Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rhythm and Lead Guitar Together

This is a guitar lick based on the tab from the last post. It starts with a very similar guitar lick and expands the idea a little bit. A key component of these licks is playing with the thumb wrapped around the neck so you can fret the 6th string with your thumb. It makes it easier to play the chord shapes that way. If you haven't tried this before it can take a bit of getting used to. Start slowly and remember stop if you feel any pain.

Greatness never goes out of date.

Yesterday would have been Jimi Hendrix's 68th birthday. We lost a great musician much too early but it is a testament to his musical genius and soulful playing that his music is as relevant and inspiring at is was over 40 years ago. Great art whether is is poetry,art , sculpture or music lives much beyond the life of the artist because it expresses in many ways timeless concepts that touch people deeply. Today's guitar lick looks at a style of playing that Jimi learned on the Chitlin circuit. It is a style of playing Curtis Mayfield popularized which involves playing rhythm and lead simultaneously. Typically a phrase is developed around a chord shape and lead fills are incorporated to make a musical phrase. There are many examples of how Jimi  developed this style into his own in such compositions as "Little Wing" and "Castles Made of Sand". The guitar lick is based around the C major scale and uses chord shapes from G, C and F. You can experiment with the rhythmic values a bit but as I play it the chord roots C ( 8th fret 6th string) and F (8th fret 5th string) are meant to come in on the prior bars upbeat and then held longer into the next measure. Here is the guitar lick:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Acoustic Guitar Alternate Picking

Our guitar lick today is part of the opening guitar intro for a song I'm working on called "Hand of Sorrow". Each guitar lick here is played twice as marked in the guitar tab with x2. The rhythm is 16th notes although you can let the open strings ring for a fuller sound. The title for this song comes from the lyrics of a new song Zakk Wylde  of Black Label Society released on "Order of the Black" called "Darkest Days". I've been struggling with inspiration lately but this album is really full of great guitar and really strong emotional playing that makes me want to get back to playing more guitar. Anyway enough of a rant here is the guitar lick.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Circular Guitar Lick #2

Here is another circular guitar lick. This one has a kinda flamenco(ish) Spanish influence. The rhythm is based on two 6 note patterns then a four note sequence with each notes duration equal. Try using varying degrees of palm muting to accent different notes during each repetition. This guitar lick will work well on acoustic and electrics and makes for a good alternate picking exercise in your guitar practice sessions.

Circular Guitar Lick

Our guitar lick today looks at what I call a circular lick. A guitar lick that begs to be repeated over and over and has a feeling of continuing around from beginning to end. This guitar lick is a triplet based rhythm that to my ears has  a Celtic feel. Once this is under your fingers experiment with improvising using a similar rhythm but alter the notes.