Betcha Can't Play This: Dave Reffett — "Caravan of Cannibals"

This is a two-part run in A minor that I play in my solo to "Caravan of Cannibals," on Shredding the Envelope’s debut CD, The Call of the Flames.

The first three bars are based mostly on the A Dorian mode [A B C D E F# G], with a couple of "outside" notes thrown in, namely D# and F.

I begin in second position on the low E string’s second-fret F# and move across the strings and up the neck through three-notes-per-string fingering patterns, picking only the first note on each string and using multiple hammer-ons and pull-offs to articulate all the other notes.

Strive to get good "traction" with your fret hand and make the hammered and pulled notes the same volume as the picked notes. Use a light touch with the pick. In bar 4, I use notes from the A harmonic minor scale [A B C D E F G#] to add a neoclassical flavor, and in bar 5, I switch to palm-muted alternate picking, running up and across the strings in ninth position through a symmetrical fingering pattern that includes notes from A Dorian and A harmonic minor.

The run climaxes in bars 7 and 8 with a legato climb up the B and high E strings, culminating in a high bend from G up to the A root note, which I adorn with some wide finger vibrato, using my ring finger, supported by the middle, to bend the string.

Strive for even note volume and economy of pick-hand movement. Mute the idle bass strings with your pick-hand palm to suppress unwanted string noise.

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