Melodic Soloing: Jeff Beck Style

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi GMC!

    My 2nd lesson is for all guitar players who want to know more about Jeff Beck's playing. Jeff Beck has a huge impact on most rock guitar players, for example Andy Timmons, Dann Huff, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and many more. I always loved his super melodic style and the way he phrases, specially on his ballads, it's almost like a human voice. His unique open harmonic technique by adding the whammy bar is just amazing. So I tried to emulate this great approach in this lesson and added some flashy stuff to it, like faster runs, some whammy bar gimmicks and a lot more different phrasing techniques.
    The interesting thing is that I wrote the main theme on the keyboard (as well as the chords), recorded it with a typical Mini Moog Synth sound and doubled the same melody with the guitar. You can still hear the Synth sound underneath the guitar. Some interesting lines came out this way that I usually wouldn't play on the guitar.

    I played around with a lot of different scales here, like E Mixolydian (F# Aeolian, D Lydian), E Dorian (A Mixolydian), the Blues scale and the mixolydian pentatonic (some people call it the Jan Hammer Scale :-D ) to get several moods.

    The Basic chords are really easy but due to the really slow tempo they sound really big and epic.

    Intro/Theme/Solo
    E5 |D5 Aadd9/C#| E5 |F#m7/4 A/D |
    E5 |D5 Aadd9/C#| E5 |Gsus2 A |

    The open harmonic technique combined with the whammy bar is really hard to master at the beginning. If you're not used to it, it will take a lot of time to reach the right pitch and to get this kind of human voice of it. So be patient! It took me a few years, haha.

    Final words
    Even if the whole solo doesn't sound so much complicated it's not so easy to play because of the feel. I'm always trying to play a melody with my heart and emotion by adding accurate bending, a warm vibrato and dynamics. Also the "time shifting technique" I mentioned in my 1st lesson makes it more natural. Sometimes only one or two notes that are played just a bit too late can add so much human touch to your playing. So try to experiment with these phrasing ideas.

    I tried to transcribe as close as possible.
    Specially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all this little extras!

    Have fun with it!
    Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications:
    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 4x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major
    Sound-deflection system by DEEFLEXX

    Mics: Shure SM57 & Rode NT1000
    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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