IN THIS LESSON
we’ll be looking
at some sequential
in classical music
that have influenced
the rock and
fusion guitar vocabulary.
are excellent for the development of
both hands, so sharpen up your pick and
let’s get our chops up!
Ex. 1 is based on a repeated note pattern
found in 19th century piano and violin
literature. If we apply this pattern to an A
whole-tone scale (A, B, C#, D#, F, G), and
extend it a bit, we get Ex. 1a: a challenging,
1970s King Crimson/Robert Fripp-style lick.
Open-voiced triads are very common
in the violin music of composers such as
J.S. Bach and Niccolo Paganini, and rock
and fusion guitarists like Eric Johnson and
Steve Morse have adopted this approach
into their own playing very effectively. Ex
2. is a Morse-style passage that has a very
classical sound and is a real workout.
Ex. 3 is a popular, classically inspired
shred guitar pattern. By changing the scale
from C major to D dominant diminished
(D, Eb, F, F#, G#, A, B, C), and tweaking the
fingering scheme a little, we arrive at Ex. 3a,
a hip altered V7 to I line that’s very reminiscent
of Mike Stern’s playing.
Try these examples in as many keys and
scales as possible for maximum technical
and conceptual benefit, and then try creating
new patterns of your own based on
classical phrases. Enjoy!
Scott McGill is an instructor and BA (hons)
Course Leader at the Brighton Institute of Modern
Music in England.
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