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From: (Judy Letostak)
Subject: TAB Beyond Power Chords - Rhythm ideas

Life beyond power chords  (Judy Letostak)

I hope this helps a few people out.  If I've made any mistakes, or
haven't made myself clear, please let me know, so I can make 
corrections.  I'm only showing Major, Minor and some Sus chords 
because 7th, 9th, 13th...Aren't used all that often in rock music,
sometimes, but not very often.  But, I could be wrong, it wouldn't
be the first time. :)

Here's an Amajor chord with a C# in the bass.  It's what's known as an
inverted chord.  This is just taking a note other than the root note (A),
like the 3rd, 5th or the 'bass' note.  This is still an Amajor
chord, but the C# is taking place of the A as the bass note, it changes
the sound of the chord, and it sounds nice, just have the bassist play
an A, it'll give the A chord a different flavor.

1.               2.

 A/C#            E                           D  D      A/C#

2.  This is the chorus to one of my songs.  It's in the key of A.  It's 
a very simple chord progression.  The bassist pedals E for the first riff,
then plays D D  A, and I'm using the A/C# it sounds a little more 
interesting than just playing an A major chord and it makes for a very
commercial sounding song.

   E      E/F#    G#min  A     B7

3.  Here's the verse from the same song.  The first chord is an Emajor
chord.  For the second chord, I add the F# and mute the A string with
my second finger.  The last chord is a partial B7 chord.  I let the B and
E string ring open, that leads into the Emajor chord to start the verse

     Esus   Csus   Amin   Amin/F#(not sure)

4.  This is a pretty powerful chord progression, I use it with a lot of
distortion, it creates nice overtones.  It starts with an E sus chord, a
nice alternative to Eminor (Check out Rush "No One at the Bridge" for
a great use of this chord).  The second chord is like a Eminor power chord
but using a C in the bass position, and using open strings (if someone 
knows the name of this chord, please tell me).  Then to a generic A minor
chord, but on the last chord, instead of playing A minor again, I just
add C and F# (F# using the thumb on my left hand).  This is a nice
ending for the chord progression I'm not sure of the correct name.

     F       G

Here's another alternative to F and G power chords or barre chords.  These
also use open strings (yes, I have a open string fettish :) ).  These are
good for picking the notes possiblly after strumming the chord, there are
lots of uses for these.  I believe, George Lynch used chords like these
a lot when he played with Dokken, they sound nice when you let the open
string ring out.

The thumb can create lots of options also.  It takes a little getting 
used to, Hendrix used this to perfection.  

6                           7
    Dmin      Dmaj               C5        D5

6.  I've noticed sometimes, that when using a lot of distortion with a bass
heavy guitar tone can make some songs sound muddy.  The bass knob on my 
amp broke off when my guitar case fell on it and it was set on 10 so I'm
stuck with a bass heavy tone, so I use triads on the high E, B and G string
to sort of compensate for this (I hate stomp pedals, or I'd get an EQ), plus
the fact my bassist is very loud and she has a very bass heavy tone, I use
these triads to bring up the high and mid tonal ranges.  

7.  These are like power chords, but instead of being root, 5th, root,
they're just 5th and root.  These are cool because you can apply a heavy
vibrato, 'cause you're only using one finger to hold down two notes.
Here's some more.
    G       G            A   

    Dmaj     Emin       Amaj        Emin        Gmin      Cmaj      Cmin

8.  These are diads, two note chords, consisting of the Root and 3rd, a 
nice alternative to triads or barre chords.

Nuno Bettencourt uses a lot of triads and diads along with single note
things.  If you've never heard Extreme, I recomend they're first two
albums, he does a lot of interesting things when he plays rhythm, as well
as lead.


This is a cliche'd sort of rhythm pattern, Yngwie uses this in "Dreaming
Tell Me - Odyssey album), but when you use it sparingly, keeping the A
minor chord, but changing the bass note, it can sound nice.  But be
careful, it can get monotonous after a while.  I did this sort of thing
with my last band, the other guitarist was playing a riff in Aminor and
the bassist was changing the bass note going down, so when I had to come
up with a part for the song, I played something like this, following the
bassist but keeping the Aminor chord there, so I wouldn't clash with
the rhythm guitar.  It gave the song (otherwise would have been a really
heavy song) a sort of Jazz feel, and I stress the word sort of :)

Sometimes, my bass player will write a song and I have to come up
with something interesting for rhythm.  She's really in to The Cure,
and I try to arrange the guitar parts so that the song doesn't sound
like them, but so everything meshes.

I don't always play chords or diads, sometimes I just use a melody line,
and just do variations of it under the bass line.  I've been adding
pivot licks, and small fast scale runs (throws off the singer ;) ).

    4x                     3x
|                    |tr=trill           |
|                    |                   |
This little pattern sounds nice, very melodic, and light.  But you have
to be careful with things like this, sometimes it's nice to mess with your
vocalist, but when he/she can't sing over this, you have to tame it down
a little.  The key of the song is Dminor so I'm just playing a short
melody line in Dminor, the nice thing about this is, I'm playing the same
melody but my bassist changes the root note underneath, so it sounds like
I'm playing something more complicated, but in fact, I'm not.  It also
leaves room for improvisation on my part, I can go off in Judyland and
it will fit (usually).  

This is an intro like thing, using major diads, but with a few little pull-
offs and a cheesy little run at the end.  

I hope this sheds a little light on rhythm playing, other than using 
power chords all of the time.  Power chords are cool, but there is so
many other things to do with rhythm, not enough emphasis is placed on
rhythm playing and it's a shame because that's what a guitar player does
90% of the time when playing a song (unless of course your Yngwie,
just kidding!).  But even Yngwie on his last few albums has tinkered around 
with different chord voicings rather than playing single note lines 
following the bass.  If you listen to Odyssey and Trilogy, most of his 
rhythm on Trilogy was just following the bass part, i.e. pedaling A or E.  
But on Odyssey, he started using inverted chords, and using 
interesting things on the rhythm parts, a lot of people don't 
realize this.  

Another thing is to listen to drummers, this helps you with strumming
ideas, there are also drum books that if you can read music, these 
can help out tremendously, they spice up your rhythm playing.

I'm always looking for new rhythm ideas, so if anyone reading this (if
you haven't yet fallen asleep), has any ideas, please send me some, I'd 
appreciate it.  my email address is at the begining of this file.  I'm
going to make up a file on soloing ideas and music theory also, so if 
you have any ideas, questions, comments, let me know.  

Thanks, and enjoy!


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