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.
“This first lick [FIGURE 1] is an arpeggio etude [musical-sounding exercise] in A minor that integrates tapping, multiple hammer-on and pull-off combinations and a little bit of economy picking into a steady stream of 16th notes. It pretty much stays within the realm of the A minor pentatonic scale [A C D E G], with the flatted fifth, Eb, added in the last two bars.
I start this lick by ascending a two-octave Bm(add9) arpeggio [B Cs D F#]. This short run is performed legato style, in which all the notes are sounded by the fret hand alone. I don’t use the pick again until the next beat, when I begin down-picking across the D and G strings.
This lick is influenced by Paul Gilbert and Richie Kotzen and incorporates wide fret-hand stretches, string skipping, tapping and legato phrasing. It starts out with a three-notes-per-string A minor pentatonic [A C D E G] flurry played on the A, G and high E strings. To avoid injury, be sure to warm up your fret hand before diving into this lick.
I start with a C power chord as a pickup to the first bar. Sometimes I like to include another fifth below the chord itself. This brings out overtones that give the illusion of a lower root note, especially when you’re using heavy distortion. Even though the tempo marking is shown as "Freely," the lick is meant to be played as fast as you can.
Here's a fast run up the fretboard that I call "the Dominizer" because it’s based on a dominant seven arpeggio, specifically, A7 [A C# E G]. In the first two bars, I play the arpeggio classical-style through several inversions on the top three strings, four notes up, then four notes down, with a quick position shift every two beats.
Here's an exclusive "Betcha Can't Play This" video featuring guitarist Paolo Pieri of Italian death metal band Hour of Penance. Pieri is playing a Carella Black Horseman custom guitar through a 15-watt Fender amp.