Using open strings is a great way to add texture and atmosphere to any chord progression. By adding open strings to even the simplest chords, you can create voicings that sound sophisticated, but are really easy (and fun) to play. They're practical, not intimidating, and most certainly don't sound like "jazz chords."
Learning to improvise over jazz tunes in a convincing fashion means learning how to move between creating tension and resolving this tension in your lines and phrases. Though there are a ton of different ways to create tension in your lines, from using exotic scales to advanced chord substitutions, one of the easiest and quickest ways to achieve this sound in your solos is to use chromatic passing chords, especially over ii-V-I progressions.
In this Sick Lick, I'm using a combination of the “Natural E Minor Pentatonic," Flat 5 (blues scale) and Major 3rd Pentatonic. Many players forget there is a difference between these scales, and the “Natural Pentatonic” often gets overlooked and replaced by these other variations. There is a significant difference between them, and they should all be given the same respect and attention.
Over the past three columns we’ve looked at several cool-sounding hexatonic (six-note) scales and learned how to create new ones by combining two triads (three-note chords) that don’t duplicate any notes. Now I’d like to show you an easy way to transpose your favorite hexatonic scales to different keys and get more musical mileage out of them by viewing them from different harmonic perspectives.
This month, we'll look at fast-and-furious repetition licks in the styles of five Eighties rock guitar shred gods. Using these kinds of licks during at least one point in a solo in a cornerstone of rock lead guitar playing and is an effective device for raising energy and intensity.
For a long time when I was younger, I felt trapped with the pentatonic scale. Most players only use the scale in the box form or two-note-per-string technique. Now, while I absolutely love the sound this creates, I was searching for ways to create runs that were tonally similar to my personal favorites such as Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi Hendrix but utilize techniques that Steve Vai or Satch would use in their soloing.
This month I'd like to talk about the art of combining different, complementary rhythm guitar parts to create powerful metal rhythm tracks. The sound of two guitars is the bedrock of heavy metal music.
Veil of Maya released their latest album, Eclipse, back in February on Sumerian Records. Just in case some of those guitar parts have you scratching your head, we're continuing our series of exclusive lessons with guitarist Marc Okubo to show you some key cuts off the album.
At the end of my last column I promised you that we would continue surveying some more cool-sounding hexatonic (six-note) scales, with the emphasis gradually shifting toward the exotic. But first I need to address a small, but important, mistake that accidentally got printed in that lesson (June 2001 issue): the final chord in last month’s FIGURE 1, which was correctly labeled E, should have been tabbed two frets higher up the neck, as depicted here in FIGURE 1E. Sorry about that!