Welcome! In this Strings of Rage™ webisode we’re going to look at a unique way to blaze through multiple octaves across the neck. This is a great way to cover a lot of the neck quickly and creatively. This works out great not only as a rippin’ shred lick but you can weave these types of exotic dominant sounding ideas into your lead melodies as well.
To do these Dominant Sweep Picking Arpeggios we’re going to use the dominant pentatonic scale as our basis. With a bit of creative thinking we can lay out this scale in a way that lends itself to an ultra efficient & seamless sweep picking pattern. Let’s get to it!
Exotic Dominant Sounds
The dominant sound is a really exotic feature you can throw into your playing. Dominant sounds really lead your listener along and create a feeling of tension that has desire to go somewhere. It will create musical tension draw your listener to expect a resolution or release.
You can defy convention with this type of idea and throw your listeners off by not resolving the tension or even key changing to new tension of different chordal quality altogether. For example you could modulate between standard dominant & the more dissonant altered dominant sounds.
The Dominant Pentatonic Scale
If you don’t know the dominant pentatonic scale we would suggest checking that out and getting comfortable with the 5 positions of that scale first. The dominant pentatonic is highly effective secret weapon to have in your arsenal of scales. Use it wisely, use it sparingly. Here is a single position of dominant pentatonic for reference.
The dominant pentatonic scale can be derived from the Mixolydian mode which is mode 5 of the major scale. If you know your modal theory then you’ll know that the mixolydian mode corresponds to the dominant chord in a major key. Harmonising the mixolydian mode yields a dominant chord tonality, you can then add on the extensions as you see fit. We’ve demonstrated two type of dominant chord that can be harmonised from this mode below.
For all the music theory purists out there, you can also derive the dominant pentatonic scale from Phrygian Dominant which is mode 5 of the Harmonic Minor scale. However this lesson we’ll just be looking at it in the context of Mixolydian.CJ – Strings of Rage™
Here are two types of dominant chord that can be harmonised from the mixolydian mode.
The Licks: Multi Octave Dominant Sweep Picking Arpeggios
Let’s start by looking at the ‘master’ version which is a 5 & 6 string version. These ideas are essentially just dominant 7 arpeggios but we’re using the dominant pentatonic scale as our guide.
This first one spans low E string to high B string. For added fluidity we can extend this onto the high E string using a smooth legato technique. The flexibility of this lick means that it can easily be adapted to work for 7 and 8 string guitars.
Flexible Licks: Three Octave 5 String Dominant Arpeggio Variation in A7
Because of the incredible flexibility of this lick, we can easily take this exact same idea but this time we’ll run it from the low A string up to the high E string. This version takes a little more dexterity since the final sweep picked arpeggio involves an arkward roll using your middle finger.
Be careful with this roll using your middle finger! This WILL take some practice and dedication to get down.
Final Crash: Extending These Ideas With An Additional Lower Octave
We don’t stop there! There’s plenty of mileage to push these ideas over the top! Lets check out a few other ideas we could do to turn this into a big badass combo lick! Please download the tab book for this lesson to better understand how to slide between positions.
Start with the lower octave, slide up and hammer into the lick as before!
Extended Range – Adapting for 7 String Guitar – Example in B Dominant 7
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about all you extended range experts out there! We also play extended range instruments and like to get the most out of the extra range. Here’s another way you can take this down to the low B string. Essentially this takes the 5 string low A to E version and adds the lower octave on the bottom end, taking it down to the low B.
Final Boss! – Adding T2 & T3 Tapping To Create a Sweep Picking & Tapping Monster Lick
To pull off these type of economy picked ideas we need to understand a few concepts:
Multi-note-per-string Sweep Picking & Economy Picking:
As you learn to advance your sweep picking prowess you’ll come across some advanced ideas that contain more than 1 or 2 notes per string. At first these seem impossible, however by creating and coming up with interesting ideas such as these it will force to you get over the hurdle.
Combining Sweep Picking & Legato:
We can combine legato & sweep picking techniques to yield a silky smooth sound that flows over the neck. Making sure your legato technique is proficient is the key to making these multi note per string ideas work well.
Dominant Sweep Picking Arpeggios – Final Boss Lick
For these final boss dominant sweep picking arpeggios we’re going to use the example in the key of E to demonstrate how to expand this idea. Just as we added an extra octave to the previous lick, in this example we are also going to be adding in two additional tapped notes using T2 and T3 tapping. T2 being your middle finger and T3 being your ring finger on your picking hand. Again, regardless of which version of this lick you’re using you can add this tapping into the mix to create a massive dominant 11 arpeggio that slides across the neck.
Download The Free eBook!
If you enjoyed this lesson please download the free eBook for this lesson where we cover everything PLUS tab out all the examples. We’ve also thrown some escape licks into the tab book so you can learn how to transition out of a lick such as this!
Footnote: The guitar used in the cover image is a Dean RC7 Lazer from when Rusty Cooley used to endorse Dean Guitars
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