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Harmonics As Substitution
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Harmonics As Substitution

This is a unique stylistic approach I stumbled upon many years ago when coming up with more pedal-steel-like runs that didn’t require bending. Rather, the utilize harmonics that substitute for normally fretted notes in the exact same positions, and when played properly with a “roll” style, can really make an entirely new sound on the guitar!

One of the most unusual and cool aspects of these licks is how the harmonics at the seventh fret are an octave above the neighboring notes we are using, while the harmonics at the twelfth fret remain the same octave as their neighboring notes. This means that is some cases, we can have two options for what are essentially the same licks…one that has one octave, while another can use a “jump” in octaves to create a more ‘split” sound.

As you’ll see, depending on the chord positions used, we have both major and minor chords at our disposal here, and the “roll” hybrid picking styles I’m using can really help make these licks work to their best. There are literally infinite variations within the framework of this technique, and this lesson is just to give yu some examples, so you can find more on your own. So, good luck!

Enjoy!Arlen Roth

Lesson Details
Gibson ES 335
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Instructor Bio
Arlen Roth

Music lesson pioneer Arlen Roth is the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar. Read More...

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