I believe Shawn Lane was the most technically amazing guitarist to ever grace the earth.
He had total command over the guitar in all areas, and his speed and technique were out of this world. Most importantly, his sense of melody/songwriting — and the way he adapted all of his techniques to soloing — were truly amazing. Shawn had such an incredible feel for soloing, and he made it sound and look effortless.
One of the things I was most blown away by was his legato technique. He'd apply these patterns mainly to diminished- and augmented-type scales. He'd use this technique to create what he called “The Outside Sound." I believe the reason for the name was that when he would apply this technique, the notes he'd use would not normally be found in that key. What this creates is an extremely intense sound and something that really stands out in your soloing.
Having said this, you still need to apply some thought and theory to this kind of technique. Also, with this particular lick, the speed is essential, as it doesn't allow the listener the time to fully hear what is happening. It's important when using this technique that you view the passage like you would a passing note in a solo, the main difference here being is that this is an actual passage, not just a single note, hence the importance of the speed.
I view this lick as being in the key of E. This particular run is in a solo of mine from an album that's coming out soon with Michael Kocab, Virgil Donati and Billy Sheehan.
The lick is very difficult due to the wide stretches and speed, but once mastered, it's something you can pull out at any time.
There are the two basic legato shapes. What I suggest doing is practicing both separately and working on speed while getting used to the wide stretches. If the stretches are a little too much for you at the moment, I suggest using this same legato pattern and applying it to the major or minor scale. Have some fun with it there!
I will break the legato pattern down for you into blocks to maximize your practice time and efficiency while learning this lick:
• I start on the ninth fret of the G string with the first three notes all being hammers then the fourth note is the ninth fret of the B string, we then go back to the G string and play the same three notes descending with pull-offs.
• From there, we play another legato pattern starting again on the ninth fret of the G string, simply using hammers to fret three ascending notes, first on the G, then moving to the B. From there you play the same thing in reverse with pull-offs on both strings.
• The lick itself varies a little from these two patterns in parts, but this is the basic principle behind it. Just follow the transcript and have some fun!
Thanks, and I hope you enjoy! Please join me on YouTube here.
Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, Lick Em, in 2010. It is available on iTunes and at glennproudfoot.com. Glenn was featured in the October 2010 issue of Guitar World and now creates "Betcha Can’t Play This" segments and lessons for GW. Glenn also has a monthly GW column, "Loud & Proud," which offers insight into his style and approach to the guitar. Glenn is working on a project with Ezekiel Ox (ex Mammal) and Lucius Borich (Cog), which is managed by Ted Gardner, ex-Tool and Jane's Addiction manager. The band has done pre-production on 22 tracks and is set to hit the studio and finish their first studio album. The album is set for release in 2012. Glenn also is working on the followup to his debut album; it, too, will be released in 2012.