Free Download Weekend!

Our new Master the Classics book, Hanon for Guitar: Inside Out, is now available for Kindle on Amazon. This weekend (August 17-18), you can pick it up for FREE! Inside Out takes the classic Hanon piano exercises and adapts them for guitar in just about every conceivable layout.

Once the free weekend is over, Inside Out will retail for just $3.99. I guarantee you that no other Hanon for guitar book has this much material in it — even at twice that price.

If you’re not sure what the Hanon deal is all about, check out our 99¢ Hanon Sampler. In 17 quick pages, you will find:  an explanation of what the Hanon exercises are and why they can supercharge your guitar chops; a tab of Exercise #1; a brief explanation of intervals and tabbed interval studies (3rds through 7ths); and an intro to Exercises #2-20 (which are covered in full in Inside Out).

Hanon Sampler is also free over the weekend. Whether you’re a beginner looking for material to build foundational technique, or an advanced player looking for great rut-busting melodic development, the Hanon exercises will add another dimension to your playing.

You don’t need to know any theory to use these books (or any of our books), just how to read tab! With our easy-to-follow methods, you’ll pick up the theory as you go along, without any studying, just playing!

So what are you waiting for? Go get the Hanon books now, while they’re free, check them out, leave a review on the Amazon pages!

Presto Excerpt

As you may have seen in the news, we’re in the middle of a brutal heat wave out here in California, making it pretty unpleasant to work or play guitar or do much of anything besides languish in front of a cool fan with a cold drink.

That said, we are still on track to release the next book in our Master the Classics! Series. Presto takes the classic Bach piece from the Violin Sonata #1 in Gm (BWV 1001), and works it every which way. The book will feature musical analysis of every part of the piece, and it is tabbed in two octaves, with plenty of great melodic shapes to learn and apply to your own playing. Best of all, there are dozens of exercises based on the music, featuring classic shredder techniques such as sweep picking, string skipping, pedal point, and more!

Whether you’re a novice player looking for tips on building technique, or an experienced shredder looking for more and better practice material, Presto will have something for players of all styles and skill levels.

So while we’re finishing up editing, formatting, and cover art, here’s another excerpt from the book:

________________________

The diagram below shows the G harmonic minor scale notes (other than open strings) from the 1st through the 12th frets:

G Harmonic Minor 01

Carefully observe how the scale lies across the fretboard, and see how you can create various useful fingerings for this scale, using any number of strings (including just one string). Here’s the tab for a standard six-string fingering at the 3rd position:

4a

Here’s an alternate fingering that’s great for working up the neck quickly:

4b

Use the suggested fingerings and slides, take it slow at first, and you should be ripping it up in no time.

A lot of the counterpoint and melodic motion in the Presto takes place within a single octave of the G harmonic minor, so these next few exercises will focus on a snapshot of the fretboard:

G Harmonic Minor 02

Here’s the tab:

4c

Even though the shift to the B string is two frets, it should not be too difficult to handle. Run it back and forth until it’s fast, clean, and smooth. Since all four fingers are used at some point or other, it makes an effective warm-up exercise as well.

Now what if we start this scale sequence one scale degree down, like this?

4d

Since it’s starting from the 7th degree of the scale, this is considered the seventh mode of the harmonic minor scale. It is commonly known as the Ultralocrian. Where the Locrian mode (seventh mode of the major scale) is spelled out (relative to major scale) R-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7, the Ultralocrian spells out (again, relative to major scale) R-b2-b3-b4-b5-b6-bb7; every note other than the root is flattened, and the 7th degree is diminished (flattened twice).

The harmonic minor scale and the Ultralocrian mode each have their own distinctive “flavor” that works well over certain types of progressions. It’s definitely worth the effort to get familiar with these scales.

Let’s run this up and back in thirds, along the D-G-B strings:

4e

There are some twists and turns in there, so take it slow and use the recommended fingering. There’s a balance of one-string and two-string third intervals throughout, demonstrating the importance of learning intervals every way possible.

________________________

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Presto will be available on Amazon July 4th, and we’ll kick off the release with free downloads all weekend (July 4-7)! Stay tuned, and check in as this week moves along, as we’ll have an excerpt from the other forthcoming book as well.

3N/S Patterns: Harmonic Minor

The harmonic minor scale is actually easier to play in position than as a 3-notes-per-string (“3N/S”) pattern. But because these patterns have so many cool uses for melodic sequencing, and are helpful in traveling up and down the neck, it’s worth learning.

If you’re not familiar with the harmonic minor scale by name, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard it here and there. It is not commonly used in pop music, but is frequently found in metal and classical. Guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen have built careers on the virtuosic, heavy classical sound of this scale.

Spelled intervallically, the natural minor scale (in relation to the major scale) goes: 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7. So the 3rd, 6th, and 7th degrees of the major scale are flattened to make a natural minor scale (aka Aeolian mode).

The harmonic minor scale is the same as the natural minor, except that the 7th degree is not flattened, only the 3rd and 6th degrees. This creates a wider interval between that b6 and the Δ7 (the delta Δ can be used to denote major), which creates the melodic tension most associated with the harmonic minor scale.

Check out the diagrams below for notes and intervals in the scale:

HMinorScale

Here’s the tab and .wav for the scale:

HMinor_Scale

HMinor Scale

It takes a bit of back-and-forth shifting going from string to string, but once you get the shape down it’s not too bad. As always, take it slow at first, use strict alternate picking, and observe what each hand is doing as you shift and move from one string to the next.

The practice sequence below moves along the scale in thirds, ascending then descending. Check the tab and .wav files:

HMinorSeq

HMinor Seq (60bpm)   HMinor Seq (120bpm)

We’ll post some more ideas for melodic sequencing with 3N/S patterns soon, but in the meantime, try all of the sequencing ideas we’ve gone through so far on all of the scales (blues, major, minor, harmonic minor) we’ve looked at. Interval studies (such as the sequence in thirds tabbed above) are especially useful in discovering patterns within these larger scale patterns.

3N/S Patterns: Minor Scale

In looking at 3-note-per-string (aka “3N/S”) scale patterns we’ve touched on blues and major scales. Let’s take a look at the natural minor scale next. We’ll use the A minor scale, since it’s all natural notes (no sharps or flats), and the A minor scale is the relative minor of the C major scale. (Conversely, C major is the relative major of A minor.)

Here is the scale, spelled out in notes and then in intervals:

MinorScale

To add a little bit to the reference to modes from last time, since we know that a mode is a scale starting from a given tone, and there are seven tones in a major scale, then there must be seven modes, right?  This is where that “relative minor/major” idea comes in; if you count through the respective scales, you can see that the minor scale is the 6th (or Aeolian) mode of the major scale, which is A.

Here’s the tab and .wav file for the A minor scale:

Minor_Scale

Minor Scale

You’ll have to shift a little bit moving from the G to B and B to E strings, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. Check out the Modes cheat sheet on the Resources page for diagrams that are useful for visualization.

Here’s a cool melodic sequence to use on 3N/S scale patterns. It ascends through the scale pattern with a four-note sequence that goes (numbers indicate scale steps) 1-2-3-1, 2-3-4-2, 3-4-5-3, etc. Descending the pattern goes in reverse, 3-2-1-3.

Take it slow, use alternate picking (starting with a downstroke) and a metronome, and pay attention to those shifts on the upper strings. Use the .wav files for reference:

Minor_Seq

Minor Seq (60bpm) Minor Seq (120bpm)

Stay tuned, there’s another 3N/S pattern to cover, as well as more melodic sequences to use, and we’ll also be covering some ideas to improve your acoustic fingerstyle playing!

3N/S Patterns: Major Scale

Let’s continue our series on 3-note-per-string (referred to here as “3N/S”) by looking at the major scale. We’ll revisit the C Major scale, since it is comprised solely of natural notes (no sharps or flats). Check out the diagrams below, showing the scale spelled out in notes and then in intervals:

notes(2) intervals(2)

Notice that these aren’t “root-to-root” scales encompassing multiple full octaves, they are two octaves and a perfect fourth, roughly 2½ octaves. This is simply to make the most out of the position being played in, as there are only a couple of minor shifts involved.

For people who aren’t familiar with the concept of modes, there’s no time like the present to bring it up. A mode is just a scale sequence that starts from a given note in the scale. So if you start from C (the root), that’s the C Ionian mode (as well as the C Major scale). If you go from D to D’ (one octave up), that is called D Dorian. E to E’ is E Phrygian, and so on. The positions can be (and are) extrapolated along the neck.

We’ll go over modes in depth in a future series, in the meantime, check out the Modes cheat sheet on the Resources page for a quick overview. Modes are an incredibly useful tool in developing a melodic and truly musical style.

Check the tab and .wav file below. As always, use alternate picking (starting with a downstroke) and use a metronome. Notice that the sequence comes back down through the scale in the next position, which again would be the D Dorian mode:

Major Scale 01

Major Scale

The strength of playing scales this way is that they are useful in a huge variety of melodic sequencing patterns,  The sequence shown below is a great example of what can be done, it ascends four notes at a time through the scale. Try both ascending and descending, and listen to the accompanying .wav files for reference:

Major Seq 01

Major Seq (60bpm) Major Seq (120bpm)

Work it around in as many positions as you can think of, keeping in mind where the root note is located. We’ll review another scale and cool melodic sequence soon.

Scales and Intervals, Part 4: Review

If you’re still with us on the Scales and Intervals series, thanks for sticking with it. I guarantee you that while it may seem like a lot of information to absorb, especially if you’re starting with basic (or no) knowledge, that it will pay off, relatively quickly, and for years to come.

These are concepts that form the basis for developing the technical and the creative aspects of your playing. Obviously, both of those things are important, and knowing where things are and what they’re called will enable you to get where you want to go more quickly, and with fewer potholes along the way.

But for this post, let’s take a quick break from all the theory jargon, and show you a few practical things to work on, based on the material so far, that will give you real results, in a fairly short amount of time.

Check out the three main ways to play the C major scale across the neck, starting with the 1st, 2nd, then 4th fingers:

1f

The above one we covered earlier in the series. Three-note-per-string scales are invaluable to learn, as they are the most adaptable, and present the most opportunities for creating great melodic patterns to run up and down through the scale.

2f

The above form was the most conventional way to play a major scale for a long time, but most rock players went to the 3-note/string style in the ’80s, as those patterns are more applicable to shredding. Still, this is a good pattern to know, as it presents another way to anchor your fretting hand and prepare to navigate through the course of a solo or melodic phrase.

4f

This last one is another good pattern for navigating and finger independence. It may be easier for you to play the D and G strings using the 3rd finger, instead of the 2nd. Either way, there’s going to be a little bit of shifting back and forth, but not too bad.

Practice all three forms with alternate picking, starting with downstrokes and with upstrokes, observing how the changes from string to string affect your picking motion in each form. Remember also these forms are movable, and the first (lowest) note is the root of the scale, so if you want to play a B major scale, start one fret down in 7th position.

In moving the forms to other positions, keep the note diagram for the entire fretboard handy, and observe the names of the notes in the other major scales. It’s especially helfpul to notice how many more accidentals (sharps/flats) are present in various keys.

For example, the C major scale, as we’ve seen, has no sharps or flats. But one position down, the B major scale, goes:  B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A#-B, a total of 5 sharps in that scale. One position up from C, the C# major scale, goes: C#-D#-F(E#)-F#-G#-A#-C(B#)-C#. Technically, B#-C are enharmonics, as are E#-F, so the key signature (like you would see on a musical clef) of C# major is shown to have seven sharps, or every note in that major scale!

(About the only time you will ever see the notes B-sharp, E-sharp, C-flat, or F-flat, is when they are used in specific key signatures. Otherwise, they are conventionally known as C, F, B, and E respectively.)

There are mathematical patterns behind this, which we’ll cover in future posts when we get to concepts like the circle of fifths. In the meantime, just practice all three major scale forms in as many positions as possible (utilizing open strings as needed), and identify all the notes in each different major scale.

All those movable major scale forms should keep you busy for a while, and to add to the fun, let’s leave you with a couple of exercises based on third intervals. Here’s the first (3-note-per-string) scale form in thirds, ascending then descending:

3rds(1)

Now in sextuplets:

3rds(2)

The sextuplet rhythm and number of notes don’t quite land “right” the way the first example does, but you get the idea.

Needless to say, these interval exercises can be worked through all three scale forms diagrammed above. Start with both directions of alternate picking, then try incorporating legato, palm muting, and economy picking. Learn the patterns thoroughly in one position or key before moving them up and down the neck.

This series has grouped scales and intervals together, in order to show how the former is constructed from the latter. Hopefully this series has provided some insight as to how the two are related. Please check out the Intervals PDF on the Resources page for a larger chart showing the note and interval relationships within a given scale.

At this point, in order to do justice to each subject, we’re going to investigate deeper into intervals and scales separately. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll check out each type of interval separately, and provide tab examples and diagrams to help you get them under your belt. Then we’ll move on to some different types of scales.

Scales and Intervals, Part 3

Hopefully the material we’ve covered so far in scale and interval theory is useful and makes sense. As always, please post any questions or comments here, or send directly to purpletigerguitar@gmail.com and we’ll respond ASAP.

So continuing on with exploring the C major scale, let’s try playing a few simple variations. Here’s a 5-string 2-octave version starting from 3rd position A string:

notes

The same version spelled with intervals:

intervals

Check the tab, observing the slight shift when you get to the B string:

2octave Remember to come back down the pattern, maintaining strict alternate picking. This one is movable as well, with the first note as the root. Playing the formation at the 5th position makes it a D major scale, 7th position is E major, etc.

Here is the scale in just a single octave, but in the more traditional (rather than 3-note/string) form:

1octave

As we progress through scales and intervals, and move on to triads, modes, chords, and arpeggios, the 1-octave form comes in pretty handy for developing melodic exercises that go through all seven modes of the scale (which we’ll get to soon).

Let’s look at one more way to play the major scale, before moving on to a quick interval exercise. Check out the single-string scale below:

ss01

This is a great exercise for position shifting. Use the suggested fingering and slides, ascending then descending, alternate picking throughout. Take it slow at first; the range you cover quickly makes it tough to just rip through it.

Single-string scale patterns are great to learn, in all keys and on every string. Sample diagrams will be provided on the Resources page, and you can also refer to the fretboard diagram below to figure the rest of the possibilities in C major:

fretboard(notes)

Spelled intervallically:

fretboard(int)

Don’t worry about going strictly from C to C’ for single-string patterns, this is another great way to build fretboard knowledge and develop melodic patterns to use. Single- and two-string patterns are awesome for developing cool pedal point figures.

In all of these different scale formations, make sure to observe where the intervals are, and how they fall on the fretboard. Keep in mind that the interval designations in the above diagram are in relation to the root, and that the notes are also intervallically related to each other.

That might be a bit confusing, so here’s an example of the different intervallic relationships: you can see where the E note at the 12th fret of the low E string is a major third above the C note on the 8th fret of that string. You can see where the G note (10th fret, A string) is a perfect fifth above that C note. But that G note is also a major second above the F note (8th fret), and a minor third above the E note, the one that’s a major third above the C.

Be sure to check out the 2-page Intervals pdf cheat sheet on the Resources page; it contains a handy 2-octave chart that demonstrates the various combinations. Thirds are especially important to get a handle on, as it is the various combinations of major and minor thirds that are used to construct triads and chords.

We’ll get more into depth on intervals in the next post, but the tab below shows the C major scale played in ascending thirds:

thirds

All of the intervals are useful to know, but thirds are probably the most important ones to get familiar with. Stay tuned; more exercises based on thirds, and how to construct triads and chords with them, are up next.

Scales and Intervals, Part 2

Picking up where we left off with a basic description of how the 12 notes of an octave are named, organized, and related musically and on the fretboard. Recall the deceptively simple exercise we went over in the last post, of identifying each note on the fretboard.

Try it two ways:

  1. systematically running up the neck one fret at a time, calling out the name of each note as you go along;
  2. randomly selecting the 12 notes in succession, playing every note of that name in every octave, before moving on to the next note.

The reason I say the exercise is deceptively simple is that as a concept, it may seem to be at a basic level — names and locations of notes. But I have seen intermediate and even advanced players have to work at it. Try it, it’s not an easy thing to do all the way through. Five minutes before each practice session for two weeks, you will see results in your fretboard knowledge and ability to navigate quickly and confidently, guaranteed.

Let’s continue with another basic definition. A scale is simply a specific sequence of notes within an octave. There are many different types of scales, of varying numbers of notes. The scale that uses all 12 notes of the octave is the chromatic scale. Most scales you encounter will have five(pentatonic), six (hexatonic), seven, or eight notes. The most commonly used scales are major and minor seven-note scales. This post will focus primarily on the C Major scale.

The C Major scale is ideal for this purpose because it uses all seven natural notes, and no sharps or flats. The sequence goes like this:

C     D     E     F     G     A     B     C’ (start next octave)

In the last post, we looked at the distances between notes in terms of half steps and whole steps (also known as semi-tones and whole tones, respectively). Keeping in mind the full 12-note octave, and the locations of the five sharp/flat notes, let’s break down the C Major scale in terms of distances between each note and the one right after it:

IntervalChart01

The first row below the header indicates what degree (scale note in relation to the root note) of the scale each note is. The next row shows the interval relationship from one note to the next; C to D, D to E, and so on. The bottom row shows the interval relationship between the root and each note of the scale.

“M” in front of a numeral refers to major, “m” is minor. (The delta (Δ) is also used to indicate major.)

So “M2” means a major second interval, “m7” would mean minor seventh. “P” (can be upper or lower case) means “perfect”; while second, third, sixth, and seventh intervals are always either major or minor, fourth and fifth intervals are always either perfect, diminished (half-step flat), or augmented (half-step sharp).

The augmented interval is also known as the tritone (TT), cornerstone of countless metal riffs, known in classical times as diabolus in musica (the devil in music), for its unresolved sound. The tritone is the halfway point in the 12-note octave.

So to recap the C major scale:

C     D     E     F     G     A     B     C’

The sequence of half-steps (H) and whole steps (W) for any major scale goes like this:

ScaleSteps

Check out the full-fretboard diagram from the previous post, the one with every note listed. When you apply the W-W-H-W-W-W-H sequence starting from, for example, G, you’ll get the sequence G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G. That is the G major scale.

Let’s go back to C Major, and take a look at a standard 2½-octave, 3-note-per-string scale, starting from the the 8th fret on the E string.

notes(2)

Of course, there are plenty of areas and positions on the fretboard to play any scale, and we’ll take a look at several as this series moves along. But it’s really effective to work on the basics of the major scale in this position, because it uses all six strings, and is made up of just 3 fingerings paired across the neck.

Now the same scale, spelled out intervallically (again, the Δ denotes major):

intervals(2)

Check the tab below for suggested fingering:

Scale

The 3-note-per-string setup makes it simple to play the scale in sextuplets:

Scale(6)

Strict alternate picking, both down-up and up-down, ascending and descending. The formation is movable, with the first (lowest) note always being the root note, thus the name of the scale. So if you play this formation at the 3rd position, it’s a G major scale, 5th position is A major, etc.

In the next post in the series, we’ll take a look at a few other movable scale formations to use, as well as third intervals.

Scales and Intervals, Part 1

This is the first of a series of posts about scales and intervals, ways to incorporate them into your practice routines, and how to use them to build chords and learn more advanced melodic concepts, such as modes and arpeggios.

The interval is the most basic element of western music, regardless of style. Triads, scales, modes, chords, and arpeggios can all be expressed in terms of intervals, and all are constructed from various combinations of intervals. Getting the concept of intervals down and learning to apply them to these other musical areas will absolutely shorten the learning curve not only for theory, but for technique and composition.

The definition of an interval is simply the distance between any two notes. This series of posts will focus specifically on intervals contained within a major (diatonic) scale, from which you can then see how to construct all the aforementioned triads and chords. For those of you new to scales, we’ll describe that to you shortly, as this series progresses.

People can frequently be intimidated by these ideas, of having to learn and memorize a bunch of old Greek names and scale shapes and such. Folks, I promise you, it’s not a history exam; the advantage to knowing what a Mixolydian mode or a diminished triad is, isn’t to impress people with your esoteric knowledge of an ancient fifty-cent word.

All the terms for these concepts — major, minor, Phrygian, suspended, whatever — are just names for things. The reason the names and concepts are useful to know is simply to have a common terminology that enables you to quickly grab any new idea and run with it, because you know what the name means — and more importantly, what it sounds like. It takes some time to learn and internalize them upfront, but I guarantee you that the knowledge will save you far more time down the road, as your playing develops. It’s time well spent.

The very first place to start with learning music theory is probably the most obvious — learn all the notes on the fretboard. Seriously, learn the name of every single note. There are only 12 notes in an octave, 7 natural notes (no sharps or flats) and 5 accidentals (sharps/flats). Depending on the key you’re in, accidentals may use sharps or flats to indicate the note; these are called enharmonics.

The sequence of notes in a single octave goes like this:

A     A#/Bb     B     C     C#/Db     D     D#/Eb     E     F     F#/Gb     G     G#/Ab     A’ (next octave)

You can start from any note and cycle through the octave sequence, go higher or lower. A 24-fret guitar in standard tuning will have 4 full octaves, from the open low E string to the 24th fret on the high E string.

Notice that there is no accidental note between B and C, nor between E and F. For the rest of them, the sharp/flat pairs are identical. So A# and Bb are two names for a single note; again, the proper name will depend on the key you’re in at the time. On a printed score sheet, the sharps or flats on the left of the musical staff (next to the clef marking) will tell you the key of the piece.

Let’s keep it simple for now, though:  12 notes in an octave. Each note is a half-step (or semi-tone) apart. So it’s a half-step from A to Bb, a half-step from B to C, a whole step (tone) from C to D, 1½ steps from B to D, etc. If you aren’t already familiar with these concepts, take a few minutes and check out the entire line of notes in the octave indicated above, and consider the number of steps between various pairs of notes. This is the beginning of understanding intervals.

Now, find where each of those notes exists on the fretboard. Two ways to do this — systematically, where you just start from the low open E string, and start heading up the neck one fret at a time from there, F on the 1st fret, F# on the 2nd fret, G on the 3rd fret, etc.; and randomly, where you just call out (or set up a randomizing macro on Excel) a note, for example C#, and then find every C# on the neck.

Some of the notes you identify will be duplicates; for example, the C# on the 9th fret of the low E string is the same exact note as the C# on the 4th fret of the A string. The C# on the 6th fret of the G string is an octave higher, and the C# on the 9th fret of the high E string is yet another octave higher.

In standard (EADGBE) tuning, there will be more E notes than any other; a 24-fret neck will have a total of 14 E notes, covering 4 full octaves, so plenty of multiple locations for identical notes. The 24th fret of the low E, 19th fret of the A, 14th fret of the D, 9th fret of the G, 5th fret of the B, and the open high E string are all the same exact note. Play all of them, of course.

Use the diagram below for reference. All the accidentals are shown as sharps; keep in mind that they are also flats, so C# is also Db, D# is also Eb, and so on.

All notes

So, got all that? Knowing where every note is located on the neck may seem like a lot at first, but again, there’s just 12 notes in an octave, then you’re in the next octave. Five minutes at the start of every practice session, and you’ll have them all down in a week or two.

The next post in this series will get you started on scales and intervals. Stay tuned!

Lick of the Week: Pedal Point and Scale Sequences

Here’s an extended lick that is really two separate melodic runs combined. The first half is a pedal point phrase based in E minor. Practice this basic phrase, utilizing strict down-up alternate picking:

LotW3(sample)

Using the suggested fingering will keep you in the 12th position, and utilize all four fingers, accenting the first note of each 4-note grouping. It’s a great-sounding phrase to play at higher tempos. The 3-note (C-B-C) pedal is a cool contrast to the usual single-note style.

So let’s take that intro phrase and add a few more notes to play against the pedal.

LotW3(1)

The first note of the third bar (F#) requires a slight shift back one fret, but you should be able to move the index finger back and forth from G to F# and back to G, while keeping everything else still in the 12th position. Slide into the final high A note from the high G (15th fret) for added emphasis.

Now let’s take a look at the second half of the phrase, which will cover most of the strings and move along several positions:

LotW3(2)

This is just a straight E minor scale, sequenced in descending groups of four. Rather than the typical 3-notes-per-string scale, note how the run alternates between three notes and four notes per string. This facilitates position shifting, with small slides at key points in the phrase. The shift to the D# (major 7th interval) to slide into the final E note suggests a shift from natural minor to harmonic minor.

A few things to consider trying with this phrase:  I like to begin this descending run by raking into the first high A note at the 17th fret. Raking is like sweeping, only much easier, since the actual notes being raked are simply muted, rather than played out. To rake that first note efficiently, just lightly mute the two (or three) strings above the “target” note (in this case, again, the high A at the 17th fret) with your index finger, while your 4th finger is set up on the target note. Once you hit the lower notes, perhaps midway through the third bar, try palm muting the rest of the way through. As always, these little variances add dynamic contrast, and keep it from sounding like just another quick scalar run.

Here’s the entire lick, combining both parts:

LotW3(full)

The entire melodic run has a baroque classical feel to it, and usually these types of scale sequences sound better at higher tempos when strict alternate picking is maintained. But there’s always room to throw in some improvised legato phrasing as well.

You know the drill — take it slowly at first, definitely use a metronome, build up some speed and precision and change a few notes here and there. For example, try playing the descending run as E Dorian, rather than Aeolian, which means all the C notes would be C#. Chromatic passing tones are also fun to use here and there. Experiment, play hard, and have fun!