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British Heavy Metal - Def Leppard

Def Leppard Lesson Sample


Teacher: Def Leppard debuted in 1980 featuring Pete Willis and Steve Clark on guitars, Rik Savage on bass and Joe Elliot vocals. Guitarist Phil Collen replaced Willis for the next LP and with this line up, Def Leppard defined a new heavy pop-metal sound for the 80s. Also important was producer 'Mutt' Lange who finely crafted Def Leppard's accessable metal sound.

Teacher: Here is our first riff.

Riff A



Video Clip 1

Teacher:
The riff is played over a repeating D note, or pedal tone, in the bass. The riff outlines a change from D5-A then C5-G5. Notice the use of small 2 note voicings for clarity with distortion.

Riff A Looping Track

Teacher: The second section features another similar idea. A Bb-F, C-G chord change is the underlying harmony. Here would be your typical chords.

Riff B Chords


Teacher: These longer, full chords I use under one of the solo sections. But Def Leppard feature smaller chord voicings and more syncopated rhythms.

Riff B



Video Clip 1

Teacher:
Using a typical 'power chord', then dropping the note on the lower string gives a nice two note chord that implies a major chord. Root note on top, major 3rd of the chord in the bass.

Teacher: Def Leppard will layer rhythm guitar parts extensively. Here is such a part layered on top of the 'Riff B.

Riff B Looping Track

Riff B Harmony Rhythm



Video Clip 1

Teacher:
Bb5 to F major for the first two bars. The 3rd bar introduces a 'suspended' sound with a Csus2 voicing, then Gsus4-G-Gsus2-G in the final bar.

Teacher: Here they are working together.

Riff B Rhythms Layered

Teacher: And the third section of our song uses standard Major and Minor chord voicings that everyone needs to know.

Teacher: picked out as single notes for arpeggios.

Riff C


Video Clip 1

Teacher:
fret the notes of each chord as early as possible and use the right hand to bring out each note

Riff C Looping Track

Teacher: And some solo licks. The first section features a major key for the first time in our series

Teacher: The patterns most often used here are the Major Pentatonic and the Major Scale.

Teacher: This first lick uses mostly the pentatonic with a couple of notes from the major.

Teacher: P.H. stands for pinch harmonic. Also called 'artificial harmonics' or pick 'squeals'

Lick 1




Teacher: Strike the string with a touch of the thumb just as you pick through the string. Different places along the string in the right hand will produce different harmonics. More distortion helps.

Lick 1

Teacher: The next lick utilizes the same Major Pentatonic pattern. Finger slides move us up the neck

Lick 2


Lick 2

Teacher:
This next lick goes right up the major scale in a pattern of '3'

Lick 3


Lick 3

Teacher: Another lick using a mix of Pentatonic and Major scale. Notice the start of the lick is a familiar Minor Pentatonic riff. Move your favorite Minor pentatonic pattern down 3 frets and voila! Instant Major pentatonic pattern.

Lick 4



Lick 4

Teacher:
This next lick uses the major scale with a repeating note under a moving voice. Called a pedal point.

Lick 5


Lick 5

Teacher:
Last lick of the section goes right up the pentatonic, ending with a step and 1/2 bend to the root note D.

Lick 6


Lick 6

Teacher:
The final licks are over the Bb-F-C-G change. More of minor key center now.

Teacher: Standard Minor pentatonic pattern here.

Lick 7



lick 7

Teacher: This uses an additional note from the blues scale.

Lick 8



lick 8

Teacher: The last lick with a melodic whole step - half step - whole step bend to finish.

Lick 9


lick 9

Teacher:
I hope you have enjoyed the British Heavy Metal series from Riff Interactive.

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