Guitar Q&A



Q: Did you ever skip school only to practice guitar:

A: Probably, although I can't really remember. This was aeons ago you know... :)

Q: Do you remember what amp settings you used in song "Broken"?

A: I don't even remember what amp I used :)

Q: What amps you used in Cain's Offering album and what's your usual live rig?

A: On "Gather The Faithful" I used a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier with a Mesa Boogie 4x12 Rectifier cabinet, which is also pretty much what I use live. I tend not to use any effects live anymore, just the guitar, the amp and the cabinet. Very meat-and-potatoes setup :)

Q: Have you ever thought about giving lessons, or sharing your music knowledge with others in other ways (Books/DVD's/etc.)

A: I've been asked to give lessons many, many times, but I don't think I would be very good teacher, as I'm a very impatient person and also think I couldn't really "teach" that much, as I basically most of the time don't know what the fuck I'm doing. I do have somewhat working knowledge of music theory, but I really don't see myself giving lessons. There are other people who could teach you everything I could, and more, and they do it better. As many of you probably know I've done some instructional stuff for the Japanese Young Guitar-magazine -you can find the clips from the internet-, but I think that's as far as I'll ever go with the instructional stuff.

Q: Are you using Ibanez guitars because you prefer them or is it just the sponsorship or something?

A: I started using them because I thought they looked really cool, and the first one I got was also a really good and easy guitar to play (an RG560, for those interested). Of course the endorsement also helps, but I really do like their guitars :)

Q: In older pictures I saw you had your guitar about the height of the chest, a bit below the breasts, but in time I've seen that you play the guitar at the height of the hips. Is it for convenience? Just another way to play it? More comfortable to play in the first frets?

A: This is actually a bit more about aesthetics and rocking out than it is about ease of playing. When I was younger I just wanted to play as perfect as I could, and especially the more difficult passages are much more easier to execute when you wear your guitar high. With time however I wanted to "rock out" a bit more, and lets face it, wearing your guitar down just looks  helluva lot cooler :) Also, one can just raise a leg on the monitor and thus lift the guitar higher for those more demanding parts. Attached are two pics to illustrate the difference :) (Sorry for the bad quality, the 2012 was the only recent one I found)

Around 2000
2012



















Q: Any tips for not novices, but not experts to play?

A: Anything and everything. Learn songs you like to play.

Q: How the hell can you play so damn fast and clean?

A: I can't :)

Q: Why do you Jazz III picks?

A:  I got into Jazz III's when I read that Petrucci was using them. I got a few, tried them out and never looked back. They just seem to fit my technique very well, they're small enough for my style and hard enough to get a really clean and sharp attack. Used to use these when playing acoustic guitar as well, but with my style of playing it just sounded too... violent. Picks are a matter of taste really, what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you. Experiment and find out what works. I went through a helluva list of picks before finding the Jazz III's.

Q: How do/did you pick the rhythm parts in "Don't Say a Word"?
A: In the studio it was all downpicking. Sometimes live I would go for alternate picking instead, after playing for 1h+ during a show I might feel like giving myself a break :)

Q: Do you use economy picking sometimes?
A: Not really, I did practice it at some point, but it never became much of a thing for me. I guess I just wasn't good enough at it, but it always sounded a bit sloppy and lame to me, whereas alternative picking was more aggressive and precise.

Q: Have you ever been burned out from the guitar, and if so, how do you get out of it?
A: Yes, a few times actually. Usually the best solution is to just put it aside and not play or think about it for a while. The desire to play will eventually come back, usually with a bunch of cool new ideas you haven't thought of before.


67 comments:

  1. Did you start your metal album?
    Are you going to do some Cain's Offering gigs?
    Why didn't you release 13th disciple? It's a damn good song.
    (Quote)Q: How the hell can you play so damn fast and clean?

    A: I can't :)(/quote)
    A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4sg-nzKFIQ

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  2. I playing guitar, actually take classes at age 11, but i no longer followed and the little we i know and do i not remember, anyway I'm not very good at this of music, but I have offered to put music all the lyrics that i write.

    PD: Pretty Photos ;)

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  3. Replies
    1. Don't you think slash is an overrated guitar player? (talking about skill)

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    2. Luis (Pickboy from Barcelona)August 16, 2012 at 2:38 AM

      At least me, I also think that Slash is an overrated guitar, as Kirk Hammett is. I used to take as God Kirk Hammett, but with time, you see he's only a pentatonic player. But that's the face they show to the public and albums, and I don't want how good they are jamming out of Metallica or Guns.

      Recently saw some videos from Mattias Ekhlund, also from John Petrucci, Satriani and Vai, and that's a parallel world in all ways.
      The only prolbem is... They are so fckng difficult to mimetize!

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    3. Luis (Pickboy from Barcelona)August 16, 2012 at 2:40 AM

      but with time, you see he's only a pentatonic player. But that's the face they show to the public and albums, and I don't know how good they are jamming out of Metallica or Guns. Sure they're amazing.

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  4. Jani what do you think of the whammy bar? do you like using it? Also you played with emmpu from nightwish. So my question is how is he a different player from you?

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  5. Luis (Pickboy from Barcelona)August 16, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    I used to play with Jim Dunlop Tortex 0.88, but maybe too big for me.
    I got in Jazz III when I looked at your pick and saw that is a Jazz 3. So, I went to the guitar shop nearest home, and I bought several picks. Using them, they were very comfortable to play and the pick didn't dance through my fingers when I was using them as Tortex did. The only problem is that sometimes I touch the strings with the other fingers cause my hand is a bit near of the strings.
    In a Dream Theater gig, Petrucci threw a pick to my friend and also was a Jazz III with JP symbol =) !

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  6. Shame you don't remember amp settings for Broken. I really love that heavy sound when you do palm mute. It blends so well with drums :)

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  7. Jani, what amp did you use live for most of your career with sonata. Also what is your current electric guitar setup?

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    1. I think he used a Line 6 AX2 in the earlier years (Ecliptica and Silence-era). Then a Marshall JMP-1 for a while (Winterhearts-era). And finally a Mesa/Boogie Triaxis (Reckoning Night and Unia-era).

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  9. hi Jani do you use economy picking sometimes?(for exemple the dont say a word solo)??

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  10. I don't know if you have time to answer questions like this, or whether you even want to, but I'll ask anyway :-)

    I find it hard to do fast consistent down picking when playing rhythm parts. How do/did you pick the rhythm parts in Don't say a word? Alternate picking is easier, but using all down picks sounds much better to me.

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    1. I agree with you, much hard, not hard actually, it is more my arm like stamina, I probaly don't masturbate or pratice enough. Start playing more ''trash metal'' (megadeth, metallica) with only down, I guess your arms will get ''stronger''.

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  11. I suggest you guys to practice song like ''master of puppets'' with all ''UP'' picking to build strenght...Then down picking will be a lot easier,it really work.

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  12. What do you think about the downpicking technique? Why is it worse than alternative?

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    1. alternate picking* (not alternative, huh)

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  13. When have you started playing keyboards? I know it's not about guitars, but I think it plays a large role in your actual guitar playing.

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  14. Hi Jani, bassist here. Just wandering if you have ever enjoyed the bass, your thoughts, etc. It would be really interesting to read your feelings about it. I found your guitar exercices really cool and have recognised lots of my spent hours with bass in my case. Thanks folk.

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    1. "Enjoyed the bass", how eloquently put :) I have played bass a little, even on a few album tracks, and I regularly play the bass tracks when demoing songs. It's actually quite fun.

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  15. Jani, i want to make you a question, i´ll put it here, don´t know if belongs to guitar talk, well... is there a reason why you guys don´t play sonata arctica songs ? i mean, you play black diamond, and hunting high and low which are both of strato, and others songs, but none of your ex band... considering that you wrote those, i wonder why...

    Please answer, if the question doesn´t bother you... and i promise to listen to bon jovi´s discography and count the "baby" or "babe" that appear in there haha

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  16. hello big fan of your´es i got this question i´ve notice some bits of greg howe in you´re playing would you consider him one of you´re influences?

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  17. Jani, I've never seen you use EMG pickups, (I'm not an EMG lover but still curious) what do you think of them? And speaking of EMGs, I saw you shared the talking part of ''Angels Don't Kill'' some time ago, do you like COB and have you met Alexi Laiho?

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    1. I don't like active pickups, I think they sound too cold and sterile. I haven't heard "Angels Don't Kill", so I don't think I shared anything from there, maybe we both got it from somewhere else :) I'm not a huge fan of COB, they're ok. I have met Alexi a few times, he seems nice enough :)

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    2. I believe the quote in Angels Don't Kill is from "American Pyscho" so i'd assume Jani watched it as did Alexi at some point. But I could very easily be wrong.

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  18. That's not really a guitar question but, I remember your interview from some time ago, you told that the music you were doing was melodic metal, not power metal, as power metal reminds you of dragons and warriors and shit like that. But as I know, you are a Dragonlance reader and you play Skyrim and stuff, so, are you against the idea of putting fantasy stuff in songs?

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    1. I'm not particularly "against it", I just find it a bit comical when grown up men (or women) sing about swords and sorcery. I enjoy RPG's and stuff, but I could never write lyrics around those themes, it would just seem silly to me :)

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    2. Lets Fight All DifficultiesDecember 16, 2012 at 2:24 AM

      In my opinion Power Metal isn't focused on fantasy stuff that much. When i see "Power Metal" i think at cool melodies over REAL FAST AND AGGRESSIVE drums (and bass, guitars etc..). Fast rythmics is the difference between power metal and melodic/symphonic in my opinion..
      When you say "Power" you are meaning also "melodic".

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  19. Jani can you tell me where do you get inspiration for melody's for like Kahleet,Black Sheep etc.I mean how do you make so awesome melody's?And what scale you use the most (for that and usually) :D

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  20. have you ever been burned out from the guitar?? if so how do you get out of it??

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  21. When are you gonna rejoin Sonata Arctica?............ just kidding. In all seriousness though, you've mentioned what guitar players inspired you when you first began, but what guitarists inspire you now, if any? Elias Viljanen? fuck I'm such an ass. Love you Jani!!!

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  22. Hey Jani, do you listen to Wintersun? and if you do, what do you think of Time part 1?

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  23. Hi Jani, I wanted to say that you are my idol and the reason why I started playing guitar as I was about 8 years old. Soon I started to play guitar all I thought was "someday touches the guitar as Liimatainen ".

    Since I finished describing my admiration for you, makes my question. Was it that motivated you to be a musician and how were receiving support from your family and friends?

    Sorry if esque message is not understood, I'm Chilean and like any boy of 14 years old I'm not very good at talking in English and so and had to use the google translator xDDD

    I take leave wishing the best for you and let you know Blackoustic is incredible.

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  24. Hi Jani,here's my question:When you compose a solo,do you just improvise and hope to find something or you sit down and take care of all part for exemple,you know that the 3rth and the 9th of a chord make the most dramatic sound so you keep them for a specific part that you want to sound that way,for the runs,do you ask yourself what scale to use etc??

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  25. Hello dude, I realize that you must be bored about all that question you got but I really hope you're gonna answer mine.
    Believe it or not, I tried to find the answer on internet before.
    - Which pick-ups do you REALLY used on your 7 strings Ibanez destroyer ? (This guitar is awesome. What ever is the price I buy it if you sell it !)
    - What is the name of the tremolo you use, is that a Floyd rose or an Ibanez's one ?
    - I tried a lot to get a good song on my amps (Marshall) but I can find MY sound. Unfortunatly yours is the one I like the most, so, instead of creating mine I'm asking for what kind of amp setting you like to use.

    Now I just want to tell you that I really enjoyed your work and that it really a pity that you got bored of everything (as you post the Southpark link to "everything's shit for you"). Even if it's not the meaning, your music gives inspiration. Thanks.
    Charlie.

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    1. Yo,

      I honestly don't remember what pickups that guitar had, as for tremolos, they were Ibanez models.

      I can't really help with amp sounds since they all sound different, but here's where to start: If you first turn all the "eq" dials (bass, middle,treble,presence... Whatever yours has) to twelve o'clock and then turn up the distortion up to the point where you want it (and you DON'T want to overdo that either, as it easily gets really, well, "mushy", in lack of a better word), then the amp should already sound pretty decent and from there it's just fine tuning it with the "eq" dials. If it doesn't sound at least decent with this setting then you might want to consider getting another amp, one that sounds good to you with this setting. Then you can fine tune that in to a great sound :)

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    2. Friend, the capsules used in the model destroyer of 7 string for jani is a Air norton 7 on the neck and blaze bridge on the bridge, the bridge model is a Edge pro 7 and version 6 is very similar but the difference the capsule that is used in the bridge is a special steve.
      I have a replica of the guitar destroyer seven string of jani, the only difference is it scale is a 26.5. Is a guitar baritone.
      I hope my answer helped you !!

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  27. Hey Jani i've got another question (1st one in this section) could you submit the tabs for the BLackoustic album? thanks!

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    1. Any specific part in mind? The guitar parts are actually pretty easy to pick up by ear as well.

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    2. some of the tabs are easy but sometimes the "arpeggio" part is not easy to play without tabs ... i know for you jani it's quite easy but some of your fans nned your tabs

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  28. well i'm not as good as i'd like to be and i'm on another country so couldn't bring my guitar (someone is letting me an acoustic one for a week)... i'd love to play Where my rainbow ends, which is a song i held dearly in me haha gay:) it would be really nice to play it

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  29. Ciao!
    Like, My Selene opening riff is too hard to figure by ear!
    That´s too hard..could you help that part? It´s pretty awesome song...

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  30. Do you like record with as a guest of argentina band?

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  31. Yo Man! What strings do you use? What gauges?

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    1. DR's, gauges depend on the guitar and the tuning. Usually 11's on the electrics and 12's on the acoustics

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    2. Thank you for your response! One more question: What guitars you own these days?

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  32. hi jani!
    what will you do when you playing guitar and suddenly your nose(or whatever) feel itchy? :)
    its always happened to me and very annoying !!!

    and i love my selene acoustic version :)

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  34. Hey Jani, congrats for Blackoustic, we're listening to it all the time. We've figured out the tab for Hunting High and Low (except for the lightspeed scale at 3:16, which scale is that?) but we could use some help for Where my Rainbow Ends, as we didn't manage to find out all the chords, tuning etc. (is it half-step down, right?) Thanks, great stuff, keep up the good work! Andrea & Simone

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  35. Dude, first I have to say I'm a huge fan of yours! You are like my inspiration for playing guitar, and I hope someday play the songs you play! :D
    But I play guitar for a while now, and I just can't get faster! No matter what I do! When I try just for fun take one of your solos, i can't even get to the actual speed kiding! So do you have some advice for new players? And how much did you study a day when you were learning?

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  36. Hey Jani, are you using any pedals for Sydänpuu? How do you get such a good distortion?
    Thanks!

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  37. Any plans for Cain's Offering??

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  38. You should go back to wearing your guitar at your nipples and make a solo album entitled "Nipple Rider". This is also my plan, but at least if you make the album it won't suck. Only got to see you live once in 2006 with SA, but you never made a single mistake that night, it was incredible. If the upper horn of your guitar could almost touch your chin you'd probably be even better!

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  39. Of all songs that you wrote over your career, what percentage of them talks about you? Are experiences of others or invented?

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  40. Moi Jani!

    Jos oot ikinä myymässä SA aikaista punaista rg:tä niin voin ostaa pois! :)

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  41. Whats up Jani? Do you ever drink a few beers and practice and play guitar? not get shitfaced just a couple beers a little buzz haha.

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  43. Hi Jani, I have a question, do you think that you can play with sonata arctica in the future?

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  44. Hi Jani, I know that my question isn´t about guitar, but is about a pretty song that you wrote: ELEGANTLY BROKEN... can you lend me the sheet music of this song?? I really appreciate it. Another thing, I am a big fan of you an your technique with the guitar, You and Kotipelto would come to Quito!!! All really appreciate it, too. Good luck!!!

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  45. Hi Jani. Do you still use 7-string Guitars?

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  46. Hey jani, marc here.
    I'm trying to learn solos such as the one of land of the free (pretty fast) . what's the best way to do it? Should i start slowly and progressively increase my speed? Or is there another more practical way?

    Another thing. I intereviewed henrik and Elias from sonata a few weeks ago, and they told me they were friends with you and that it might be possible that they could do something with you (i mean music)..in 20 years or so :') i hope you'd be okay with that
    Thanks , Marc

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  47. Hei Jani,what do you think about him?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGhjBG2jj90

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  48. Hey Jani, I was wondering if you'd be willing to do skype lessons about just songwriting? No guitar playing. I really think you understand he essence of a song and would love a 30min/hour lesson. I'd be willing to pay. I know you're extremely busy, but please let me know.

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