Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his popular "Guitar Blog" website... This weeks question:
Q) I am 16 years old and have been into guitar for the last 3 years. There is a guitar idea I've heard is supposed to be used in the song, "War Pigs," (by Black Sabbath) called "Pedal Point." I can't understand this idea. Could you make a video on this Pedal Point technique? I'd really like to know what it is, and how to use it. I think it is also used in Blues as well. And, I really like blues. Colin - Phoenix, AZ.
A) Pedal Point Guitar Licks are a great type of melodic technique. They allow for one scale tone to remain static against a series of other related, (or sometimes unrelated), scale tones moving melodically around it. The idea is applied into all kinds of music, and guitarists of all styles and directions will use them. But, probably the most popular use of this technique has got to be with piano players, who'll often sustain a scale tone with one finger while playing a melodic passage over it with their other hand. Regardless of how you've heard the technique used, it really isn't that hard to do! And, after I run through a few examples for you in the video lesson, I'm sure that you'll be doing "Pedal Point Guitar Licks" within seconds afterward.
The use of a pedal tone within an upper or lower register allows for other scale-tones to be applied around the pedal. This produces a unique effect which will quickly enhance any melody or a riff within a song. In the video lesson, I demonstrate how both "held" and "articulated" style pedal tone ideas can be applied within pentatonic and full-scale melodies.
Watch the video:
About the Author: By Andrew Wasson. Hundreds of more free lessons are posted on Andrew's Guitar Blog website.