Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guitar Exercise 8ths and 16ths

This guitar lick expands on a lesson Paul Gilbert wrote in the latest Premier Guitar see a few posts back for the link. In this guitar exercise I am using just four notes notes D and C and A and G  in two different locations on the neck. The first set is the D at the third string 7th fret and the C on the 5th fret the A and G are on the same frets just on the fourth string. The second position for these notes is the 7th fret G string and 10th fret 4th string for the D and C and again up to the 4th and 5th string for the A and G notes. Now in this exercise you are going to play D,C,A,G first in eight notes with a downstroke and then the same combinations for 16th notes. Then you switch to the next position and do the same just begin with an upstroke. Start slowly with a metronome and see if you can alternate two beats with eighth notes and 2 beats with 16th notes.

A great lick that starts off with the first sequence is a solo section from the live version of "Suicide Solution" by Ozzy and Randy Rhoads. A more recent song that also uses a similar sequence is "Ravenous" by Arch Enemy.

Ok here are the notes in the two positions shown in guitar tab:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guitar Exercise: C Major Scale & Legato

This is a great guitar exercise for learning the fretboard, scales and practicing legato at the same time. I used the B string and C Major scale as an example but you can apply this exercise to different scales, strings and positions on the guitar fretboard. Basically you use all legato no picking. The sequence is hammer on from nowhere, pull off hammer on hammer on and then pull off pull off then move up to the next sequence of three notes and keep going within the notes of the C Major Scale. The tab notation should make this clear but let me know if anyone needs more explanation. In the guitar tab example below I started with the C note at the 13th fret B string and moved the sequence down the neck. Once you get used to this guitar exercise try moving the sequence up a few times then down at random while staying within the notes of the scale.

Pole Vaulting with Paul Gilbert

Thought I'd share this article from the latest Premier Guitar issue. Paul Gilbert gives some great exercises and licks to develop string crossing picking and legato guitar playing.

Shred Your Enthusiasm: How to Practice Pole-Vaulting

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guitar Exercise - Alternate Picking Altered Tuning

Today's guitar lick is in the same detuned guitar tuning we have looked at for the past couple of days. Check the other posts if you need a further explanation but the tuning is detuned from low to high DGDGGD. This guitar lick has a kind of piano sound to my ears. It is all 16th notes and makes a great alternate picking guitar exercise. Start slowly and work through the lick with a metronome gradually increasing the speed as you can play perfectly at each successive tempo. Try to use strict alternate picking. Here is the guitar tab:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Altered Tuning and Chromaticism

Ok not sure if this is much more musically relevant than the last post but I think this guitar lick is really fun to play. I just came up with it and it is a bit of a twisty lick. It sounds best if you get it around 120 bpm. I'm well under that at the moment but it does make a great practice lick for finger independence. The tuning for the lick is the same as the last post the guitar from low to high is detuned DGDGGD. The 6th, 5th and 1st strings on the guitar are dropped a whole step and the second string is lowered to a G to match the third string.

If this type of guitar lick appeals to you I would recommend practicing with a metronome and strive for consistent 16th notes. Ok here is the guitar tab.

The guitar lick starts off with a funky 16th note intro using muted strings and hammer ons.The lick then progresses to a descending patterns on the second and third strings. Next there is a sequence of ascending notes played on the first three strings. I play the first string with a down stroke and then upstroke for the next two notes. In the final bar there is a real tricky sequence. Experiment with different fingerings to see what works for you. I use one finger per fret until the notes on the 15th fret which I bar with my middle finger. The lick ends with a flashy little pull off section and repeats back into the intro.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Altered Tuning Guitar Licks

Usually when I try altered tuning guitar licks I am trying to emulate the feel and or sound of middle eastern music and instruments. A great Canadian band ( now broken up) to master this was the Tea Party. Jeff Martin has continued to explore middle eastern influences with his new band and solo career. However today's guitar lick has absolutely no connection with this genre. I was playing around with an altered tuning on guitar and came up with a little lick that sounded more like a happy cowboy lick from the 50's or a really syrupy tv jingle.Anyway here it is. DM me on twitter if you need the powertab @jimifan. Here is the guitar tab:

The tuning for the lick is DGDGGD. All altered notes are lowered. So the 6th,5th and 1st strings are lowered a whole tone and the second string B is lowered to a G. You'll note that all you end up with are two notes D and G. This guitar lick was a little bit sappy but the next couple days will look at this tuning and see if we can't extract some more relevant musical ideas from this tuning.
Happy trails.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Drop D Clean Guitar Lick #2

Here is another guitar lick in Drop D tuning that uses a clean sound. This a more of a pop rock style guitar lick. If you have a delay pedal or some chorus use that to color the clean sound of the guitar a bit. The guitar lick alternates with a simple pattern that is played in different octaves. The lick relies heavily on the open D strings on the 4th and 6th strings to ring out. If you like this like try extending the pattern with more notes that sound good to you. The guitar lick uses all eighth notes and repeats at the end. Let the notes ring out especially the open string ones. Here is the guitar tab:

Drop D Clean Guitar Lick

This is a clean guitar lick in Drop D tuning that uses a droning open D string and two slight variations on a movable chord shape. This lick is meant to be played slowly and let the notes ring for their full duration. The rhythm is all eighth notes. The chord shapes can be a little tricky so warm up and start slowly. If the chord shapes are difficult for you try everything an octave up - don't try to force anything and remember stop if you feel any pain or discomfort - don't force your hands to do anything they are not ready for. Here is the guitar tab via tinylick:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Drop D Metal Guitar Lick #3

Here is another guitar lick in Drop D tuning. This one is a little faster than the last two but shouldn't be too hard with a little bit of practice. The bulk of the guitar lick is played with a 16th note rhythm. Try to make the pull-offs smooth and practice the chromatic descending part in the last bar to make it the same speed as the open string part. Try different degrees of palm muting to alter the intensity of the open string parts. Try repeating the guitar lick a few times and work on building intensity as it progresses. Again if you have a drum machine or drum pattern that matches try to play along. Ok here is the guitar tab:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Drop D Metal Guitar Lick #2

Here is another metal guitar lick in Drop D tuning. For guitarists who have not played in drop D and don't have a tuner handy a quick way to drop the 6th string E note down to a D is to detune ( lower) the 6th string until it the note sound like the the D string but an octave lower. This guitar lick starts out with a quicker opening line played with 16th notes has some muted open string riffs with some 16th note rests and ends with an eighth note sequence that switches to 3/4 time. If you  want the powertab you can DM your email on twitter @jimifan.

Here is the tab:

Drop D Metal Guitar Lick

I have had some requests to post some Death Metal guitar breakdowns in Drop D tuning. Now I freely admit I have a limited knowledge of death metal. Listening to some youtube videos showing various guitar breakdowns it sounds  like detuned guitar riffs that use a lot of rhythms with unexpected rests and sometimes odd time signatures. In some of the examples I listened to I could hear a lot of Pantera's influence. I think because Vinnie and Dime were brothers ( and great musicians) they were really locked into each other's playing and really had some strong grooves and powerful rhythmic interactions between the drums and guitars. To me a lot of the breakdowns come alive when they are pared with drum tracks so I would recommend trying to come up with your own against a drum machine or backing track with a good drum groove in it. Anyway here is my first guitar lick trying to emulate this style. It is in Drop D tuning. Be mindful of the rests and use palm muting and staccato playing as indicated. Again no video camera was available for this guitar lick but DM me on twitter @jimifan with your email and I'd be happy to hook you up with the powertab so you have some idea of what it sounds like. Ok so here is the tab:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drop D Clean Metal Guitar Lick

Here is a clean metal guitar lick in Drop D tuning. Like a few of the other guitar licks posted recently it can be played at a variety of tempos and still sound interesting. The rhythm is all eighth notes so it should be pretty straight forward even without the video or audio but email me if you need a powertab for any of the guitar licks and I'll see if I can't help out. The only trick to playing this guitar lick smoothly is the placement of the fretting hand. I find it is easiest if you finger the D and G strings with  the second and fourth fingers. To me that makes it easier to play the notes that do not remain constant.

Here is the guitar tab:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Clean Triplet Metal Guitar Lick

Here is a clean guitar lick in standard tuning. If you want to play it in a lower tuning just drop everything one whole step to get a deeper bass sound. This guitar lick is based on a triplet pattern where the only thing that changes is the bass note. This guitar lick sounds good at a variety of speeds so try it slow and at a medium tempo as well. At faster tempos it also makes a great piece to practice your alternate picking.

Clean Metal Guitar in Drop D Down a Whole Step

I've had some requests to do some clean metal guitar parts in drop tunings. Absent a working video camera I've just posted the guitar tab. The tuning for these licks is Drop D Down a Whole Step so from low to high CGCFAD.  Here are a couple licks I used finger picking but you can also try playing with a pick and fingers too.

The first guitar lick is pretty straight forward it closes with a kinda classical sounding pattern that I like. A great extrapolation on this type of diad playing at the end is Joe Satriani's "Baroque".
The second guitar lick takes advantage of the drop tuning shape and uses a barre across the top three strings. I've used 5/4 here as a time signature. Try altering the rhythmic values and come up with your own guitar licks using similar patterns.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day Guitar Lick - No Pick Needed

It's been a busy weekend by my standards. The new Dell has finally arrived and I'm deep into loading it with guitar software so I can get recording again. Took a break from the computer upgrade to catch the 8th Annual PEI Guitar Festival 2011 at the Guild last night. A really diverse and talented group of musicians performed. The standout for me was a country singer and guitar player named Raymond Taylor. I had never heard his playing before but his voice blew me away. He was truly a gifted singer I was literally spellbound listening to him.

Brent Johnston performed an improvisational piece to finish his set that drew heavily on the minor pentatonic scale especially on the first high E string. So as a tribute lick today's tinylick will be based around the E Minor Pentatonic scale and played solely on the high E string.

The guitar lick is based primarily on a rhythm based on 16th notes. It incorporates some basic tapping on guitar but nothing that will prove too difficult with some practice. The remaining notes are played with hammer-on and pull-offs no pick is needed. Repeat the whole phrase when done. To me the sound has a Celtic tinge to it so shoot for a light dancing uplifting feel.

I don't normally record tinylicks but thought I'd do a quick video of this one to test out the new computer. Turns out though my webcam is incompatible with Windows 7. So no video until I find a workaround or buy another camera.