This month, I'd like to talk about a cool, useful technique I sometimes use called “double picking,” which involves repeating each note in a melody twice using alternate (down-up) picking. A good example of this technique can be found in the first solo I play in “An Infinite Regression,” from Animals as Leaders’ latest release, Weightless.
Sooner or later, guitarists in every genre of music begin to wonder about the modes: what they are, how best to learn them and how to use them effectively when improvising. In this edition of In Deep, we’ll take a look at the theoretical basis for the modes and cover a few useful ways to apply a modal approach to soloing over commonly used chord vamps.
Last month we looked at some examples of blues phrasing with chromatic passing tones leading to strong chord-tone resolutions, but such neat-and-tidy phrases are only one side of the chromatic picture. On the other side is unresolved tension, i.e. deliberately delaying or avoiding consonant resolutions to create dissonance that evokes feelings of darkness and danger. This sound entered the realm of American pop music in the Fifties through sexy, smoky epics like the Viscounts’ “Harlem Nocturne” and the themes for TV detective series like Peter Gunn and Perry Mason, which paralleled edgy, urban noir (“black”) trends in fiction and film.
A fan of classical music, Randy Rhoads was one of the first American guitarists to successfully incorporate classical music elements into heavy metal. (“Euro-metal” guitarists, including Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker, had also experimented with melding the two genres.) Reportedly, Rhoads was contemplating retiring from rock after the tour to study classical guitar at UCLA. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at examples in the style of Rhoads’ classically influenced solo piece “Dee” as well as “Diary of a Madman” and “Goodbye to Romance,” two other Ozzy favorites that prominently feature acoustic guitar.
I would be a vampire, because they’re stealth, lurk in the shadows, and appear and disappear. There’s also a goth element to vampires that I really like, which doesn’t exist in werewolves, the Frankenstein monster or the mummy. James [Hetfield] would probably enjoy being a Frankenstein monster…but then again maybe not! Rob [Trujillo] would definitely be a werewolf, because he’s already halfway there in appearance.
In the following video, Guitar World's Paul Riario tries out the new Fender Johnny Marr Jaguar Signature Model, a guitar that reviewer Chris Gill calls "the best Jaguar that the company has ever produced."
I call this month’s column “The Riff Welder” because in it I demonstrate a variety of ways you can bring more melodic content to your power-chord-driven ideas through the use of single-note lines and small two-note chord voicings, often referred to as “diads.” I will take a few fairly “stock” chord progressions and, by moving a few notes and voicings around, show you how to devise much more interesting and effective rhythm parts.
In this month’s column, I’d like to talk about practicing with a metronome. I’m sure most of you have read or been told at some point that practicing to a metronome is an important thing for guitar players to do on a regular basis. I think that practicing with a metronome can reap many benefits and have spent a lot of time doing it over the years.