BY DAVE MARTONE
Combining blistering chops with an explosion
of sound, Dave Martone is a leading voice in
the instrumental rock scene. His latest Magna
Carta release, Clean, features guests such as
Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, and Billy Sheehan.
As an educator, he has taught for the National
Guitar Workshop, Berklee College of Music,
and Workshop Live. For more information,
When I dig into a burning solo, I like to combine different techniques that
can give my lines an interesting feel. In this
lesson, we’re going to combine an intervallic
approach to playing arpeggios with some
wicked hybrid picking and look at a few
crazy blues licks that use tapping.
Displacing certain notes in the arpeggio
and combining them in odd groupings creates a flowing, angular feel that will make
people say, “Hey! What is that?” These
examples will involve a lot of string skipping, so in order to play them at breakneck
speeds, we’ll need to use some hybrid picking. Essentially, hybrid picking is when
you use the other fingers on your picking
hand—usually the middle and ring fingers—in addition to the flatpick. Hot-rod
country players have been doing this forever, and we’re going to steal it and combine
it with some pure rock fury.
In the first example shown in Fig. 1,
I’m playing a G#m arpeggio starting on the
%7th. This works really well over the F#m.
Since F# is the second note of an E major
scale, this chord functions as a iim7. This
arpeggio will be our starting point for adding some intervallic displacement, since
right now it sounds a little plain.
In Fig. 2 we take the same arpeggio and
create a seven-note pattern that will repeat
twice. In the example I have notated which
finger to use for each string with a repre-
senting the ring finger and m indicating the
middle finger. The missing last note gives the
lick a displaced feeling, but continuing with
the 16th-note rhythm adds excitement. The
arpeggio is pulled apart by bouncing inter-
vals between the 7 and the lick’s root note,
and with the 5th, %3rd, and the 7 occurring
an octave higher. In the audio example, I
cycle the lick twice so you can hear the con-
nection between the two seven-note patterns.
a m a