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Michael Johnson >> Guitarists of Ozzy >>
Lesson Subject: Guitarists of Ozzy
What you learn: Randy Rhoads Rhythm/Leads
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Our lesson will cover various lead runs of Randy Rhoads. Randy was a cornerstone player in the heavy metal guitar scene during the '80s along with Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young (AC/DC), Uli Roth (Scorpions), etc. Randy was a master at combining lead licks and classical runs using the diminished, minor and other modal scale patterns. Later in this lesson we'll cover the guitars Randy used. Here's a sample of me playing the licks in this lesson.

Michael: The Randy Rhoads style runs are...

1. F# Diminished ascending

2. F# Diminished descending

3. Triad run in A minor

Michael: Most these runs have a classical sound, our first scale is the F# Diminished scale.

Michael: This has a very cool sound, actually if you lived in the days of the Spanish Inquisition you would be put to death for using the Diminished scale in a composition. They actually referred to it as the devil's scale. Paganini used the scale quite a bit... but of course he lived in a different country than Spain 8-) This scale actually has 8 notes in it and considered as an altered scale. The interval patterns are a series of step, half-step patterns. Each diminished scale has four key-centers. Melodies and chords build on this altered scale are very unlike melodies built on diatonic scales (i. e. minor & major scales).

Michael: Now we'll drop some notes out of that pattern, we'll drop G#, B and F it will give you an easier pattern to play the runs.

Michael: Notice how this next scale is easier to play.

j0n: Lots of 1 1/2 step intervals.. sounds neat.

Michael: Good observation, in fact the entire last scale is made up of a whole step and a half. Later we'll discuss Randy Rhoads guitar tones. Let's play the first run.

You can play over a A minor jam.

Michael: Try the scale and run over this jam track, it drones on A.

Adam: Can you play over F# jam?

Michael: The chord would have to be based on the F# diminished chord.

j0n: drone = a note repeated between other notes, right?

Michael: Yes, or you can have open notes drone over a scale. Now try the run over a different style jam track.

Michael: Listen to the contrast of the scale over the jam track with more chords in it. OK let's try a run descending the F# Diminished scale pattern.

guitarguy: Teacher, is the F# diminished scale a 1st finger and 4th finger pattern?

Michael: Yes it is guy, the video I sent shows it played faster, notice in the tab I included the pull-off, this will give you more speed.

Tom: Wow doing this one ascending is even cooler!

guitarguy: Teacher, besides the diminished chord, where else can you use a diminished scale?

Michael: You can use it in A, like I gave you at the beginning of the lesson. Now I'll send you the triad run, one fast trick to remember if your playing in a key, say like B. You can count three frets down from there and find where to start the Diminished scale.

Michael: Here's a tab example of what I was talking about, see how that worked out with the last pattern, it works for all the minor chords. Here's the triad run:

  Michael: The 12th fret on the second triad should be on the 10th fret.

fourmanshed: Can you send a sound track of that?

Michael: Sure try this one.

viper: Teacher, how does a person get to a point where he can take songs off records I mean to learn to play them.

Michael: Lot's of ear training viper.

Adam: I have a hard time visualizing this pattern

Michael: I can send the tab where the notes stay up.

viper: Teacher, how does a student get the ear training.

Michael: Well try easy songs at first, try to find the root note first. Usually you can follow the bass to find the root notes. Try to fill in the scale and chords by listening to see if it's major, minor, etc. Try this triad run which incorporates the diminished run we learned earlier. Then try playing to the jam track to see how they fit together.

guitarguy: I do ear trained by listening to country and light rock

Michael: That's a great style to study.

j0n: Does a triad just mean 3 notes from a scale?

Michael: Yes Jon.

Tom: That triad sounds great over that jam track.

Michael: These triads play throughout the scale pattern

viper: I can find maybe a few notes to a song but can't find them all I don't know where the player is moving to.

Michael: Viper you must crawl before you walk.... that's why I say start with figuring out easy songs. The more you do it, you build up your ear training. It could even be picking out simple melodies from TV shows. I use to play and watch TV for hours and pick out melodies, that's a great exercise for ear training.

j0n: Those 1-5 and 3-7 fingerings are quite a workout if you try to play it fast.

Michael: They are!

guitarguy: I have something that's on another subject if that's all right teacher. If I'm playing a major 7th chord, what is a good scale for it? I have trouble soloing on this chord

Michael: Guitar guy you can play the major, and Lydian. Here's the A Maj 7 and the A Major scale.

guitarguy: The lydian you sharp the 4th right?

Michael: Yes

Michael: Well time to go, bye all, see you next lesson!

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