Shred Secrets from Kiko Loureiro

August 1, 2009

IF YOU DON’T ALREADY RECOGNIZE the name Kiko Loureiro, you will soon. I’ve never heard, seen, or had the pleasure of working with any guitarist with as much technique, creativity, and versatility. To have the ability to play fusion like John McLaughlin, shred like Alexi Laiho, and solo like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai while maintaining your own identity is mind blowing!

Loureiro is from Brazil and is the guitarist and songwriter for the popular metal band Angra. In the past three years he has launched a solo career, releasing two amazing instrumental CD’s, Universo Inverso and No Gravity.

In this segment I want to highlight a unique way that Loureiro uses triads—instead of scales—to form leads and melodies. He views the neck slightly differently than most guitarists, and this helps him cross genres and still have his own sound. To understand this way of viewing the fretboard, let’s look at a few of Loureiro’s signature patterns. After you have these under your fingers try to create melodies within each pattern.

In Ex. 1, we see a pattern that starts with a standard major arpeggio then adds the major 7 and 9 into the mix for an interestingsounding and easy to play pattern. Try this using both alternate and sweep picking techniques.

Ex. 2 is a string-skipping major arpeggio hybrid with a three-note-per-string sequence that makes it easy to play with alternate picking. Loureiro adds in the 4th degree on the third string and the 9th (or 2nd) degree on the first string giving it a major sound with sus2 and sus4 accents. Ex. 3 is the same arpeggio with a hammeron/ pull-off pattern added to make it a bit more interesting and challenging.

Examples 4 and5 are minor versions of the string-skipping arpeggio. Pay close attention to the fingerings. They make this pattern easier to play. Good luck and happy shredding

John McCarthy is the creator of the Rock House Method.

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