Blues Meets Metal - Vai Inspired

by Chowy Fernandez

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  • Hi GMC - time to dive into Steve Vai's bag of tricks!

    Let's look at another example of a solo using minor pentatonics and minor & major arpeggios which can be combined with each other with different techniques and create passages, melodies, fast scale-runs and other very useful stuff, not only to develop solos but also for our daily practice of physical and mental techniques.

    Most of the lesson is based on the Ab minor pentatonic scale, so I made a couple of blues licks. However, they don't sound completely bluesey within this context and that's precisely the idea--to use the "old-school" stuff but incorporating a personal touch, a new twist to make it sound more updated.

    Later the lead guitar combines the Ab minor and E major arpeggios while the base changes chords accordingly. Rhythmically, the purpose is to transmit different intentions with the same pattern.

    After that, there's a fast scale-run in Ab minor pentatonic using hybrid picking and tapping and then we go to the Emaj9 chord in the Lydian mode.

    I hope this fills your head up with ideas and encourages you to go far and beyond!

    Practise a lot and see you next time!

    Tuning :

    guitar tuned one step down
    from 6th string to 1st these are the notes:

    D G C F A D

    It´s a lower tuning, for heavier sounds, special for this kind of music with heavy backgrounds.


    Ab minor7 - E maj 7 - Ab 5 - Db minor 7 - E major 9 - D add11+ - B sus4 - A/F#

    hybrid picking
    string skiping
    arpeggio melody
    playing octaves
    Harmonic bend with whammy bar


    Ab minor pentatonic scale with blue note

    E lydian scale

    Ab minor pentatonic scale

    Ab minor arpeggio

    E major arpeggio

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