The Devil Is In The Diad

by Ben Higgins

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  • Hi GMC'ers! There is a famous phrase 'The Devil is in the details' which this lesson is based on. I'm here to show that, for creating awesome riffs, the Devil is in the Diad!

    We're looking at 2 note chords, called Diads. These are very useful shapes because they're easy to play and move between, effectively allowing you to make quicker chord changes which is especially useful in rock and metal, where players use distorted guitar tones.

    A diad can be made up of any combination of notes. The lower note is usually the root note, but it doesn't always have to be the case. Diads are sometimes written as the notes, separated by a slash, for example E/B or A/C. However, in this lesson, I am using diads which outline the 2 basic notes of common Minor & Major chords so I will be referring to them as Em, D, C and so on. How does this work ? I am combining a root note and a minor or major 3rd. The 3rd is the interval that dictates whether a chord has a Minor or Major sound. So, with that approach, we can achieve that sound without needing extra intervals such as a 5th etc.

    Another interesting thing to note is that all the chord shapes fall within the E minor scale, so they all work in a diatonic sequence.

    Technique wise, this lesson involves quick shifting between shapes for your fretting hand. I only use 2 basic shapes throughout. As a result, I only use 2 different finger combinations so once you've learned these shapes, shifting between them should be easier. For the picking hand, we're using a lot of palm muted downstrokes for the first and last sections. Some sections require 16th note triplet alternate strumming, with no palm muting.

    The lesson uses 3 different time signatures - 4/4, 6/8 & 2/4. The time signatures are written in the Gpro if you're interested, but for those of you who just want to knuckle down on the technique, it may be better to just feel how the song moves and just play it.

    * 150bpm

    E Minor

    If you have any questions:
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    See you next time!/ Ben

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