The name Rusty Cooley has become synonymous with some of the best the shred guitar genre has to offer. His 7-string guitar madness has catapulted him to the top as one of the best shredders in the world. We’re both Dean Guitar endorsers and at the NAMM show we spoke about all things guitar. I have to say that Rusty is not only a fantastic guitarist but a great guy as well.

Lick 1
Example one is one of my all time favorite sequences and is heavily part of my style, I call it sevens. I’m using a three octave A Mixolydian mode for the scale, which is from the key of D major. Basically, the sequence breaks down into seven-note groups that I play evenly over the beat. You can use this sequence in any three-note-per-string scale in any key or mode. I’m a huge fan of odd note groupings. Alternate pick this example.

Lick 2

Here’s one more of my favorites. It’s another odd note grouping, this time fives in E harmonic minor. The cool thing about fives is that every group flips directions from ascending to descending so you are hit with a barrage of notes coming at you from every direction--sweet! Again, you're using alternate picking.

Lick 3

Now it’s time for some legato fun! We will be using Aadd2, Dadd2, and Eadd2 arpeggios. This is a very cool way to play arpeggios--you are actually playing each arpeggio on a single string using all four fingers, which is a refreshing approach considering most people these days are using sweeping. This lick is from the key of A major.

Lick 4

Next up--you guessed it--is sweeping. Here’s a cool A7 arpeggio lick. I'm back to the odd groupings again with three groups of fives followed by what I consider to be a fairly common 5th string root shape for A7.

Lick 5

Last, but certainly not least, is one of my all-time favorite scales, Mixolydian b6, which is the 5th mode of F melodic minor. I don’t get to use this scale as much as I like because I don’t find myself writing in C Mixolydain b6 much, but I love its sound and the emotion it creates. This lick uses legato and string skipping with groups of five that ends with a nice legato C major arpeggio.

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