Welcome back to "Learning Mozart's 25th Symphony in G Minor!" It's been about a month since the last installment (which you can check out here), and I've been reviewing the previous parts. I have a few changes I'd like to suggest that I think will improve what we've already learned. I'm learning this piece section by section, so as we progress I might go back to previous parts with new ideas and suggestions.
Gary Moore, one of the most important blues rock guitar players of all time, touched many people with his music. Through a combination of tone, melody and feel, his playing influenced many guitar players all over the world. He should be required listening for any serious musician, no matter what genre (including metal).
In virtually any rock/metal solo, there's always room for pentatonic licks. Even if you prefer to solo with neoclassical or exotic scales, throwing in the occasional pentatonic lick will beef up your solos and make them more interesting. As an example, think about Yngwie Malmsteen. He basically defined the neoclassical shred style of guitar playing, but he often incorporates pentatonic patterns into his solos.
For this lesson, you have two tasks. The first is to learn my example licks and practice them until you can play them at the target tempo (130 bpm). The second is to use my examples as a template to create your own licks from my basic idea. This is a far more valuable exercise, becase the result will give you something you can claim as your own and help develop your own identity or voice as a player.
In 2014, I want to make some big changes to my approach to practicing. I've felt recently as if my current practice routine isn't challenging enough; I was beginning to become stuck in my "comfort zone." So I decided to make a list of changes or improvements I would make to my practice habits in 2014. Here they are.
If you follow my column, you'll know Jake E. Lee is one of my favorite guitar players. I've often referenced him as an influence for several of my lessons, which is why I was extremely excited to hear he was making a comeback with his new band, Red Dragon Cartel.
This new section is great for beginners since there is nothing too challenging, technique-wise. The majority of this section is straight quarter notes, which, even at 160 bpm, is very easy. The only challenge is memorizing all of the arpeggio shapes, which is also a great exercise, particularly for beginners.
Part 2 has nothing challenging in terms of speed, but some of the chord shapes might be tricky. You'll need dexterity to change shape accurately at the correct tempo. Part 2 starts with the same theme at the beginning of Part 1. Every section in Part 2 follows a theme based around the same notes (G - D - Eb - F#) but played a different way each time.
Accurate string bends and vibrato don't come from your hands but from your ears. They can't be practiced mechanically like alternate picking and sweeping. It takes a more careful approach to develop your ear to hear pitch. I've heard many players who can play extremely fast, accurate scales and licks but can't execute a simple string bend and stay in tune.
Unlike my previous series of lessons (where I already knew how to play the piece), I'll be learning the piece with you, section by section. I almost prefer this piece over the Paganini simply because it's a lot easier technique-wise and much easier to play at the correct tempo.