Welcome to this very first instalment of advanced modal sweep picking! In this series we’re going go beyond the realms of anything considered ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ sweep picking. These ideas will take your sweep picking ability to the next level. Summon your inner Anubis! Let’s Go!
We’ve yet to see or hear many other players doing these type of ideas so this is pretty exciting stuff! Most common sweep picked shapes are usually very basic major and minor tonality. You’ll hear some of the more advanced players take it further with some basic 7th extensions but it doesn’t often go beyond this. In this series we’re going to show you how to create new sounds using a highly versatile advanced sweep picking approach. Get warmed up and get your shred on because these are going to test your dexterity!
ATTENTION! In this weeks episode we’re going to be looking at creating a beautiful 5 & 6 string sweep picking progression that flows seamlessly through 3 altered major chords. The real magic in the sound of this progression is the extended notes we’re adding in to each arpeggio.
This takes a very normal sounding sweep picking progression into something with interesting and unusual sonic quality that will really grab some attention. We’ll strategically choose our arpeggio inversions to keep each shape within the same position on the fretboard. This means we can do a huge sounding sweep picked progression without having to move all over the neck. NOW GET TO IT!
Okay kids, this is where it all starts! The major scale modes! You’ve probably seen around the internet, in books and many other resources that there is other ways to play these scales. In fact, any scale. We would highly suggest to avoid playing your scales in a non 3nps (or 4nps) way.
3nps scales make things very easy and give you the most mileage of notes. ‘Cowboy’ shapes can be very confusing because of the varying number of notes per string. The 3nps shapes make it nice and easy to string things together and quickly navigate the fretboard.
In this episode we’re going to take a detailed look at intervals, what they are and how to use them effectively in your playing.
Essentially intervals are simply the distance between notes, however with a little understanding you can harness the true power of intervals to achieve any sound you want. We’ll also learn about interval note relationship and how this can help unlock songwriting creativity.
Here’s a fun and challenging lick for all you string skippers out there. This lick uses all 4 fingers on the fretboard hand and skips in the same position before shifting position on the descend. Whole tone is a great way to add a sense of mystery to a solo or to make your listener feel uneasy.
When you mix whole tone and chromatics you can achieve a really unique dissonant or outside sound. Make sure you use it sparingly though!
This week we’re going to look at a 6 finger Tapping lick that is often associated with the likes of Steve Lynch, Nuno Bettencourt. Not to mention more modern players such as Andy James & Rusty Cooley. This tapping lick uses 3 fingers on your right hand and 3 fingers on your left hand.
I find this six finger tapping lick easiest to tap with index, middle and ring fingers on your picking hand. You can then execute hammer-ons and pull-offs on the fretboard hand with index, middle and pinky fingers. I believe in playing however you are most comfortable, so if you find a different finger combination works better for you then go with that.Continue Reading
Here’s an interesting descending harmonic minor picking lick that incorporates 3 and 4 notes per string. This one is particularly challenging because the 4 note pattern uses a minor third > half > whole shape which is unconventional for this type of lick.
We’ll be using a 3 and 4nps pattern for most of the lick, finishing up in the Dorian#4 position of the harmonic minor modes. Get warmed up and get your shred on because this Harmonic Minor Picking Lick is a ripper.Continue Reading
This is an interesting concept I’d like to demonstrate for creative songwriting. We’re going to look at writing a progression that changes key but remains in the same mode.
In this lesson we’re going to take full advantage of the beautiful lydian mode to write a mysterious chord progression that employs a key change. The really clever thing about how this works is that it uses the idea of pitch axis.Continue Reading
Michael Jackson is a massive inspiration for us here at Strings of Rage™. In this episode we’re going to take a close look at the composition of one of MJ’s most awesome, but little known heavy rock tracks “Do You Know Where Your Children Are”.
This track was a previously unreleased song recorded for the Dangerous album. It’s a shame this song didn’t make the cut because it’s such an aggressive solid rock tune from MJ. It would have easily complemented the likes of “give in to me” and “black or white” on the Dangerous album.Continue Reading
This week we’re going to look at a rippin’ alternate picking lick that switches between 4 and 3 fingers per string. We’re going to be using sequences of sevens and fives to play through this lick in octaves across all 6 strings. In this alternate picking lick we will be utilising the Harmonic Minor scale
Typically an alternate picking sequence of 5’s or 7’s will be using a 3 finger shape, however because we are switching between 3 and 4 fingers per string, a sequence of 7’s now becomes a 4 finger shape. You’ll notice that when you start over on the next octave you begin again with your pinky. The really unique thing about this lick is that the sequences start at opposite ends, this makes for an unconventional sound to a picking lick.Read more
Melodic minor, also known as the jazz minor scale, is conventionally used in jazz and bebop. However with a little understanding of the construction of these modes, you can achieve a really mysterious outside sound when thrown into a metal solo or lead melody.
Generally these modes have a whole tone & augmented type of sound which can be a great way to spice up an otherwise bland melody or sequence.Continue Reading
Now the fun begins. If you have nailed down the standard major and minor pentatonic scales then these shapes will add an extra exotic flavour to your playing. The dominant pentatonic simply raises the minor third interval of the regular minor pentatonic to a major third interval to create a really exotic dominant sound.
In this lesson we’re going to look at five positions of the basic two-note-per string dominant pentatonic scales. Just like the standard pentatonic scale, there is going to be five different shapes. All of these will be built from from each note of the scale. If you’re ready to advance your pentatonics then check out this lesson.Continue Reading
In this lesson we’re going to look at the basic 2nps pentatonic and blues scales. There is going to be five different shapes of the pentatonic scale built from each note of the scale. However, unlike the major scale, the pentatonic scale only has 5 notes.
Penta meaning five. Each of these pentatonic and blues scales will begin from the second note of the previous scale. I’ve intentionally not given you fretboard numbers to force you to learn to connect the shapes all over the neck yourself! When you’re ready to take the next step in pentatonic playing check out this lesson! Lets go!Continue Reading
In this lesson we’re going to look at the basic 3nps forms of the Harmonic minor modes. We’ll aim to identify what makes these modes unique so we are able to use them in our playing.
Similar to how the modes of the major scale refer back to the major scale as a point of reference, the harmonic minor modes refer back to the major scale modes too.Continue Reading
Take your scale knowledge to the next level. Major Scale, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, Exotic Modes