Hey there, Premier Guitarist – long time, no see! I really want to thank my good buddy, Bruce Bouilett, of Racer X fame for sitting in as a guest columnist. He did an excellent job bringing some cool, new ideas to your musical attention. I hope you enjoyed them; you can look forward to more celebrity guests in future columns. Keep in mind, if there’s anything you’d like me to discuss or cover in this column feel free to contact me at Toshi@TOSHIISEDA. com or email@example.com. For those of you on MySpace, you can find me at myspace.com/toshiiseda. I hope to hear from you.
This month, I’d like to look at a few ways to get some intervals into your playing by barring with your finger. Take a gander at Exercise 1. Here you’ll want to barre with either your third finger or your pinkie – use whichever you’re most comfortable with. Your finger choice depends on where you’re going to go after you execute this lick. As for executing the lick itself, you are going to use a series of hammer-ons and pulls-offs.
In Exercise 1, you’ll pull-off from the D note (15th fret, B string) to the B note at the 12th fret, then hammer back on to the D note at the 15th fret. This will be the basic technique applied to all the exercises this month. The picking pattern will be as follows: upstroke, downstroke, pull-off and hammer-on.
The cool thing about this style of playing is that with the interval jump, it sounds as if you are tapping instead of barring. In order to make this even more evident, don’t allow the notes to “bleed” into one another when you barre them together.
In Exercise 2 we’re going to take things one step further by adding another note. In this case, we’ll add the E note and then alternate between the E at the 12th fret and G at the 15th fret. Remember, the same picking pattern applies as in the first example. Example 3 uses the same basic principle as the second exercise.
In Exercise 4, we’re going to bring in the G string – here’s where it starts getting good. The picking pattern stays the same until we get to the G string. Hit that note with a downstroke; again, be particularly aware of not letting notes bleed into one another when you go from the B at the 12th fret to the G at the 12th fret. In Exercise 5, it is a little easier to separate the notes when moving from the B string to the G string because the notes aren’t on the same fret and you won’t be barring them.
In Exercises 6 and 7, we’re going to get really tricky and incorporate string skipping into the equation. It’s interval city, baby! This is very similar to what Paul Gilbert does, with the barre being the only difference in style. In Exercise 8, we’re going to combine everything – the barring and the string skipping – to get a really cool lick. Try incorporating these concepts into your own playing and see if you can take it in a different direction.
That wraps it up for this month, folks. Thanks again for tuning in to another installment of “Intense Guitar,” and until next month, remember, “Who dares, wins!”
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. He is considered the #1 instructor in Central Tennessee.