Tom Hess: How To Play Awesome Lead Guitar Solos By Analyzing The Vocal Techniques Of King Diamond - Part 2
How To Play Awesome Lead Guitar Solos By Analyzing The Vocal Techniques Of King Diamond - Part 2
by Tom HessObserving the singing styles of vocalists is a great way to make your lead guitar playing sound more emotional.
Previously, you discovered many approaches for using King Diamond’s vocal style to improve your lead guitar solos.
The following are 3 more:
1. Play Guitar Harmonies And Solos With Layered Harmony
Using harmony (2 or more notes played together) in a phrase, lick or solo can make it sound very interesting and exciting. Using layered harmonies is a method for making a regular harmony sound even more exciting.
The following music video show how King Diamond uses layered harmonies in his music:
(check out 7:23-8:54)
Step 1: Set the click of your metronome to a moderate speed. Use recording software (or your phone) to record as you play an “A” on the 14th fret of the G string. Allow this note to ring out for ten beats. Hear it.
Step 2: Now, record a “C” note on fret thirteen of the B string – only this time, record it starting on the third beat. This creates harmony with the “A” note from the last step. The “A” note rings on its own through the first couple of beats. Hear it.
Step 3: Finally, record an “E” on the seventeenth fret of the B string right when beat 5 begins. This will give you a third layer for the harmony. Hear it.
You have just made a harmony for an A minor chord, but spread the notes over several beats rather than playing them together at once.
This guitar soloing video gives you tons of ideas on the topic of playing very expressive guitar solos.
2. Create Variation In The Texture Of Your Guitar Licks And Solos
King Diamond creates a lot of variety in his vocal phrasing using various techniques (such as low growls and high, clean falsetto). He utilizes growls to produce a much thicker texture in his melodies. When he uses high falsetto phrases, it makes the texture of his melodies a lot thinner. Check out the video from 35:11 - 36:01 to hear what this sounds like.
You can imitate the same growling effect he uses by using double stops in your guitar soloing. Double stops are a technique that is achieved by playing two notes at the same time (during your lick or solo). This will make the texture of your melodies a lot thicker.
This video demonstrates how double stops sound:
3. Get Good At Pitch Variation & Guitar Phrasing Fluency
King Diamond is a master when it comes to effortlessly combining techniques such as high falsetto, layered harmonies, guttural growls and creative vibrato. By using a variety of techniques, he makes the music much less predictable and more exciting for the listener. Your guitar playing will feel the same way as well once you have mastered guitar phrasing fluency.
Guitar phrasing fluency refers to being able to combine together all the phrasing techniques you know. When you can do this, you create pitch variation and your guitar solos become more creative and exciting to listen to.
This is an exercise that helps you become proficient at creating pitch variation and playing with guitar phrasing fluency:
1. Create a list of every guitar phrasing technique you already know how to use (These guitar soloing columns aid you with this).
2. Create/improvise a short guitar lick of no more than 5 notes and play it again and again. While doing this, focus on either the first and last note of the phrase, or whichever note(s) you sustain for the longest period of time.
3. Whenever you repeat the lick, utilize alternate phrasing ornaments when playing the first and last notes. For instance:
-Play notes in the higher range (similar to how King Diamond uses his falsetto to sing at higher octaves) at times when it is unexpected. This is especially cool when used at the end of a phrase.
-Use double stops to add texture.
-Use vibrato in a variety of different ways (such as using it in a delayed manner, playing wide/narrow vibrato, etc.).
-Apply vibrato to both the notes in a double stop (this sounds killer!).
-Use a variety of phrasing elements to accentuate a single note. Here is an example: play the last note in the phrase by quickly moving up to a higher octave, use a double stop, then use the tremolo bar to add heavy vibrato to both notes (or you can add it manually if you don’t have a tremolo system).
This pitch variation exercise trains you to improve your fluency with a variety of guitar phrasing techniques.
This video presents you with even more ideas about playing very expressive guitar solos.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a successful professional guitar player, composer and international guitar teacher. He also helps musicians learn guitar online and reach their guitar playing goals. Visit his rock and metal guitar lessons site to read more articles about guitar playing, plus get free guitar tips and guitar playing resources.