FAUX-STEEL WHAMMY WIZARDRY
Here’s a great way to emulate a pedal-steel or slide player by using
your whammy bar. After you hit the A on the high-E string, let it ring
and bend it down a whole-step with the bar. With the bar still
depressed, hammer at the 9th fret, which is now a B (that’s why the tab
has a 7 in parenthesis). As that note rings, release the bar, raising that
pitch to a C#. Practice it so your downward bend is super-accurate (the
upward bend takes care of itself) to get a convincing pedal-steel vibe.
The second is a harmony to the first and makes for a tasty overdub.
Walt Kosar sent in this twohanded
morsel. The moves
aren’t tricky, but the two-note
figures in a triplet feel keep it
interesting. Try to accent each
downbeat, regardless of which
hand is fretting the note.
MACHINE GUN UNISONS
This fun little barrage of notes in Gm
employs unisons on adjacent strings
to get its unique sound. In the 1st
bar, pick the Bb to start it, pull off to
the open G, hammer the fretted G,
pick the open G, and so on. You’ll get
a rapid-fire pedal-point lick that
sounds very different (and way cooler)
than if you had just picked all the
Gs as open notes. In the 2nd bar, we
apply the same concept with three
notes per string. Pull off the first six
notes, hammer every 5th fret unison,
and blast away.
SYMMETRICAL SWEEP SHREDDING
Eddie Van Halen’s brilliant phrasing and amazing tone obscure the fact that
he sometimes just plays patterns that are comfy and easy to finger,
regardless of whether or not all the notes are “in key.” This VHapproved
pattern uses an E Dorian blues scale and, despite its crazy
chromaticism and blazing speed, is not that tough to play. Follow the
picking indications, because the sweeps are the key to switching
directions with authority. This blows minds over an Em-A progression.