Hello, and welcome to my new Guitar World instructional column. In the coming months, I’ll share with you some of the guitar-playing concepts and approaches that have helped me develop my technique and overall playing style. I’d like to start off with an examination of ascending scalar shapes that, by design, cover the majority of the fretboard.
Late last week, the gang at Mesa/Boogie posted a video of Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci (and his signature Ernie Ball/Music Man Majesty guitar) testing out a prototype of the company's Mark 5 Twenty-Five guitar amp.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
I begin in ninth position with a fairly compact shape that spans the ninth to 12th frets. At the end of bar 1 and moving into bar 2, the fret hand shifts down two frets and spreads out to cover a four-fret span, from the seventh fret to the 11th. Use your first, second and fourth fingers to fret the notes.
In the newly posted video below, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci discusses and demos Ernie Ball's M-Steel guitar strings. Ernie Ball calls the strings, which were introduced earlier this year, "the world's loudest, most expressive strings ever created."
“I was also blown away by how a three-piece band could sound so majestic and huge and play in a style that’s inherently rock and roll yet still pushes the boundaries of what they’re doing musically—this idea of being experimental, using different time signatures and not really being concerned about song length and traditional constraints. I can’t tell you how huge of an impact that had on me. 2112 basically set the course for my musical career and how I approached Dream Theater.”
As I have discussed in previous columns, I often use triadic arpeggio forms within my riffs and solos as a tool to create rich-sounding, poly-chordal sounds. I’d like to continue in that vein in this month’s column by presenting different ways in which to move from one arpeggio form to another.
Here’s a blast from the past. A young John Petrucci accompanies Dream Theater singer James LaBrie in this tenderly performed acoustic version of “Another Day.” Yes, the audio is spotty, but it’s worth checking out nonetheless.