Here we have a free lick taken from the “Dragon’s Fury” solo study, based around the neo-classical rock/metal style. This style gained popularity from the groundbreaking release of Yngwie Malmsteen’s 1984 debut album Rising Force, born from Yngwie’s unique blend of influences, combining classical harmonies and melodies with violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini and composer J.S Bach cited as influences, alongside the high energy presentation of seventies rock legends like Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth and Ritchie Blackmore.
From the mid 1980’s, the technical demands of this fast melodic style were almost a rite of passage for up and coming rock virtuosos, and prominent players would include Vinnie Moore, Tony Macalpine, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman. Characterised by heavy driving rhythm sections and harmonically rich, classically influenced progressions, this style showcases techniques including alternate picking and sweeping along with an emphasis on accurate bending and vibrato.
To get an authentic tone, set the gain on your amp to maximum, with the bass and treble set slightly boosted (1 o’clock), and the mid-range either cut (10 o’clock) for rhythm or boosted (1-2 o’clock) for lead.
This lick features a cascade of Am triads and F diminished 7 arpeggios which compliment the harmony as it moves from the tonic Im chord (Am), to the V chord which is E/G# (symbolic of E7). This harmonic movement is known as the perfect cadence with the F diminished 7 (F = R, G# = b3, B = b5, D =bb7) heard relative to the tonal centre and root note of E (F = b9, G# = 3rd, B = 5th, D = b7) and therefore providing an E7b9 altered sound, resolving to Am.
Break the lick down beat by beat, gradually memorising it in sections before assembling together as a whole piece. With the sweeping technique, try to push or pull the pick through the strings in a single smooth motion using a combination of slight wrist and arm, positioning the picking hand so as to mute the lower 3 strings as you play through. Once the whole lick has been memorised, set the metronome at a speed where the timing and tone feels stable and practice at the same speed everyday for 15 mins or so. After a week or so, you will start to feel a deeper level of familiarity with the lick and it will become possible to comfortably increase the speed. Once you have found your new speed (try raising the metronome in 5bpm increments), again practice this speed everyday for a week or two until it feels perfect in timing and tone. With weeks spent thoroughly perfecting a single speed before moving on, you will develop the deeper recognition needed for the mind to process the information at higher tempos, the speed a natural by-product of an increased awareness of accuracy, timing and tone.
If you liked this free lick you can also check out my full Dragon's Fury lesson available on Live4guitar Marketplace.