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Zakk started playing the guitar at the age of 15 and used to work at Silverton Music in Silverton, NJ. He practiced guitar as much as 12 hours per day. Often, he would play the guitar almost non-stop between coming home from school and leaving for school the next morning. He would then sleep through the school day.
Zakk Wylde’s guitar-playing style is usually characterized by his use of pinch harmonics (often confused with artificial harmonics), and his guitar soloing technique is usually characterized by his use of the minor pentatonic scale, playing rapid box-pattern licks using strict alternate-picking, creating a very distinctive, choppy attack, compared to the more fluid playing styles of other rock guitarists. Another notable feature of Zakk’s playing is his liberal use of “chicken pickin’ “, a technique which is usually associated with country music, and which is (comparatively) rarely seen in heavy metal; a technique he has picked up from watching Albert Lee, one of his influences.
He is known for his use of Gibson Les Paul Custom model guitars with a unique “bulls-eye” graphic on them, a design he used to deliberately differentiate himself visually (despite having a similar hairdo) from Randy Rhoads - who was also frequently identified by his white Les Paul Custom.
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