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."
This riff-writing exercise will demonstrate how to create diatonic and borrowed chords based on a chromatic bass line while staying in key. For this example, I’m going to use the key of A minor and the harmonic minor scale as my guide for chord construction.
Nearly all of the greats use arpeggios. Yet, if you're like a lot of guitarists, you might be shying away from them because you fear being overwhelmed by the "Twin Ts": theory and technique. If you have a basic understanding of how chords work, though, it's high time to get your feet wet.
This month’s column focuses on an original composition of mine that acknowledges the influence of classical pianists on my playing style, specifically the way in which pianists will play arpeggios across several octaves very quickly (see FIGURE 1). In order to emulate that sound on the guitar, I’ve devised a few fretboard tapping techniques. In fact, much of my two-hand tapping technique is based on that goal and approach.
In this lesson I discuss a few options I use when playing over dominant 7 chords. I’ll take you through a methodical process of using scales that progressively use more and more dissonant notes. It will be this intermingling of consonant and dissonant sounds that will add a lot of interesting elements to your playing and give your solos the contrast that will keep your audience listening.
As you’ve probably already heard, we have a new guitarist, Chris Broderick [Nevermore, Jag Panzer]. Chris is heavily influenced by Marty Friedman, which is great, because Megadeth play more music from that era of the band than any other and I’ve always liked that particular style.