Within Temptation guitarists, Ruud Jolie and Stefan Helleblad, talked in a new interview with Music Radar, and they discussed the secret of becoming a professional metal musician.

Stefan said:

“Listen to Pantera and Megadeth. Learn all those riffs and play them with your friends; that’s what I did growing up and I think it helped. If it feels too fast, then you need to slow it right down.

To be honest, most guitarists will need to focus on rhythm if they want to become a professional musician. Looking around, there’s too much focus on soloing for a lot of players.”

Ruud added:

“For me, it was James Hetfield and Scott Ian. It wasn’t as easy to record yourself back then, but it is now, so I would say do that and keep listening back. Try to step back and listen to what you hear objectively.

Are you really as tight as you think you are? Because while you play, you are having a completely different experience… you might be hearing something different to everyone else.

Another tip is tuning your guitar just a little bit too low so that the amplitude of the picking forces you to hit the right note. When you let the notes ring, they almost go a little flat.

For example, our single ‘The Reckoning’ has this riff that wouldn’t make sense to a tuner. That adds to the heaviness!”

Interviewer asked:

“There are many classical elements to Within Temptation’s music. Has either of you ever studied much classical?”

Stefan responded:

“I must say, I’ve never really listened to classical music let alone studied it! I just love the harmonic minor scale, that’s about it. Yngwie Malmsteen has always been a bit of an influence on me as I’m from Sweden!”

Ruud said:

“I studied in the Netherlands. My major was jazz guitar and my minor was classical, so I did play those Bach pieces. But it sounds too pretentious to call myself a classical guitar player because I absolutely am not… I suck at fingerpicking!”

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