Hey! Satchel here, with part two of our look at the Steel Panther classic, “Gang Bang at the Old Folk’s Home,” from our latest release, All You Can Eat. It never gets old, does it? I mean, it does get old, no pun intended, but no matter how old it gets, it’s still fun—that’s what I’m trying to say! This month we are going to examine the bitchin’ bridge and solo sections of this bitchin’ song.
Players often only play exercises to improve technique, but it's important to vary your exercises to focus on other important parts of guitar playing. Although this exercise is based on arpeggios, it really is meant to help you visualize scales differently from the standard "three note per string" shapes.
For those who might not be familiar with intervals, we’ll start by reviewing the core concept. The term sounds kind of advanced, but an “interval” simply refers to the distance between two notes, while a harmonic interval is when you play two notes at the same time.
In this lesson, Drover teaches a "mysterious" harmonic minor walk down in the key of E. This lick can be played by using alternate picking, or alternatively as a blazing-fast legato run. Check out the lesson video below — complete with video!
For these licks, I employ fretboard tapping in conjunction with string skipping to achieve a very smooth and even sound throughout. I know many guitarists prefer to use sweep picking when playing arpeggios, but to me, the sound of dragging the pick up and down across the strings is a little too abrasive and percussive.
Harmonic minor is always a very cool choice and a favorite of mine. It’s great to use when you’re improvising or coming up with song ideas and lead parts. So many impressive players have made great use of it in their songs — guys like Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and many others. Mozart was also a big fan.
Ask any mainstream rock historian what the meanest sounding guitar of the 1950s is and they’ll most likely answer with names like Link Wray, Chuck Berry or Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Unfortunately, very few of them ever heard the name Willie Joe and his Unitar, much less the handful of obscure singles this madman cut during the Eisenhower Era. Willie Joe laid down the meanest guitar tone of the Fifties. It’s time for the world to know.
This example demonstrates how to play the B minor pentatonic scale on the E and A strings using two notes on the E string and three notes on the A string. I typically play this using hammer-ons and pull-offs, but it is good to work up to speed with alternate picking as well. The rest of the lesson is based on this pattern, so be sure to get comfortable with this fingering before moving on.
The powerful and bluesy "I've Got A Feeling," which John Lennon jokingly called "I've Got A Fever," is a true Lennon/McCartney composition. It blends — via alternation and superimposition — two incomplete songs, one by Paul McCartney, one by Lennon.
What you will be watching is a screen shot of the session files for a song called "Getting Out of My Own Way." You'll see each individual track played or programmed in creating a successful production. The song was recorded in 2012. The singer/songwriter is Jennifer Vazquez, a very talented vocalist and writer from Da Bronx, NY.