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Pantera, Damageplan, Rebel Meets Rebel

Riffs. Groovy, headbanging chemistry with his brother Vinnie.

Solos. Full of fire and attitude.

Consistency. Did Dimebag ever play on a shitty album? Even the spottier pre-Anselmo albums had some killer solos and cool songs.

Influence. To this day, any kid showing off at Guitar Center must know some Dimebag licks.


Tone. Chuggy and cold.

Accessibility. Dimebag played in the context of very heavy music due to the climate of the music scene at the time Pantera were trying to make it.

Diversity. If you're expecting variety in songwriting rather than heavy metal riff after riff, forget about it.

Influence. His windespread influence was a double-edged sword in what it did for the American metal movement, particularly in the drop-tuned tone-indifferent crowd in the mid to late '90s.

Guitar Style
Flashy and wild. Lots of pinch harmonics and tremolo usage. Frehley-inspired minor pentatonic licks, Rhoads-inspired diminished & 3-note-per-string runs, and some EVH-inspired tapping. His riffing and rhythm style comes from Maiden, Priest, and Slayer. Vibrato is a cross between Zakk and early Lynch. Dime had huge chops and was a very clean player, yet nothing earth-shattering comes to mind in terms of technique. No 20nps alternate picking or liquid sweeps. If anything, he's known for his legato chops and crazy pinky stretches.
Typical Gear Choices
Dean ML guitars equipped with humbuckers & Floyd Rose trems, Furman PQ3s, Randall RG100 amp heads early on, Krank amps, and the occasional flanger, wah, harmonizer, delay, and whammee.
What You Need to Know
Dimebag was the guy carrying the banner for lead guitar in the '90s.
Essential Recordings
Power Metal VVVV, Cowboys From Hell VVVVV, Vulgar Display of Power VVVVv, Reinventing the Steel VVVV, Rebel Meets Rebel VVVVV