Tony MacAlpine - Shred Guitar
He also shows you how to use arpeggios, pentatonics and chord suspensions to create your own solos, and bending and sliding to add dimension and color. This DVD demonstrates 4 songs: Sammy bone shuffle, Broken Dreams, More than a lot, Baloney pony blues.
Legendary Tony MacAlpine’s 53-minute instructional video Shred Guitar is a misnomer, as this video offers a great deal more than skills to playing fast. The student gets an inside look into Tony’s playing and how he combines various techniques that encompass his style. The sound and video quality are crystal clear and top notch, as though you were sitting in the room with Tony and his band.
Tony touches upon a number of concepts; he does not delve deeply on any one point, but provides an example and discussion to get an idea across in order for the student to apply it into his or her playing. He starts the technical section with string slapping, to give a funk style, and this is how the first band number starts (there is a mix of song playing with technique demonstrations), as Tony and the bassist plays a slap riff in unison. In no time Tony gets into speed picking techniques and emphasizes his ‘economy of motion’ concepts, and particularly in his picking hand – i.e., he strives to use the fingering hand more by rolling, hammering, pulling (with lateral movement patterns along the neck on one string) and sliding as many notes as possible to keep his playing and style fluid (he implements a lot of arpeggio forms and broken chords in this manner as he works up and down the neck).
Tony next discusses soloing concepts and understanding ‘methods to be applied’ as opposed to merely memorizing (which helps when improvising), as he demonstrates getting a synth-like tone when hammering chords, or even a bell-like ring with hammer-ons. At that point Tony addresses Pentatonics and how they can increase one’s ‘groove’ in playing, but also how to sweep them in the mix in a modern blues/rock direction.
Although Tony is quick on the fretboard, he makes good use of bowed effects while string bending, and when this is applied within his runs and sweeping he increases the diversity of his note selection, besides increasing the number of notes being heard while playing fewer fret positions.
Other ideas Tony address are harmonic thirds (used in runs and tapping along the neck), chord suspensions (integrating rhythm with lead and being able to ‘hear’ rhythm chops while soloing), integrating backward slides (coming from the top of the note) for a more modern sound, and how to sound ‘fresh’ while playing Blues (including mixing major and minor pentatonics over dominant chords and adding an emotional Blues feel even when playing fast Rock/Metal passages).
As Tony explains, it’s more important to understand the concepts he shows, rather than memorizing them, so that you can apply them anywhere on the neck and during your soloing, and this DVD offers a plethora of ideas that can be integrated into any style of music, not just fast instrumental Rock. Another key concept of Tony’s is the idea of playing outside the ‘box’ (those scale patterns everyone memorizes) so that you have more than one place to go while practicing or improvising, but also being able to play in multiple positions or directions on the neck (viz., playing the same passage, but at a different location).