In this Sick Lick, I'm using the Diminished 7th scale. I refer to this technique as the “Spider Technique." My friends came up with this name, and I thought that it was kind of cool, so it stuck!
I'm forever searching for ideas and ways to push the boundaries of my playing. It's one thing to have an idea, but to actually follow through with it and get it up to a level where you can just rip it out is something else. It takes a lot of work; you must never doubt yourself, and you must focus on the outcome, not the hard work it takes to master ideas like these. I apply this philosophy to anything technically challenging that I practice.
I come across a lot of guitarists who are content with the way they play and stop their development. I'm very opposed to this as I'm a firm believer that the more you develop, the better you'll be able to convey your musical message. Having said this, though, you don't necessarily have to challenge yourself technically. Some may choose to better their knowledge of theory or learn another instrument, etc. Whatever it is that you choose to develop -- just know it will benefit you as a musician!
Whenever I practice something new, I break it down into sections so that it's not so overwhelming. I suggest you break down this lick like so:
01. The first over-the-top arpeggio: I suggest you practice this first with your left hand in the traditional position to actually memorize the shape of the arpeggio. This will help you immensely. Once you're comfortable, practice this over the top at a slow pace, focusing on sounding all the notes clearly. Be sure you don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning as you will find you will feel some strain on your left hand as you will be using muscles in your hand that you normally wouldn’t be using -- because we're playing over the top.
02. The transition: The transition consists of just two notes, the first being the note I fret with my thumb on the low E string, and the second being the first note I fret with my pinky back around the guitar on the A string (This is where I create the pivot to swing my hand over). This is the key to pulling off this lick!
03. The second arpeggio: This is another five-string arpeggio starting on the A string. I finish this arpeggio with a six-string sweep starting on the high E and ending on the low E.
As I am using the Diminished 7th scale, we are repeating the same pattern all the way up the neck. All I am doing is moving it up in intervals of one and a half steps or three frets.
The main thing here is to have fun with the idea! It doesn’t matter what level you're at, just challenge yourself and remember that whatever you learn today will make you a better player tomorrow!
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.