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Diminished Possibilities: Part 2

Technical Difficulties

Diminished Possibilities: Part 2 Diminished Possibilities: Part 2
By Francesco Artusato

February 21st, 2009

Hey guys! Welcome again to my “Technical Difficulties” column – this is number 6 already! As the title suggests, this is the second part of a previous column I wrote for Guitar Messenger, so feel free to check it out and leave me comments in the “Ask Francesco” section of the forum. This time I am going to dive a little deeper into the Octatonic scale. I want to show you some of the sounds “hidden” inside the typical diminished shapes that all guitar players know and have come to love and use on a consistent basis. It is really interesting to see all the different tensions and arpeggios/chords that can be extracted from it. You will see in particular how bluesy some of the lines sound; also, to really hear a great master on this specific subject I would suggest that you listen... Read More →

Scott Henderson’s “Stella by Infra-Red High Particle Neutron Beam” Solo Scott Henderson’s “Stella by Infra-Red High Particle Neutron Beam” Solo
By Francesco Artusato

September 25th, 2008

Welcome back to the Technical Difficulties column! As I previously did with the “Day of the Dead” solo by Allan Holdsworth, today I am going to analyze and play a solo by one of my favorite guitar players of all time: Scott Henderson. Scott is a phenomenal musician who has widely expanded the guitar language throughout the years, particularly in the jazz/fusion and blues context. He is known especially for his great sense of phrasing, touch, dynamic control, amazing time, and incredible attention for articulations. He has been recording and playing around the world in different collaborations and projects for more than twenty years, but he is mainly known for his work with Tribal Tech. Tribal Tech recorded an album called Reality Check in 1995, which features the song “Stella by Infra-Red... Read More →

2-1-2 Arpeggio Permutations 2-1-2 Arpeggio Permutations
By Francesco Artusato

May 22nd, 2008

Welcome to my fourth column/lesson. This time I would like to talk about a component of guitar playing that has always fascinated me: arpeggio permutations/fragments. Playing arpeggio fragments can make one’s playing more colorful, usually helping a musical phrase sound harmonically richer and more diverse. Get the Flash Player to see this content. var params = { 'allowfullscreen': 'true', 'allowscriptaccess': 'always', 'wmode': 'transparent' }; var attributes = { 'id': 'video0', 'name': 'video0'}; var flashvars = { 'file' : '', 'width' : '320', 'height' : '390', 'controlbar' : 'bottom', 'dock' : 'false', 'icons' : 'true', 'logo.hide' : 'false', 'logo.position' : 'bottom-left', 'playlist' : 'bottom', 'playlistsize'... Read More →

Diminished Possibilities: Part 1 Diminished Possibilities: Part 1
By Francesco Artusato

January 9th, 2008

Welcome to my third column/lesson. This time I’d like to talk a little bit about diminished scales/arpeggios with their possible application solos. Knowing how to use a diminished “idea” represents a very powerful tool to create moments of musical tension. A diminished/octatonic scale is a symmetrical scale (whose intervallic relationship is symmetrical) composed of 8 notes. There are 2 modes of a given diminished/octatonic set: whole/half/whole/half and so on, or half/whole/half/whole and so on. It’s a very easy scale to use on an instrument like the guitar, because even though there are 8 notes in it, there are only two positions to learn on the neck of the guitar. At the same time, consider how it is possible to expand such a scale in a variety of musical applications. To achieve... Read More →

Allan Holdsworth’s “Day of the Dead” Solo Allan Holdsworth’s “Day of the Dead” Solo
By Francesco Artusato

October 28th, 2007

Derek Sherinian's Mythology Welcome to my second column/lesson! This month I’d like to talk about one of my favorite players of all time – Allan Holdsworth. He’s been a big influence in the electric guitar world, and has helped expand the musical vocabulary of countless players throughout the last three decades. Allan has always tried to push the physical and harmonic limits of his playing/instrument, and over the years has practically created his own language on the instrument and in the genre of fusion. Holdsworth represents everything that is good in the realm of guitar: from his impeccable time and touch, to his completely unique tone and singing lines. Much has been written in regards to Allan’s original dream of playing a horn, and his fight to make the guitar sound closer... Read More →

Different Groupings & Finger Independence Different Groupings & Finger Independence
By Francesco Artusato

October 15th, 2007

One of the most essential things that a guitar player can try to develop is the independence of fretting hand digits (equal control over every finger). There are lots of exercises that help to achieve this, and I think one of the best ones is the common 1-2-3-4 chromatic exercise across all strings. It can seem simple, but playing all the different permutations (1-2-3-4/1-2-4-3-/1-3-2-4/1-3-4-2/1-4-3-2/1-4-2-3/ and so on) with a balanced touch and good time while only using hammer-on’s and pull-off’s can be really demanding. In the long run, however, such control can be truly effective, and will open many doors that allow for more freedom over difficult and often awkward permutations/phrases. I would suggest starting with 3-note patterns (1-2-4/1-4-2/2-1-4/2-4-1/4-2-1/4-1-2), to move on... Read More →