PAN­TERA Ceme­tery Gates

Char­lie Grif­fiths takes a fond look back at a clas­sic track from ev­ery­body’s favourite Cow­boy From Hell: Pan­tera’s Di­a­mond ‘Dime­bag’ Dar­rell.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

A packed punch of a track from the much­missed mas­ter of har­monic-in­fused metal riffs, Pan­tera’s Dime­bag Dar­rell.

When Pan­tera re­leased their break­through al­bum Cow­boys From Hell in 1990, it had a seis­mic ef­fect on the metal world. By this point Pan­tera had al­ready recorded four al­bums that were in more of an 80s hair metal style, but this al­bum had a new sound with a per­fect mar­riage of power grooves and vir­tu­oso gui­tar play­ing, all de­liv­ered with a fierce, ag­gres­sive at­ti­tude. Pan­tera went on to re­lease four more al­bums through­out the fol­low­ing decade and re­mained one of metal’s big­gest bands un­til they even­tu­ally dis­banded in 2003. Since his tragic and un­timely death in 2004 Dime­bag Dar­rell has be­come a leg­endary fig­ure and his legacy con­tin­ues to in­flu­ence cur­rent metal bands such as Lamb of God, Triv­ium and Tex­tures.

Ceme­tery Gates from Cow­boys From Hell is one of the more dy­namic tracks on the al­bum, switch­ing be­tween bal­lad-like acous­tic arpeg­gios and pinched, har­monic-in­fused metal riffs. The solo is both melodic and tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing and the fi­nal vo­cal and gui­tar scream­ing har­monic trade off be­tween Phil Anselmo and Di­a­mond Dar­rell (as he was cred­ited) is the stuff of leg­end. All of Dar­rell’s main in­flu­ences can be heard through­out the track; the acous­tic arpeg­gios in the in­tro and verses are rem­i­nis­cent of Randy Rhoads, the pinched har­mon­ics hint of Billy Gib­bons and the solo surely owes a debt to Ed­die Van Halen. Dime’s riff­ing style is very per­cus­sive and fo­cused and locks in solidly with his brother Vin­nie Paul’s drum­ming.

To per­form th­ese riffs in the man­ner they were in­tended, you should hold your pick at an an­gle so that the edge hits the strings first to cre­ate a cut­ting at­tack and move your hand from the wrist while keep­ing your fore­arm re­laxed. Daily prac­tise for a few weeks will re­ally help de­velop the stamina in your pick­ing re­quired for this type of ag­gres­sive at­tack. The solo con­tains a lot of tech­niques, but is es­sen­tially based on a blues style us­ing pri­mar­ily the mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic scale b3- b7) b3(1- 4-5- and the Ae­o­lian mode (1-2- 4b6-b7), 5- but also some chro­matic pass­ing notes. One of Dime­bag’s trade­marks is the wide-stretch three-notes-per-string Pen­ta­tonic shape, which he uses here to­wards the end of the solo. Ar­rang­ing the scale as three-notes-per-string in this way means that a fast le­gato tech­nique can be ap­plied, cre­at­ing a dif­fer­ent sound than is pos­si­ble with tra­di­tional two-notes-per-string shapes. An­other fea­ture of Dime­bag’s lead and rhythm play­ing is his use of wide vi­brato, which em­anates from the wrist and ef­fec­tively bends and re­leases the string by about a tone to pro­duce a sus­tain­ing vo­cal sound. Be sure that your vi­brato is not too fast as this can sound too ‘bluesy’ in style; metal vi­brato is typ­i­cally wide and slow.

Al­though the song is quite long, it has a fairly typ­i­cal struc­ture. First is the acous­tic arpeg­giated in­tro, which is the same as the clean verses. Riff-wise we have verse, bridge, pre-cho­rus and fi­nally the melodic in­tro and the solo, which is clearly the big­gest chal­lenge. Fi­nally, we have the nat­u­ral har­monic whammy-bar screams. Break the song down into sec­tions and work on them slowly and in iso­la­tion be­fore con­nect­ing them all up and play­ing along with the back­ing track pro­vided.

a fea­ture of dime’s lead play­ing is his use of wide vi­brato, which bends and re­leases the string by about a tone

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.