It's time to take a quick detour from the EVH lead and start looking at the rhythm side of his playing, which is almost as classic as his finger tapping skills! We take a look at a full track based around his key chord based ideas, using Suspended chords, harmonics and dive bombs!
Your first task is simple, just listen to the track! We are including a lot of suspended chords, harmonics and dive bombs to really give this track a Van Halen vibe, so there is a lot to run through. As well as all these super cool techniques, this is also a great example to work on your timing, palm muting and rock rhythm! Once you've listened through a few times move onto the next video lesson.
We will kick of by looking at the Esus4 chord and rhythm pattern, which will set you up perfectly for the next part of the song. The Esus4 looks like this:
To really get to grips with this opening part check out the tab below. For this video we are only looking at the first 2 bars of the track, so just loop that section, slow it down as you need, and try to get it together!
We will now expand upon what we learnt last time and look at the first 8 full bars. We start by moving to the Esus4 to Dsus4. As with any Van Halen rhythm parts, you will never just be playing straight chords, we have to learn the tricks! The first cool trick is the dive bomb with the harmonics on the 5th fret. To get the harmonics you lightly rest your fingers on the strings, and with plenty of gain, you will get rock harmonics!
Pick scrape! Bars 4-8 repeat exactly like the first 4 bars, except we insert the pick scrape instead of the dive bomb. The pick scrape is essentially pretty simple, you just lean the pick on the strings by the pick and slide it down the neck!
To really get to grips with this opening part check out the tab below. For this video we are only looking at the , so just loop that section, slow it down as you need, and try to get it together!
We kick off the next section with a Bsus4 to Asus4 then A major chord, as you can see on the fretboard below. For the specific rhythms on each chord, check out the tab below as well. When you play through the part a second time round you add in one extra chord shape, which is a C# powerchord. Check out all the chords below:
In between the chord sections we are hitting natural harmonics, which we've covered, as well as something called an artificial harmonic, where you fret the note with the fretting hand and then really dig in with the pick on the right hand. The best practice is to try and get some of the flesh from your thumb between the pick and string as that will help you get the harmonic.
To really get to grips with this opening part check out the tab below. Simply loop the section, slow it down as you need, and try to get it together!
We will take a look at the final part of the riff that uses those 3 classic chords, E5, D5 and A5 in the open chord position. This riff has a really specific groove, which is best demonstrated in the tab below. This section also includes a cool vibrato note on the 3rd fret of the E string. Check out the chords below:
Now it's time to put the whole track together, so use the tab below to gradually bring the speed up and nail all of those cool sections!
When you've gone through it enough with Jay then try and play along with just the backing track below. If you can do that then you have truly mastered it!