Bending from Outside Notes: Marty...

by Ben Higgins

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    THE PROFESSOR When learning how to play an outside concept, such as the one demonstrated in this smokin’ lesson by Ben, it is important to work slowly in the practice room, as well as use improvisation to get a handle on how these techniques sound, as well as feel, when you apply them to the fretboard and a musical situation. 

    Practicing as slowly as possible with a metronome, and using improvisational environments to work on new, outside concepts is a great way to break down these complex ideas and get them fully under your fingers, into your ears and under your comprehension.

    Welcome to my latest lesson!

    This time, I am looking at one of Marty Friedman's most recognisable techniques, which is bending from outside notes.
    What is an outside note?

    In this case, an outside note means any note that is not found within the scale that you are using. As such, it may be a note that sound disharmonious over the backing track. The skill is to start on one of these notes and bend so that the note then becomes harmonious with the backing. Looking at it simply, you could say that you are bending from a 'wrong' note to a 'right' note.

    This lesson will work on:

    - String bending
    - Ear training
    - Phrasing

    Physically, the lesson is quite simple to play but the challenge will be for you to take this approach and apply it in your own playing. You should know what scale you're playing in and why it works over the chords. From there, you can consciously practise finding these outside notes and bending them in ways that they resolve to a note that is in the scale. Have fun!

    E A D G B E Standard tuning

    Tempo: 110bpm

    Marshall JVM. OD1 Red setting. BASS 2 MID 4 TREB 8 GAIN 4

    Key: D Minor

    Scales used:

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