I'm new here. I posted the following in another forum. I am trying to get my head around what is being done here:

Hopefully some will be familiar of the song Out To Get Me by Guns 'n Roses?

I think Slash is an amazing playing and his melodic solos really do inspire me. I wanted to break this one down and see what makes it tick and then use the ideas that I like the sound of in my own music.

Basically the song starts in a key signature with two flats - I make this the key of Bb. Being the tonality of the song, however, is based around the G5 chord, I'm assume that it is in fact in the key of Gminor - the relative minor of Bb.

To break down the chords, the first section of the solo seems to fluctuate between 2 bars of a C5 based section then 2 bars of a G5 based section. If this was me soloing I would use G minor pentatonic - but its the other notes Slash uses that really makes it sound colorful to me.

Here is the tab:










Now the bars aren't written out very well here but hopefully you can grasp where my issue is coming from - it is where we hit the e note on 17th fret of the B string - this is not in the G pentatonic - it is a note in the C chord and it is in the G dorian Mode - its a change of something that i like and would like to know how or why this could have been chosen?

Also there is a very major type pentatonic bend from 15th fret of the b string up to 17th fret then hitting 15th on the E. Now is this still Dorian as the notes work but it just doesn't seem to have that Dorian sound.

Hopefully this is enough info for some people to understand. I believe the solo then goes on to modulate to A minor in a similar fashion the Gminor


Basically I have come to the conclusion that the C5 could well be representing the C7 - this means Dorian would be a mode that would fit and all the notes do fit however it just seems to me that each time the C5 is hit something new is added to the feel.

The bit that baffles me is, over the C5 chord, he bends from 15th fret to 17th on the B string - then hitting 15th fret on the E string. This is a little lick I have seen many times but it only seems to work over the C5 chord and not the G5.

I do not understand this as really if it was dorian this should fit over both chords?

Some other people have suggested its actually mixolydian but I just don't see or feel it - perhaps I am not getting something.

Any help in understadning what is going on would be most appreciated.
ok firstly with that e note on the 17th fret, well Slash did use chromatic notes, which came from his blues influences, so that may be all it could be. that might also explain some of the other stuff.

Also, well, it's Slash. does he really know all these fancy modes? or does he just make it up because it sounds right?

also, you seem very well educated in musical theory
thanks - and to be honest - do I think Slash knew the modes this well? No I do not believe he did, it was because it sounded right to him and that was his talen to be able to pull this kind of improviation from the top of his head.

The issue is I do not have his talent for pulling this kind of thing from the top of my head so need to analyse it to find out how he does it - if this was me playing I would just improv using G pentatonic minor. It's the way these other notes fall on the C chord that makes it interesting to my ear and what I wish to recreate in my own music.

Thanks for replying!
no worries. i'm sure it must be some kind of mode or foreign scale that's he's using, whether he knows it or not.
Hi dude.

That note is an F#, which is the 7th of the G major scale. I think this note would be in the harmonic minor scale, and Santana also uses it a lot (the added maj 7th to the minor pentatonic, he asloes uses a maj second). It could also been seen as just a little chromatic flair. Hope that helps.
The note in question that he seems to base these licks around when hitting the C5 chord is in fact an E not F#.
slash knows no theory, either does duff so its just him thinking it sounds good.
Maybe that is the case though I don't he knows no theory at all.

There are a lot of arpeggios and key shifts etc for no knowlege
slash studied a music course at college. also, he's played guitar for the last 28(?) years, so he's been learning scales, notes and whatnot via that.

anyway, to simplify analysing his playing; slash is a huge fan of the pentatonics, natural minor, the harmonic minor and the mixolydian mode. additionally, he loves chromatic passing tones.

as an example, november rain comes to mind. the song (and that solo) is just c major, but the outro solo switches to c harmonic minor i believe, due to the inclusion of the A# note.

hope it helps.
Quote by Tagg
slash studied a music course at college.


AFAIK, the only thing Slash used for that solo was his ear, and his musical experience (if I'm going for this sound, what can I play to get there?)
Quote by Roc8995
Thin necks make you play faster because guitars with thin necks sound thin and bad, and you play fast to distract people from the bad tone.
he states it in his autobiography. i also spotted it in an interview in a magazine years back. additionally, it's in that book his mate released about guns and roses.

if you're wanting slash's tone, then a les paul standard with seymour duncan alnicos/gibson pafs through a marshall jcm 800 with the neck pickup will get you pretty close.