A lot of players find the minor pentatonic scale a little limiting at times. I admit I felt the same way. It took years of hard work to come up with techniques to help get the sound that was in my head out onto the fretboard. Some of the hurdles players find with this scale is the way it is traditionally taught, as in the two-note-per-string approach. My goal was to use this tonality but have the ferociousness of a player like Steve Vai.
In late April, GuitarWorld.com posted the exclusive premiere of "Gatton," a new instrumental track by guitarist and frequent Guitar World contributor Glenn Proudfoot. The song also features a guest appearance by Johnny Hiland. Today, we have the sequel, if you will. It's the official transcription of the song, courtesy of Proudfoot.
Because my influences are the greats of blues-rock guitar—Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc.—I wanted to be able to stick to the same tonality but adapt it to the heavier, more aggressive style of music I tend to lean toward; certainly in the rock genre, anyway.
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of a new music video from Glenn Proudfoot. The song, "Gatton," a tribute to the late Danny Gatton, features a guest appearance by Johnny Hiland. The track be found on Proudfoot's new studio album, Ineffable.
We all know a solo should be driven by melody, but every solo needs some craziness, too. The pentatonic scale is very melodic by nature, so even when playing fast licks or runs with this scale, there's still an underlying beauty to it (while the speed takes care of the extremeness needed to lift your soloing to new heights).
There are no picked notes at all in this lick; it's all legato and tapping. The big challenge comes with the hammered notes the right-hand index finger hits. While in theory this sounds very easy, it's something we generally don't do on the guitar, so it proves quite difficult.
This particular combination works incredibly well for heavy rock or a more progressive style of soloing. I tend to use this sort of lick to transition between the scales. Because I predominantly use the pentatonic, I find the diminished seven arpeggio is the perfect ingredient to add some ferociousness into the tonality.
This lick is a real showcase of how you can create legato runs using the pentatonic. Predominantly, legato patterns within the pentatonic consist of two-note-per-string pulls and hammers. I like to adopt a combination of this with a wide intervalic approach to add an extra note to the patterns.
The notes in this scale are B, D, E, F, F#, A, with the F being the flat five or added note. Without a doubt, the blues scale is one of the most frequently used scales in rock soloing, and for good reason! When played slow and clean, it sounds very dark, dirty and bluesy. When played more aggressively with legato and tapping, it sounds incredibly modern.