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from Trey Alexander’s Quantum Rock
This month’s rock lesson features two rhythm variations on the Trey Alexander tune “Hell Struggle,” which showcases Trey’s effective melding of two musical genres: chunky, metal-inspired riffs and voicings with a funky, Stevie Wonder-inspired synchopated rhythm. In this tune, the rhythm guitar doubles the bass part rhythmically, adding flavor through the use of double-stops and power chords. Throughout the piece, imagine locking in with the drummer and bassist to create an extra-tight groove for the soloist.
“Hell Struggle” is a B minor groove centered around the seventh fret. Although the part is sparse and relatively simple harmonically, the rhythm will definitely keep you on your toes. Try adding muted strums throughout for additional texture. The single note phrases in the first measure are based on a B minor pentatonic riff, and some root-5th voicings follow in the next measure setting up the rest of the tune. Measure 6 features another single note walk-down, then a brief return to the song’s motif before some more root-5th goodness.
The second variation of “Hell Struggle” moves down in the sonic spectrum, offering up more muscular sounding chord voicings to propel the song along – power chord heaven! In this variation, the walkdowns use 4th voicings to add tension and texture. This section is all about heavy, root-5th power chords – be mindful of the syncopated rhythms, but also remember to have fun!
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