Slash's Drop D Technique Masterclass Guitar Lesson
Along with the likes of Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimi Hendrix, Slash is one of the most influential and popular guitarists in Rock history. At a time when a lot of the bands from the LA scene wore more make up and hair products than girls, Slash and co. were a breath of fresh air (are you sure 'fresh' is the word? Ed), with their blend of sleazy Jack Daniels-fuelled hard Rock. Slash’s career has spanned more than 20 years, and he gained huge notoriety, as well as popularity, as the driving force duo with Axl Rose in Guns n’ Roses. Many comparisons were drawn between the partnership of Slash and Axl, and that of Steve Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith. But Slash also made a name for himself as a session guitarist, recording and working with such artists as Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz and even Carol King. Slash has also had various side projects including Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and now, as a solo artist, performing with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy. For our tech session I have chosen to focus on both the Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver era. Before we kick into our track, it’s worth mentioning that Slash tunes his guitars to Eb, but to keep things a little more simple for those of you that have floating bridges, and also so that tuning is consistent in the magazine, I've presented this track in standard tuning. This track should also be performed with drop D tuning, with the low E string, the 6th string, being lowered by a whole tone. The track kicks off with an intro section that features the chords of Dsus2, and Dsus2/#4 performed as chord arpeggios against the tom fill intro. The verse kicks in and features a driving power chord riff that is performed on the bottom 3 strings. This riff is based on a similar riff heard in the track Slither. Due to the drop tuning it’s possible to perform the riff with just one finger. The verse concludes with a descending figure on the D string that follows the riff. Now we have our main verse progression, which uses the same power chords found in the previous section, but this time we perform it with a tight palm muting. Pay attention to the video lesson and be sure to remove the palm mutes at specific points to make the riff more aggressive. Now we have our chorus progression, with this being based around a similar progression to Fall to Pieces, and with the main guitar performing one of Slash’s signatures melody lines that outlines the chords. Make sure you back off the tone control to produce a smooth creamy tone for the lead melody. The chord progression is as follows: D5, Csus2, G/B, A5, G5, Bb5, and C5. Now it’s time for our middle eight section which is based on the clean chords G, C, Am and D. This section should be performed in the same style as the verse chords to Knocking on Heaven’s Door and the intro to Fall to Pieces. This section is performed with clean chord arpeggios, a rich clean tone and a subtle chorus effect. The second half of the middle eight includes some high register triad chords that are performed on the top three strings. These triads follow the verse progression, and are based to the high register triads heard in the verses of Sweet Child O’ Mine. This middle eight is followed by a short intro section. We conclude our track with a solo that uses notes from the D minor pentatonic and D blues scale. The D minor pentatonic is embellished with the addition of the E note, the 2nd of E. The solo includes many Slash style licks, including ascending pentatonic phrases, and fast repetition and bending licks. There are also some pre bends included, so make sure you pay attention to the pitch of the bends. There are plenty of cool riffs and Slash inspired ideas for you to try in this Tech Session. Be sure to watch the accompanying video so that you nail the correct tone. Good luck!
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Slash Guitar Style Lesson One
Slash Guitar Style Lesson One
Slash Style Performance