We kick off our Dimebag Darrell player study with this heavy metal guitar solo. Dimebag is a true master of technique, so we take a detailed look at each individual lick and how to get it up to speed.
To kick off our Dimebag Darrell player study we are learning this heavy metal style solo. As always with our solo studies, your first job is to listen! You may want to run through the video 5 or 6 times until you are able to hum along to the solo, thus ensuring you have the basic rhythms in your head before you start learning it properly.
The first thing you will need is a Floyd Rose style bridge, to ensure you can do these crazy dips and dives! If you try this with a normal style whammy bar, you will quickly knock your guitar out of tune, and potentially snap the strings. As for the harmonics, we are using the harmonics found on the 4th, 5th, 7th and 9th frets... Just with a lot of gain and some fun whammy bar dips. These are all notes within our key of E minor, so work perfectly. The notes you are using can be found in the fretboard diagram.
For the second lick, we are using the E blues scale in the first position on the 12th fret. It's a fairly quick legato style lick without some very cool bending. The scale shape we are using can be found in the fretboard diagram.
This lick is very quick, so we will be slowing it down a lot to get it perfect. The idea behind this lick is playing and grouping notes in 5's, rather than 4's or 6's. This can feel very awkward, but as you speed up it makes more sense. The crucial piece of the technique is to economy pick through the phrase. For the lick, we are just using pentatonic shape 1 in E minor. Take a look at the fretboard diagram to familiarise yourself with the shape.
This is a classic Dimebag style lick where we use the same pattern on every single string. It creates a very 'out there' sound, which is exactly what we are trying to achieve with our Dimebag style. The notes we use are loosely based around the E blues scale, with a tonne of 'out notes' to create that tension. The notes can be found in the fretboard diagram.
For this lick, we are taking a tritone shape and moving it up and down the guitar in diminished 3rds. A 'tritone', for those of you who don't know, is two notes that are 6 semitones apart (3 tones... hence 'tritone'). Once we've got the first tritone fretted and played, we are moving it down the fretboard 3 frets at a time (creating a diminished chord feel as these chords typically repeat in b3rds). The notes are nice and clearly show in the fretboard diagrams.
To end this lick we use the E minor pentatonic shape 2 to add a rock/blues feel to the lick and end it nicely. We also, very slightly touch upon the major 3rd in E, giving it an extra bluesy feel! The scale shape with the major 3rd included can be found in the fretboard diagrams.
For the final lick, we are using a chromatic lick with whammy bar dips to create a super intense sound that is very 'Dimebag'! Chromatic simply means using notes that are next to each other, not worrying about the scale shape! The reason it works is that it creates tension that is resolved as you hit the notes of the scale or the root note. Check out the fretboard diagrams for the shapes.
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