Evan Hope Interview: The Reddit Shredder That Has Everyone Talking!

It is no secret that reddit is a special place for guitar players around the world. You can post pictures, or videos of your gear and playing. Evan started showing up in my feed almost daily. And every day, there was a new inventive guitar riff. I had to talk to this guy!

Evan Shreds

Tell us a little about yourself and your setup Evan?

My name is Evan Hope, from Virginia Beach, VA. I am 30 years old and I’ve been playing guitar off and on since I was 13 or 14 years old. I used to play drums for several years in the early 2000’s in a death metal band called OTIS.

 I really only play extended range guitars, specifically 8 strings, and I really only use one guitar these days (I’m impressed!). I was a huge gear guy when I was younger, but once I found what I enjoyed, I pretty much called off the search!

I play a Strandberg Boden Original 8 String, tuned to Drop E, and it is loaded with Fishman Fluence Modern pickups.  I am in love with the Strandberg design. I can’t say enough good things about it, but it does seem to be a polarizing piece of gear. 

The guitar community is still pretty divided over the aesthetic of headless guitars, but I don’t think I’ll ever play anything else. Its the most comfortable guitar I’ve ever played and the Endurneck and I bonded immediately. 

For amps: I used to play a Peavey 6505+ but have recently ditched my conventional amplifiers for the convenience of the Line 6 Helix floor model. The only other piece of gear in my rig is an ISP Decimator that I use instead of the Helix noise gate.

Strandberg Boden 8 String

What got you into music?

I started on drums when I was 8 or 9. My best friend’s mom was the school music teacher and he was already a monster on the drums before we even finished elementary school. So when we got to the end of middle school and wanted to start a band, I picked up the guitar because he was much better than me on the drums. 

Who are your influences?

My influences have changed a lot over the years, but they are pretty modern, to be honest. Because I took a fairly long break. I took about 10 years off without touching a guitar or drum set and just started playing seriously again in 2018.

My main influences since I’ve returned to the instrument are in no particular order: Michael Keene from The Faceless, Justin McKinney from The Zenith Passage, Scott Carstairs of Fallujah, Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes of Animals as Leaders, Paul Waggonner and Dusty Waring of Between the Buried and Me, Jason Richardson of All That Remains, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, and Jesse Michel who is a popular guitar player on Instagram who works for Kiesel Guitars,

I just started posting videos on Reddit pretty recently, when I was at home in the quarantine and felt that I had something to share.

Your Sweep Technique and phrasing is INSANE. What got you to this point?

I’ve really only been dabbling with sweep picking for the last two years, but I have a bit of an obsession with the technique. I practice 4-6 hours every day, and a sizable portion of that time is spent woodshedding sweeping techniques.

I credit a large amount of the nuance in my technique to Jesse Michel. He has a unique style of playing arpeggios where he will descend the arpeggio and immediately string-skip back to the high E string and descend again. I have shamelessly added this to my bag of tricks, but I fully credit him and his tablature for inspiring a lot of my current style!

Jesse Michel: Credit Kiesel Guitars

Do you have any tips for beginners? For people that want to shred like you?

This is going to sound very cliché, but always practice with a metronome & try to never make mistakes. When you are learning something new, practice at a tempo, however ridiculously slow necessary, where you can play without making any mistakes.

Perfect practice makes perfect. If you are making any mistakes at all, set the tempo slower. If you are making mistakes while you are practicing, you are just practicing making mistakes.

Anyone that is trying to achieve “shredding speed” needs to have the techniques flawlessly hardwired into their muscle memory, and to get there requires patience and determination.

I firmly believe that anyone can learn to play fast, but there are no short-cuts. Shred guitar has nothing to do with innate ability or talent.

All of the guys you’ve ever heard playing blazing fast guitar have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in their bedroom grinding away. So, don’t be discouraged, just set that metronome slow and start building up your muscle memory. Muscle memory is the foundation of all of the techniques aspiring shredders covet.

The Daily Shred…

Do you have links to your bands and projects?

 I currently play for a death metal band called “The Eating Cave”. This is a recent project of mine, and I actually finished recording guitars for our debut LP “INGURGITATE” last night.

You can find the band page on Instagram @TheEatingCave and myself @EatingCaveGuitar. 

Get Evan’s guitar HERE. And his FX processor HERE.

Thanks Evan! And thank you for being an almost daily inspiration to the reddit guitar community!   

Absolute Beginner? No problem.

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