Slash is a Gibson Les Paul man through-and-through. He has a trademark sound that’s easy to recognize, and he is a role model for many up and coming guitarists. His latest project is the horror movie Nothing Left To Fear, which is the first release from his production company Slasher Films. With it comes a soundtrack which contains a couple of Slash originals including “Welcome to Stull,” which is an instrumental. This got me thinking about the other instrumentals that Slash has recorded over the years. What’s great about an instrumental to me is that the guitarist get full creative license to do what he pleases, without having to consider the feelings of any pesky lead singers. Here we’ll take a look at some of Slash’s best instrumental pieces over the years, both studio recordings, and live performances.
“Jizz Da Pit”
The first Slash’s Snakepit album It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere is an underrated album. It contains gems as the wonderfully bluesy “Neither Can I,” as well as rockers like “Beggars and Hangers-On,” and “Dime Store Rock.” The album also contains the instrumental “Jizz Da Pit.” A juvenile throwaway title for a really great song. Penned by Slash and Snakepit bassist Mike Inez, you can clearly tell who came up with what part of the song. The uptempo riff-heavy first half has Slash written all over it, while the groovy bass part during the latter half has to be Inez’ idea. It even has that Alice In Chains vibe to it. In fact the last half of the song is the best, since Slash on his wah-pedal is among the coolest rock sounds ever invented. It’s also really interesting to hear how Slash can switch between two distinctly different styles so effortlessly. Check out this live performance of “Jizz Da Pit” from way back in 1995. Of course Mr. Hudson is rocking out on what else - a Gibson Les Paul.
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Slash recorded this heavy groove for his first official solo album along with fellow ex-Gunner Duff McKagan, and Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl. The song is driven by a very solid bass line by McKagan, and Grohl proves that all his years away from the drumkit has not diminished his abilities to rock out. The song has more of a classic structure than “Jizz Da Pit,” which seems to be more of a jam. In fact, Slash apparently had the idea that Grohl would sing on “Watch This,” as told to MusicRadar: “Actually, I tried to get Dave to sing it, but he wouldn’t sing it, so I just said [expletive] it, we’ll put guitars on it. He was adamant about not singing, he was like, I just wanna play drums, and he’s a [expletive] phenomenal drummer.” Just like in “Jizz Da Pit” Slash resorts to his wah pedal for the bridge/solo section which is slightly reminiscent of the Guns n’ Roses epic “Estranged.” In fact, the slow wah part is great for guitarists who are just starting out and want to learn some classic Slash licks.
Slash appeared on the soundtrack for the 2006 movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
alongside producer and composer Brian Tyler. Slash sets the tone for the song, which starts out with a rock groove before incorporating electronic beats and synthesizers. Again, it’s fun to hear Slash rock out on his own, it gives you a feel for what he enjoys as a guitarist, when there are no other musicians to consider.
Theme from The Godfather
Slash has been playing the theme from The Godfather since his Guns N’ Roses days. He used to incorporate it in his solos during the Use Your Illusion tour. It has since popped up during his more recent solo tours as well. In fact, Slash has suggested that he came up with the riff for the song “Anastasia” from his latest album while playing the theme from The Godfather solo during the previous tour. When it’s just Slash and his guitar during the solo, you can really hear what a great vibrato he has, something that is easy to miss when his tone gets garbled by other instruments. Check out this ten minute solo, which feature the theme from The Godfather from Slash’s Made In Stoke 24/7/11 DVD.
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“The Star-Spangled Banner”
Slash has been invited to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at quite a few sporting events over the years. My favorite version is probably the one he did for the LA Kings home opener in 2010. Slash does such a nice reverential note-for-note take of the song, only flavored by some tasty wah-wah towards the crescendo in the end. Once again, a great example of Slash’s excellent vibrato technique! See for yourself.
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Well there you have it! Some awesome instrumentals by Slash for you to check out. While you’re at it, you might also want to do a YouTube search on Slash’s instrumental for the video game Guitar Hero III, as well as his version of the Angry Birds video game theme. Also, be sure you check out Gibson’s Slash Signature Rosso Corsa Les Paul and Vermillion Les Paul.