I'd like to put the spot light on Friedman for a while. Many people only see him as a metal-god and while his achievements in that regard are nothing to scoff at, the man is a demo-god.
I watched a video a few months back when he talks about improvising using different modes for each chord and using notes that don't fit in to help add spice to your solos. He's very methodical and he ALWAYS knows exactly what he's doing and what he's doing is USUALLY more than people realise.
He uses chord theory, modal theory and more to really hook you, drop you, and then hook you again.
Listen to Corazon De Santiago for an awesome ballad from this living legend.
You can download it free here: