Ask Eddie: Capturing a Percussive Sound

The latest question for Eddie Van Halen’s Ask Eddie series comes all the way from Denmark, where Jeppe Gissel is curious about how the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer developed a “percussive” sound.

Read more below.

Gissel: Hi Edward! You have a very percussive way of playing, so I was wondering if your brother Alex had an influence on your style of playing guitar? And, did other drummers/percussionists have an influence on you?

Best regards, Jeppe

Van Halen: Hi Jeppe, Eddie here and thanks for your question.

My playing (I guess) is percussive. I tend to pick very hard and do a lot of palm muting. But yes, Alex is a huge part of my playing, and that’s why I don’t play with anyone else. I’m not me without him. I have played with a few other drummers over the years, and it just didn’t feel right. Alex and I have played together all of our lives so we are like one. There are a few other reasons why I tend to have a percussive sound. I have been playing piano since I was 6 years old, and piano is a very percussive instrument, along with the fact that I played drums before guitar. I believe all of these things factor into why I play and sound the way I do, but Alex is definitely the biggest reason.

I hope that answers your question Jeppe.

All the best,
Eddie VH