Seasons greetings Premier Guitar readers and welcome to Lethal Guitar! Thanks for tuning in and logging on to “Lethal” for another rip-roarin’ shred fest. It’s that time of year again and I’ve got the perfect lesson for you guys and gals compliments of a great friend of mine and a great guitarist, Mr. Angus Clark of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!
Here's Angus, talking about his solo on "Monster" by Metal Church, from the album This Present Wasteland
Kurdt Vanderhoof is the founder, principle songwriter, guitarist, and keeper of the flame for the band Metal Church. He is also a friend of mine, so when he asked me to play a guest solo on their new record I jumped at the chance. Kurdt is in Seattle and I'm in New York, so he sent me the files and I recorded the parts at my studio.
The song is called Monster, and the solo section is good and long, like 48 bars long. I put the track up and jammed to it a bunch of times before starting to map out what the solo was going to be about. The form is basically two choruses of a blues in F# minor, so I decided to use that as a guide for how to develop things. Also, the rhythm section is playing a syncopated figure and I incorporated it into the solo so that I'm really locked in with the band. Finally, I looked for where I could build energy using speed, large intervals, exaggerated bends, etc. Here are some examples from the solo:
This is the foundation lick of the solo, and it incorporates the syncopated hits the band is playing in bars 2 and 4: (ms. 1-5). This lick comes back in bar 9 over the IV chord (ms. 9-13).
Hit the "Next" for Examples 2 & 3...