Difficulty Level: Advanced
After learning "Hail to the King" and doing a lesson on it I started getting harassed pretty aggressively to learn "Shepherd of Fire" and make a lesson for that solo too. The good news is I had a really good time doing it. You gotta love Synyster Gates' soloing style. It's like rocking gypsy-jazz-metal and this solo is completely true to form. As usual I leave a link to my YouTube lesson and a tab at the bottom of the article.
Section 1 Tips:The main thing that troubled me in first section of this solo was the speed of the arpeggio sweeps, and the way the highest notes descended chromatically. The arpeggios jump from a Dm to a Dm(b5) then to a Bb to a Bb(b5) (see excerpt below).
Keep in mind where the legato emphasis is on both arpeggios as you don't want to sweep through an arpeggio then pick every note on the 1st string.
Section 2 Tips:The second section of this solo is based around 2 pretty common box shapes of minor blues pentatonic with the flat 5 in the key of D (see scale shapes below).
Let's look at the actual phrase from this section of the solo (see excerpt below).
Pay close attention to the wide full tone bends and how they bend back into pulloffs. This is one of the slowest sections in the solo so the phrasing is really important.
Section 3 Tips:The tremolo riff at the start of section 3 is pretty intense. I found it was best to learn the phrase as single notes and then to add the tremolo picking to it later. Let's take a look at that phrase as single notes first (see diagram below).
Let's try adding the tremolo picking to that phrase. Keep in mind that each note is basically a combination of triplet and regular semi quavers (see excerpt below).
The next phrase involves the string skip legato pentatonic riff. Be warned this is pretty redonk. (see excerpt below)
Keep in mind that this lick is pretty stretchy. You only want to be picking one note per string and then legatoing the next 2. The string skips are super tricky so practice this slowly until you're comfortable enough to increase the speed.
Section 5 Tips: diatonic runs into stretchy pentatonicsThe 5th section deals with some pretty standard 3 string diatonic runs all based around "D" Aeolian/minor (see excerpt below).
These are all pretty simple triplet runs. I think of it as a 3 string Aeolian run from a "D" then a 3 string Locrian run from an "E."
Finally I wanted to look at this Dimebagesque stretchy pentatonic run.
In tradition Dimebagy fashion, pentatonics like this include enomous stretches and epic pinky work. This is a great way to mix up pentatonics without it sounding like your stock standard 2 notes per string. As soon as you get your head around this phrase and/or phrases like this, I strongly recommend implementing it into your own playing!
Hope you've enjoyed this lesson guys! Happy shredding!
Download tab here.
By Chris Zoupa