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The musical career of ULI JON ROTH spans an amazing five decades; a unique and multi faceted phenomenon with an international reputation as a musical visionary and innovator, and inventor of the ‘Sky Guitar’ which featured a much extended fingerboard and the ability to play much higher top notes – copied by several companies almost immediately.
During his five year tenure in The Scorpions (appearing on albums Fly To The Rainbow, In Trance, Virgin Killer and Taken by Force) Uli built the foundation for his guitar legend status establishing himself as one of the main songwriters and soon gained an international reputation as one of the most important innovators of the electric guitar.
Uli was the first to significantly introduce a whole armoury of classical techniques and know-how earning him the title “Father of neo-classical” and as early as 1976, was playing fast and exciting diminished arpeggio runs during songs like Catch Your Train and the iconic Sails of Charon.
This had never been heard before in rock music and many of Uli’s ground-breaking techniques, his runs, phrasings, arpeggios – even dive bombs – became a blue-print and stepping-stone for legions of younger guitarists, who tried to emulate his style and ideas. This included younger players like Eddie van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, who – before embarking of successful careers of their own and becoming famous in their own right – have named him as a major influence.
Uli’s fast arpeggios, which encompassed several octaves, and his highly melodic, sometimes unorthodox runs and ingenious use of phrygian and myxolydian modes have helped to spawn a generation of so-called “shredders”. Eddie van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen also used a lot of Uli’s arpeggios and phrases as inspiration, speeding them up and creating their own styles of superfast playing.
Over the years, Uli has gained a reputation as being an accomplished improviser on the guitar, able to play virtually anything unpremeditated and completely off the cuff.
Because of this rare ability, Uli has often been invited to spontaneous guest appearances with other artists, appearing and jamming several times with Deep Purple, The Smashing Pumpkins, Slash, Jack Bruce, Rick Wakeman, Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert, Doro, Avantasia, Rachel Barton-Pine, Robbie Krieger, Leslie West, Gamma-Ray, Richie Kotzen, Angra, Gus G, UFO and many others.
Genuine guitar legend in the house…