In this month’s lesson, I want to talk a bit about modes, which is a very interesting area of music theory. The great thing about modes is that once you master them, they can give you a whole new degree of freedom when creating melodies and composing solos. But they also can be a bit tricky to understand at first.
Most of us begin with the Ionian mode then move on to Dorian and progress up the fretboard in this way until we’ve learned all seven positions of the major scale. While this can be an effective way of learning modes, in this lesson you will learn a shortcut that will allow you to quickly and easily learn all seven modes by starting with Lydian and simply lowering one note at a time until you can play all seven modes on the fretboard.
"This is the solo from 'Our Dying Sun'," Artusato says. "I start by playing a syncopated lick that superimposes a group of four over the 6/4 meter (m.2); this type of rhythmic dissonance (created via polyrhythms) sets the mood for the rest of the solo."
Players often will combine lots of different modes, etc., to their soloing. I do the same but with a different approach; I base everything around the pentatonic, so instead of playing modes, I simply add the notes to the pentatonic. This way, I always have that rock base behind the sound.
Here's a brand-new edition of Betcha Can't Play This featuring Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss, who visited Guitar World HQ last month. Last time, she played a Descending Legato Lick. This time, she demonstrates a lick from her solo spotlight section from her shows with Cooper.
In honor of the expansive new box set from Rounder Records, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, we focused on his single-note soloing on classic Allman Brothers’ cuts like “Stormy Monday” and “Whipping Post.” This month’s column is dedicated to Duane’s mastery of the art of slide guitar.
In this lesson, I’ll be demonstrating one of the best ways to transition up and down the neck on the fly. I frequently utilize this technique because it’s easy to play fast and expand into many complex riffs and ideas. The premise of this lesson is based on visualizing the pentatonic scale on one string and expanding it into two, three, or four note patterns using adjacent strings.
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."