This week, it's all about making the guitar sound as beautiful as possible. For me, the masters of this are Eric Johnson and Tim Miller (who was actually a teacher of mine at one point). We'll get to what they both do that sounds very unique. We'll also go over ways I like to doll up some otherwise normal-sounding guitar parts.
In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E major 3rd pentatonic. The notes in this scale are E, G#, A, B, D. As you can see from the notes, I'm substituting the G minor 3rd with the G# major 3rd. This particular variation of the scale gives a less aggressive sound and is a great way to inject a little character into your runs and melodies. This also happens to be one of my favorite scales.
It's common to hear the idea that guitarists need pitch and drummers need rhythm. These are both half true, as guitarists and drummers need both pitch and rhythm. Could you imagine what a duo band like the Black Keys would sound like if Dan Auerbach had bad rhythm? Not so great. Playing great riffs out of time is sort of like driving a Ferrari into a wall.
We have learned a large portion of the piece, and for this new lesson I'm going to set you a rather difficult challenge. At this point in the piece, we are meant to repeat in full everything we have learned so far. I thought it would make a fun challenge if we played everything one octave up for this repeat.
Something about this simple categorization really jumped out at me. When you stop to think about it, those three areas are all you really need to worry about when it comes to vocabulary. No matter what sort of material you’re practicing, you’re basically either working on the rhythmic, harmonic or melodic aspect of your playing.
Regarded by many as the three most vital purveyors of pure hard rock/heavy metal sonic evil, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi have each forged a distinct, instantly recognizable guitar style and sound. After more than three decades of dedicated service, all three players continue to influence countless up-and-coming metalheads the world over, and an in-depth study of each guitarist’s distinct musical personality is mandatory for any aspiring hard rock player.