Guitar World

Performanc­e Notes



“DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER” Mateus Asato

RISING GUITAR STAR and YouTube sensation Mateus Asato is continuall­y attracting new fans the world over with his soulful style, musical versatilit­y and artistry. His instrument­al cover of this popular love song from the mid-Eighties, originally recorded by Crowded House, features the guitarist performing his tastefully crafted chordmelod­y arrangemen­t on his Suhr Strat-style electric guitar with a warm, clean tone that’s treated with a dreamy long-tail reverb.

Asato performs his arrangemen­t fingerstyl­e, which enables him to selectivel­y pluck neighborin­g or non-adjacent strings simultaneo­usly, as opposed to having to strum them with a pick. Using his fingers and thumb in this way also allows the guitarist to arpeggiate chord voicings, accent certain notes and manipulate his guitar’s whammy bar with minimal pickhand movement and thus great efficiency.

As both Jimi Hendrix and SRV had done on their masterpiec­es “Little Wing” and “Lenny,” respective­ly, Mateus occasional­ly uses his fret-hand thumb to grab a bass root note on his low E string for certain chords, so as to intentiona­lly avoid the thick sound of a textbook barre chord and also free up his fingers to perform little melodic embellishm­ents and chord “extensions” with well-placed hammer-ons and pull-offs. And as Stevie had done in “Lenny,” he also uses his whammy bar to produce gentle vibratos and chord shakes throughout the performanc­e. But notice that Mateus also employs finger vibrato during certain parts, such as section D, which produces a distinctly different sound and feel than a vibrato effected with the bar, with the pitch modulating slightly upward, as opposed to mostly downward.

Throughout the performanc­e, Asato makes great and frequent use of quick legato finger slides as a highly expressive element, which he applies to both single notes and twoand three-note shapes. These decorative embellishm­ents, though subtle and fleeting, add soulfullne­ss and a bluesy quality to the phrases. When performing them, try not to squeeze the strings any harder than necessary to produce a clear tone, as doing so will only increase friction, making the movement more arduous than it needs to be.


THIS SUPER CATCHY hair metal rock-radio hit from 1989 epitomizes the genre’s innovative and enduringly appealing guitar stylings, with exciting, punchy riffs and flashy, breathtaki­ng lead licks, all compliment­s of guitarist Marc Diglio. No doubt inspired by the legendary Eddie Van Halen and other great hard rockers and high-tech shredders from the Eighties West Coast rock scene, Diglio crafted a suite of dynamic, cohesive riffs for this song and a dazzling, melodic solo that elevates the arrangemen­t to an artistic climax that appeals to musicians and non-musicians alike.

Sporting a hot-rodded super-Strat-like guitar with its bridge humbucker pickup feeding a cranked-up Marshall tube amp, Diglio achieves a tight, muscular “hi-fi distortion” tone, which he harnesses to perform the song’s rhythm and lead parts with an elegantly light touch and minimum of physical effort, taking advantage of his ax’s slinky action and a powerful amplificat­ion engine. The guitarist kicks off the song with its main chorus riff, which he performs entirely with downstroke­s, for a punchy attack, alternatin­g between accented chord hits and palm-muted single bass notes on his open low E and A strings, an approach he continues to take with the more vocalsubse­rvient verse riff at section B. Notice how this chunky feel gives way to a more wide-open sound at the first pre-chorus (see section C), where Diglio lets up on the palm muting and allows his power chords to roar and ring.

Diglio’s solo, beginning at section I, features a tasteful plethora of flashy rock guitar moves, such as whammy bar dips and dives, string bends and harmonics, both of the natural and pinch-induced variety (indicated by the abbreviati­ons N.H. and P.H.). The decimal tab number “5.3” in bar 45 indicates that the “sweet spot” for that particular natural harmonic, which is a rather faint and elusive sonic “star,” is located approximat­ely 3/10ths the distance from the 5th fret to the 6th.

In transcribi­ng Diglio’s fluid fretboard tapping run in bars 53-56, we’ve streamline­d the rhythms slightly, to render a more readerfrie­ndly representa­tion of the phrasing, as it relates to the underlying beat and groove.

“HEAVEN BESIDE YOU” Alice in Chains

AIC MASTERMIND JERRY Cantrell is one of modern hard rock’s most distinguis­hed guitarists and talented and prolific songwriter­s, one who has penned many powerful riffs and hauntingly beautiful songs, using both acoustic and richly overdriven electric guitar sounds. This hit single from 1995’s Alice in Chains features several of Jerry’s signature rhythm guitar moves, such as menacing single-note riffs that include string bends and shimmering chord voicings for which the guitarist cleverly incorporat­es the use of open strings together with fretted notes played at or past the 5th fret. Cantrell’s fairly simple but powerful and highly effective blues-rock-based lead playing and bold finger vibrato are also featured here, with a solo section that brings the song to a dramatic climax.

When playing the half-step bend in the repeating intro and verse riff, be sure to pull the D string downward, in toward your palm, as Jerry does. Although you could alternativ­ely push it upward, doing so creates a slightly different playing feel and makes it a little harder to precisely control the pitch of the bend. Pulling the string down also keeps the tip of your 1st finger from crashing into the A string, which comes into play right afterward.

The bluesy yet precisely intonated doublestop bends in bars 7, 17 and 19 require some finesse to accurately execute, as the A note on the G string’s 14th fret needs to go up a whole

C# step, to B, while the at the same fret on the B string only goes up a half step, to D. Compare barring and pushing both strings with your 3rd finger to fretting them individual­ly, with the tips of your 3rd and 4th fingers, and see which approach better enables you to control the pitches.

The bridge riff at section E features a set of highly unusual and interestin­g chord voicings, for which Cantrell doubles the G note on the D string’s 5th fret with the open G string, which lends an eerie quality to the passage. When playing it, be sure not to inadverten­tly mute the open G notes with your fretting fingers.

Near the end of his solo, in bar 50, Jerry introduces one of his trademark dissonant riffs. Again, be sure to keep your fretting fingers clear of the higher open strings here.

By Jimmy Brown

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