In this Guitar Control lesson I want to share with you, two really great sounding neoclassical guitar licks. The first time I heard Yngwie Malmsteen, I was only 15 years old, and I was so amazed by his playing. His songs sounded like the old music from another time, but performed in a very cool way.
Later, I found out that this genre is actually called Neoclassical Metal. It basically takes all the harmonic content from a classical piece, and turns it into a modern metal song. Oftentimes, the orchestration includes classical instruments like violins, cellos, as well as drums, electric guitars and bass. For some reason, whenever I think about neoclassical metal, I just think of playing a harmonic minor scale. I mean, the harmonic minor scale is the essence of classical music; It has de V7 which is the most important chord in classical music along with i minor.
The following example is a neoclassical inspired lick in a harmonic minor:
It is not unusual for a neoclassical metal player to have a scalloped guitar, as this puts less tension on your fingers which leads to faster playing. I mean the fret board is scalloped; you don’t really have to put too much pressure on it; It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but if you’re able to master it, you can achieve very high speeds.
The other neoclassical lick is called the diminished chords; this is a very common neoclassical metal. Another common technique that appears on this lick is “Sweep Picking”. This technique is very popular among neoclassical players. When you have different consecutive strings (e.g. from the 5th to the 4th to the 3rd string) you don’t really pick each string but sweep them, which means if you’re picking down the 5th string and the next strings are the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd, you will move your hand down, without moving it upwards not even once.
This is all for today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and please remember to check out our entire collection of DVDs at Guitar Control. Com.