Epic ballad (Elements of Classical Music)

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi guys!

    The topic of my new lesson is about an epic guitar ballad with chord progression of classical music. Terrific guitar player Neal Schon from Journey inspired me a lot here. I always loved his big sound with a lot of sustain combined with soulful melodies that make me cry. On his solo instrumental albums you find a lot of chord progression of classical music which I love too because I've grown up with this type of music. There's so much to learn from this beautiful style of music and it always fits well in modern music.

    Let's go thru A section of the backing (0:00-1:12):

    Amadd9 | Cadd9/E Em7 | Fsus2 | % |
    Amadd9 | Dm79 | Gsus4 | G |
    Amadd9 | Cadd9/E Em7 | Fsus2 | % |
    Amadd9 | Dm79 | Esus4 | E |

    A typical chord progression in Am. Nothing special here except the last two Dominant chords Esus4 and E where I use the A Harmonic Minor scale that immediately gives that classical touch.

    The B Section (1:12):

    C#Dim7 | Dm Dm/C | B#Dim7 E7b4 |
    Am Em/G | Fsus2| Fm6 | C | C |

    There we have some diminished chords and small modulation to D Minor and back again to A minor combined with dramatic touch. Over the Fm6 i use the F Melodic Minor Scale which resolves to C Major. Couldn't be more classical here.

    Final words:

    This lesson is a good example how important it is to use bending and vibrato combined with looooong sustained notes to get this epic feel. But also make a rest sometimes!
    Don't forget to feel EVERY guitar note you play, make the guitar cry here! I tried to transcribe as close as possible. Specially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all these little extras!

    Have fun with it!
    Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications:

    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario NYXL 09/42
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 2x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major
    Sound-deflection system by DEEFLEXX

    Mics: Shure SM57

    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 60 BPM

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