I was a little kid, like six or seven years old, when the Beatles came out. I remember hearing their music and I couldn’t imagine where that sound was coming from. Then I saw a picture of the Beatles, and George [Harrison] had an electric guitar, and I was like “That’s it!” It was that sound—the sound of George’s guitar—that first captured me when I was really young. It all goes back to that sound.
I start in the seventh-position B minor pentatonic box pattern with some string skipping and hybrid picking, using my pick-hand middle finger in conjunction with the pick. I hit the first note, on the low E string, with a down-stroke, hammer-on the second note, then pluck the third note, on the D string, with the middle finger, followed by another hammer-on.
On beat three of bar 2, I flip my fret hand over the neck and perform the arpeggios on top of the fretboard. Here, I use my thumb [indicated by the t in the finger prompts below the tab] to fret the low E [sixth string, 12th fret] so I can make the fret-hand transition over the neck without skipping a beat.
For these licks, I employ fretboard tapping in conjunction with string skipping to achieve a very smooth and even sound throughout. I know many guitarists prefer to use sweep picking when playing arpeggios, but to me, the sound of dragging the pick up and down across the strings is a little too abrasive and percussive.
I am often asked how I incorporate chromatic notes into my solos and how I approach playing “outside” the given key center of a
song. If you have ever used the blues scale, then you have already employed chromatic notes in some of the most musical ways possible.
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.
Whether it was jealousy, ego or apathy, the other members of the band didn't seem to care too much for the tune when Harrison introduced it to them and attempted to record initial takes on August 16. After more work on the song on September 3 and 5, he decided he didn't like what he heard and scrapped the recording.
Paul McCartney was generally known for writing "silly love songs" like "Yesterday" or cheeky whimsy like "When I'm Sixty-Four," but occasionally he could rock every bit as hard as John Lennon. While The Beatles recorded numerous violent rockers, few were more fiery, savage and controversial than McCartney's "Helter Skelter."