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Michael Johnson >> Brian May (Queen) style >>

Teacher: Hello class. This is our 4th lesson on the style of Brian May of Queen covering more of the Night At The Opera/Day At The Races era. In this lesson you will learn more about layering guitar parts and how to use scales as a melody. You'll also learn techniques that will also help you apply scales over chords as well. Many of these licks and scales are easy, but will help develop your understanding of Brian's sound. The lesson sample covers many of the licks you will learn.

Lesson Sample

OK, let's get started. Our first riff is a chromatic type run starting in E

Part 1 - Riff 1

Part 1 - Riff 1

Teacher: Notice that you have a descending chromatic run, the run later skips the note and then you jump up to F# using the same riff. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 1

Teacher: You might want to practice slowly a few times to get the riff down. Regular speed will take more practice for your to get down clean. Now let's go to part 2 of the riff.

Part 1 - Riff 2

Part 1 - Riff 2

You start in B with this section. It's basically barre chords until you use a descending run in the B minor pentatonic and then ending on the Maj 3rd of B and then back to the octave B. Also notice the descending bass note (G#) and then jumping to F#, this type of line is common in classical music. Now let's move on to part 2, the rhythm chords are B, G, F#, E

Part 2 - Riff 1

Teacher: Now what we are going to do is play scales over each of these chords. Here's the jam track:

Looping Jam Track 2a

Teacher: Next we will play each scale over the chords in the jam track. Our first scale is B Major:

Part 2 - Scale 1 - B Major

Teacher: Now it will get a little tricky to play different scales over each chord. Our next scale is G Major:

Part 2 - Scale 2 - G Major

Teacher: Now you play the F# Mixolydian:

Part 2 - Scale 3 - F # Mixolydian

Teacher: And then finally descend using the E Major scale:

Part 2 - Scale 4 - E Major

Teacher: OK, now comes the challenging part, try playing all the scales over each chord of the jam track.

Part 2 - Riff 2

Part 2 - Riff 2

Teacher: OK, this is an excellent exercise for you to practice! In fact I played this part over and over because it was fun to play. Here's the jam track, the real challenge is keeping up the speed of the scale with the timing of the chords.

Looping Jam Track 3

Teacher: Practice this for awhile. OK, let's move on, now we will change riffs. This first riff is the rhythm/bass guitar line, it's a simple classical type phrase.

Part 3 - Riff 1

Part 3 - Riff 1

Teacher: See it's very simple, now we will layer another guitar melody that creates a trumpet type line. Brian May would often imitate a cello, violin, trumpet,...

Part 3 - Riff 2

Part 3 - Riff 2

Teacher: These are basic arpeggios, the first arpeggio is E Major, then F# Min arpeggio, then G# Min arpeggio. Here's the first and second riffs together in a jam track, practice both parts.

Looping Jam Track 4

Teacher: The last file was bad try this one, OK, let's try other exercises, the next few riff are common trumpet type melodies you can play on guitar. I'm sure you've heard these before.

Part 3 - Riff 3

Part 3 - Riff 3

Teacher: Recognize it?

fish: charge?

Teacher: Yep! Here's another one you can try.

Part 3 - Riff 4

Part 3 - Riff 4

Teacher: The trick in this melody is the picking, you basically barre three string (2nd, 3rd, 4th) and pick away! Here's another trumpet melody you can try:

Part 3 - Riff 5

Teacher: Yes, they're all pretty easy, but a cool exercise as well. You can always entertain your friends and family with these <grin>. I'm sure you recognized the last one as well.

fish: taps?

Teacher: Yep! Well that's it for the lesson, I hope to see you next week! Bye!

fish: thanks teacher
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