Here's one for the Rockers!
really an exercise, it's a reminder....
not an exercise but a reminder. So often when we
are sitting down to craft an 'ad lib' solo -- and
how many of us really just try to cut loose with
something different on a tune we play night after
night after night? -- we go up into the oft
mentioned tweedly deedly range up in the
fifteenth fret area and totally neglect the neck
south of the tenth fret. I believe it was Duane
Eddy who said that "there is no money to be
made above the fifth fret." Well, that may
not exactly be true or all the shred guitarists
you know might have starved to death prior to a
major label signing, but there is still some
truth to be gleaned. There is no need to avoid
that area of the neck covered in Mel Bay's Modern
Guitar Method Volume One Harry Pellegrin performs weddings and gallery openings in the Capital Area!!
I am here
to promote an even more overlooked area of the
fingerboard--open position and those open strings
themselves! I know, I know. You're saying
"But not every tune is in E, A, or
D!" and when we think about using open
strings, yes, it is most often to use them as
bass notes for reinforcing an E, A, or D chord.
Most of us rarely get more creative with those
open notes than that.
Everyone knows that E, A, D, g, b, and e are more
than just open strings -- they can be the root,
third or fifth of a chord. They can also be brief
waypoints in a chromatic run. And here I'm really
going out on a limb: they can also be
dissonances. Yup, call me a little risk-taking
Remember the '80's Big Hair favorite 'Talk
Dirty to Me'? Poison. Not the song, that's
the band. The guitar solo is a rock n' roll
derivative, a tribute to the type of solo you'd
expect to hear in a song with this type of I -vi
- VI - V chord progression. C.C. DeVille, the
guitarist who copped this solo, cuts from the
little thirds-type riffing and plays a little
melodic passage that is quite a nice little bit
of ear candy to complete his moment in the sun.
The tune is in G major, yet all these open
strings are used: e, b, g, D, and A. [Yes, the
guitars are tuned to E flat rather than E.] Some
are chord tones, some are passing tones. (And if
you are playing slide in standard tuning -- which
happens often to me -- it's nice to know that the
G major chord is present in the open position!)
It doesn't get any simpler than this. Note the
open strings (last note of each triplet figure.)
This is all legato (or slurred) plucking the
first note of each triplet and just pulling off
the other notes. When you hear C.C. play this, it
sounds more complex than it appears when you see
it written out. It would be a lot harder to play
if those open strings weren't there.
HEAR IT AT SPEED
Here is one of my favorite hi-speed filler licks
that takes advantage of the open strings. It can
be used in A major or in any progression where an
a major tonality is established for enough beats
to fit the lick. HEAR
Yeah, C.C.'s lick is far more complex and tasty
than mine. My little lick is effective when
played at blinding speed. Accomplish this by
actually plucking the first and last note only.
That's the absolutely first note and absolutely
the last note. Use hammer-on's and pull-off's to
sound every other pitch. This can be used as a
technique improving exercise, strengthening the
fingers so that hammer-on's and pull-off's are
uniform in volume and speed.
Work out your own
lightning licks using some open strings. They add
flash and panache to your solos -- big bang for
little buck in front of a crowd!
these exercises and come back next week for
By Harry George Pellegrin. The
first in the Gary Morrissey series of mysteries. Dealing
with modern subject matter in the classic style of the 1940's
Mystery Noire masters--think Raymond Chandler in New York in the
1980's... LOW END is the story of a drug addict who is
murdered after he believes he has found evidence of a major
government conspiracy. Is it only drug-induced paranoia?
Might be, except his paranoia could be considered justified: he
was murdered, after all. Friend Gary Morrissey takes it
upon himself to find out just what happened and lands himself in
See more info...
Classic Guitar Method
written, transcribed, edited and arranged by Harry G. Pellegrin: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.
See more info...
DEEP END: The Wreck
of the Eddie Fitz
Harry George Pellegrin. A mystery novel. Involving a
semi-professional musician and a Kreyol death cult, DEEP END
takes the reader from the bottom of Long Island Sound to the
steamy streets and Blues clubs of New Orleans. Alternative
spirituality does battle with the common working man. Published by
PAB Entertainment Group in association with LULU.com.
See more info...
Original Music by Harry G. Pellegrin:
is a departure for me
as it is totally keyboard. Well, the guitar did show up on one
"...Reflecting Pools is a notable first album [for
Mr. Pellegrin]. A dramatic sense of tonality and mood are
propelled by exemplary musicianship and exciting compositional
...And containing nine tracks that are relaxing, inspirational
-- sounds like a snooze. Not really, this is great stuff to
listen to on a rainy afternoon, while with your significant
other (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?)
Please visit the Reflecting Pools
page on this site or
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