I worked in a music store in Glasgow, Scotland, for almost 18 years. Anyone who has ever worked in that kind of environment will tell you that they’ve seen some pretty weird stuff in their time. Factor in that I was the guitar repair guy, and the potential for weirdness rockets into the stratosphere.
The goal this month is not to talk about the theory behind them, although I will be doing that in the next month or two. It’s to get you adding the pitches, and exploring these notes, aurally, as well as using them in your phrasing. So let me show you what I’m talking about.
On this date in 1984, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters released his first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. The album abounded with something that Eric Clapton’s early Eighties albums sorely lacked: screaming guitar solos — played by Eric Clapton!
Delta blues giant Robert Johnson is one of the most fascinating and mysterious performers in music history. He created an essential body of blues guitar music, recording 29 songs in 1936 and 1937 that would exert a powerful influence on the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Johnny Winter and many others.
Robert Johnson, the man who Eric Clapton called "the most important blues musician who ever lived," was born 103 years ago on May 8, 1911, in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Although he lived only 27 years, his haunting singing, guitar skills and compositions have influenced generations of musicians — and continue to fascinate the most gifted of guitarists.
There's nothing new to this approach. Blues players have been adding these notes to the basic pentatonic for eons. But the difference here is that I apply this system to a heavy/hard-rock style of playing. I do this with a combination of sweeps and legato, which creates a very hard-edge modern sound while still keeping the blues tonality.
The minor scale is the most commonly used scale in metal. This month, I’d like to detail the most prevalent minor scales in metal: natural minor (also known as the Aeolian mode), the Dorian mode, the Phrygian mode and the harmonic minor scale.
In some of my previous columns, I've discussed arpeggio inversions, but in this installment I'd like to discuss chord inversions and how they can add some color to a typical chord progression. First, we need to define what a chord inversion is. An inversion is a chord in which a different note is at the bottom of the chord besides the root.
If the name "Intimidator," the camouflage motif or a Punish knob wasn’t enough of a tip-off, this is a seriously high-gain distortion pedal. It doesn’t clean up well, it doesn’t return phone calls, it doesn’t whisper, it screams!
This riff-writing exercise will demonstrate how to create diatonic and borrowed chords based on a chromatic bass line while staying in key. For this example, I’m going to use the key of A minor and the harmonic minor scale as my guide for chord construction.