July 2009 \ Premier Clinic \ Reverse Linear

# Reverse Linear

## Rusty Cooley shares the Reverse Linear technique, used by Cooley, Holdsworth, Lane and Derek Taylor

This month we’re going over a technique I call Reverse Linear. It’s a technique that I came up with many, many years ago where you start your scale sequence on the high E string and ascend linearly across the fretboard to the lower strings. So while you are going higher on the neck the pitch is getting lower. Reverse Linear is the name I gave it because I had never seen or heard anyone do it and I needed to name it to be able to talk about it with students or friends. I later discovered guys like Holdsworth and Lane and one of my lesser-known favorites, Derek Taylor, were also using this technique. All of this month’s examples are taken from my instructional DVD, Fretboard Autopsy 2.

Example 1: All of the examples this month are in the key of G major and work in any of the modes in the key. For example, number one starts on F# and ends on B before turning around and heading back to the F#. If you play this over a Bm chord, you would be starting on the fifth note of the B scale, and ending up on the root; or over a G major chord you’d be starting on the seven and ending on the three—see what I mean? As for the techniques, you can alternate pick or play entirely legato. Both ways sound great and should be explored. This sequence for the most part is in groups of eight.

Example 2: Same scenario here, but starting on B and ending on C. The rhythmic groups here pulse in sixes.

Example 3: This one starts on a C and ends on a D. The rhythmic group here is one of my all time faves: fives. The cool thing about fives is each group of five flips directions each time. For example measure one starts on the highest note of the three note group and the second measure starts on the lowest note or the three-note-per-string group. So it’s constantly flipping direction of ascending and descending, each time hitting the listener with a barrage of notes coming at you from all directions. Now that’s Fierce Guitar!

Okay, see ya next time! If you have any questions or requests, email me at rusty@rustycooley.com.

Rusty Cooley
Rusty Cooley has been playing and teaching for over 20 years, and has recorded as a solo artist, with his band Outworld, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. He has six instructional DVDs and a signature model 7-string guitar, the RC7 by Dean Guitars. Visit Rusty online at rustycooley.com.

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