A while back, I showed you how to play a solo I recorded for the new White Wizzard album. In that solo, I highlighted a riff/lick where I double-picked each note with palm muting to create a staccato-style effect.
The inspiration for this lick came from former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee, who used this effect in several Osbourne songs. The pre-chorus and chorus of “Bark at the Moon” use this technique, as well as the main riff from “Waiting for Darkness.”
For this lesson, I want to explore some more applications of this technique and give you some ideas of how you can use it in your own playing. The technique can be applied to virtually any single-note sequence you can come up with. I find it best to create a simple melodic line and then apply the technique to create a riff or motif. I’ve found it particularly useful in my solos as a way to create dynamics. To start, here’s the lick from my previous lesson.
It’s just a very simple D minor pentatonic idea, which, combined with the technique, creates a much more memorable passage. This also is a good way to use pentatonics outside of the traditional rock-style licks.
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Here’s a riff inspired by Jake E Lee’s “Waiting for Darkness.” It features a simple B natural minor melody followed by descending thirds. This is taken from one of my own compositions, where I used it as the main theme within the song.
This is similar to the previous idea, but it uses A harmonic minor and a flat 5th to create a darker-style riff. This is taken from another solo I recorded. I was struggling to find something that sounded good over the backing music. There was no chord progression, rather just quick-moving power chords through a harmonic minor/diminished hybrid scale.
If you don’t like to sweep pick, this technique will allow you to play arpeggios with some speed. My final example features a simple A minor to G major chord progression played as arpeggios across all six strings. This is a great application for this technique.
Hopefully you can take my examples and come up with your own ideas! Enjoy!
Will Wallner is a guitarist from England who now lives in Los Angeles. He recently signed a solo deal with Polish record label Metal Mind Productions for the release of his debut album, which features influential musicians from hard rock and heavy metal. He also is the lead guitarist for White Wizzard (Earache Records). Follow Will on Facebook and Twitter.