Sweeping Arpeggios in a Gallop Progression with Michael-Padge-Paget of Bullet for My Valentine

MICHAEL PAGET, BETTER KNOWN AS just “Padge,” plays a combination of catchy melodies and crafty lead riffs that helped propel his Welsh band, Bullet for My Valentine, up the charts and onto worldwide concert tours. With the resurgence of lead guitar into many of today’s new metal bands, it’s interesting to see where their influences come from. I would bet Padge has a few Metallica and Iron Maiden songs on his iPod.

As a rhythm player, Padge can lay down cool chugging patterns and intricate single-note riffs that support the vocal melodies perfectly. He’s also great at using harmonized melody guitar lines in his main lead sections.

Let’s take a look at a section inspired by the lead from the Bullet for My Valentine song “Eye of the Storm.” The chord progression in Ex. 1 is a classic Iron Maideninfluenced gallop rhythm that is composed of an eighth-note followed by two sixteenth- notes. This syncopated pattern has a propulsive, bouncy feel—like you’re riding a steed into battle!

The lead in Ex. 2 is a great illustration of creating an arpeggio to follow each chord in a progression. Padge uses a sweep pattern over the first three strings playing them in triplets over the gallop rhythm. The arpeggios he uses are Em, D, C, and B. An important part of playing these arpeggios smoothly is the picking pattern; be sure to follow the up, up, down, down, hammer, pull-off sequence. Once you have the notes under your fingers, you can download and play with the bass and drum tracks for this section at RockHouseMethod.com. Happy shredding!

John McCarthy is the creator of the Rock House Method.