There are 11 strings on the oud: five courses, or sets, of doubled strings and a single low string, usually a C. It is still widely popular in many places in the world. Learning basic techniques from this instrument can add a cool sound to your playing and maybe help to inspire new and fresh ideas.
This is a two-part run in A minor that I play in my solo to "Caravan of Cannibals," on Shredding the Envelope’s debut CD, The Call of the Flames. The first three bars are based mostly on the A Dorian mode [A B C D E F# G], with a couple of "outside" notes thrown in, namely D# and F.
Born from the boogie-woogie sounds of jazz piano in the very early 20th century, the swinging shuffle groove is built from an insistent and repetitive forward-leaning rhythm that is generally written in 12/8 meter—wherein four consecutive beats are each subdivided into three evenly spaced eighth notes—and comprises a repeating quarter-note/eighth-note rhythm that sounds like “da—da, da—da, da—da, da—da.”
This is a triplet-based run in A minor that starts out in the low register and moves up and across the fretboard, spanning three octaves before settling into a single position and moving back across the strings. I’m using hammer-ons and pull-offs in combination with picking to achieve a fast stream of notes that "pops" and flows.
This lick is a real showcase of how you can create legato runs using the pentatonic. Predominantly, legato patterns within the pentatonic consist of two-note-per-string pulls and hammers. I like to adopt a combination of this with a wide intervalic approach to add an extra note to the patterns.
This feeling of "hitting a wall" is something we've all gone through as musicians. Our initial reaction might be to quickly slap a Band-Aid over the situation and learn more licks or new scales. Sometimes that approach can help us get out of a slump. But in this situation, are we really addressing the student's concerns? No.
This lick is influenced by Paul Gilbert and Richie Kotzen and incorporates wide fret-hand stretches, string skipping, tapping and legato phrasing. It starts out with a three-notes-per-string A minor pentatonic [A C D E G] flurry played on the A, G and high E strings. To avoid injury, be sure to warm up your fret hand before diving into this lick.
Double stops are a great way to add a new texture to your jazz guitar chord soloing ideas, over Dominant 7th chords as in this lesson, or any harmony you are exploring. Also, they are less demanding technically, so they can juice up your chord-soloing lines at faster tempos when full chord shapes are too tough to grab on the neck.
So you’ve spent time learning some arpeggio shapes. Now what? Arpeggios are a great musical tool that allow you to make melodic statements using harmonic (chordal) information. When playing over chord changes, using arpeggios is the quickest way to navigate your way around them.