Quick Licks August 2010

August 5, 2010


http://www.guitarplayer.com/uploadedImages/guitarplayer/GP0810_Quick_Harmonic.jpgNothing chimes as vibrantly as a chord sounded entirely using natural harmonics. Unfortunately, the number of chords that can be played this way isn’t terribly high. The workaround? Sneak in a fretted note or two. The chordal possibilities will increase exponentially. For instance, here’s a harmonic-laden bridge section that suits an otherwise static groove in B minor. It passes through Gadd9, Dadd4, and Aadd4, tagging several 12th-fret harmonics in the process, before cycling back to the Bm9 home chord. (The notes in parentheses are optional.) Let all the notes ring over each other, play the fretted pitches delicately, and your listeners may never suspect they’re hearing anything less than harmonics exclusively. — Jude Gold


http://www.guitarplayer.com/uploadedImages/guitarplayer/GP0810_Quick_Ring.jpgBecause it still hasn’t gotten ringy enough for me, I’m going to throw some more cool, clangy cascades at you. These sound great on acoustic or electric and will give a part in standard tuning a hip, open-tuning sound. The first half of bar 1 works over A and involves a slightly challenging stretch between the first and third fingers of your fretting hand. The next two beats are easier since the frets are closer together. Slide up the neck and do a similar move for Gmaj7 and then a neat E minor pentatonic run. Follow the fingerings strictly and let freedom ring.


GP0810_Quick_EvilThis is a twisted, Tool-sounding loop that is all about evil and darkness. The key to it is revealed in the 1st bar. After hitting the open low D, pluck the C, hammer the octave D at the 5th fret and let it ring, then hit the open low D again. But now when you go for the subsequent octave D, hit the open fourth string (and let it sustain) and pull off with your fourth finger to get the C. You’ll do the exact same moves but with an Eb clashing with the open D notes. Hear how creepy that sounds? Yeah!

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