Marty Friedman (born Martin Adam Friedman, December 8, 1962) is a Jewish American guitarist, most widely recognized and best known for his tenure as lead/rhythm guitarist for thrash metal band Megadeth, which lasted close to ten years. He has resided in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan since 2003, and has[1] hosted his own television programs, Rock Fujiyama and Jukebox English on Japanese television.

Early career (1982-1989)

Friedman is a largely self-taught guitarist [2] known for his improvisation and for fusing an Eastern musical feel with Western musical styles, such as neo-classical, thrash metal and later into progressive rock. When playing, Friedman often uses arpeggiated chords and various customized scales. He also occasionally uses sweep picking. He has a very unorthodox right hand picking technique. The angle in which his hand is clenched goes against the conventional palm mute. He also frequently uses the upstroke as opposed to the downstroke, especially on the high strings (string E and B). These qualities make a Friedman solo truly unique and hard to duplicate using an alternate picking approach.

Prior to joining Megadeth, he formed and played lead guitar in several other bands, including Deuce, Hawaii, Vixen (not the all-female band of the same name), and notably Cacophony. Cacophony featured neoclassical metal elements and synchronized twin guitar harmonies and counterpoints shared with guitarist Jason Becker. In 1988, he recorded the demos for Jet Red that eventually were released as bonus tracks on the 2009 Jet Red release "Flight Plan".

Megadeth (1990-2000)

When Cacophony broke up in 1989, Marty Friedman auditioned for the thrash metal band Megadeth after a tip from fellow guitarist Jeff Loomis. Friedman eventually auditioned for the spot, but was initially rejected by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine for having multicolored hair. However, after undergoing what Mustaine called "Rock Star 101," Friedman officially joined Megadeth in February 1990.[3] Friedman's audition can be seen as an Easter egg on the Megadeth DVD Arsenal of Megadeth. The first album he recorded with them was Rust in Peace, now considered a classic thrash metal album, and sold platinum in the US. He further developed his style of playing exotic scale solos from the Cacophony era, and integrated it into the music of Megadeth. In July 1992, Megadeth released Countdown to Extinction, which was a more commercial album, aimed at a wider audience, and sold double platinum. Friedman played on Megadeth's further releases Youthanasia (1994), Cryptic Writings (1997), Risk (1999). After a total of five studio albums with Megadeth, in December 1999 Friedman announced his departure from Megadeth.[3] His last show with them was on January 14, 2000. Mustaine had also went up to him and said that they had to get back to their roots and couldn't keep doing radio pop stuff. Later, he stated that he got tired of playing metal music and felt that he couldn't develop as a musician. In an interview with in March 2007, he claimed that Megadeth was not aggressive enough.[4] During Friedman's time in the band, they sold over ten million albums worldwide.[5]

Japanese life

Friedman currently lives in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan and is a Japanophile.[6] He has become a major force in the Japanese music scene, playing lead guitar in the bands of some of the country's most famous performers. He also appears on Japanese television and as a columnist for a major Japanese music magazine and a national daily newspaper.[7]

Friedman speaks fluent Japanese.[5] He became a regular member of the cast of TXN's musical TV program hebimeta-san (ヘビメタさん) (anglicized as "Mr. Heavy-Metal") with Japanese idol Yoko Kumada before the show came to an end in 2005. He had his own heavy metal TV program called Rock Fujiyama alongside Shelly, Ken Ayugai (Kenny Guy), Yorimasa Hisatake (Rock Ninja Yorimasa) and ex-Scanch member, Rolly Teranishi from April 2006 until March 2007. In November~December 2005 he went touring with Japanese singer Ami Suzuki inside her "Suzuki Ami Around the World" Live House Tour, which took place in cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

He was featured in Jukebox, a television program in which Marty and two Japanese people translate the lyrics of various English songs into understandable Japanese. He does guest appearances in Japanese shows such as Eigo de Shabera Night and Tamori Club. He started wearing platform shoes since living in Japan.



See Hawaii discography on Wikipedia.


See Cacophony discography on Wikipedia.


Date of Release Title Label
September 24, 1990 Rust in Peace Capitol Records
July 14, 1992 Countdown to Extinction Capitol Records
October 31, 1994 Youthanasia Capitol Records
June 17, 1997 Cryptic Writings Capitol Records
August 31, 1999 Risk Capitol Records


Date of Release Title Label
1988 Dragon's Kiss Shrapnel Records
1992 Scenes Shrapnel Records
1995 Introduction Shrapnel Records
1996 True Obsessions Shrapnel Records
2002 Music For Speeding MF Music
2006 Loudspeaker Avex Trax
2006 Kick Ass Rock Phantom
2008 Future Addict Avex Trax
2009 Tokyo Jukebox Avex Trax


  1. 蔵出しここだけクロニクル | マーティ・フリードマン (Japanese)
  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1, - History at; last accessed December 29, 2007.
  4., Marty Friedman: 'I Didn't Think Megadeth Were Aggressive Enough!' at; last accessed May 5, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1, BIOGRAPHY of Marty Friedman at; last accessed May 5, 2007.
  6. Ex-Megadeath Guitarist is now a Japanophile
  7. J-POPメタル斬り He writes columns about J-pop music in Japanese monthly magazine Nikkei Entertainment (日経エンタテインメント!)

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Marty Friedman (musician). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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