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.
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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."
Since leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers—for the second time—in 2009, John Frusciante has remained largely absent from the mainstream public eye. But that doesn’t mean the guitarist hasn’t been busy writing, recording and releasing new music. In fact, his output in the past few years has been staggering in both quantity and scope.
I begin in ninth position with a fairly compact shape that spans the ninth to 12th frets. At the end of bar 1 and moving into bar 2, the fret hand shifts down two frets and spreads out to cover a four-fret span, from the seventh fret to the 11th. Use your first, second and fourth fingers to fret the notes.