Hey Premier Guitarist, what’s going on?
Having just gotten back from Italy, I’ve been
extremely busy getting ready to perform at
the NAMM show in Nashville, Tennessee.
So, with my time heavily limited, I thought
it would be a great opportunity to have a
great friend and an amazing guitarist sit in
for a guest column.
Keep in mind you can always reach me at toshiiseda.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For
you MySpacers out there, look me up at
myspace.com/toshiiseda. But without further
ado, ladies and gents, I’d like to introduce
Racer X guitarist, Bruce Bouillet! Bruce was
kind enough to take some time this month
to show you a thing or two. Bruce, the floor
Hello, folks, my name is Bruce Bouillet,
pronounced “boo-yea.” Of course, you can
always skip the formals and just call me B.
In 2007, I had the good fortune of reuniting with my friend Paul Gilbert for a tour
of Japan, and for a 27-show run with Joe
Satriani and John Petrucci on the G3 tour,
with stops in the U.S. and Canada. It was a
very good year, to say the least. As things
would have it, I ran into Toshi and friends
one night while playing a show in Nashville.
After a full night of jammin’ and drinkin’
around Music Row, I peeled myself from
the bus the next day with a monsterous
hangover, 40 cents of a week’s per diem left
and a promise to make a few guest stops in
I thought we could start this guest spot with
a few of my favorite hyped up blues riffs.
Here’s two examples that incorporate the E
minor pentatonic blues scale, with the occasional major third or sixth added for some
Our first example starts on the flat 5 of E
minor on the low E string, with the first finger sliding up a half-step to the 5, then hammering down on the 7 with the pinky. Then
on the A string, starting with the first finger
on the root note E, hammer down with your
pinky on the minor 3rd, sliding up a half-step
to the major 3rd. When playing this, I pick
each string only once.
Now repeat the same sequence, ascending up the next two octaves. When this
riff starts getting up to speed, it takes on
a fluid, horn-type of sound. For a more
outside sound, try playing this pattern
Our second example starts on the 6th of
E dorian minor on the D string, with the
second finger bending up a half-step to the
7th. Then shift to your first finger on the root
note of E on the G string, and back to the
6th on the D string. Now with your third finger play the minor 3rd on the G string, pull-
ing off to the first finger on the root note.
Starting with your first finger on the 5th on
the D string, hammer down with your second finger on the 6th, then with your first
finger on the root on the G string, hammer
down with your third finger.
Now repeat the last four notes ascending
up the next octave (B and E strings), ending
with a full-step bend, starting on the high
E string with your third finger at the minor
third. Bend to the fourth and release to the
root first finger.
Some of these movements might feel a little
awkward at first, but with a little practice
they rip. You can hear live examples of these
licks on my two solo albums, Unspoken and
Interventions, available at my MySpace page
( myspace.com/brucebouillet) or at CD Baby
( cdbaby.com/cd/brucebouillet). Until next
time, keep the big picture in your sights.
Toshi Iseda is an Alumnus of the prestigeous Berklee
College of Music and the American Conservatory of Music.
He has been featured in Guitar Player, Guitar World and
Guitar/Guitar One magazines, and is a former instructor at
the National Guitar Workshop and former instructor at the
American Institute of Guitar. He is considered the #1
instructor in Central Tennessee.