In The Style of Joe Satriani - part 2
Intro sample.mp3 (726k)
For this lesson we'll take another song example from the CD I did with ex-Satriani
drummer, Jonathan Mover. We jammed out many songs in the style of Satriani and
Vai on this album. This song/lesson has a sound and groove much
like the song "Surfing With The Alien" by Joe Satriani.
Based around a heavy blues/rock groove, several scales can be used to create the
riffs used in this simple 3 chord progression that's in the style of Satriani.
This chorus groove is based around the A mixolydian mode. The mixolydian is very
much like a major scale but with a flatted 7th at the
Since the chords used in the chorus are A-D-G-A, this means you're playing a
5-1-4-1 progression in A7, the 5 chord in the key of D (D is 1, G is 4 and A is
the 5 or dominant chord in the key of D). This is why you can play the A mixolydian mode over the progression. The mixolydian is a dominant type of
scale, just like the A7 is a dominant type of chord. To help train your ears, try playing the
A mixolydian over this jam track. Notice that the notes "fit" within the sound
of the bass guitar.
Looping Sound Clip 1
Lyle: This first lick is from the chorus of
the song, using notes from the A mixolydian. You'll hear two guitar parts
playing in harmony with each other. You'll be learning the lower part.
chorus 1 (451k)
Try playing this over the jam track you have already. Now here's the second half
of the chorus lick:
Once you've learned both halves of the chorus, play them back-to-back against
this jam track, which has the higher harmony part in it:
Mark: How do
you get that sound on the licks?
Lyle: I use a Rocktron Voodu
Buud: Lyle - How is the
harmony part set up? Shifted a third, a fifth, an octave?
Lyle: Buud, mostly 3rds, want the tab for
I'm working on harmony shifts of thirds and fifths. I'd like to see what
Ok, here's the high harmony part for the chorus:
Here's the second half of the lick:
Lyle: Now the song shifts key to
B7, D7 and E7 for a quick solo section. During these 3 chords, you can play
riffs from B, D and E minor pentatonic and the B, D and E mixolydian.
This is a great example of the Satriani
style, changing keys to match the chords. The minor pentatonic
is the most widely used scale for blues/rock soloing. It's simple to play since
it has only 5 tones in it compared to most other scales that have
7. The minor pentatonic scale is made from
the root-b3-4-5-b7 of a major scale. Here's the patterns most used for the B,
D and E minor pentatonics. They are all the same patterns, only starting on
different root notes on your fretboard.
Mark: I was
wondering about the effect instead. Is it a pitch
Lyle: Mark, there is a harmony guitar part in
the chorus tab file, and it's also in the last jam track, I didn't use a harmonizer or
pitch shifter. I recorded the harmony part on a separate track in my studio.
Lyle: Listen to this next jam track. You'll
hear the bass guitar starting out in B for 2 measures, then D for one measure
and E for one measure. See if you can follow these changes as you improvise the
minor pentatonic patterns for each
Sound Clip 3
Lyle: Here's a lick example of this for you to
lick 1 (415k)
Notice how the licks follow the min pentatonics for each chord in the jam
track. Try playing this lick over this jam
track. I'm going to jump right to lick 2. I
want to show you an example of how you can use the mixolydian mode over these
changes. The lick starts off with a B mixolydian.
As the chord changes to D, you'll play a D mixolydian riff that ends on a E note
just as the bass ends on E.
lick 2 (478k)
Buud: Are you doing vibrato by bending the string, or with
Lyle: Buud, whammy bar on the last note in
Lyle: Here's a lick using an arpeggio for the
B and D chords. An arpeggio is playing the chord tones melodically, one at time.
For the B7 chord, the arpeggio would be: root, 3, 5, b7.
lick 3 (473k)
Try learning licks 1, 32, and 3 and be able to play them along to looping sound
Lyle: Now you've learned two different types
of licks to play over this chord progression. Lick 1 used the minor pentatonic
and Licks 3 & 6 used notes from the mixolydian. Let's learn a couple licks to play over
the main chorus groove. Load this new jam track, which is the
A-D-G-A progression again but without the chorus harmony
Sound Clip 4
Lick 4 is a typical minor pentatonic riff in A:
lick 4 (493k)
Lick 5 is an ascending two-string pattern in A that finally ends with a minor
pentatonic riff, still in A.
lick 5 (478k)
Lyle: Let's review what we've worked
on: 1. A chorus melody built from the A mixolydian mode, 2. Licks that change key as the chords
changes using minor pentatonics and mixolydian scales, 3. And licks 4 and 5 that can be played
over the chorus groove.
Here's a new jam track for you to work with. It is 12 bars long, the first 8 is
in A, or the chorus groove, and the last 4 bars change keys to B, D and E. Simply put, it's the jam sections you've
worked on in this lesson.
Looping Sound Clip 5
Time to take a break. If you would like further study on this topic or any other
topic, email me at
Lyle@theguitar.net 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