ and I was just like, ‘What is he doing on the guitar? How’s he getting that sound?’ And then my guitar teacher Leroy showed me, ‘Nah, Zakk, he’s doing it like this.'”

“And obviously, you know, the Reverend Billy F. Gibbons was doing it more on the G string, the B string, and maybe the D string. I remember I was just doing it on the lower strings, and I was like, ‘Oh, man, that sounds really cool.'”

Zakk Wylde rips amazing guitar solo over Andy James track, EMGtv

Further on, Zakk looked back on his first album with Ozzy, 1988’s “No Rest for the Wicked.” It was on this album that he actually experienced the full potential of pinch harmonics with double-tracked guitars. Zakk explained:

“And then when we were doing ‘No Rest for the Wicked,’ especially when I double track the guitars and do the pinch harmonics, I was like, ‘Wow.’ When I was hearing them doubled, it was just taking on a life of its own.

“As soon as I did, I was like, ‘What form of sorcery is this?’ That’s pretty much how it started, namely when we were doing the first record, ‘No Rest for the Wicked.’ And obviously, hearing it in the studio, that was what brought it to another level.”

Photo: MrPanyGoff (Black Label Society 2015, Sofia 10)

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 Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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