[Wes’ guitar is tuned down a whole step for all examples in this Masterclass: D G C F A D]
E Minor Lick
In this example, Wes plays a lick in the key of E minor, demonstrating his tasteful approach to phrasing and melodic note choice. Be sure to check out the varying rhythmic groupings found within the line, as well as the inclusion of the raised 7th degree from the Harmonic Minor scale and the strategically placed chromatic passing tones.
Mile Zero (Periphery) Solo Excerpt
Wes on his solo for Periphery’s “Mile Zero” from their album Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal:
“I recorded it with my friend Bali Harko (Ted Harkins), a tasty little Swede with white hot licks, godlike musical prowess that you would expect from a swede, and a penchant for saying stuff like “Ohhh maaaahhnnn” and it being funnier than it should be because of his accent. The guitar was my Bernie Rico Jr. 727 (A440) through Ted’s [Fractal] AxeFx Ultra. I have a Tremol-No on the Rico totally blocking and deadening the trem as a hard tail, so I didn’t use the bar for anything.
The last lick that everyone thinks is either a [Digitech] Whammy Pedal (don’t own one) or harmonics (that would be gnarly) is just a little descending sequence starting on the 27th fret (which is a high G when tuned to A440). The little chord vamp is basically Cmaj7 to Amin7 with some extensions that vary. [/dorkymusicstuff]”
[Special thanks to Chris Robinson for his excellent camera work, Alon Mei-Tal for his spot-on transcriptions, and Chris Thomas for helping us out with camera gear on short notice!]