Alex Skolnick

Alex Skolnick heads the jazz guitar group Alex Skolnick Trio and the acoustic world music ensemble Planetary Coalition, and is the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, which he joined at 16. He has a BFA from the New School, where he studied jazz, philosophy and creative writing. He’s been a guest soloist for Rodrigo y Gabriela (appearing on their album 11:11), as well as participating in numerous other collaborations. He runs the popular blog Skolnotes and his first book, Geek to Guitar Hero, was published in 2013. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. His website is here and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.


@lisamannmusic @stevevai 😁🎸🎸

44 minutes ago


Alex Skolnick (born September 29, 1968, grew up in Berkeley, California) is a jazz and rock guitarist. He is a member of the thrash metal band Testament, formed in San Francisco in 1983. Skolnick left the band in 1992 — returning briefly to re-record some old material for the band's First Strike is Still Deadly release as well as the "Thrash of the Titans" all-star performance in 2001. He joined the band Savatage for the recording of Handful of Rain, as well as its follow-up live album and home video release Japan Live '94. He has also recorded and briefly toured with the Stu Hamm band, and played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2004, Skolnick made a guest appearance on Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake album. Skolnick recorded a solo for the instrumental track bearing the same name as the album. After leaving Savatage, Skolnick fronted several projects in the Bay Area during the mid to late 1990s, such as Exhibit-A and Skol-Patrol (a funk band exclusively dedicated to cop-show themes, both covered and original, featuring Michael Manring). He also recorded two albums with Attention Deficit, a 3-piece featuring Tim Alexander from Primus as well as Manring. Recently Skolnick relocated to New York City and began devoting all of his energies to jazz, enrolling in the jazz program at The New School. Most recently, he has been touring and recording with the Alex Skolnick Trio, a jazz group known for playing rousing bebop renditions of classic rock and heavy metal tunes. In the spring of 2005, Skolnick and the rest of the classic Testament lineup reunited for a short European tour (10 Days of May Tour), with some American dates appended on. The tour was successful and a CD/DVD release was put together from the May 08, 2005 London show. The band has continued touring with this lineup and there are plans for a new album. Alex now usually plays Heritage Guitar electric and hollow-bodied models. In his early years with Testament he endorsed Ibanez guitars and had his own signature model (540 PII) for a brief period. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.


Alex Skolnick (Testament) Talks Brad Paisley’s Moonshine in the Trunk

By Alex Skolnick | August 28, 2014

Alex Skolnick (Testament) Talks Brad Paisley’s Moonshine in the Trunk

The renowned thrash-metal guitarist gives an open-minded listen to the renowned modern country guitarist.

Alex Skolnick (Testament, Planetary Coalition) Talks Transatlantic’s Kaleidoscope

By Alex Skolnick | March 21, 2014

Alex Skolnick (Testament, Planetary Coalition) Talks Transatlantic’s Kaleidoscope

The fact that a prog band like Transatlantic can exist in 2014, releasing an album with worldwide distribution and embarking on a string of...

Alex Skolnick (Testament) Talks Dianne Reeves Beautiful Life

By Alex Skolnick | February 10, 2014

Alex Skolnick (Testament) Talks Dianne Reeves Beautiful Life

Dianne Reeves is the type of artist I wasn’t supposed to be a fan of: a modern-day chanteuse who encapsulated the dignity, virtuosity and....