For some of the really fast passages, I could hear that they were using a legato approach—incorporating an abundance of hammer-ons, pull-offs and finger slides—but I had absolutely no idea how to play the guitar in that way or achieve anywhere near their speed and precision. It sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before, so I always referred to it as “alien guitar.”
The interesting thing here is that I'm using a combination of the major 3rd (C#) and the flat 5 (D#). When you analyze this, you see this creates a chromatic run starting from the C note moving through to the E. This is a valuable thing to note, especially if you're applying this kind if approach to fusion, blues or jazz.
There's nothing new to this approach. Blues players have been adding these notes to the basic pentatonic for eons. But the difference here is that I apply this system to a heavy/hard-rock style of playing. I do this with a combination of sweeps and legato, which creates a very hard-edge modern sound while still keeping the blues tonality.
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.
In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E major 3rd pentatonic. The notes in this scale are E, G#, A, B, D. As you can see from the notes, I'm substituting the G minor 3rd with the G# major 3rd. This particular variation of the scale gives a less aggressive sound and is a great way to inject a little character into your runs and melodies. This also happens to be one of my favorite scales.
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Bam!" — a new music video by Australian guitarist Glenn Proudfoot, who some of you might know from his Monster Licks lessons. As an added bonus, the track — and the video — feature appearances by another Aussie, the legendary Tommy Emmanuel.
In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E major 3rd pentatonic scale. What I actually do with this scale is add the major 3rd, but I don't substitute it for the minor 3rd. I keep the minor 3rd in the scale. So the notes in the scale are as follows: E, G, G#, A, B, D. This is nothing new; all the blues greats have done this. I just give it a different spin by ... Read on!
This particular lick, and the style I've developed, is the result of my obsession with Eric Johnson. When I first saw him play, I was so captivated and blown away that I set about learning everything and anything I could of his work. Until I discovered his playing, my influences where SRV, Hendrix, Beck and Clapton. My love of the blues-rock guitar style and tonality is something I can't shake.
What I wanted to break away from with my soloing and playing was the box form of the pentatonic and the repeated licks you hear everybody play. The sound in my head was very clear, but the challenge of making it a reality was huge. I started by combining two of the boxes and creating three-string arpeggios. From there, I started working on the transitions to combine them.