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Hell Struggle Solo
from Trey Alexander’s Quantum Rock

This month’s lesson builds on Trey’s rhythm part from our July issue. “Hell Struggle” features sweep picking, pentatonic lines and even a little alternate picking. Displaying influences such as Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen, take your time working through the riffs here until you digest the feel. Listen to them, as well as Eric Johnson, Guthrie Govan and Greg Howe.

The solo starts off with a B minor pentatonic that’s repeated, then goes into a B minor arpeggio, only we use sweep picking – picking up the neck for the first lick, down for the second. The next passage is a minor scale which starts at the 19th fret and remains on the E string all the way down. This is where the Yngwie influence really shows through. This passage finishes off back at the B minor pentatonic position and features a pinch harmonic on the B at the end.

The 9th measure ushers in the theme of the solo relying on a minor melody, which showcases a cool slide at the 22nd fret before repeating three times – old-school Strat guys are out of luck here! Start slow and gradually increase the speed; there are a lot of notes here. The fourth pass moves on to measure 11, which starts off the same as the previous passage, but finishes differently, delivering the player back to the B minor pentatonic position.

Work on your alternate picking and gradually speed up the licks until you feel relaxed and comfortable playing them. Have some fun with these lines and concepts, use them in your own playing and rock it out!
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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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