Harmonic minor is always a very cool choice and a favorite of mine. It’s great to use when you’re improvising or coming up with song ideas and lead parts. So many impressive players have made great use of it in their songs — guys like Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and many others. Mozart was also a big fan.
Bass is more than just a guitar with two fewer strings. It has a different tone, scale length, feel and musical role, and in many cases it requires a different conceptual and technical approach. Guitarists who are new to playing bass will often double the guitar part one octave lower. There is certainly a place octave doubling — just listen to Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean" and Pantera's "I'm Broken." But there is so much more that can be done with the bass guitar.
I’m going to focus on manipulating economy picking for the powerful execution of rapid-fire arpeggios. To get a grasp of the fundamental properties of these economy picked arpeggios, Example 1 depicts the three basic forms of simple two-string, root-3rd-5th arpeggios found in any common minor or major key (Minor, Major and Minor flat 5). For the sake of this lesson, we’ll stay in the key of Am.
Because we generally approach the flat 5 or “blue note” as merely a passing note when we play blues or blues rock, the scale sounds incredibly smooth and even a little jazzy. My way of incorporating the flat into the licks and runs creates a slightly dissonant-sounding movement. The dissonance immediately creates the tension that is often needed when soloing to heavy, dark rock or blues-based rock.
Today we'll check out the Byzantine/Hijazkiar/double harmonic major scale. Phew! The scale of many names! Actually, most scales are referred to by several names. It depends on the country, tradition or style of music. For example, there's the Ionian or major scale, Lydian dominant or 4th mode of melodic minor, etc. The Byzantine scale, et al, has a very exotic sound, due to the flat 2nd degree, raised 3rd and raised 7th.