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My No-BS SpeedKills3 Review:

Shred fans are sure to find something of interest in the instructional DVD called Speed Kills 3. Michael Angelo Batio, (known as MAB to his friends), is the instructor and also one of the best metal guitarists playing today. In fact, he has been named by Guitar World Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitar Players of All Time.” In addition, Guitar One Magazine calls him “The Number 1 Shredder of All Time.” He is the ambidextrous inventor of the “double guitar,” and is famous for being able to play equally well with both of his hands. So, MAB definitely has some ‘cred’ in the world of metal music. This DVD is produced by the makers of the Metal Method guitar course and is the third in a series of “Speed Kills” releases.

If you are an intermediate or advanced level guitarist, I think you will find SpeedKills3 a great challenge and source of inspiration. The DVD contains 28 incredible riffs that are demonstrated first at a slow tempo to make them manageable. Then you get to see MAB perform them all at the “mind-blowing” speeds that have made him famous. That way you have a goal to work towards. Three cameras were used to shoot the video, so it is all high quality. The lessons also have a “picture-in-picture” feature so that you can see close-ups of both the right and left hands at all times. I found this to be helpful; because I could concentrate on whichever part I was struggling with (either picking or fretting) until I had it down.

Animated Tabs:

Like other DVD’s done by Metal Method, SpeedKills3 makes use of animated Tabs. These are tablature diagrams that pop up on the screen as the riff plays. If you have used tabs a lot, you know that they are great for showing you how to finger a piece, but they do not indicate how long you should hold a particular note. You have to listen to the song and be familiar with it in order to figure that out. The animated tabs solve this problem by using a little blue line that lands on each chord or note in the diagram, to show you how long to hold it. I found this to be a clever addition to reading regular tabs. You should be aware that this video does not use traditional notation at all.

Lessons:

MAB begins each of the 28 riff demonstrations by showing you some of his warm-up exercises. You can play along with him slowly at first and increase your speed when you are ready. It’s a great way to improve your finger dexterity and accuracy. After you are warmed up, Michael will show you how to take those exercises you just did and make them into a full-blown riff. MAB is an encouraging teacher and does not want to make you feel like you will never be able to play the things he does. He presents riffs in lots of different styles and designs them to be both musical and playable. There are three backing tracks in this section of the disc that allow you to play with the pros when you feel competent. If you are willing to put in the time to practice, I think you really can learn the techniques that are presented here.

Performance Pieces:

Even though you will find a lot of great riffs on the SpeedKills3 discs, you also get to enjoy four live performance tracks. You can see Michael play the song “Prog” along with other professional musicians. There is a fantastic performance of “The Blues.” During this, MAB holds what he calls ‘The Note’ for a whole section of the piece, at the same time he is playing all over the fret board, of course. He also plays two ‘Monster Riffs’ with full accompaniment. As a bonus, the background tracks for all four of these pieces have been recorded separately so that you can jam along and improvise your own licks with the band.

Other Features:

The SK3 DVD comes with files that allow you to print off the lesson booklet. This is handy for practicing away from your TV and DVD player. The video is listed at $19.95, which makes it a good value for what you get. If you buy it in a package with some of the other Speed Kills videos, or some of those put out by Doug Marks of Metal Method, you can save money on each disc in the set.

So, if you are a metal fan and really want to put in the work to become a shredder, you will probably learn something from Speed Kills 3. If you want to become a more well-rounded guitarist, however, you will be much happier with the DVD series Learn and Master Guitar. It does offer instruction in metal music, but has lessons that apply to many more styles, as well. It is my top pick as the very best guitar course that is available. To see my review of this superior product, look HERE.


To Your Success,

Crazy Dave


I’m off to the Guitar Licks!



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