Michael Jackson's "Thriller" masterfully covered by a single guitarist playing two guitars at once

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/09/michael-jacksons-thriller-3.html


Is there some kinda fancy editing going on there? I swear I hear him hit a chord on the guitar he’s holding, while he’s picking the one laying flat at :28.


I was wondering that too. Also on the one lying flat he gets the same scritch/slap sound from a small flap that he gets from smacking the large one. Creative mics?

All that aside, the sound was great. His fingernails on his playing hand really distracted me. Is it normal for guitar players to grow their nails into spikes/picks for playing?

Edit - thanks for all the replies! I guess I’ve never looked closely at the hands of classical players previously.


He’s not like other guitarists.


Very reminiscent of (and probably inspired by) Jon Gomm’s work

eg this from 2012

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Old MJ songs have some awesomely funky guitar parts. Super cool use of muting. Ripe for treatments like this.


If you watch closely on the one he’s holding, he’s using his pinky and ring fingers to strum the open chord while doing the picking on the other guitar. It’s bananaphone, but there we are.

@evadrepus, as for the slapping thing, I was wondering the same. It looks like he’s knocking the bottom of the guitar with his fingers or fingernails, but it’s odd that it’s darn-near pitch perfect with the metal thing on the guitar laying flat. shrug I just work here.


Is it normal for guitar players to grow their nails into spikes/picks for playing?

Classical and fingerstyle players do it quite a lot.

As to the video, I suspect there were multiple takes for video and maybe for audio as well. But this sort of thing is Luca’s whole schtick.

Here’s a different video, which isn’t as good on the audio, but is all one take from one camera.


As stated above, yes, pretty common. A buddy of mine saw John Butler a while back and mentioned he had the longest nails he’d seen; on the picking hand, not the fretting hand.
Picking/slapping players tend to use open tunings too, where striking all the strings at once plays a chord. To a traditional (mediocre) player like me, that’s kinda like magic.

Here’s some John Butler as a bonus.

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Closest playing to this that I’ve witnessed was by Neal McKeeby (back then, he was in a band called Hominybob).

Ayup, I did, when I was playing more frequently. But my nails are weak, so I used nail glue & such. Never got into silk wraps; that kind of attention wasn’t matched by my skills.

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Musical selection aside, performer has great ambidextrous talent.

Not to toot my own horn but I took up a wind instrument to increase manual dexterity which did improve motor functions left right toot toot

Pah. That’s one guitar and 2 strings more than necessary for Michael Jackson.


Never played classical guitar, have you. I once wandered into a small showing of guitars and ended up sitting next to the great Teye, the Dutch flamenco guitarist who plays with Joe Ely and my most burning question for him was, can I see you fingernails. You have no idea how hard it is to maintain them.

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Yeah, the long nails are pretty normal for classical guitarists, though not usually shaped into points like that
Edit: oops. Should have read the thread first before replying.

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While most remember the guitar solo in thriller (Van Halen), most don’t know that the creative force behind Toto (I kid you not) did most of the rythm guitar. On most of the album too.

He’s done tons of studio work and you probably didn’t even know. Steve Lukather.

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I love Stanley Jordan. I saw him live once, he is so painfully shy! Absolutely no showmanship at all, but such virtuosity!

I’m not a guitar player but I know many and yes, this is pretty typical.

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