Heavy Metal Licks – Forcing the Major 3rd

Author: Ed Cupler

Lesson

The improvised guitar solo for ‘Forcing the Major 3rd’ uses the notes of the Dorian scale mode in D Minor (D E F G A B C D) but actually takes on the sound of the E Phrygian scale mode (E F G A B C D E) since the background chords are F C/E E minor and D minor with a low E pedal tone, giving the song a Phrygian sound. Since I’m also adding the flatted 5th from the Dorian scale mode (G#), the G# is the major 3rd for the E Phrygian scale mode. And that’s why I call it Forcing the Major 3rd.

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Intro Lick

This blues influenced heavy metal guitar lick makes heavy use of the added G# note within the E Phrygian scale mode. As mentioned before, the G# note would actually be the flatted 5th from the D Dorian scale mode (D E F G A B C D).

guitar Tablature for - Intro Lick

Lick #1

This guitar lick starts with an B minor diminished arpeggio then uses a D minor 7th arpeggio with a flat 5 to transition into the single notes and ending with a descending chromatic scale run using the A natural minor (Aeolian) scale mode.

guitar Tablature Guitar Lick #1

Lick #2

This heavy metal guitar lick starts with a simple lick using the Dorian scale mode in D minor then moves to a descending lick starting at the Aeolian scale mode in A natural minor. Note that the G# note is used several times within this guitar lick.

guitar Tablature Guitar Lick #2

Lick #3

This heavy metal guitar lick starts with a repeating ascending/descending pattern beginning at the Aeolian scale mode (A B C D E F G A) but I also throws in a B flat cause I felt like it.:) The forth measure goes into a descending lick that uses the notes from the A harmonic minor scale. Finishing things up is a blues influenced lick adding that flatted fifth (major 3rd in the E Phrygian scale mode).

guitar Tablature Guitar Lick #3

Sound Loop

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