Targeting Chord Tones: Marty Friedman Style

by Ben Higgins

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    THE PROFESSOR As you can hear in this melodic rock lesson from expert guitarist Ben, learning how to target chord tones is an essential part in the learning process when exploring the sounds of players such as Marty Friedman, Kirk Hammett and other melodic metal shredders. 

    By working out Major Scales for Guitar, Natural Minor Scales for Guitar as well as Major Arpeggios on the guitar, you will not only expand your theoretical and fretboard knowledge, but you will make sure you are prepared to rock in the style of Marty Friedman and his peers as you heard and learned in this lesson. 

    Welcome to my new lesson!

    I was inspired by Marty Friedman's section in his video 'Melodic Control' where he talks about following the chords during a solo. Seeing as he sparked my interest in this subject, I also thought it made sense to keep the feel of Marty's playing too!

    Following the chords during a solo means that you treat each chord change as a new opportunity and a new tonality, instead of selecting the main parent scale and sticking with it throughout. For example, this lesson is in D and I could use the D Major Scale and noodle around in it for the whole chord progression. Harmonically, all the notes could be seen as 'correct'. However, this is not as interesting as approaching each chord separately. When you start to experiment with it yourself, you will see why.

    I recommend visualising where the chords are and then moving to one of the chord positions and start plucking out the chord tones. You can expand the chord positions by arpeggiating them and linking them together with modal lines. The main 2 chords in this lesson are D and G. When it moves to G, instead of sticking with the D Major scale, start to pick out G Major shapes. Use the G Major Pentatonic as well.

    This is a very simplified way of tackling this subject but I believe that all it takes is just a small bit of inspiration before you've opened the door on a new approach. Try this for yourself and soon you may be looking at the fretboard in a completely different way !


    Tuning: E A D G B E Standard Tuning

    Tempo: 100bpm

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

    Key: D

    Chords: G, D, Em, F#m/5+, A


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