Axe Banger: The Guitarist Showcase

Randy Ellefson

Name: Randy Ellefson

Playing (years): 20

Style: hard rock and traditional metal, like a cross between Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, old Metallica, with the upbeat vibe and energy of old Van Halen.

Gear: two home-made electric guitars with Floyd Rose tremolo, Schaller tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom and STK-S1 Classic Stack pickups, and a maple neck with maple fingerboard; Ernie Ball 5150 strings, Alvarez acoustic, Jackson C20 bass, ProTools LE (PC), Native Instrument’s Kontakt, Waves Gold Bundle, Bomb Factory’s SansAmp PSA-1, Coda Finale, Drumkit From Hell, Alesis SR-16 drum machine, SansAmp XDI, Alesis monitors, Sony MDR-7506 headphones, and Monster cabling

Endorsements: Peavey

Past accomplishments: Bachelors of Music in classical guitar, Magna Cum Laude, 1995, where all four years of playing requirements were accomplished in only two years. At the time of this writing, I am three months into launching my career as instrumental guitarist and getting great reviews of the debut CD, which I wrote, engineered, produced, and was the sole performer.

Current and upcoming projects: putting together a live band to perform the instrumentals and writing and recording new songs for the next album.

Favorite guitarist: none really (I love too many players to have a favorite), but Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden and Andy La Rocque of King Diamond are two favorites.

Most underrated players: Adrian Smith and Andy La Rocque.

Best musician you’ve ever seen: I was surprised to be completely blown away by Dave Mustaine’s lead guitar playing at a concert a few years ago. My surprise was partly due to his focus normally being on songwriting and singing and turning over the lead guitar duties to others, but the man absolutely ripped live. I couldn’t believe it.

Four words that best describe what you want to get across in your playing: Melody, energy, cool, fun.

Your hero: don’t have one.

Ultimate goal: to write and record the music I love, get it heard by millions, and become well-established enough and respected enough that all the great guitarists before me think I’ve earned a spot beside them.

Contact: Randy Ellefson at


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