Blogs http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/61/0 en Betcha Can't Play This: Luis Carlos Maldonado's Add9 Roller Coaster http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-luis-carlos-maldonados-add9-roller-coaster <!--paging_filter--><p> This is an alternate-picking run based on an add9 arpeggio shape on the top three strings that’s moved up and down the neck to four different positions and tonal centers, with a slight variation in bar 2. </p> <p>It begins in E, moves down to C with a little twist—more on that in a moment—then up to D and finally A.</p> <p> The first thing you’ll notice is that the pinkie is the lead-off finger in each bar and that a five-fret stretch is required between it and the index finger for the first two notes. [Fret-hand fingerings are indicated throughout the run.] </p> <p>Be sure to ease into these stretches and warm up with them in the upper area of the fretboard before attempting them in the lower positions.</p> <p> For bar 2, I felt it sounded more colorful and interesting to alter the basic Cadd9 arpeggio [C D E G] by incorporating the #11, or #4, F#, into it, and in so doing the notes on the B and G strings are played two frets higher than where they would be if I would have simply applied the initial add9 shape from bar 1 to this position. In bar 3, the pinkie does a quick slide up to D, and the initial cell from bar 1 is used again, only a whole step lower.</p> <p> Notice the common tones on the B and G strings in bars 2 and 3. The run concludes with a long pinkie slide up to A at the 17th fret—be careful not to overshoot it—and an Aadd9 arpeggio.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FVUgmYFhH7Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%204.32.24%20PM.png" width="620" height="238" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 4.32.24 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-luis-carlos-maldonados-add9-roller-coaster#comments Betcha Can't Play This Luis Carlos Maldonado May 2010 Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:03:09 +0000 Luis Carlos Maldonado http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21011 Merchant of Menace with Jeff Loomis: Incorporating Sweep Arpeggios with Fast-Moving Position Shifts http://www.guitarworld.com/merchant-menace-jeff-loomis-incorporating-sweep-arpeggios-fast-moving-position-shifts <!--paging_filter--><p> This month, I ’d like to finish our analysis of the guitar solo from the title track of Nevermore’s latest release, <em>The Obsidian Conspiracy</em>, with a look at the last four bars of the solo, which carry into the first bar of the subsequent verse.</p> <p> The majority of what I play during this section is built from sweep arpeggios of B minor triads (B D F#) that shift through a variety of positions. There’s a lot happening in this little four-bar section, so let’s get to it.</p> <p> For this last section of the solo, illustrated in <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I’m playing over the same rhythm part that was illustrated in last month’s column. </p> <p>As this rhythm part sits on the B minor “home” tonality for two full bars, it gives me plenty of room to explore fast-moving sweeps based on B minor triads: I begin in 10th position on the top three strings, quickly descending as I pull off with the pinkie on F#, first string/14th fret, to the index finger on D, first string/10th fret, followed by the middle finger on B, second string/12th fret. </p> <p>The index finger then moves down to F#, third string/11th fret to complete the first descent, after which I ascend through the same series of notes, and then carry the subsequent descent back through the same note series all the way down to the fifth string in one long upstroke sweep. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 2a</strong> illustrates this sweep in isolation; notice that the arpeggio covers three octaves, starting from a high F# (the fifth of B) and carrying through to F# two octaves lower. The nice thing about playing a seven-string is that it allows me to expand this downward sweeping pattern all the way down through another complete octave, culminating on a low F#, seventh string/ninth fret, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 2b</strong>. </p> <p>If you put the pieces of both sweeps together, you get the complete 9th/10th position sweep shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. I recommend that you practice each of these elements with both upstroke and downstroke sweeps, starting slowly and concentrating on clear articulation when either dragging the pick across the strings.</p> <p> Looking back at <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, you can see that I like to “cycle” smaller pieces of the arpeggios before expanding them across the majority of the strings. For example, I begin by repeating the small four-note/three-string sweep on the top three strings, and then, on beat three, I “cycle” the four-note/three-string sweep across the bottom three strings.</p> <p> Then on beat four, I sweep back across all of the strings, from low to high. Bar 2 begins in a similar fashion to bar 1, but starting on the upbeat of beat two, with the index finger on F#, fifth string/ninth fret, I change positions by sliding the index finger up to B at the 14th fret, allowing me to initiate upward and downward sweeps across 14th position B minor triads, which I then “cycle” up and down across the top five strings.</p> <p> On the upbeat of beat four in bar 2, I use the index finger once again for a quick position shift, sliding from F# at the 14th fret to the B root note at the 19th fret. Now situated in 19th position in bar 4, I wrap up the solo with more conventional B Aeolian type riffs, utilizing hammer-ons, pulloffs and bends for a legato sound, emphasizing very wide vibratos on each sustained note. </p> <p> I tried to articulate a feeling of rhythmic freedom while executing all of these sweeps, thus the odd groupings of decuplets (10 notes played over one beat) and nonuplets (nine notes played over one beat) as well as pairs of 32nd note sextuplets (six notes) played over one beat.</p> <p> The rhythmic precision of these groupings is less important than the effect created by crossing the strings in alternating sweeps very quickly, which takes a lot of practice to master. </p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience919847812001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="919847812001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%203.43.41%20PM_0.png" width="620" height="498" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.43.41 PM_0.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%203.43.54%20PM.png" width="620" height="152" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.43.54 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jeff-loomis">Jeff Loomis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/merchant-menace-jeff-loomis-incorporating-sweep-arpeggios-fast-moving-position-shifts#comments 2011 February 2011 Jeff Loomis The Merchant of Menace Blogs Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:50:37 +0000 Jeff Loomis http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21010 Thoughts on Using Your Computer As a Guitar Amp http://www.guitarworld.com/thoughts-using-your-computer-guitar-amp <!--paging_filter--><p>I never thought I'd be writing about using a computer as an amp. </p> <p>I absolutely adore my 2x12 Deville, love the sound of a Marshall stack, the brutality of a Mesa, etc. I love the feeling of an amp screaming at you live — and feeling the rumble in the floor. </p> <p>That being said, amps are heavy, and you'd have to be borderline insane (or Captain America) to carry them all around a city, especially New York City during rush hour. A computer, a charger, two cables and a quarter-inch to eighth-inch adapter (all in one bag) is my go-to for the smaller gigs that come my way.</p> <p><strong>“But I love my tube amp!”</strong></p> <p>I totally understand that, and plugging directly into Garageband doesn't produce the best sounds. Many guitarists already know about Axe-Fx II, but there are many other programs to play around with that aren't as expensive yet produce awesome sounds. Guitar Rig 5, for example. </p> <p>One huge complaint among amp users about amp simulators is the lack of body. Hearing a speaker scream in a wood box is not easy to replicate, no matter the electronics. Despite my saying I use my computer for smaller gigs, I still like to make sure whatever venue I'm playing has a decent PA system. The PA won't turn into your amp, but it will sound like a pre-recorded version of you playing. </p> <p>That's where a lot of people get turned around. Expecting it to sound exactly like an amp isn't possible yet, but expecting it to sound like a living iPod, or like you're in the control room of a recording studio instead of the live room, is possible. It's also an experience that is about 40 pounds lighter.</p> <p>When preparing for a computer-amp gig, it's best to keep it simple, tone wise. Having a clean tone, a dirty rhythm tone and a solo tone keeps it very easy and reliable. Changing presets during a show is dangerous as some are much different in volume from each other. Sticking to three and matching the volume beforehand with your monitors at home or even headphones saves a lot of time and mistakes. Also making sure your input recording volume isn't too loud is an easily forgotten step that is crucial is making sure your tone isn't clipping. Unlike an overdriven amp, a clipping signal does not sound good.</p> <p><strong>“But what about the dynamics from my amp?”</strong></p> <p>Depending on your pickups, they still exist. I was actually surprised by this. Playing on the dirty rhythm channel with my Strat, I was fully expecting to having the saturation level remain the same whether or not I turned my guitar volume down. Turns out it reacts just the same, and I was a able to have a relatively clean arpeggiated pattern turn into a distorted power chords, just as I would with my amp.</p> <p>At some point, a wah pedal must have sounded weird and confusing to people, and now it's been a common pedal for 50 years. Coming from an amp and pedal-board lover, I highly suggest taking some time to figure out different amp modelers for smaller gigs.</p> <p><em>Elliott Klein is a New York City-based guitarist/singer/songwriter who plays in <a href="http://brightandloud.bandcamp.com">Bright and Loud</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/partylightsband">Party Lights</a> and many more.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/thoughts-using-your-computer-guitar-amp#comments Elliott Klein Blogs Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:32:45 +0000 Elliott Klein http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21009 Betcha Can't Play This: Bill Hudson's Lydian Cascade http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-bill-hudsons-lydian-cascade <!--paging_filter--><p>This is a scalar run based on the F Lydian mode [F G A B C D E], which is the fifth mode of C major. It incorporates several different lead-playing techniques and sounds cool when played over an F or F5 chord.</p> <p>I start off with an ascending F major triad [F A C] sweep across the top four strings, played in a rhythm of 16th-note triplets. </p> <p>Once I hit the high E string, I switch to legato phrasing, continuing the triplet rhythm and using all four fret-hand fingers, spread out wide, to perform "stacked" hammer-ons and pull-offs, capped off by a pick-hand tap with the middle finger.</p> <p> Once I come back down to the F note at the 13th fret, I skip over to the G string, where I play another legato sequence, this time incorporating a descending finger slide followed by two hammer-ons and three consecutive taps with the pick hand, using the first, second and fourth fingers.</p> <p> When performing this tapping sequence, I temporarily clamp the pick between my thumb and the top side of the fretboard. I then jump back up to the high E string and perform another ascending legato sequence, incorporating taps with the first and third fingers. </p> <p> After the last tapped note, I switch to straight alternate picking and play a descending sequence of cascading 16th notes and 16th-note triplets across the top four strings, followed by an ascending climb that finishes with a high bend. When practicing this lick, be mindful of the different rhythmic subdivisions used.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9Btp369CEsg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-14%20at%201.08.38%20PM.png" width="620" height="379" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 1.08.38 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-bill-hudsons-lydian-cascade#comments Betcha Can't Play This Bill Hudson February 2011 Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:22:24 +0000 Bill Hudson http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21007 How I Make One Guitar Sound Like an Army http://www.guitarworld.com/how-i-make-one-guitar-sound-army <!--paging_filter--><p><em>As the singer/guitarist in Swedish rock duo Johnossi, John Engelbert knows a thing or two about filling up space with a six string. You can hear Engelbert's work on Johnossi's new release, </em>Transitions.</p> <p><em>In the meantime, read his tips to maximize your own guitar sound (and check the video for "Into the Wild") below.</em></p> <p>I could speak for hours about guitar tones...but I'm not going to! Instead here's a short list of how you can make one guitar sound like an army.</p> <p><strong>01. PLAY HARD AS FUCK.</strong> This is the most important thing. Don't strum like a chicken. Strum like a beast!</p> <p><strong>02. USE THICK STRINGS.</strong> It may seem obvious, but with thick strings, like .013-.056., you have to play hard as fuck (see above) in order to tame the feedback.</p> <p><strong>03. CRANK UP THE AMP VOLUME.</strong> Don't leave all the volume for the sound guy to decide, because he's probably a pussy when it comes to cranking it up. A lot of output from the main source is always good.</p> <p><strong>04. KNOW YOUR PEDALS.</strong> Figure out how to use your pedals...and don't be afraid to really turn up the volume. If your clean tone is high as fuck on the amp, an Ibanez Tube Screamer with the volume set to max will sound <em>amazing</em>.</p> <p><strong>05. TRICK OUT YOUR SOUND.</strong> It's crucial to develop your own little secret trick that makes you sound like you...and don't ever tell anyone about it.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/john-amps.jpg" width="620" height="232" alt="john-amps.jpg" /></p> <p>My main amps (pictured above) are a Music Man 410 Sixty-Five (Most people think the Fender Super Reverb sounds better, but I prefer this one) and a Marshall Super Lead head through a vintage 412 Celestion cabinet.</p> <p>My main guitar is a very rare Lag acoustic from 2001-2002. Only five were ever made, and I own four. Note that I play acoustic guitar with an acoustic guitar pickup through amps, pedals and all. It sounds like an electric guitar but with a unique sound.</p> <p>For our first three records I only used the Lag acoustics. For our latest record I started to use a 1957 blonde Kay Barney Kessel electric guitar. The Barney Kessel pickups have a really unique fat warm tone I love.</p> <p>Last but not least, here are my pedalboards:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/pedals1.jpg" width="620" height="465" alt="pedals1.jpg" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/pedals2.jpg" width="620" height="370" alt="pedals2.jpg" /></p> <p>Watch the video for Johnossi's "Into the Wild" below:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bidMAWeAZmg?list=UUH_PHeG32Ejlyh6sbTxNz8Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/how-i-make-one-guitar-sound-army#comments Johnossi Blogs News Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:59:03 +0000 John Engelbert http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20957 Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Visualizing Melodic Shapes on the Fretboard http://www.guitarworld.com/wild-stringdom-john-petrucci-visualizing-melodic-shapes-fretboard <!--paging_filter--><p>This month, I’d like to delve deeper into concepts for expanding scalar ideas across the fretboard. </p> <p>As in the previous columns, I’ll demonstrate how to move diagonally across the fretboard to connect scale positions, an approach that I employ to a great extent to play melodic phrases and solos. </p> <p>Let’s start with a series of phrases that are all based on the E Aeolian mode, or E natural minor scale (E F# G A B C D). <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> details a series of three different three-note phrases, each played in a three-notes-per-string pattern and starting with the index finger. I begin in seventh position and play through the first six notes of E Aeolian. </p> <p>In bar 2, I shift up to ninth position and play a six-note pattern that begins on the fifth degree of E Aeolian, B, sounding the notes B C D E F# G. Finally, I move up to 11th position to play a six-note pattern beginning on the second, or ninth, F#, sounding the notes F# G A B C D. </p> <p> The high D at the end of the phrase is useful, because it can easily be bent up one whole step to the E root. By connecting all three patterns this way, I am moving up the fretboard in a diagonal path that covers a lot of range. </p> <p> A great way to practice this pattern is within a steady series of eighth-note triplets, as seen in <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. Use alternate (down-up) picking throughout, and strive to make the position shifts seamless. Once you have these “shapes” for each six-note group under your fingers, you should be able to move freely from the A string to the D and G and back, using just your ear to guide the melodic phrases you create.</p> <p> Within the first six-note phrase, we have the notes of an E minor triad: E G B. Now let’s look at how we can apply notes from this series to create different chord types. In <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, I demonstrate voicings of Em, Esus2 and another “wide-stretch” Em voicing from the notes found in this pattern. I can then play melodic fills based on it. </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 4 </strong> offers a more expanded example of this concept. I’ll often use this approach to create chordmelody-type ideas, such as that shown in <strong>FIGURE 5</strong>. Here, I’m using the open low E note as a pedal tone played against various two-note chords. I also like incorporating the ninth, F#, into Em voicings, resulting in the wide-stretch Em(add9) shapes shown in <strong>FIGURE 6.</strong> </p> <p> <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> puts a twist on this idea by adding the second, also F#, to an E minor triad, E G B. Lastly, I use note combinations from the pattern to create a series of two-note chords that live in E Aeolian, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURE 8.</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience2888611424001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="2888611424001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-10%20at%202.09.53%20PM.png" width="580" height="604" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.09.53 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-10%20at%202.10.09%20PM.png" width="580" height="334" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.10.09 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-petrucci">John Petrucci</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/dream-theater">Dream Theater</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/wild-stringdom-john-petrucci-visualizing-melodic-shapes-fretboard#comments Dream Theater January 2014 John Petrucci Wild Stringdom Artist Lessons Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:18:16 +0000 John Petrucci http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19912 Are You Being Held Hostage by Your Guitar? http://www.guitarworld.com/are-you-being-held-hostage-your-guitar <!--paging_filter--><p>This is my first column for GuitarWorld.com. </p> <p>So let me risk it being my last one by offering a suggestion that goes against one of the deepest desires of guitarists and a basic premise of this magazine: Maybe you should rethink your dream guitar, because owning one can be a nightmare.</p> <p>One of the contributors to a guitar forum I read owned a gorgeous original 1950s Telecaster. Every so often, he would post photos of it, just to get our hearts racing.</p> <p>It was everything you could want in a classic, vintage Tele. The guitar was in nearly mint condition, with ash grain swirling in eddies beneath the surface of a flawless nitro finish. Light sparkled off shiny metalwork as it sat like a jewel in its original case.</p> <p>That guitar was breathtaking, and we all coveted it. I needed both hands to count the number of commandments I’d have been willing to break to make it mine.</p> <p>Yet its owner hardly ever played it. Why? From what he said, it sounded and played as good as it looked. But having bought such a pristine and valuable instrument, he came to realize that if he actually played the guitar, eventually it wouldn’t be quite so pristine or valuable anymore.</p> <p>And so that wonderful Tele stayed mostly locked away, shown only to other guitarists who could appreciate its unmarred beauty, with perhaps a tune or two played gently on it before being returned to the safety of its case.</p> <p>The last I heard, he was planning on selling his guitar, because he just couldn’t bring himself to use it.</p> <p>Lessons are an integral part of <em>Guitar World</em>. The lesson here is that before you chase after the guitar of your dreams, think about what that dream really is. Is your ultimate guitar a piece of art, an investment to be held somewhere safe that won’t affect its resale value? If so, that’s fine; talk to your insurance agent, call your accountant, and if they agree, go for it.</p> <p>But if you want to play the thing, let me suggest a different definition of a dream guitar: something to make memories on with your friends, at jam nights in bars, with your band — in short, wherever you want to create music with all the emotion that the right guitar can inspire in you. And that means a willingness to go out there and use it, wear it down in spots, get it dinged, and even take a chance that eventually it may get hurt or broken.</p> <p>Yeah, something like your heart.</p> <p>I have guitars ranging from a Squier Bullet to a pre-war Gibson. What makes each a dream guitar for me is that each gets played regularly, whenever and wherever I want. I’ve never bought a guitar — even a vintage one — that I wasn’t willing to take a chance with damaging or losing as long as it also meant the chance to play and enjoy it.</p> <p>So consider whether your personal dream guitar will look as intoxicating in the sober light of ownership. You might fantasize about that $6,000 handmade acoustic. But will you actually play it more often than you brag about it? If not, maybe a $600 off-the-shelf model that you’ll play every day, everywhere, will give you more guitar happiness in the long run.</p> <p>In the meantime, here’s hoping you get the guitar you truly want. Even if it’s a Martin with three humbuckers and a whammy bar.</p> <p><em>William Baeck is a writer, photographer and hack guitarist living in London. You can check out his webpage at <a href="http://williambaeck.com/WilliamBaeck.com/Home.html">williambaeck.com</a> and reach him on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/WilliamBaeck">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/williambaeck">Twitter.</a></em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/are-you-being-held-hostage-your-guitar#comments William Baeck Blogs Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:49:22 +0000 William Baeck http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19978 Beyond the Fretboard: The Double-Edged Sword of Guitar Idols, Part 1 http://www.guitarworld.com/beyond-fretboard-double-edged-sword-guitar-idols-part-1 <!--paging_filter--><p>Every guitarist (myself included) can likely point to one main source of inspiration that captured our ears' undivided attention during our formative years. </p> <p>This source might have even been the reason many of us picked up the guitar in the first place.</p> <p>Obviously, I'm talking about the guitar idol (or guitar god). Every generation has had a few. What is less discussed is the positive and negative consequences of having a singular icon for an entire generation of aspiring musicians.</p> <p>The first incarnation of the guitar idol in popular culture was probably Jimi Hendrix. He could be thought of as the archetype who set the standard to which all other guitar idols would be compared. </p> <p>What Hendrix brought to rock was multi-dimensional: He popularized a new tonal quality of the electric guitar (overdriven distortion), his signature blues/pentatonic lead playing helped usher in the current musical paradigm that all rock guitarists know and love. He also raised the bar on what it meant to have an exciting and unpredictable stage presence that could captivate any audience.</p> <p>Since Hendrix's untimely passing, there have been other noteworthy guitar gods who have carved their own path into rock and roll history, including Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai and Slash, among others.</p> <p>It's hard to imagine how rock or heavy metal would have evolved without this essential cast of characters. However, it's important to be objective and to look at both sides of the fence when evaluating the impact these players' fame and reputation have had on future guitarists as well as their own musical growth.</p> <p><strong>YOU CAN'T PUT A PRICE TAG ON INSPIRATION</strong></p> <p>It's hard to excel at anything in life if a person is underwhelmed by others who have come before them. Hendrix's legacy set off a domino effect of rock star culture that would last for the next 30 years. The YouTube sensations of today were inspired by the greats of the late Seventies and Eighties, who were inspired by Hendrix. </p> <p>Before we dive into the potential drawbacks of "guitar idol" status, we must not forget the endless amount of talented musicians who were drawn to the guitar over other instruments (Somewhere in a parallel universe, Eddie Van Halen might be playing classical piano at Carnegie Hall).</p> <p><strong>THE PITFALLS OF INSPIRATION</strong></p> <p>Many people are so awe-struck by their idols that when it's their time to shine, imitation can be an unfortunate result. You might not even realize it at first, but a "cult of personality" (Shout out to Living Colour!) is developed and sometimes engineered by the record label. This not only influences your guitar playing but also could alter lifestyle habits. How many guitarists started smoking cigarettes because they saw Keith Richards with one in his mouth at every show?</p> <p>Particularly on a musical level, if all you learn are Van Halen tapping licks, how do you think you're going to sound when you write your own music? Even worse, how many other players have also learned all the Van Halen licks just like you?</p> <p>Arguably, no one's really immune to this phenomenon of imitation, especially at a young age (I wasn't). But if your long-term goal is to write your own music, then an attempt to minimize it (or diversify your influences) would be beneficial.</p> <p>I can remember my own experience with this when I'd read magazine articles by the late, great Dimebag Darrell. As some of you may know, he would regularly profess his ignorance toward the topic of music theory. He seemed to be so naturally in tune with the world of music that he just played by ear (claiming he only knew one or two scales).</p> <p>I was blown away by his comments because I was originally convinced he was a music theory buff simply by hearing his fluid and effortless mastery of the fretboard. The effects his comments had on me were good and bad.</p> <p>The positive effect was that I no longer saw music theory as a road block to my success. This helped me develop my natural ear for music as well as solidify my rhythm chops by constantly jamming to cover songs or with my brother, who plays drums.</p> <p>The downside was that, for many years (the first 10 years of my playing), I knew virtually nothing about even the basics of music theory. Sure, I intuitively understood the concepts of tonal center and the musical differences between major and minor chords, but I was completely incapable of articulating these topics to others. I figured, "If Dimebag succeeded without knowing theory, I probably don't need it either."</p> <p>But now that I'm quite comfortable with theory, I think it helped me grow beyond the creative box where I later found myself. I now have so many more options when it comes to creating and composing music. And there's also the obvious benefit of communicating this information to others when I'm teaching (which is something I've come to enjoy).</p> <p>For the record, this anecdote was not a sneaky attempt at promoting music theory. The opposite might have been the case; I could have been a diehard fan of John Petrucci and, while reading his interviews, decided I wanted to go to school for music. But what if I had the personality of a Dimebag Darrell? The potential drudgery of studying music in college might have tainted my passion.</p> <p>So there clearly are advantages and disadvantages to this paradigm.</p> <p>But we're not done just yet. There are a few more consequences of having guitar idols, which I'd like to discuss in the next installment of this column. Notably, the effect this "cult of personality" has on the musicians themselves. We'll also explore the future viability of guitar idols in the new internet landscape. To be continued ...</p> <p><em>Chris Breen is a New Jersey-based guitarist with 14 years of experience under his belt. He, along with his brother Jon (on drums) started the two-piece metal project known as <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ScarsicBand">SCARSIC</a> in 2011. They've recently been joined by bassist Bill Loucas and have released an album, </em>A Tale of Two Worlds<em> (available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify). Chris also is part of an all-acoustic side project called <a href="http://www.reverbnation.com/EyesTurnStone">Eyes Turn Stone</a>. Chris teaches guitar lessons (in person or via Skype). For more information, visit <a href="http://www.breenmusiclessons.com/">BreenMusicLessons.com</a>.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/beyond-fretboard-double-edged-sword-guitar-idols-part-1#comments Beyond the Fretboard Chris Breen Blogs Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:22:24 +0000 Chris Breen http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20980 Betcha Can't Play This: Dave Reffett's Symmetrical Spider http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-dave-reffetts-symmetrical-spider <!--paging_filter--><p> This is a wide-stretch, legato string-skipping idea that’s based on a symmetrical fretboard shape that moves across the neck in a single position. </p> <p> It’s articulated entirely with fret-hand hammer-ons and pull-offs and, as demonstrated in the video below, I use my pick hand as a string damper by reaching over behind the fret hand and lightly grabbing the neck to mute the idle strings and prevent them from ringing.</p> <p> This lick requires quite a wide stretch, so make sure your fret hand is warmed and limbered up. All the notes except for the very last one fall on the 12th, 15th and 19th frets, fingered with the index finger, middle finger and pinkie, respectively. </p> <p> The first note on each string is initiated with a tap, or "hammer-on from nowhere," at either the 12th or 19th fret, followed by conventional hammer-ons or pull-offs. The goal here is even note volume, so make sure each hammer-on is quick and firm, and when pulling off, be sure to yank the string in toward the palm as you let go of it.</p> <p> I stay on the top three strings for the first two bars, then make my way over to the lower strings in bars 3 and 4. When I get to the low E, I go 19, 12, 15, then slide the middle finger from the 15th fret up to the 21st and perform a wide pull-down bend, decorating it with some fierce vibrato. Be sure to reinforce the bend and vibrato with the index finger.</p> <p> The lick sounds pretty cool and dissonant when played over Em or E5. You could also try playing it conventionally, attacking the first note on each string with the pick.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Px59CFAicnE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-09%20at%2010.49.09%20AM.png" width="620" height="223" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.49.09 AM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-dave-reffetts-symmetrical-spider#comments Betcha Can't Play This Dave Reffett October 2010 Videos Blogs News Lessons Magazine Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:54:20 +0000 Dave Reffett http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20974 Betcha Can't Play This: Tapping and Skipping with Andy Wood http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-tapping-and-skipping-andy-wood <!--paging_filter--><p>This is a tapping run that incorporates string skipping and a couple of fret-hand finger slides.</p> <p> It’s based on the A natural minor scale [A B C D E F G], but the notes are organized into arpeggios, which imply some interesting "tall" chord sounds. </p> <p>Although it is played in steady 16th notes, it sounds and feels out of time because of the unusual melodic contour.</p> <p> When skipping to another string, often the first note is hammered on "from nowhere" by one of the fret-hand fingers [indicated by "H"]. Strive for an even attack and volume note to note, making each hammer-on quick and firm. When pulling off, flick the string slightly sideways, in toward the palm. </p> <p>I tap a couple of the notes on the high E string with my ring finger, which makes the jumps across the strings a little easier. Mute the strings you’re not playing on with your pick-hand palm to keep them from ringing.</p> <p> The lick ends with a big bend on the B string, which I perform by tapping the string then bending it upward with both hands, using the fret hand’s fingers to help the tapping finger bend the string.</p> <p> For more on Wood and his band, Down from Up, visit <a href="http://www.andywoodmusic.com/">andywoodmusic.com</a> and <a href="http://www.downfromup.com/">downfromup.com</a>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uvyxn2kkEVY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-07%20at%203.43.33%20PM.png" width="620" height="393" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 3.43.33 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-tapping-and-skipping-andy-wood#comments Andy Wood Betcha Can't Play This Down From Up June 2010 Betcha Can't Play This Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:16:23 +0000 Andy Wood http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20956 Jazz Guitar Corner: One Quick Trick to Solo Over 7b9 Chords http://www.guitarworld.com/jazz-guitar-corner-one-quick-trick-solo-over-7b9-chords <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the questions I get asked the most is, “How can I spice up my diminished-scale soloing ideas beyond just playing the scale or the arpeggio?”</p> <p>To help answer this question, in this lesson we’ll be looking into one of my favorite ways to expand your 7b9 diminished soloing ideas using various arpeggios built from the underlying harmony of the scale. </p> <p>By looking into the four dim7 and four 7th chords that are built from this scale, you can quickly expand your 7b9 diminished soloing ideas without having to study anything beyond these two common arpeggio shapes. </p> <p>Let’s dig in and check out how you can use harmonic arpeggios to build interesting lines when using a 7b9 diminished scale in your soloing ideas. </p> <p><strong>What is the 7b9 Diminished Scale?</strong></p> <p>To begin, let’s take a quick look at the 7b9 diminished scale, otherwise known as the half whole diminished scale, before moving on to looking at the harmony built from the notes in this scale. </p> <p>This eight-note scale has the following interval pattern:</p> <p>Root-m2-m3-M3-D5-P5-6-b7</p> <p>You can think of some of these notes as several intervals depending on how you see the fretboard, such as seeing the M3 as a D4, or the D5 as an A4, but I find that the above intervals are the easiest way for me to visualize them quickly on the fretboard. </p> <p>This scale, as the name suggests, is used to solo over a 7b9 chords, and you can see a sample two-octave fingering for this scale over an A7b9 chord below. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Diminished%20Harmony%201.jpg" width="620" height="157" alt="Diminished Harmony 1.jpg" /></p> <p>If this scale is new to you, try working it in 12 keys across the fretboard, as well as finding at least two or three fingerings you can use to play this scale in different parts of the fretboard, such as sixth-, fifth- and fourth-string root fingerings. </p> <p><strong>7b9 Diminished Scale Harmony</strong></p> <p>One of the coolest musical concepts that comes from the 7b9 diminished scale, again otherwise known as the half-whole diminished scale, is the arpeggio patterns that are derived from this scale. </p> <p>Along with the four dim7 chords that come from this scale, from the b9, 3, 5 and b7 of the underlying chord, you can also derive four 7th chords from the same scale, built from the root, b3, b5 and dim7 of the scale. </p> <p>When applied to an A7b9 chord, you can build four dim7 and four 7th chords from the underlying diminished scale that you can then use to solo over this chord type in your jazz guitar improvisations. </p> <p>7ths – A7, C7, Eb7, Gb7<br /> dim7 – Bbdim7, Dbdim7, Edim7, Gdim7</p> <p>You can see these arpeggios with a sample fingering below that you can use as a starting point when taking these arpeggios to your jazz guitar practice routine. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Diminished%20Harmony%202-png.jpg" width="620" height="313" alt="Diminished Harmony 2-png.jpg" /></p> <p>When you have worked out this arpeggio pattern over A7b9, make sure to practice it in other positions on the fretboard for this chord, as well as apply this concept to all 12 keys of 7b9 chords around the fretboard as you expand upon these arps in the woodshed. </p> <p>As well, try putting on a 7b9 backing track and play these arpeggios, one at a time or several combined at once, over this track in order to hear how they sound when applied to a harmonic situation. </p> <p><strong>7b9 Diminished Scale Lick</strong></p> <p>To help you take this idea to a musical situation in your practicing, here is a sample lick that uses the arpeggios from the previous section to outline the V7b9 chord in a ii V I progression in the key of D minor. </p> <p>Once you have memorized this lick in the key of D minor, practice running it through all 12 keys at different tempos around the fretboard, as well as apply it to tunes that you are shedding in your practice routine. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143545608&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Diminished%20Harmony%203.jpg" width="620" height="163" alt="Diminished Harmony 3.jpg" /></p> <p>When this lick is comfortable in your playing, try writing out three to five similar licks of your own that use the concepts from this lesson to create those jazz guitar 7b9 phrases. </p> <p><strong>Practicing 7b9 Diminished Scale Harmony</strong></p> <p>Once you have checked out the arpeggios and lick in the above lesson, you can move forward with this material in your own jazz guitar practice routine. Here are five exercises you can do to expand upon these ideas. </p> <p><strong>01.</strong> Put on an A7b9 backing track and solo over that chord using the A7 half-whole diminished scale as the basis for your lines.<br /> <strong>02.</strong> Solo over the same A7b9 backing track using only the four 7th chords from the HW dim scale to build your lines, A7-C7-Eb7-Gb7.<br /> <strong>03.</strong> Solo over the same A7b9 backing track using only the four dim7 chords from the HW dim scale to build your lines, Bbdim7-Dbdim7-Edim7-Gdim7.<br /> <strong>04.</strong> Repeat exercises 1 to 3 over all 12 keys for 7b9 chords.<br /> <strong>05.</strong> Put on a tune such as "Tune Up" by Miles Davis and treat every 7th chord as a 7b9 chord in order to use the scale and arps from this lesson to build your lines over those changes. </p> <p>From there, try taking this diminished scale harmony material to other tunes that you know or are working on in the woodshed as you take these concepts further in the practice room. </p> <p>Do you have a question about 7b9 diminished scale harmony? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. </p> <p><em>Matt Warnock is the owner of <a href="http://www.mattwarnockguitar.com">mattwarnockguitar.com</a>, a free website that provides hundreds of lessons and resources designed to help guitarists of all experience levels meet their practice and performance goals. Matt lives in the UK, where he is a lecturer in Popular Music Performance at the University of Chester and an examiner for the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors).</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/jazz-guitar-corner-one-quick-trick-solo-over-7b9-chords#comments Jazz Guitar Corner Matt Warnock Blogs Lessons Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:29:28 +0000 Matt Warnock http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20951 Working Toward Extreme Hybrid Picking http://www.guitarworld.com/working-toward-extreme-hybrid-picking <!--paging_filter--><p>Usually you hear hybrid picking associated with country guitar or all things Eric Johnson. </p> <p>It's not a particularly aggressive technique, so it's rare in hard rock and metal. </p> <p>Hybrid picking in a Metallica song? Probably not. But Metallica is Metallica — and you're you. </p> <p>People might have said slap guitar isn't metal, but the riff from 1:30 to 2:00 in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g68hQ4zJ3t0#aid=P8lM-cypxoA">"The Woven Web" by Animals As Leaders</a> says otherwise. </p> <p>So let's dive into hybrid picking and see if we can get a nice riff from it.</p> <p><strong>Example 1</strong> is a good start. This is a D major spread triad in the root position. Use your pick for the fifth fret, your middle finger for the next string and your ring finger for the highest one. The order should be pick-middle-ring-middle. </p> <p>If hybrid picking is new to you, I'd say start the metronome (which you should be using throughout all of this) at 70 and work your way up. If it's not new, start around 115. <strong>Example 1</strong> is really just to get the right hand familiar and has little to do with melody.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/ex.1_1.jpg" width="321" height="174" alt="ex.1_1.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Example 2</strong> adds the challenge of switching the strings you're plucking and the chord voicing. Switching over strings at high speeds can be tricky and sometimes results in the fingers sort of tripping over each other. To me, this is sort of starting to sound musical, the way a piano player might try to make D sound pretty. Throughout this entire lesson, we'll be dealing with spread triads anyway, which sound more piano-like.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/ex.2_2.jpg" width="258" height="210" alt="ex.2_2.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Example 3</strong> is a harder version of <strong>Example 2</strong> in that the plucking hand completely moves from one set of strings to another. Melodically, it adds a larger leap in the top notes of the voicings, which can create a similar effect to tapping a octave above wherever you're playing. </p> <p>The hardest part here will be for the left hand. Switching between two voicings so different quickly and cleanly will really help you get your left hand get familiar with chord shapes as there won't be enough time to think about where your fingers are headed.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/ex.3_2.jpg" width="260" height="187" alt="ex.3_2.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Example 4</strong> is the big toughie I came up with one night. It almost sounds like tapping because of the spread triads moving high and low so quickly, but it has a distinct hybrid picking vibe. </p> <p>This will definitely get your left hand working hard to get to each chord cleanly and in time, especially going from the high A major chord back down to D major. You're probably going to have to slide back down. This also introduces the first minor chord, F# minor. This idea is more melodic, rhythmic and harmonically interesting than the previous ones, and (to me) sounds like it could be an interesting verse riff. </p> <p>If the technique is new to you, I'd suggest starting this one at 60 bpm or so, as it is rather extreme for both hands. If it's not new, more like 120bpm. Try to get it to 140 and it'll be insane. Also at the end is a fun muted 16th-note triplet leading to a high E natural harmonic. It's tough to keep in time, but the harmonic allows your hand a second to get back to D. </p> <p>Hope you have fun with this one!</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/ex.4_2.jpg" width="620" height="227" alt="ex.4_2.jpg" /></p> <p>If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section or reach out to me at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzm5WT7pRIT9QRRp3VRyaIA">my YouTube channel here</a>, and I'll get back to you. </p> <p><em>Elliott Klein is a New York City-based guitarist/singer/songwriter who plays in <a href="http://brightandloud.bandcamp.com">Bright and Loud</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/partylightsband">Party Lights</a> and many more.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/working-toward-extreme-hybrid-picking#comments Elliott Klein Blogs Lessons Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:27:30 +0000 Elliott Klein http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20952 Betcha Can't Play This: Minor Alternations with Luis Carlos Maldonado http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-minor-alternations-luis-carlos-maldonado <!--paging_filter--><p>This is a fast 16th-note alternate picking run in C# minor that starts out on the high E string and moves across the neck, staying pretty much in the ninth through seventh positions and ending with a whole-step pull bend and vibrato on the low E string.</p> <p> There’s a bit of a wide fret-hand stretch at the beginning, followed by more conventional, compact shapes as you descend across the strings. I’ve included my exact fret-hand fingerings to take the guesswork out of it for you.</p> <p> I’ve also included my picking strokes to guide you. You’ll notice that the run is not 100 percent alternate picked, however, as I do pull off to two notes, one in bar 1 and one bar 2, but my pick hand stays in sync with the established pattern to keep the down-strokes falling on the downbeats. </p> <p>As a result, there are two upstrokes in a row, before and after each pull-off. Take it slow and steady at first and gradually ramp-up the tempo while trying to keep your picking strokes relaxed and economical, with no wasted movement.</p> <p> The run is based mostly on the C# Dorian mode [C# D# E F# G# A# B], which is the same set of notes as the B major scale [B C# D# E F# G# A#], but oriented around a C# minor tonal center. In bar 1 I add the flat five, G natural [G string, 12th fret], which is borrowed from the C# blues scale [C# E F# G G# B]. </p> <p> It’s worth noting here that the run doesn’t simply descend straight through either scale, but rather changes direction often and incorporates wide skips, which makes it more interesting to listen to and more fun to play.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IQuPWhZkPaA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-04-04%20at%204.28.27%20PM.png" width="620" height="384" alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 4.28.27 PM.png" /></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/betcha-cant-play-minor-alternations-luis-carlos-maldonado#comments April 2010 Betcha Can't Play This Luis Carlos Maldonado Blogs News Lessons Magazine Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:46:51 +0000 Luis Carlos Maldonado http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20945 Mojo Workin': 10 Great Muddy Waters Covers http://www.guitarworld.com/mojo-workin-10-great-muddy-waters-covers <!--paging_filter--><p>If Muddy Waters were an actual god — instead of just a blues god — he would've turned 101 years old today, April 4, 2014.</p> <p>Instead, the legendary bluesman, who his mother knew as McKinley Morganfield, died April 30, 1983, in Westmont, Illinois.</p> <p>Waters, the father of modern Chicago blues, was a major inspiration to several generations of blues artists — including most of the key players in the British blues explosion of the Sixties. </p> <p>He also helped define blues for the latter part of the 21st century — an impact felt in a host of other genres including rock, R&amp;B, folk and country. </p> <p>We’ve decided to celebrate his birthday by gathering up what we feel are 10 of the best covers of his songs by a host of artists. You'll notice Eric Clapton's guitar work appears twice in the list. Hey, I like Clapton.</p> <p>Enjoy! And if you'd like to recommend another song, please do! I don't mind making this a "Top 11" list! UPDATE: Johnny Winter's version of "Rock Me Baby" has grabbed the Number 11 spot. Thanks for reading!</p> <p><strong>Led Zeppelin, "You Shook Me"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dbwG0u3hb7M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Allman Brothers Band, "Trouble No More"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/K-UrUTHo-NY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Humble Pie, “Rollin’ Stone”</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dljqOxgQa3Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>New York Dolls, “Hoochie Coochie Man”</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3-VGpJCApRc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Yardbirds, "Good Morning Little School Girl"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oIB9HIJH0Uc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Animals, "Louisiana Blues"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0yGGjYTcxVM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Black Crowes, "Champagne and Reefer"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4987eqNd3vM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <Strong>The Rolling Stones, "I Just Want to Make Love to You"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1m2-nbMFwHY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton, "Blow Wind Blow"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hYJi0GUBd4M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Doors, "Close to You"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f9cUrc7Y3DE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Johnny Winter, "Rock Me Baby"</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/O-kt02nhc7o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em>. He writes and edits things.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/mojo-workin-10-great-muddy-waters-covers#comments Damian Fanelli Muddy Waters Blogs Fri, 04 Apr 2014 17:16:03 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/20943 Essential Blues Basics: Soloing with the Combined Minor/Major Pentatonic Scales http://www.guitarworld.com/essential-blues-basics-soloing-combined-minormajor-pentatonic-scales <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Steve Stine, highly sought-after guitar educator, teaches live group and private classes at <a href="https://www.lessonface.com/">LessonFace.com.</a></strong></p> <p>One key to becoming a more versatile blues soloist is learning to combine the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales to create guitar lines that go beyond the minor pentatonic scale. </p> <p>As a prerequisite to this lesson, you should have a basic understanding of the finger positionings for the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales, particularly the first and second positions of both scales. </p> <p>Stepping back, I should note that learning to play within both of these scales at the same time opened new doors for me as a guitar player. </p> <p>Before combining them, I remember first learning to solo over the standard 1-4-5 blues progression, and my teacher at the time gave me a quick trick for alternating between the minor and major pentatonic solos: Use the minor pentatonic for the sections on the “1” and the major pentatonic for the sections on the “4," and alternate back in forth in this manner in the way that sounded best. </p> <p>While this approach can work to give you a more varied sound beyond merely the minor pentatonic scale, this trick is by no means a hard and fast rule, and moving beyond it to learn to combine both scales makes you a more versatile player.</p> <p>A quick point of reference to understand about these scales is that, in respect to physical finger positioning, they are identical, with one scale simply falling three frets below the other on the fretboard. That is to say, in any given key: (i) the finger position for the major pentatonic scale falls three frets down from the minor pentatonic scale, and (ii) the root note is the same for both scales.</p> <p>So, for example, let’s focus on the key of A. The A on the fifth fret of the first string is the root note of both the A minor pentatonic and A major pentatonic scales. This means that, in the A minor pentatonic scale’s first position, the A on the fifth fret of the first string is played with your index finger. </p> <p>And, three frets down playing the same positions for the A major pentatonic scale, the same A is played with your pinky (and your index finger is on the F# — you may also notice at this point that you are in the F# minor pentatonic scale’s first position). The below tabs illustrate this point. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%201.jpg" width="620" height="336" alt="thing 1.jpg" /></p> <p>So, first visualize both major and minor pentatonic scales, and practice them up and down the neck, focusing on their first and second positions for the purposes of this lesson. You can practice them with all downstrokes and/or alternate picking, and in doing so, keep in mind the locations of your root note A’s, which are relevant for playing blues in the key of A. </p> <p>As you will notice, the first position of the A minor pentatonic scale and the second position of the A major pentatonic scale are both within easy reach of the first position of the A minor pentatonic scale (index finger beginning on the fifth fret of the first string, and proceeding on from there). </p> <p>And, as you see below, these scale positions can be overlayed into a hybrid scale that encompasses all of their notes. And, what we want to learn how to do is visualize the first position of the minor pentatonic scale and the second position of the major pentatonic over the same position on the neck, and use the notes from both scales to play blues licks and riffs. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%202.jpg" width="620" height="80" alt="thing 2.jpg" /></p> <p>So, to make a riff using both scales, let’s focus on the top two strings starting at the fifth fret. The A minor pentatonic scale uses the notes at the fifth and eighth frets on these strings, while the A major pentatonic uses the notes at the fifth and seventh frets on these strings. So, to combine the scales and see what it sounds like, let’s play the following lick No. 1. And you can already hear the blues element present when you mix these scales.</p> <p>After you are comfortable with lick No. 1, you can move to lick No 2, which further explores this principle. And at this stage, I would encourage you to start exploring further and have some fun coming up with new licks using the notes from both scales in this position.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%203.jpg" width="440" height="75" alt="thing 3.jpg" /></p> <p>Another common lick that combines these scales using a hammer-on is shown below in lick No. 3, and you have probably heard this combination of notes in many country and blues songs.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%204.jpg" width="135" height="87" alt="thing 4.jpg" /></p> <p>So, bringing a lot of these elements together, you can play something like the following.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%205.jpg" width="390" height="85" alt="thing 5.jpg" /></p> <p>You can always play the scales separately to give your soloing their different flavors. And soon, taking this lesson into account, and with some practice, you will be able to bring these two scales together into a hybrid scale to further expand what you can play, and allow you to play modern blues and some old-school blues in what may be a new way for you.</p> <p>The first step is to be able to see the two scales and then put them together, seeing the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales at the same time. </p> <p>As you’ll see, if you know all five positions of the pentatonic scale, you can apply this very same principle all over the guitar neck. And pretty soon the new notes from scale to scale will begin to stick out, giving you new notes to play all over the neck in your blues solos.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="400" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/J9sAhJvG76I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Steve Stine is a longtime and sought-after guitar teacher who is professor of Modern Guitar Studies at North Dakota State University. Over the last 27 years, he has taught thousands of students, including established touring musicians, and released numerous video guitar lesson courses via established publishers. A resident of Fargo, North Dakota, today he is more accessible than ever before through the convenience of live online guitar lessons at <a href="https://www.lessonface.com/">LessonFace.com</a>.</em> </p> <p><em>LessonFace.com offers live online music lessons via videoconference, allowing you to access top teachers in a wide variety of instruments from anywhere with a broadband connection. Steve is offering a live online group class for intermediate players this summer called “The Players Series” via the LessonFace.com platform. More information about live online lessons with Steve is available at <a href="https://www.lessonface.com/player">lessonface.com/player</a>.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/essential-blues-basics-soloing-combined-minormajor-pentatonic-scales#comments LessonFace Steve Stine Blogs Lessons Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:29:42 +0000 Steve Stine http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19143