Singer-Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Unveils One-Man-Band ROCK Record on the INTIMATE AUDIO label:
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(Interview Conducted by Dale Turner on 15 June, 1999)

This internet-only lesson originally appeared on Guitar One magazine's web site as a “bonus” addition to a George Lynch interview appearing in G1's September 1999 issue. (This lesson was removed from G1's server sometime around early 2001; I've been given the rights to reprint it here!) That issue included an extensive interview with Mr. Scary, and is still available as a back issue.

(Note: The interview appearing in the magazine is totally different from the interview/lesson found on this site. Also, the web-only version originally only consisted of quotes from Lynch; the version below is a longer prose w/quotes version we didn't run.)

LICK #1 (Intervallic Stretch)

“This one’s in D minor [hear Lick #1],” guitarist extraordinaire George Lynch informs, and it's similar to how I take off into the outro solo on ‘Into the Fire’—the Lynch Mob ‘Into the Fire,’ not the Dokken ‘Into the Fire.’ And it's a tretch! It's basically an intervallic stretch between the 12th and 17th frets, but I weirded it out by putting the flat 5 in there.

The majority of the lick above involves variations on three-note sequences, played in steady sixteenth notes. This superimposing of three notes over an even subdivision is referred to as hemiola. Throughout this lick, George keeps his fret-hand's index finger anchored at the 10th fret, giving him easy access to the reoccurring D and A notes that occur across that fret on the 1st and 2nd strings, respectively. The majority of the pitches that remain can be found across the 13th and 17th frets on the same string pair, hammered-on/pulled-off using the fret-hand's 2nd and 4th fingers, with the exception of the G# (16th fret, 1st string) introduced in (that is the focal point of) the first bar—Lynch's trademark flatted 5th, grabbed here with the 2nd finger. I use that flatted 5th a lot, Lynch admits. It's El Diabolique—the forbidden interval! [Laughs] For a long time you couldn't use those notes in Western music. So I like it. It's kind of a trademark. In an effort to resolve the tension produced by the demonic flat 5, in measure 2 Lynch replaces this nasty note with an A (17th fret, 1st string) and unleashes a descending cascade of pull-offs using the same fingering pattern between the 1st and 2nd strings, with a slight variation occurring on the fourth beat. This is a fine example of the types of intervallic sounds that can be achieved by way of an excessively-wide fret-hand stretch. The final bar of this lick (the second ending) features a repeating four-note motif which spirals in steady sixteenth notes, courtesy of a repeating 4-2-1 fingering pattern which gradually works it's way to lower strings. This lick works best whenever you want to sound scary in D natural minor (D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C) or D dorian (D-E-F-G-A-B-C) contexts.

LICK #2 (Tapping Lick)

This one's a stretch [hear Lick #2], Lynch explains, with a tapped slide—I'm just tapping and doing a little slide with the right hand, all on the high E string. When I'm tapping, I palm the pick between my thumb and index finger and tap with my middle finger. There's also a little slide with the left hand too when you drop down to the A and slide back up. This one's similar to something off Smoke This—on the very last song there's a little instrumental thing and I kind of play it in like three different positions. This one's the highest position.

The lick above uses the index, middle, and pinky fingers to sound the various pitches that occur between the 5th and 12th frets, and the pickhand's middle finger to articulate the tapped notes. After fretting the first note, A (5th fret, 1st string), which is picked the first time only, Lynch articulates all the remaining pitches using a variety of legato techniques: legato slides, hammer-ons, fingertapping, and pull-offs. Slide the first note up a whole step to B (7th fret, 1st string), hammer-on the C (8th fret) with your middle finger, stretch up with your pinky to sound the E (12th fret), then tap the B (19th fret) with your pickhand's middle finger and, while keeping it pressed to the fretboard, slide it quickly up to C (20th fret) and back again, pulling-off the remaining notes to B and sliding back down to A.

LICK #3 (Modern Blues Lick)

That one is me just filling in the blanks, man [hear Lick #3], Lynch humbly states. I mean, I just take these shapes that I've been living with forever... This one's just kind of a stock ‘A major’ shape [plays A major triad arpeggio shape on middle string set], and then I guess that's kind of ‘flat five-ing’ the major. I mean, all my playing is just ‘shapes’—reoccurring shapes. I took this shape [plays measure 1], which is the same shape as this one [plays measure 2] only one octave higher, and then of course I had to change the shape here [plays measure 3], but the tonality is the same. I do that a lot: I just take one shape and I keep moving it up to higher octaves.

The above lick is structured from notes from the A lydian dominant scale (A-B-C#-D#E-F#-G), which is essentially the A mixolydian mode w/ raised 4th degree, suitable for performance over any A dominant 7th chord sound when you want to sound exotic. A phrase two beats in length, performed twice in each bar, similarly. For the most part, Lynch works within three adjacent strings. Each measure features a pair of approaches George takes with this lick—the only difference being the first note on beats two (G) and four (A). In analysis of the first measure, George begins the lick with an A (5th fret, 6th string) fretted with his middle finger, followed by C# (4th fret, 5th string) grabbed with his index finger, followed by a slide from D# (6th fret, 5th string) to E (7th fret, 5th string) performed with the third finger, then grabbing the high G (5th fret, 4th string) with the index finger. The note arrangement is then reversed (using same fingering arranged) to punctuate the first part of the phrase. The only difference occurring in the second half of the measure is the high A (7th fret, 4th string) on beat four which can be grabbed with the pinky. The entire phrase is then repeated in the next two octaves. In measure two, the only difference in the overall shape of the lick is the location of the G (8th fret, 2nd string) and A (10th fret, 2nd string) notes on beats two and four, which are grabbed with the second and 4th fingers, respectively. In measure three, the lick is mutated to fit within a single string pair. After picking the A (10th fret, 2nd string on the downbeat of measure three, all the remaining pitches are performed along the first string using a similar fret-hand stretch encountered in the previous tapping lick, sliding the C# (9th fret, 1st string) up one half step to D (10th fret), hammering on the E (12th fret, 1st string) and G (15th fret, 1st string) notes using the second and 4th fingers, respectively, then reversing the motion to descend. Lynch punctuates this lick with a slide up to the high A (17th fret, 1st string) with his pinky, finishing it off with his stinging vibrato. similar to the fret-hand stretch intended in the previous tapping lick.

LICK #4 (à la “Chem-Geo” outro solo)

This one's not really technically difficult [hear Lick #4], Lynch confesses, but it sounds like it's hard. And it sounds cool as hell—that's all that matters, right? I use this kind of thing a lot—on the new record there's two or three spots where I do similar stuff. I don't know if I do exactly this riff. I think maybe on ‘Chem-Geo’ there's something like this at the end. It has a neat effect to it. Sometimes I feel guilty ‘cause it's not more difficult [laughs].

This lick uses the E phrygian (E-F-G-A-B-C-D) scale. Each instance two pitches occur across the same fret, Lynch rolls his fret-handŐs ring finger across to the fret to (only at 12th fret, then uses index finger across 10th and 8th frets). Pay close attention to the picking pattern indicated between the notation and TAB staves. The repeating pattern consists of the first six notes (1-1/2 beats), is repeated, then varied on beat four to set up the next measure. Only difference in measure is the high E is replaced with an F (13th fret, 1st string)—one half step higher. The final measure (2nd ending) takes this pattern down to the 10th fret (fretted notes played with index finger), then is moved down an additional whole step to the 8th fret (fretted notes also played with index finger) when it is varied on beat four.

Like this GEORGE LYNCH Lesson? Well.....

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