István Tamás Szilágyi

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How to sound like Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold's lead guitarist)

In this lesson I will talk about Avenged Sevenfold's lead guitarist Synyster Gates' gear, licks, tone and techniques.

The Gear

A similar gear is a crucial thing to have if you want to sound like Synyster Gates, so let's start with that. He uses Schechter Synyster Gates Custom guitars with Seymour Ducan SH-8 Invader pickups. He uses Marsall Amp and he has a wide variety of pedals. Krank Distorus Maximus, MXR Wylde Overdrive, Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter, Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb, Boss CS-3 Compressor, Boss DS-2 Distortion, Dunlop Crybaby wah-wah pedal, and a lot more. He uses Ernie Ball Skinny top heavy bottom string and Dunlop licks.

Tuning, licks, tone



He mostly uses the Drop D tuning for his guitars (D-A-D-G-B-e). It fit's well with the key he plays in, mostly in D minor. In the album Avenged Sevenfold (2007) he uses some different type of tunings, like Drop C# (C#-G#-C#-F#-A#-d#) in some songs (Almost Easy, Scream).



For the licks, he has one arpeggio that he uses a lot, and that's the D Minor arpeggio.


This arpeggio is used in different variation is many Avenged Sevenfold songs. For example: Afterlife, Nightmare, Almost Easy, Bat Country, Seize the Day, Scream.



If you want to sound like Syn in tone, you have to set your amp like this. Set the high on the EQ to 5, the middle to 4 and the low to 5. Put a little reverb on your playing, and mostly, you have it.


It's time for one of the most specifiable thing to know. The dive bomb. To do a dive bomb you have to know how to do pinch harmonics and you need a tremolo system, Floyd Rose if it's possible. The easiest way to do the harmonics is to play your finger on the string, do not push it down, just place lightly where the metal bar is. And after when you pluck the string remove your finger from the string. The easiest place to play harmonics is at the 5th, 7th, 9th and 12nd fret.

Now for the dive bomb, do a pinch harmonic, (5th of the G string is the easiest) and push your whammy bar towards the guitar's body. If you want to make a Synyster-like dive bomb, push down the whammy bar toward the guitar's body a little, do this quick, and pull up high. If you did this good, you can hear your guitar scream. Examples for songs with many dive bombs: Nightmare (pre verse ("As your nightmare comes to life")), Afterlife (end of the solo), Critical Acclaim (end of the solo).

Basically, that's all. I hope this helped you out.

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