Patterns can be viewed as boring or trite, but a little bit of creativity can turn them into bits of inspiration.

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Intermediater
Lesson Overview:
• Learn different ways to arrange scales.
• Combine various sequences to create more intersting lines.
• Solidify your technique by practicing unusual groupings of notes. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.
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Think triads are boring? Try a few of these improv ideas.

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Intermediate
Lesson Overview:
Build intriguing lines that outline the changes.
Use 16th-notes to create syncopated subdivisions.
Combine odd groupings to heighten rhythmic interest. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

Let’s take a look at building cool lines using root-position diatonic triads taken from the major scale. What is a triad? A triad is built by stacking three alternating notes from a scale. For example, if we take a G major scale (G–A–B–C–D–E–F#) and build a triad on the root by skipping every other note we get G–B–D, a major triad. Another way to think of this is to stack a minor third (B–D) on top of a major third (G–B). If we extend this process throughout the scale, we end up with the following triads: G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, and F#°.

Because all these chords are diatonic to a single key, we can use them to create some interesting lines. Many rock and fusion guitarists who are inspired by saxophone players use this approach in their improvisations. Larry Carlton, Frank Gambale, and Steve Lukather are just a few of the notable 6-stringers who incorporate this approach into their phrasing.

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So how exactly does the undisputed king of neo-classical shred do his thing? It’s mostly a combination of magic, dragons, and some hellacious picking.



• Create neo-classical licks using pedal points.

• Decode Yngwie's signature picking style.

• Learn how to use the harmonic minor and Phrygian dominant scales.

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A household name in the guitar and metal community, Yngwie Malmsteen is known for his stunning technique, incredible vibrato, stage presence, love of Ferraris, and of course, popularizing the neo-classical shred side of hard rock and metal. I'm a big fan of Yngwie and am honored to bring you this lesson on his highly influential 1986 album, Trilogy. This was Yngwie's third solo album and featured some truly epic artwork of Yngwie fighting a three-headed dragon on a mountaintop with his Strat.

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