Shred

What happens when you mix major, minor, and the blues?

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Develop a better understanding of the blues scale.
  • Create lines that move between major and minor.
  • Understand the intervallic makeup of various scales.
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Sure, we’ve all heard the blues scale many times. It’s deeply connected to the language of modern guitar. It’s a scale that is versatile, adaptable, and in some cases, overused. We all have practiced it until our fingers became blistered. However, we always need to revisit it and refine our technique. Blues scales are used in so many genres including rock, country, bluegrass, funk, jazz, metal, and beyond. No matter what style of music you’re playing, it will serve you well to have this concept down. But parallel blues scales can help open your ear and fingers to new musical explorations within mostly well-worn paths.
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A how-to on the mental and physical side of practicing.

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop an internal sense of rhythm and learn to sync your hands.
  • Understand how to subdivide.
  • Focus on your mental state while practicing.
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Guitar is an unusual instrument, yet somehow we human beings invented it and refined it, both technologically and artistically. There are some days when everything flows, while other days it feels like we’re complete beginners again. This is totally normal. If we really considered how much information our bodies are processing just to be alive in our version of the world, perhaps we’d be a bit kinder to ourselves about our off days and humbler about our good days! I want to share a few perspectives on the core technical aspects of playing that can be helpful to work on and remind ourselves of regularly. Let’s dive in!

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A gateway into some of the most recognizable Vai-isms.

Advanced

Intermediate

·Develop a deeper sense of subdivisions.

·Learn how to combine odd groupings.

·Perfect the “Yngwie” pattern.

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I had the pleasure of taking part in a project a couple of years back breaking down Steve Vai’s playing on David Lee Roth’s Eat Em and Smile album. Safe to say my fingers were fried after three months of practicing, but there were so many creative ideas to learn from. Late ’80s and early ’90s Vai is really something to behold, as he was featured in huge bands and changed the face of instrumental guitar. I want to look at some technical aspects of what he would do in terms of linear lines and expressions. My hope is that by learning them, you can take them and make them your own. Let’s dive in!

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Photo courtesy of Whitesnake.com

Was Moody and Marsden one of the most underrated guitar duos of all time?

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Develop a better understanding of blues-rock riffs from the ’70s.
  • Learn how to harmonize solos and riffs.
  • Create interlocking guitar parts that make sense.
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Whitesnake’s self-titled album is a pinnacle of ’80s hard rock, instantly making them one of the biggest rock bands of the era. It was a departure from their previous six albums due to significant lineup changes. Both original guitarists, Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden, had left the band and opened the doors for former Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes to join. Sykes’ influence, which began on the 1984 release, Slide It In, moved the band away from its British blues-rock sound towards the more popular American glam-rock vibe. Let’s take a look at the band’s style during the Moody/Marsden era which is often overshadowed by 1987’s incredible success.

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