These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the December 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.
Before getting to the “Sevens” lick, I’m going to break down the technique involved so that you will be able to apply this idea to creating riffs of your own. The genesis of the lick was in trying to find a new way to play a major-seven arpeggio. I started out by breaking it down into two notes per string, as shown in FIGURE 1a.
Why am I back? Uh…to teach you how to rock, that’s why! I’m also here to talk about the brand-new Steel Panther album, All You Can Eat, which you are no doubt listening to right now! I came back just so that I could teach you how to play some of the incredible riffs on our new record, and I’d like to start with the song “If I Was the King.”
Two of the most essential techniques for all aspiring guitarists to master are string bending and vibrato. The electric guitar affords us the opportunity to express musical statements that can evoke and rival the sound and qualities of the human voice, with string-bending and vibrato techniques as the primary elements necessary to achieve vocal-like sounds and phrasing.
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s distinctive playing style is earmarked by equal parts pure power, intensity of focus, razor-sharp precision and deeply emotional conviction. And then there’s his tone—probably the best Stratocaster-derived sound ever evoked from the instrument.
In this lesson, I’m going to demonstrate some basic string-skipping patterns. These patterns are easy to link up with your pentatonic scales, and I think you’ll find them very useful for adding some flash into your riffs and solos. I’m going to play them separately at first, and then at the end of the lesson, I’ll string them all together into a chord progression.
Every great rock song has a great riff, be it a single-note melody or a chordal-based sequence, and that's probably what makes it a great song. Like a great frontman, a really good rock riff should have a hypnotic, star quality. A great riff can take you over; you might find yourself playing it repeatedly for ten minutes. There's something about it that makes you want to indulge in it.
When I was starting out as a guitar player, it took me a while to understand the ultimate purpose of playing guitar. During those early years, I had some chops and I knew some theory, but my playing felt like it lacked purpose. That’s because it took me a while to understand that the ultimate purpose of playing guitar, at least to me, was to make the instrument an extension of your own self.
While learning the Lydian scale itself is definitely one way to go when adding a maj7#11 sound to your solos, there’s another common and cool-sounding concept you can explore to bring this sound out in your lines. In today’s lesson, we’ll be looking at how you can apply a major pentatonic scale a tone above any maj7 chord to bring out a Lydian vibe in your jazz guitar solos.