Hey Premier Guitarist, what’s going on? Having just gotten back from Italy, I’ve been extremely busy getting ready to perform at the NAMM show in Nashville, Tennessee. So, with my time heavily limited, I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a great friend and an amazing guitarist sit in for a guest column.
Keep in mind you can always reach me at toshiiseda.com
. For you MySpacers out there, look me up at myspace.com/toshiiseda
. But without further ado, ladies and gents, I’d like to introduce Racer X guitarist, Bruce Bouillet! Bruce was kind enough to take some time this month to show you a thing or two. Bruce, the floor is yours.
Hello, folks, my name is Bruce Bouillet,
pronounced “boo-yea.” Of course, you can always skip the formals and just call me B. In 2007, I had the good fortune of reuniting with my friend Paul Gilbert for a tour of Japan, and for a 27-show run with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci on the G3 tour, with stops in the U.S. and Canada. It was a very good year, to say the least. As things would have it, I ran into Toshi and friends one night while playing a show in Nashville. After a full night of jammin’ and drinkin’ around Music Row, I peeled myself from the bus the next day with a monsterous hangover, 40 cents of a week’s per diem left and a promise to make a few guest stops in Toshi’s Premier Guitar
I thought we could start this guest spot with a few of my favorite hyped up blues riffs. Here’s two examples that incorporate the E minor pentatonic blues scale, with the occasional major third or sixth added for some extra spice.
Our first example starts on the flat 5 of E minor on the low E string, with the first finger sliding up a half-step to the 5, then hammering down on the 7 with the pinky. Then on the A string, starting with the first finger on the root note E, hammer down with your pinky on the minor 3rd, sliding up a half-step to the major 3rd. When playing this, I pick each string only once.
Now repeat the same sequence, ascending up the next two octaves. When this riff starts getting up to speed, it takes on a fluid, horn-type of sound. For a more outside sound, try playing this pattern while descending.
Our second example starts on the 6th of E dorian minor on the D string, with the second finger bending up a half-step to the 7th. Then shift to your first finger on the root note of E on the G string, and back to the 6th on the D string. Now with your third finger play the minor 3rd on the G string, pulling off to the first finger on the root note.
Starting with your first finger on the 5th on the D string, hammer down with your second finger on the 6th, then with your first finger on the root on the G string, hammer down with your third finger.
Now repeat the last four notes ascending up the next octave (B and E strings), ending with a full-step bend, starting on the high E string with your third finger at the minor third. Bend to the fourth and release to the root first finger.
Some of these movements might feel a little awkward at first, but with a little practice they rip. You can hear live examples of these licks on my two solo albums, Unspoken and Interventions, available at my MySpace page (myspace.com/brucebouillet
) or at CD Baby (cdbaby.com/cd/brucebouillet
). Until next time, keep the big picture in your sights.
Toshi Iseda is an Alumnus of the prestigeous Berklee College of Music and the American Conservatory of Music. He has been featured in Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar/Guitar One Magazines, and is a former instructor at the National Guitar Workshop and former instructor at the American Institute of Guitar.