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.
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.
Musician, producer, music publisher and impresario Mike Varney has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the finest rock guitarists of the last 30 years. Varney, who founded Shrapnel Records in 1980, was responsible for the success for some of the biggest names in shred, including Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker — to name just a few.
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