As a rock/metal guitarist, I am continuously working on writing better guitar riffs. From my perspective, the guitar riff has suffered in modern music in terms of creativity and usage. A good, creative riff is the most important ingredient when writing any rock/metal song. Here are a few tips that might help you write better riffs.
I've been rediscovering pentatonic patterns lately. While searching for new licks and scales to incorporate into my playing, I occasionally like to re-examine pentatonic shapes. In this lesson, I want to give you some tips on how to construct your own ascending and descending pentatonic patterns. To begin, we must make a pattern of notes from the pentatonic scale.
We have learned a large portion of the piece, and for this new lesson I'm going to set you a rather difficult challenge. At this point in the piece, we are meant to repeat in full everything we have learned so far. I thought it would make a fun challenge if we played everything one octave up for this repeat.
Welcome back to "Learning Mozart's 25th Symphony in G Minor!" It's been about a month since the last installment (which you can check out here), and I've been reviewing the previous parts. I have a few changes I'd like to suggest that I think will improve what we've already learned. I'm learning this piece section by section, so as we progress I might go back to previous parts with new ideas and suggestions.
Gary Moore, one of the most important blues rock guitar players of all time, touched many people with his music. Through a combination of tone, melody and feel, his playing influenced many guitar players all over the world. He should be required listening for any serious musician, no matter what genre (including metal).
In virtually any rock/metal solo, there's always room for pentatonic licks. Even if you prefer to solo with neoclassical or exotic scales, throwing in the occasional pentatonic lick will beef up your solos and make them more interesting. As an example, think about Yngwie Malmsteen. He basically defined the neoclassical shred style of guitar playing, but he often incorporates pentatonic patterns into his solos.
For this lesson, you have two tasks. The first is to learn my example licks and practice them until you can play them at the target tempo (130 bpm). The second is to use my examples as a template to create your own licks from my basic idea. This is a far more valuable exercise, becase the result will give you something you can claim as your own and help develop your own identity or voice as a player.
In 2014, I want to make some big changes to my approach to practicing. I've felt recently as if my current practice routine isn't challenging enough; I was beginning to become stuck in my "comfort zone." So I decided to make a list of changes or improvements I would make to my practice habits in 2014. Here they are.
As 2014 rapidly approaches, Guitar World is taking a nostalgic look back at the most popular GuitarWorld.com stories, videos, lessons and features of 2013. Be sure to check out our other Year in Review stories here!
If you follow my column, you'll know Jake E. Lee is one of my favorite guitar players. I've often referenced him as an influence for several of my lessons, which is why I was extremely excited to hear he was making a comeback with his new band, Red Dragon Cartel.