Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 04-05-2011
Posted by Michael Mueller on April 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM
You know how picking up a new guitar or plugging into a new amp—or even just playing with some of your own gear that you haven't touched in a while—often inspires new riffs and licks or a certain mood? Well, when I plugged into a most excellent Krank Revolution 2x12 combo amp recently, I couldn't help but "krank" it up and "krank" out some Pantera riffs and licks, which in turn inspired this week's Dimebag Darrell shred-blues lick.
Dime had several signature techniques, among them his screaming whammy harmonics, high-speed legato runs, and heavy, grinding blues licks like the one presented here. Variations of this lick are heard in both "Walk" from Vulgar Display of Power and in the title track of Cowboys From Hell. The phrase is culled from the E blues scale (E-G-A-Bb-B)—or as Dime described it in the November 2003 issue of Guitar One magazine: " ... the 'Dimebag' scale - blues/pentatonic/chromatic - which is my whole thing." And even though it is just a blues-scale lick, Dime made it "metal" by making the chromatic movement between the 5th (B), b5th (Bb/A#), and 4th (A) the focal point. But remember, Dime was a Texan, and while you can take the guitarist out of Texas, you can't take that Texas shuffle out of the guitarist, and so he caps the phrase with a tasty 4ths-based move leading to bluesy resolution on the major 3rd (G#).