HOW TO PLAY GUITAR LIKE WES BORLAND

As Limp Bizkit's guitarist, on their first album, Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, WES Borland would cover much ground. Some guitar parts were inspired by thrash metal with harmonic usage inspired by industrial music, whereas other parts were meant to sound like strange noises and sounds, some were soft and beautiful jazzy melodies and the songs themselves were somewhat progressive, as there were traditional song-structures mixed with more experimental ideas.


On the subsequent hit record, Significant Other, Borland's playing became slower with increased emphasis on groove and heaviness, with more traditional song structures used. On the third Limp Bizkit release, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, Borland's playing became more eclectic, combining the prior elements of heaviness and traditional structure with playing big, complex guitar chords not normally played in metal music before then.

On The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1), recorded five years later, featured some of his most aggressive guitar work ever released, using distortion through most of the album and putting all of his trademark effect pedals to rest, instead focusing on heavy riffing, metal tremolo picking and palm mute/release techniques. However, in Black Light Burns, Borland's guitar playing is at its most eclectic. Borland's metal, electronic, jazz, indie rock, soft, progressive influences come through, and the songs take unexpected turns all throughout.

Wes played Ibanez 7 string guitars with Limp Bizkit and later used Paul Reed Smith guitars. He plays a custom 4 string AX series Ibanez on songs "Nookie", "Full Nelson", "The One", and "Stalemate". He tuned his 7-strings to [Low to High] D♭ G♭ B E A♭ D♭ D♭/C# F# B E G# C# C# (occasionally with the low string dropped to B) and tuned his 4 string to [Low to High] F# F# B E, with the lowest F# string being a bass guitar string, with that lowest F# being one whole octave below the preceding F# string. The method of using 6-string tunings on 7-string guitars is now used by Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter, who learned the technique from Borland after transitioning to 7-strings.

Borland told crowds at his guitar clinics in the middle east and Total Guitar magazine that he considers himself more a songwriter/rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist, saying that he never got into shredder bands or jazz fusion artists. He says his two hand tapping technique was inspired somewhat by Les Claypool of Primus and the rhythmic nature of his bass playing, and not so much from the lead guitar craze of the 1980s. However, he has incorporated lead guitar into his music after leaving Limp Bizkit from time to time.

Most recently, on the Gold Cobra album, Borland has noticeably taken a different approach to playing styles. He used his signature Yamaha guitar in the studio, however, as demonstrated on the Gold Cobra album, he began using different tunings other than C# Standard (the tuning used on every LP he played on until he left Limp Bizkit). On the songs "Bring It Back", "Get a Life", and "Loser", he played in Drop B tuning, which is basically C# Standard with a dropped B, which has also been used on previous albums as well. On the songs "Walking Away", "90.2.10", and "Back Porch", he used E Standard tuning. Also, he has incorporated guitar solos into some songs on the Gold Cobra album, most notably on the first single, "Shotgun".

During his time in Limp Bizkit, Borland was endorsed by Ibanez and almost exclusively used their guitars in recordings and live performances. The guitars' piezo system allowed him to change from electric to acoustic sounds with the flick of a switch. After leaving Limp Bizkit, Borland switched from Ibanez guitars to Yamaha, which released a Limp Bizkit Autographed Wes Borland Signed Guitar & Proof PSA. Borland has since begun an endorsement with Jackson Guitars, using several Jackson WRMG Warrior Electric Guitar w/ EMGs Black and Jackson RR3 Rhoads Electric Guitar Black. He also retired his Mesa Boogie amplifiers and currently uses Orange Amplifiers in live performances along with Roland. Borland now uses a 6-string guitar in Limp Bizkit, instead of the 7-string he used to use. He also owns a fretless guitar, the Vigier Excalibur Surfreter in black serial number 000298.
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