Blues Modes and the Pentatonic Scale

The blues modes are usually the 2nd and 3rd modes of the major scale…but that isn’t what’s important. What’s important is how they sound, and what notes they contain, as I explain in the video. Notes of the Blues Modes As I explain in the video, everything you play in a solo is heard relative (read more…)

Written by Rob

Pentatonic Substitution Soloing Lesson

Pentatonic substitution…it’s two pretty long words…that means it’s something super complicated, right? Well, yes and no. As I explain in the video, it’s a pretty confusing concept at first, but once you get it, it makes things easier. The basic idea is that we’re using different pentatonic scales over the same set of chords (i.e. (read more…)

Written by Rob

Metal Guitar Harmonies Lesson

Metal guitar harmonies are really just like any other harmonies. So, it might have been more accurate to call this one ‘guitar harmony lines’…but it’s just that these ideas get used a lot in metal and heavy rock music! Think of bands like: Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden or Metallica and one of the things that (read more…)

Written by Rob

Learn a Lick 7- The pentatonic Box

So, here’s a lick that’s great for soloing with over blues-rock or metal tracks and it fits really well into the infamous ‘pentatonic box’. In fact, I used to use it all the time with my old band. It goes well over powerchords, or full minor chords. You could also try it with minor 7ths, (read more…)

Written by Rob

Scale Runs for Guitar

One of the very first answers to the question “How can I improve my soloing?” would be “Learn your scales“. While this probably isn’t amazingly helpful advice in itself, scale knowledge can really help when it comes to playing better solos. It’s not amazingly helpful because a scale- by itself- wont make a great solo. (read more…)

Written by Rob

Sounding Metal in a Major Key

Don’t you just hate it how major keys always sound so overly happy? OK, maybe not! But, if you want to sound really metal when your song is in a major key…what do you do? Well, there are a few things, actually! One of which I’ll explain in the video below. First, a Little Theory… (read more…)

Written by Rob

Learn a Lick 6: Rising Force

So, recently I’ve been very busy, and then I was ill- so I haven’t managed to do a video for a while. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’ve managed to spend some of this time sharpening my shred skills. I mean, if you’re stuck inside, ill, with nothing to do, why (read more…)

Written by Rob

Learn a Lick 5: The Shifty Thrasher

Today’s lick has been inspired by Thrash giants such as Kirk Hammett from Metallica. It also requires a lot of quick position shifts that need to be executed cleanly. This is why I’ve called this one the ‘Shifty Thrasher’! The lick uses the E natural minor scale, and would feel right at home in many (read more…)

Written by Rob

Lydian Mode Backing Track

Here’s the backing track to last week’s Lydian mode lesson. Again, this track has been extended from the ‘minus one’ track in the original post, with four repetitions of the clean riff, and then another four of the dirty riff. To solo over this, you’ll need the A lydian mode. This has the same notes (read more…)

Written by Rob

Crazy Scales: The Lydian Mode

Another one of my favourite modes, the Lydian mode. It’s essentially the same as the major scale, but with a sharpened 4th degree. Some people would even argue that the Lydian mode sounds brighter, happier and more “major” than the major scale! The 4th note sounds “lifted”, because it’s a semitone higher- this can give (read more…)

Written by Rob