We all know the true measure of an accomplished guitarist is not dependent upon how many scales he or she can blaze through. Instead, it's much more enjoyable to hear a player who has great command and control over just one or two scales. Many of the greats did not possess encyclopedic knowledge of music theory, and it didn't seem to hinder their progress or creativity.
The notion of sweeping (or raking) the pick across the strings to produce a quick succession of notes has been around since the invention of the pick itself. Jazz players from the Fifties would use the approach in their improvisations, and Chet Atkins was known to eschew his signature fingerstyle hybrid-picking technique from time to time and rip out sweep-picked arpeggios.
The grouping of notes is very heavily inspired by Shawn Lane. When I first heard Shawn play, it was so blisteringly fast, it really excited and scared the hell out of me at the same time. I could hear that a lot of his tonality was with the pentatonic scale, but I couldn’t understand how anyone could play this scale so fast.
In this, the third part of our series exploring spread triad voicings for guitar, we will be looking at raising two notes in each inversion of major, minor, diminished and augmented triads on the fretboard. By doing so, you will be able to expand your triad vocabulary beyond the commonly used shapes, which will allow you to play your favorite tunes but with new and fresh voicings for the standard triads you normally play.
In case you are new to fingerpicking, the fingers on the right hand now have letters to denote which finger patterns you will play in a particular section. The thumb is p, the index finger is i, the middle finger is m and the ring finger is a. So the right hand now spells out pima.
I start this lick on the eighth fret of the high E string. You'll notice I'm combining two patterns of the pentatonic together, and I do it throughout the lick. As we are traditionally taught the pentatonic scale in the box form (or two notes per string), this will be a new way of thinking for some of you.
When learning to play guitar, many of us explore open-position triads, and maybe barre chords on the fifth- and sixth-string roots after that. But, while these shapes are essential to get under your fingers, triads can offer myriad different sounds if you take them out of their usual context and begin to expand them beyond the confines of a single octave.