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Michael Johnson >> Southern Rock Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Southern Rock Legends II
What you learn: Molly Hatchet Style
Michael: Michael Johnson

Michael: Our lesson continues the series on Southern Rock Legends, this lesson features the style of Molly Hatchet! Molly Hatchet was a band from Jacksonville, Florida, named after a famous 17th century axe murderess hatchet molly who would behead her lovers with the hand tool Lizzy Borden made famous. The current band includes; Bobby Ingram (guitars), Phil McCormack (vocals), John Galvin (keys), Russ Maxwell (guitar), J. J. Strickland (bass), Shawn Beamer (drums). Check out the lesson sample of what you will learn.

Lesson Sample - Highband - 2.7 Meg

Michael: We'll start the lesson now. Let's start out with the rhythm track for the opening phrase on the lesson sample. Then opening rhythm uses a open E string on one track, while you play the chords in the next tab.

Part 1 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: You start off with a simple lick on the 7th frets on the 5th and 6th strings. Then you play either a C, D or E. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 1 - Lowband

Michael: In the background you hear a harmony guitar track, here's the first harmony.

Part 1 - Harmony Guitar 1

Part 1 - Harmony Guitar 1

Michael: The first harmony guitar uses a descending arpeggio on the 12th fret in E Major, a note skips back to the 16th fret/1st string which is a Maj 3rd note. The last bar descends the E Lydian. Here's the 2nd harmony part.

Tab 4

Part 1 - Harmony Guitar 2

Michael: The 2nd harmony is a lower 5th harmony that descends an arpeggio.

Jim: Michael, what picking pattern do you suggest for the arpeggio (both harmony parts)? I'm doing UUD...

Michael: Jim, you can use all up-strokes or down strokes if you want more attack. Here's the next section.

Part 2 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: This rhythm track uses a common rhythm and blues pattern in A and jumps to G and D. Bar 8 shifts to B, then D and A. Here's the jam track you can play over.

Looping Jam Track 2 - Lowband

Michael: OK, you can play various licks over this track. The first licks starts over the A.

Part 2 - Solo 1

Part 2 - Solo 1

Michael: This lick uses the A Minor Pentatonic pattern. You start with a double-stop Chuck Berry type lick that starts with the 3rd finger, bending one whole-step and then playing both strings on the 5th fret. Bar 2 starts with a hammer/pull-off that descend the scale pattern. In bar 3 you continue with more double-stop notes. Notice the half-step bend on the 7th frets. The last bar jumps back to using a different approach using the first lick. Now you shift the solo up to B, when playing to the rhythm. Here's the licks for this section. Notice the chords are in the tab.

Part 2 - Solo 2

Part 2 - Solo 2

Michael: Notice how you take the same double-stop lick and move different positions to follow the rhythm track. Notice also that you make subtle variations of the lick. Let's jump to the next section. This rhythm track starts with a funky riff in A.

Part 3 - Rhythm Guitar

Michael: Notice you start with A and then play a few notes in the A Major scale, then playing an A5 chord that uses your 4th finger to bar the 5th fret/1st & 2nd strings. Here's the jam track.

Looping Jam Track 3 - Lowband

Michael: The solo will be in the A Minor Pentatonic, starting in the octave position.

Part 3 - Solo 1

Part 3 - Solo 1

Michael: You start the lick in the octave pattern by using a whole-step bend and ascend and descend the scale pattern. Notice the lick theme is repeated in the 1st bar. In bar 3 you shift down to the A Minor Pentatonic scale pattern on the 5th fret. Bar 4 uses a sliding double-stop lick that later shifts up one whole-step in bar 5. Bar 6 shifts to C, where you have an ascending Major Pentatonic run and then shifting to F and G.

Michael: Here's the last section. This rhythm track uses a kind of country lick, but with an ascending scale pattern after the first chord, then descending after the 2nd chord.

Part 4 - Rhythm Guitar 1

Part 4 - Rhythm Guitar 1

Michael: Now you can add a harmony over the ascending and descending scale section. Here's a 4th harmony you can use.

Part 4 - Rhythm Guitar 2

Part 4 - Rhythm Guitar 2

Michael:
These two rhythm tracks really come together when both parts are played at the same time. Here's the jam track with both parts.

Looping Jam Track 4 - Lowband

Michael:
The ending chords on the jam track are D, G, D, C and G. Any questions before I go?

Jim: Are those harmony parts a 3rd or 4th apart?

Michael: Jim, the 2nd harmony starts by using the 4th of G.

Jim: Makes for more tension than the typical 3rd. I like it...

Michael: It sure does, I like the variation. Well time to go class, see you next lesson! Bye!

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