Denis Taaffe has been playing guitar since age seven and has developed a unique solo electric guitar style which uses regular guitar and guitar loops done on the fly and all his material is improvised on the spot. Denis performs, records and teaches guitar regularly. He has released 80 independent CD's, nine of which have been considered for Grammy Awards. He also has endorsements with Kradl picks, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Ernieball/Musicman Strings, Parker Guitars & Boomerang Pedalboards. Always in search of unique guitar sounds, Denis is set to release his 81st CD "Modern Rock Guitar Vol.81". You can visit his website at www.dtguitar.com for more info on him and mp3 audio samples.
Welcome to another edition of Practice Up. I just completed and released my 103rd full-length album, entitled Modern Rock Guitar, Vol.103 – Sea of Tranquility. You can hear audio samples of each track at my website (dtguitar.com). While recording the album, I stumbled upon a way to make arpeggios sound very smooth and flowing while being picked. I discovered that by skipping strings, arpeggios could become quite melodic. I also found that I could play virtually any arpeggio using this pattern and get difficult arpeggios to flow. These patterns are ideal for repeating licks. Let’s take a look:
Let’s begin with a standard arpeggio for an Amaj arpeggio:
We can use a similar pattern for an A# diminished arpeggio (because a note is left out, it could also be seen as an F#7 arpeggio):
Ok, let’s use a similar pattern for a Bm arpeggio:
We can even use a similar pattern for an E7 arpeggio (because a note is left out, it could also be seen as an G# diminished arpeggio):
By taking these simple arpeggio shapes, we can create very melodic repeating licks. Try combining examples 1 through 4 into one melodic passage. Using hammer-ons and pull-offs can make the arpeggios sound even smoother. Repeating one of the arpeggio shapes several times before moving on to the next shape can also create melodic tension, which makes passages seem more intense. Experiment by incorporating these arpeggio shapes into your playing! We’ll see you next time.