Melodic Satch

by Ben Higgins

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  • Welcome to my new lesson!

    This time, we are looking at the melodic guitar playing of Joe Satriani. Joe is known for his excellent technical mastery but it's not just that which makes Joe's guitar playing so revered and special. It's his brilliant sense of melody and song writing.

    Joe has said himself that he approached guitar lines like a vocalist would approach singing. In a verse, a vocalist might have 4 lines to sing but they had to make those 4 lines interesting and different words and phrases would give different results. Joe's approach is the same on the guitar. His songs are not vehicles for shred, they are songs that are sung on the guitar.

    This lesson will work on:

    - Phrasing
    - String bending
    - Vibrato
    - Timing
    - Control of tone, muting
    - Hammer ons

    Any Satriani album will introduce you to his excellence but I particularly recommend Surfing with the Alien, Flying in a Blue Dream and The Extremist.

    I wrote this lesson by first humming a melody and chord progression in my head. When I went to open the MIDI editor, I discovered that I had been thinking in the key of D#m. I don't normally write in a key like that but the pitch wouldn't have felt the same a semitone either way so I kept it. So this lesson is also an opportunity to play in unfamiliar positions on the guitar!

    Tuning: E A D G B E - Standard Tuning

    Tempo: 105 bpm

    Key: D#m

    Marshall JVM 410H. OD1 Channel, Orange setting.
    BASS 5, MID 7, TREB 8, GAIN 4

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