Playing Rating: Advanced

Example 1

This example begins with a classic Vai sweep with interjected slides, the defragmented quintuplet outlines an E minor arpeggio which relates to the G Lydian mode as it is part of the second mode (E Dorian) of the home major scale mode D major. Remember that a Lydian mode is formed starting on the 4th note of any major scale, so any mode within the major scale is fair game no matter what mode the piece of music is actually in. Starting on the second beat of bar 2 the descending fifth intervals progress in a linear fashion toward the lower end of the guitar where those low end distorted lower strings are used sliding around in Vai fashion.

Example 1

Example 2

This lick requires accuracy with the picking and fretting hand, so it is best to practise it very slowly at first. The descending run beginning in the first bar follows a set pattern, but you need to watch out for the slight left hand shifts at the last 2 demisemiquavers on beat 2 and beat 3 of bar 1. The move into the pentatonic shape on beat 1 of bar 2 requires an alteration in the picking hand and is a little tricky at this speed so take care to make all notes even as with the descending pull off pattern on beat 3. Bars 3 and 4 are exclusively played on the 5th string sliding up and down but progressively ascending in a kind of Zappa style.

Example 2

Example 3

Here on beat 1 is a simple descending inverted A major arpeggio (A maj is part of the 5th mode of the D major scale mode) with the E sliding down to the C#, Vai often applies interesting techniques to enrich a simple collection of notes. The lick proceeds to some typical Vai bends in the 2nd bar.

Example 3