Jason Sidwell introduces another actionpacked Guitar Techniques lessons section
We’re often ASKeD about ‘outside’ playing or using exotic modes derived from Harmonic or Melodic Minor scales. It’s the harmonic equivalent of eight-finger tapping or whammy bar aided slap harmonics; topics that are at the upper end of a guitarist’s musical world. or, put another way, material found right at the back of huge tutorial books promising ‘complete guitar mastery’.
This is all well and good, but for most developing or time-poor guitarists there’s much more sense in studying the topics that regularly crop up in areas of most interest, or in which you gig. In short, it’s best to keep to a logical ‘main path’ without getting too side-tracked by (for want of a better term) niche temptations.
You will have seen a brilliant ‘meat and potatoes’ theory article already (p14): All The Blues Chords You’ll Ever Need. This is loaded with ‘real world’ chords that will not only fuel your blues playing but also rock, country and top 40 styles that are just an articulation or effects pedal stomp away. But there’s tons more useful and versatile information throughout this issue. Try the Mixolydian 7th arpeggios in Creative Rock (p82); Mixolydian (along with Dorian) are our recommended first choice modes once you’ve got a handle on straight Major and Natural Minor scales, due to their ubiquitous usage. Shaun’s playing is pretty fast for sure, but the fretboard shapes and the colourful phrases in the tab and notation will prove very beneficial to your fundamental soloing ‘tool-box’. And check out Chord Camp (p88), where CAGED shapes are moved around the fretboard; new sounds from old knowledge. To close, switch from theory to technique, where Woodshed (p92) looks at hybrid picking. Pick and fingers is a hugely versatile approach (get to include your fourth finger too) and not just for country, where it made its mark. Enjoy the issue and keep woodshedding in areas that will move you forward the quickest, and with the best returns!