Lesson Series: “0 To 60, An Introduction to Alternate Picking” - Lesson 52

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Todd Simpson
Todd Simpson

LESSON #52 - Shredding The Harmonic Minor Scale

Lesson Series by Todd Simpson

Here is the GUITAR RIG 4 Patch used in the preview video and during the Video Chat Lesson. Makes a great lead patch.

In this lesson, let's work with a “Harmonic Minor” Scale. The Harmonic Minor has a sort of Asian or Middle Eastern vibe to it and can make any solo sound a bit more exotic. Bands like “Melechesh” and “Nile” have incorporated this sound in to Modern Death Metal expanding the limits of the form and bringing new life to it’s traditional structures. Google these bands and check them out on youtube as well.

As usual, before we get going, let’s warm up!

NEVER FORGET! Do Your Stretches!
And remember, If you feel pain STOP PLAYING!

For our warmup, we are going to use a shape that we are going to use also in our fingering of the Harmonic Minor Scale. We are going to avoid the traditional fingering of the scale after going through it once for reference. Instead of the usual way of playing it, we are going to use the traditional “Shredish” approach of using three notes per string all the way up and down so that the scale flows more smoothly at high speed. So here is our shape.


Now lets get our fingers a little more familiar with this shape using a bit more compiclated pattern. We are working our stretch here in a BIG way. This is the same pattern we have been using to explore shapes so it should be familiar. Hopefully this will allow you to focus on the stretch and not the pattern.

Now let’s look at the “Shred” fingering of the same scale where we are going to try to put three notes on each string to make it run a bit faster and more efficiently.


Experiment with this scale and see if you can add it in to your solos!