This month, I’d like to delve deeper into concepts for expanding scalar ideas across the fretboard. As in the previous columns, I’ll demonstrate how to move diagonally across the fretboard to connect scale positions, an approach that I employ to a great extent to play melodic phrases and solos.
This month I’d like to talk about a song from our forthcoming album, which will most likely be out by the time you read this, called…well, I have no idea what it’ll be called. But since it’s out now (I mean, by the time you are reading this) you will know the title, because you have it.
This is a wide-stretch, legato string-skipping idea that’s based on a symmetrical fretboard shape that moves across the neck in a single position. It’s articulated entirely with fret-hand hammer-ons and pull-offs, and I use my pick hand as a string damper by reaching over behind the fret hand and grabbing the neck to mute the idle strings and prevent them from ringing.
By looking into the four dim7 and four 7th chords that are built from this scale, you can expand your 7b9 diminished soloing ideas without having to study anything beyond these two common arpeggio shapes. Let’s dig in and check out how you can use harmonic arpeggios to build interesting lines when using a 7b9 diminished scale in your soloing ideas.
Usually you hear hybrid picking associated with country guitar or all things Eric Johnson. It's not a particularly aggressive technique, so it's rare in hard rock and metal. Hybrid picking in a Metallica song? Probably not. But Metallica is Metallica — and you're you.
This is a fast 16th-note alternate picking run in C# minor that starts out on the high E string and moves across the neck, staying pretty much in the ninth through seventh positions and ending with a whole-step pull bend and vibrato on the low E string.
I tap with my middle finger and begin this lick by flicking the string with the finger to get the sound going, doing a "phantom" pull-off to the A note at the fifth fret. I then play a sequence that goes "hammer, tap, pull" and repeats as I move across the strings, initiating the first note on each lower string with a "hammer-on from nowhere."
What we’re going to be doing today is drawing on this knowledge to learn how to combine the minor and major pentatonic scales to create patterns that give us a very unique and interesting sound. For this example let’s start off by running through the first position of A minor pentatonic starting on the fifth fret of the sixth string.