** As featured in issue 42 **
Hello and welcome to the second instalment of my Extreme Shred column! I hope you have been having fun with some of the concepts looked at in last issues lesson. Last time we took a look into a cool way of visualising 3 note per string scales that can be used to create legato lines that sound more ‘arpeggio’ based. We managed this by simply taking a 3 note per string scale and voicing it with 3 notes on a string followed by 1 note on the next etc. We called this technique 3-1-3 technique. I also spoke about how you can play these patterns with hybrid picking and legato for an ultra-smooth sound that players such as Greg Howe and Guthrie Govan are known for!
In this issue we are going to take some of these patterns and extend them with some tapping techniques and 4 note per string scales. Like I mentioned in the last column, this is extreme shred guitar! So I won’t be talking too much about basic legato technique, I will be speaking about how I came up with some of the licks and patterns and also some details which I think are pretty cool! Please refer to the video lesson and tab throughout these descriptions for each lick. Let’s dive right in!
Lick 1: Tap slides.
This lick uses a pattern that by itself outlines an E Dominant 9th sound. However it can be superimposed over other chords (like many of these licks) to create different extension tones. I utilise tapped notes on the top of the 3 note per string sections to extend the pattern further up the neck. Using slides on the tapped notes I can further extend this pattern, now we have something that is more like a 5-1-5 pattern as opposed to a 3-1-3. We will be looking at some more extreme examples of this 5-1-5 idea in the next column, but alas we must move onto the next idea.
Lick 2: Double taps.
This lick outlines a Dmaj9 tonality. Which works very well over F#m7 as well. This pattern has some double taps and tap slides within it. When doing tapped slides it’s important to focus on accuracy of the slide, making sure you really homing in on the note you are aiming for within the slide. It can be hard to see where you are going when doing tapped slides, so like most new ideas, please practice slowly and aim for accuracy. Double taps are self-explanatory, it takes a bit of getting used to tapping twice for a wide interval trill on the top notes however with a bit of careful practice these double taps will feel easy. My key bit of advice for these is to keep your tapping light and accurate, aim to tap near the fret wire as this is the most sensitive place for a hammer on to sound out when using hammering techniques. This will mean you can lighten up and not ‘bear down’ on the tapping too much which will make this technique sound much quicker and smoother.
Lick 3: 4 Note Per String & Position Shifts.
This pattern is a long sequence that uses a lot of mini ideas within the line to give it an interesting contour. The main points in this lick that I would like to address are the position shifts and the 4 note per string segment. When practising position shifts, make sure the first note that you slide into with your index finger is rhythmically strong. Simply practice each ‘segment’ of this line slowly up to the first slide into note and aim for accuracy, once you have that down then add the next segment and so on. You may also notice the 4 note per string section, if you find the stretch too much for this pattern you could substitute it for a chromatic 4 note per string idea for a fusion sound. Practising legato 4 note per string really helps with increasing fretting hand strength and dexterity. And it’s also great to be able to throw 4 note per string ideas into your legato lines to create interest or move to other areas of the neck.
Like with most licks, I find it best to take what you want from them, what you feel would benefit your own unique playing. So please whilst learning these licks, look for variations and see if you can find some of your own twists, turns and phrasings! Have fun, keep practising and I shall see you in the next issue of Guitar Interactive for some more extreme shred guitar exploration!