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View Full Version : Scales/Slash style plz help!


UB
12-11-2000, 04:18 PM
Hi, I've been playing for quite a while and I've just started getting into Slash's lead style (from guns n roses), and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on his style - eg the scales he uses, trademarks, licks etc?

Secondly, as a start, I learnt the lead solo from 'Sweet child of mine' by guns n roses, but I cant figure out what key the song is in and what scale is used in the solo.. does anyone know? I think the key is D... dunno what the scale is though :(

Any help would really be appreciated!
P.S sorry if this is the wrong forum but the other ones looked kinda inactive,
Tnx, cya

LuigiCabrini
12-11-2000, 04:33 PM
If I remember correctly he solos mostly in harmonic minor. He plays the major seventh a lot. He may also sometimes play the minor seventh, but remember, scales are to help you, not to constrain you, you don't have to worry about playing a note that may not be in the scale if it works in the situation.

James
12-11-2000, 07:58 PM
hey UB, great to see another GNR lover! Slash is probably one of my favorite rock guitarists. As for scales, you'll find that in a lot of GNR songs it will change from a pentatonic to a major/minor, or vice versa, thus giving the song some added power (songs that change keys off the top of my head: Sweet Child of Mine, Rocket Queen, November Rain, Civil War). He'll quite often use a pentatonic and add in extra tones to create more tension in his solo, he almost never sticks to one particular scale throughout an entire song. As far as technique, he is greatly influenced by Page and other blues-rock type players, and you can tell in his playing (he uses a lot of bends, uses the blues scale on occasion, uses lots of tradition blues licks), and also takes this to new levels by having a great energenic hard rock sound and feel. He uses a lot of hammeron pull-offs, I've never heard him really shred (fast picking runs, that is) for more then a few short little phrase.

Sweet Child of Mine is in D major (1/2 dropped tuning). The solo starts off in D harmonic minor, then changes to E pentatonic for the second part of the solo.

Any other questions feel free to ask.

jake sommers
12-11-2000, 08:51 PM
yeah, Slash is great, i saw him on vh1 the other day and he looked really different. You could actually see his face and that was like a first for me.

UB
12-12-2000, 11:22 AM
Thnx for the replies so far people...
This is to James really...
You said about the solo changing scale/key which makes sense... does the change take place between the slow, moody opening and the second part where it speeds up (4min 4sec about).

Second, is there any way of working out scales that will sound right in the same key? eg as u said the solo uses D and E keys but still sounds right - is there any other than just trial and error? Hope u follow that...

Thanks again,

James
12-12-2000, 04:27 PM
does the change take place between the slow, moody opening and the second part where it speeds up (4min 4sec about).
Yeah that's right, here it changes from harmonic minor to pentatonic.

Second, is there any way of working out scales that will sound right in the same key? eg as u said the solo uses D and E keys but still sounds right - is there any other than just trial and error? Hope u follow that...
Yeah I get ya, you want to know if there is a way of knowing which scales will sound good in a given key, as in the sweet child of mine example. I'm not a huge theory guy so I'm going to leave somewhere more adept in theory to answer that one. You can never go wrong with trial and error though.

LuigiCabrini
12-12-2000, 05:07 PM
Well it all depends on the chord progression. I don't know the chord progression to sweet child of mine, but if I'm just told that the key is D minor, well soloing in D natural minor, d harmonic minor, d melodic minor, d pentatonic minor, d phrygian, all will probably work, or at least they will all imply a minor tonality. If I knew the chord progression i'd be able to better say what scales it implies. Instead of thinking of it as switching scales, just think of it as him no longer using the natural 7, minor 6, or major second. D harmonic minor and d pentatonic minor have a lot of notes in common, (only the natural 7 vs minor 7 actually clash) and switching between them doesn't imply a change of the key of the tune but rather a change of choice on the soloists part.
I think you guys should think less in terms of scales and more in terms of chords and tones. You never have to play in a certain scale for a solo, and if you are thinking: "I'm sticking in D minor for this solo" it may hurt you and limit you. Instead, know what tones will sound strongest (if you're playing over a dm7 chord, the 1, b3, 5, and b7 will sound most consonant) and what tones will sound most dissonant (tones not in the scale) and what tones will create tension but not as much dissonance as the non scale tones (non chord scale tones.) That way your solos are likely to be less mechanical and more about creating sounds and melodies with notes, rather than playing fingerings corresponding to a key.

Trolle
12-28-2000, 06:47 AM
To UB:

I can tell you alot about Slash's style, since he was the reason a continued guitarplaying when I was 16 (I started at age 12 for 2 years). I've read dozens of GNR tab-books back then, but learned that many of the tabs where REALLY weird, compared to how I heard the music on the cd's and watched Slash on video (recently I was up front, when Snakepit played in Denmark, takin' pictures and collecting picks for the insane audience). Now I'm 24 and I still listen to Slash-stuff, altough I have expanded to alot of different players, including non-rock/metal playes, as Luigi wisely recommends (so do I).
So UB, feel free to write to my e-mail, I can work out tabs for you in the Slash-spirit and even record it in the studio, so you can get the idea.
Last but far least, I recommend you to use your ears, rather than believing what the tab-books says. It will also help you to adapt to any band or other music-projects, when you can sort out a chordprogression and tonality just by ear after only one "listen-through" (can you say that in english? :-)

fiddles
Trolle
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