Admit it, you use chords and scales.
That means you use theory, and that you’re probably not using it right…….
That’s okay though and it’s because everyone told you to memorize a bunch of BS.
The three guys I’ll be talking about in this lesson DIDN’T DO THAT!
They learned a few things, then applied it, then learned a few more things, and on and on till they had their own unique command over the fretboard.
So let’s dive in and see exactly what they were up to when they created their memorable riffs & licks……
Slash’s Lead Guitar Theory In Action
I’ve already written an extensive guitar lesson about Slash right over here, but you can get a lot of stuff from this video too of course.
Slash’s style comes down to a few things……..
Pentatonic scale patterns and melodies
Country nuances like pedal steel bends, mixture of major & minor, sixth intervals
And slow melodies full of intervallic skips
Take a look at the tab to sweet child o’ mine’s main riff to see what I mean:
Yeah yeah it’s a pentatonic scale, but look at how the notes are far away from each other!
Why can’t you start doing that???
It’s really fricking easy, but you’ve gotta stop playing a scale straight up and down.
The video will go over more examples, and I’ll even break down the intervals for you and show how he makes something more rock or more countryish.
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lead Guitar Theory Under The Microscope
Stevie. Ray. Vaughan.
Absolute master bluesman, but he was only great because he practiced a lot of what he learned from the great blues guys who came before him like Albert King (his favorite).
The blues is simple and it’s not simple. (what?)
What I mean is that everything thinks its just three chords, and some pentatonic scales…..
Nope. No sir (mam).
It’s actually got a lot more going on to it than that.
Check out the licks below, which are also in the video……..
Steve uses rhythms like triplets to make a blues shuffle rhythm.
He uses double stops to suggest one of those simple three chords.
And he likes to skip to big intervals just like Slash does. In fact, it’s what lots of guitar players do.
Then there’s the use of the diminished 5th, blue note, interval.
All you do to get that is play the pentatonic scale, and add the note that comes a half step after the third note.
Well he used parts of chords and scales and made music out of it!
Those chords and scales can be understood as harmonies and melodies, which make up songs……..
Are you starting to understand now that there’s a been a world of knowledge and guitar playing that’s been invisible to you????
You need to take the blinders off and start taking this seriously if you want people to actually enjoy your doodling on the guitar…..
How To Use Chet Atkins Country Twang & Guitar Theory For Yourself
Chet’s music is NOT easy to play, much less to replicate a similar sounding guitar riff using the chord melody travis-picking trickery that he uses.
Although he uses standard chords in his songs like G, C, D, A, E, etc……
It’s the way that he combines all the different ways to play that shape on the guitar…….
That makes it so unique!
You see, you can actually play a chord in more than one spot while you’re strumming or playing a riff.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
This is actually how classical pianists came up with so many beautiful sounds as they had to use the entire keyboard to bring out the varieties of texture in a part.
And that possibility is there on the guitar too, except everyone plays XX0232 and nothing else when it comes to the D shape!
I mean look at these tabs…….
If you can’t play them, go to youtube and check out these riffs to hear their richness.
This is what the guitar can do guys.
It can make the sounds of an entire ensemble through skillful use of its six strings.
And Chet does this by playing particular rhythms in the bass, choosing the right chord shapes, and then the appropriate way to play the melody.
You can’t come up with that by playing by ear too.
You can only come up with that after you know your shit (pardon my french).
Want more? Check out my Marty Friedman guitar lesson over here……..
Click here to check out my Marty Friedman tutorial covering his exotic scales, arpeggios, and use of scales……..
Hopefully you’re ecstatic over this lesson because you see all the stuff that’s been working in the riffs and solos you’ve heard and played your entire life.
There’s a science behind this, though the inspiration to create it is all other bag.
You can tweak intervals to make chords and scale melodies that sound a way you want them too.
And my music theory product will tell you how to do that……..
Click the image below to check it out, and watch my videos if you haven’t already.