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Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Relocating Familiar Scalar Patterns to Different Areas of the Fretboard

Let’s continue with a topic that I addressed in last month’s column: focusing on the formation of specific scalar patterns, or “shapes,” and how to connect them while traversing the fretboard. To me, this concept and approach offer a sensible way to practice these ideas/patterns in order to build up one’s chops while also increasing overall fretboard awareness and mastery of scales.

Dream Theater's John Petrucci: How to Play "On The Backs Of Angels"

In the following videos, guitarist John Petrucci talks about the new Dream Theater album, A Dramatic Turn of Events, and shows you how to play the song "On The Backs Of Angels."

A Clean Sweep: Mastering Sweep Arpeggios with John Petrucci

I always get frustrated when I hear someone talking about sweep arpeggios. Though there are plenty of licks and examples out there, no one has ever really broken down the mechanics of the technique. As a result, guitarists have had to figure them out by trial and error.

John Petrucci: Practice Tips, Part 2

In order to become a well-rounded musician, you have to master the three major aspects of guitar playing: the technical side, the musical side and the creative side. The technical side comprises the actual physical components you need to have under your belt in order to get around your instrument.

Fiddling Around: Building Left-Hand Strength Through Violin-Inspired Chromatic-Scale Workouts

As I was walking around, I heard a violinist playing these wild exercises-he was wailing! I thought it would be really cool to adapt those licks to the guitar. Since the violinist didn't speak any English, I had to gesture for him to show me what he was doing. He gladly did, and then he showed me a bunch of variations, too. It was great; though we didn't speak, we nonetheless communicated very easily.

Odd Man Out: Using Different Meters to Accommodate Your Technique

For our final lesson on chromatics, I thought I'd throw you a little curve and give you a few odd-meter exercises in 5/8. Now you might ask, "Why play anything in 5/8?" Well, I came up with this sequence because it's easier for me to play across the strings.

John Petrucci: Practice Tips, Part 1

Dream Theater's John Petrucci helps you better manage your time in part one of his series of practice tips. "Of all the things that can frustrate a guitarist the most, it's the nagging feeling that he's not reaching a certain level of proficiency as quickly as he should."

12 Tones To Glory: Utilizing the Chromatic Scale

Before Dream Theater took off I used to teach a lot, and one of the things my students often asked me was how to apply the chromatic scale to practical playing situations. You see, their other teachers would give them chromatic warm-up exercises without providing any explanation of how important and versatile this scale actually is. For the next few months, I'd like to show you how to use the chromatic scale, not just as a tool to build chops but as a melodic device to add color to your playing.

Romancing the Fretboard: Chopin Arranged for Guitar, Part 3

Well, gang, here it is: the final installment of Chopin's Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus No. 2. Those of you who have braved the storm of 16th notes over the past two columns have earned the right to pat yourselves on the back. You're going to get a bit of a reprieve this time, because, at the beginning of this section, Chopin restates the first six bars of the piece and then adds bars 15-17 of the opening section for good measure (use my column Romancing the Fretboard, Part 1 as a reference).

Romancing the Fretboard: Chopin Arranged for Guitar, Part 2

Hi everyone. So, after working on the last lesson, are you still with me? I hope so, `cause here's the second part of Chopin's Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus No.2.