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Lyle Ronglien >> Rock Legends >>


Lesson Sample

Lyle: Combining classical music with heavy metal guitar riffs and techniques was the signature style of the late Randy Rhoads. From only two recordings with his original band, Quiet Riot, and two with ex-Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, Randy reached legendary status in a very short time. Randy's brief time on this planet left a mark on every guitar player who wanted to be a metal guitarist. He favored Gibson Les Paul custom guitars as well as the Jackson "V" or "Randy Rhoads" signature model guitars that he helped design. He used a heavy distortion sound and many times for the studio recordings he double tracked all his parts to make them bigger sounding. For your live sound, try adding a slight delay, about 75 to 100ms with no extra repeats.

Lyle: The first part of the lesson sample starts with a solo classical guitar piece I wrote in his style. Your right hand will be finger picking the strings, just like a classical guitarist would.

Lyle: This is in the key of B major. I've broken it into 4 riffs to make it easier for you to learn. Here we go!

Lyle: Once I have all 4 riffs up, I'll send you a movie of me playing all 4 parts together.

Lyle: The virtual guitar neck will show you what fingers to use on your left hand. Here's the next riff:

surista: Are you barring the E-B-G-D strings with index finger?

Lyle: Yes, your 1st finger is held down to play those strings at the 9th fret.

Lyle: Here's the final riff:

Bee - movie

Lyle: As you learn the tabs for all 4 riffs, notice that it's all in the key of B major and you're using the 1 - 4 - 5 chords, B - E - F# to make the song.

Lyle: Classical part is done, just 4 simple riffs using only 3 basic chords! After you have memorized all 4 riffs, try playing along with me using this jam track:

Bee - play along

Lyle: Let's move into the next part of the lesson, the metal rock style! The palm-muting technique is a key element in the heavy metal style. Using this technique will help you achieve a tighter, more percussive sound. Simply rest your picking hand on the bridge and use the heal of your hand to slightly mute the bass strings. Here's a video clip showing where to put your hand.

palm mute example

Lyle: Hold your pick tightly and while you're muting the string, strike hard with your pick.

pick grip 1

Lyle: I suggest you angle the pick downward as you pick down and up. Here's another view of how I hold the pick for palm muting. Notice in the pictures and video clip how the heal of my hand covers the bridge. The pick is actually somewhat sideways not flat, angled down.

pick grip 2

Lyle: Take a listen to this next riff, now in the key of Em, which uses the palm muting technique:

rhythm riff 1

Lyle: Notice the sound of the note that is bent up on the 3rd fret, it has that high squeal sound to it. This is done by laying the edge of the pick down on the string along with the edge of your thumb. When you strike the string with your pick, the edge of your thumb touches the string too creating a harmonic, high pitched note. The technique is often called a "pinched harmonic". Here's a close-up video of this technique:

pinched harmonics

Lyle: You are going to learn 4 rhythm riffs and put them all together. This is the section from the lesson sample between the classical intro and the solo.

Lyle: You just learned riff 1, here's riff 2:

rhythm riff 2

Lyle: The next riff moves up a string to the A chord and has a Randy signature riff at the end, a real fast pull-off riff.

rhythm riff 3

Lyle: Here's a close up video of the fast pull-off riff:

pull-off riff 2

Lyle: Here's the 4th riff of this section, it has a cool riff in the middle of it. It's an arpeggio, a diminished arpeggio with a pinched harmonic at the top note.

rhythm riff 4

remy: What effects do you have with that pinched harmonic?

Lyle: I'm using a slight delay effect, 75ms and 100ms.

Lyle: Here's a chord chart of how all 4 riffs go together:

chord chart - rhythm riff 1

Lyle: Use this jam track to play all 4 rhythm riffs along to:

jam track - rhythm part 1

Lyle: So really, the lesson sample from the top of this lesson has just 3 parts to it. The classical intro, the middle rhythm section you just learned, and the solo section on the end.

Lyle: The solo section has a unique guitar part to it that I picked up from learning Randy's riffs years ago. It doesn't use the standard power chords. You'll see in this next tab. This is for the rhythm guitar part behind the solo:

rhythm riff - solo

Lyle: Here's a jam track for the solo section:

jam track - solo section

Lyle: The chord chart for this section looks like this:

chord chart - rhythm riff 2

Lyle: This chord progression of the song is from a tune I wrote years ago called "Bach 'n A". I was inspired by Randy as well as many other guitarists. Randy used arpeggios many times on solos, sometimes briefly, sometimes to create the entire solo. An arpeggio is the basic notes of a chord played one at a time. Most of the time, just 3 notes are needed to make "the triad" of the chord, 1 - 3 - 5. Examine the chord progression, then examine the solo riffs. Here we go:

Lyle: Each note is picked using alternate picking. There are no hammer-ons or pull-offs. You pick each note hard to create a louder sound that will cut through the mix.


Lyle: Once you learn the solo, you can use the last jam track I sent to play it over.

Lyle: Here's a jam track that has the whole song in it minus the classical intro:

jam track - full version

Lyle: That's all for this lesson. If you are interested in learning more guitar riffs in this style or even some of the songs by Ozzy and Randy, you can in a private lesson with me just like in this lesson. Contact me for more info at:   Thanks - Lyle

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