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Technique Rules! - January 2001

Technique Rules! - Part II

This part is for the more advanced players among you. Maybe you have been searching for something new (some new approach) in the “world of arpeggios.” If that is the case – I have just the thing for you! It’s an idea based upon a phrase extracted from the song “Bird Dance” from my self-titled Shrapnel album (1999).

I just expanded that phrase here to 3 octaves to give you a better idea of its “possibilities”. You will notice that it sounds quite “classical” even “jazzy” in a way. I wanted to come up with some fresh and elegant arpeggio ideas when I was making that album (and this phrase). My intention was to be able to sequence an arpeggio in the same way like a scale (in groups of 4 notes). But not only that! I wanted to avoid playing “only” the arpeggio notes (A-major in this case) so I added some “passing notes”. Notice that every first note played from a group of 4 is a half step below the “real” arpeggio note. I am using alternate picking here as a “technique of choice” (it’s too often that we hear only “swept” arpeggios!) but you can experiment with pull-off and hammer-on techniques and even with sweeping if you like!

The “Bird Dance” phrase is playable applying all the mentioned techniques so it would actually be a good idea to master it “from all sides” (because every technique has its own sound, effect and charm). 

In the second part of the phrase (when I am “going back”) I am juggling notes a little bit just to make it even more interesting! Speed is not really an issue here but elegance! Also keep in mind that I tune my guitar a half step down to E-flat when listening to the MP3 that I recorded for you at my home.

Have fun!

- View the tab
- Here how it sounds! (MP3)

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