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To begin building some mix-and-match licks, Examples 2a and 2b present an idea performed and written two different ways. In Herring’s unique world of building inventive musical variations, a run like that shown in Ex. 2a uses legato phrasing (hammer-ons and pull-offs) to give the notes a smooth and connected sound, while Ex. 2b recycles the phrase and introduces a series of legato finger slides, or glissandos. While comparing the two examples, notice how the variance in the way they’re performed makes a subtle but noticeable impact on the sound of the phrase. The concept of creating variations in music is something Herring employs very effectively in many of his extended solo excursions. Historically, you’ll find plenty of other musicians

Mixolydian mode (D, E, F#, G, A, B, C), but in this lesson we’re taking the minor pentatonic and diminished scales and finding ways of using these sounds over a dominant-seven tonality. The concept of playing minor scales over major chords is nothing new, especially in blues, but the inclusion of adding the diminished scale to the mix can really spice things up. In some ways, this is the musical equivalent of cramming a square peg into a round hole, but you should notice that the sound produced by the D minor pentatonic and D diminished scales over the D7 chord is interesting. Needless to say, the amount fresh-sounding licks and phrases you can generate from blending these two resources together is immense! Ex. 3

Intervallic D diminished lick D7





 

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Ex. 4

who’ve mastered the concept of building variations in their music. One of the biggest names in this musical territory is Jeff Beck, who firmly cemented his status as a master of building melodic variations during his inspired instrumental cover of the Stevie Wonder classic, “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” featured on Beck’s landmark 1975 album, Blow by Blow. Ex. 3 offers an interesting, Herring-worthy lick built from the D diminished scale. As you play through this example, you’ll notice that we’re skipping around the strings using lots of wide intervals, which create the kind of modern and unique sound heard frequently in Herring’s music. Injecting wide leaps or gaps between the notes of a melody, scale, or arpeggio instantly creates a dramatic, compelling sound, one that can be found in various musical styles. Thanks to players like Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhoads, and Yngwie Malmsteen, most rock players are familiar with the sound of the four-note diminished seven arpeggio, which is intervallically spelled 1, b3, b5, 6, but many aren’t nearly as familiar with the eight-note diminished scale that we’re using here. If your fingers and ears are confused by this finger-twisting scale, play through the challenging four-bar legato run found in Ex. 4, which will help you become acquainted with it and serve as a superb warm-up exercise. The benefit is created from incorporating all four fret-hand fingers to navigate through the

D half-whole diminished scale legato excersise D7

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G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

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