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Lyle Ronglien >> The Edge (U2) style >>

In The Style of The Edge (U2) - part 4

Lesson Sample

Lyle: In this lesson you'll learn a few chord variations from a simple 4 chord progression. Let's start by looking at a chord chart:

chord chart

Lyle: You'll explore several ways to play them over the neck just like The Edge does. Here's the first example:

Lyle: This example is in the basic form or chord shapes that you might know. Try playing them along to this jam track:

Looping Sound Clip 1

Lyle: I've made a second jam track that is a little fuller in sound:

Looping Sound Clip 2

Lyle: The Edge likes to arpeggiate the chords. Arpeggiate means to pick one note at a time from the chord. Watch this video clip:

ex. 1 - chords

Lyle: Pick down, down, down, then up for the last note.

Lyle: For the riff example in this lesson, set your guitar tone to a fairly clean sound. Add a little chorus effect, a little reverb, and a delay set for 410ms with a few repeats. The Edge loves using this type of sound with arpeggiated riffs like these.

skud: Is there a particular reason to up pick the last note?

Lyle: skud, it's a normal way to get your pick to "come back" and be ready for the next series of notes.

Lyle: Next example shows the same 4 chords in a different place on the neck:

ex. 2 - chords

Lyle: In the next example you'll play the same 3 chords again even higher up the neck!

ex. 3 - chords

rockman: Using the open D that a kind of 'pitch axis' effect, teach?

Lyle: rockman, yes and droning.

Lyle: The chords would really be called D - G over D, Bm over D, A over D. You would see them listed like: Bm/D which just means a Bm chord with a D as the bass note. Now let's take all of those chords and add an open high E string to create yet another droning/suspended sound:

ex. 4 - with open 1st string

Lyle: The key is to keep it simple, produce a good tone that's not too distorted, use effects at the right place like in this slower tempo type of song example.

Lyle: Here's example 5 using chords in the middle of the neck:

ex. 5 - with open 1st string

larry: What do you call these intervals with the common bass and common high E? Is there a notation to indicate them?

Lyle: Larry, good question. In example 5, the first chord is a Dadd9, second chord is a G6/D, third is a Bmadd4/D, and the 4th chord is a A/D.

Lyle: Here's the next group of variations at the high point of the neck like you learned in example 3 earlier:

ex. 6 - with open 1st string 1

Lyle: The Edge also likes to come up with a riff that can fit and repeat over all the chords. Here's an example of a Dadd9 chord that you'll arpeggiate over the jam track:

riff 1

Lyle: Here's the same riff, only one note will change every other repeat:

riff 2

Lyle: If you want, you can improvise or solo over the jam track using a B minor pentatonic scale.

jim: Why would you say B Minor and not D?

Lyle: Dmajor pent and B minor pent will work, not B minor. The chords are all in the key of D maj, B is the relative minor of D.

Lyle: Ok class, time for....the secret riff:

secret riff

Lyle: It's a Dsus4 to D riff. Edge-olian mode!

larry: In the video you pick this riff down. Earlier on you said to pick the last note upwards to begin the return. Any specific reason for the change?

Lyle: larry, I fought with myself on the pick direction of the secret riff. I decided to pick all down for a even and powerful sound.

Lyle: That’s all for this lesson. If you would like further study on this topic or any other topic, email me at for info on how you can get your own customized guitar lessons like this using Riff Interactive technology. Your private lessons can be downloaded to your pc for anytime, anywhere study. Thanks and see you at the next lesson. - Lyle

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