Operation Shred Guitar IV: Strings Attached

Welcome to Operation Shred Guitar IV: Strings Attached. In this lesson, ye will learn more secrets of the almighty shredlords!

Operation Shred Guitar IV: Strings Attached
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Hello all, and welcome to Operation Shred Guitar IV: Strings Attached. My name is Jake Popowski. Since you clicked on this lesson, I'm assuming you are interested in learning some more of the magical tricks of shred guitar, and that's exactly what you will do! Now sit back, cut off all interaction with the outside world, become a hermit, raise a dinosaur (after you bring them back from extinction of course), live to be 666 (total brootalz man!), and prepare to shred!

A quick word of forewarning, this is the most difficult operation shred guitar lesson to date. Many of the sections in this piece will be challenging, but don't get discouraged. Just make sure to practice slowly and accurately, and you will be annihilating this song in no time!

As with Operation Shred Guitar III, I'm going to spend more time in this lesson talking about the licks, and what's going on behind them, rather than how I composed them. If you do have any questions on my composition strategies, feel free to ask away in the comment section! So without further ado, let's begin.

Section 1

This section is rather straight forward. The first bar is just an A minor swept arpeggio, going to a descending legato run. Underneath this section is simply an A5 chord on guitar, and the bass playing A C E A (Outlining an A minor chord). Bars two and three are simple melody lines, messing with the notes of the underlying F5 and E5 chords. Bar 4 is just a harmonized pentatonic lick, where both guitars and the bass harmonize it. The trickiest part in this section is bar 1, and the biggest key to that is just making sure you articulate the legato lick cleanly, and properly roll your finger when playing the A minor arpeggio.
e|----------------12-17p12----------12-13p12p10------------------------------|
B|-------------13----------13----13-------------13p12p10---------------------|
G|----------14----------------14-------------------------12p10p9-------------|
D|-------14------------------------------------------------------12p10p9-----|
A|-12h15---------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|--------------s13-|-12-s20-19h20p19v-|--20p17p15----15-17-20---------------|
B|-------s13-12-----|------------------|-----------17------------------------|
G|-s10-9------------|------------------|-------------------------------------|
D|------------------|------------------|-------------------------------------|
A|------------------|------------------|-------------------------------------|
E|------------------|------------------|-------------------------------------|

Section 2

This is one of the simplest sections of the solo, it's just a rather generic Malmsteen style section, ending with a fast 16th note triplet alternate picking lick. Not too much detail to go into here. This section makes a great picking warmup for sure.
e|-------------------------8-12-10-12-8-12-10-12-|---------------------------|
B|-10-13-12-13-10-13-12-13-----------------------|-12-15-13-15-12-15-13-15---|
G|-----------------------------------------------|---------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------------|---------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------|---------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------|---------------------------|
e|-10-13-12-13-10-13-12-13-|--------------------------12-15-13-15-12-15-13-15|
B|-BAR-SIX-Continued-------|-13-17-15-17-13-17-15-17-------------------------|
G|-------------------------|-------------------------------------------------|
D|-------------------------|-------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------|-------------------------------------------------|
e|-19-17-15----------17-15-14----------15-14-12------------------------------|
B|----------19-17-15----------17-15-14----------15-14-12---------------------|
G|-------------------------------------------------------14-12-11------------|
D|----------------------------------------------------------------14-12-11---|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Section 3

This section is a huge nod to one of my biggest influences, the first person who guesses who correctly wins an Internet hi five! For this part of the song, I wanted to craft a melody that was very memorable, but also somewhat technical in parts. The phrasing on some of these notes is a bit odd, so make sure to listen to the video a few times so you can get it correct. The only real challenge in this whole part, is the 32nd note sweep tap licks. They are much easier than they sound if you practice them slowly! So slow in fact, that you create a rip in the fabric of space time (Hint hint, how you may receive your aforementioned dinosaur (preferably of shredasaurus rex origin)).
e|------------------------|--------------15h19ht24p19p15---------------------|
B|-----15-17-------15-----|-----------17-----------------17------------------|
G|--------------------16b-|-(16br)-16-----------------------16---------------|
D|-s14-------16-17--------|------------------------------------17------------|
A|------------------------|---------------------------------------19s--------|
E|------------------------|--------------------------------------------------|
e|-----------------|----------12h14h15---------------------------------------|
B|-----------------|-------------------12h14h15------------------------------|
G|-------12-14-14b-|-11h12h14----------------------------11h12h14------------|
D|-12-14-----------|----------------------------11h12h14---------------------|
A|-----------------|----------------------------------------------10h12h14---|
E|-----------------|---------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------------|-------------------|-------------15h19h24p19h22p19p15
B|---------------------|-15-17-------15----|----------17---------------------
G|---------------------|----------------16b|(16br)-16------------------------
D|-11h12h14------------|-------16-17-------|---------------------------------
A|---------------------|-------------------|---------------------------------
E|----------10h12h14---|-------------------|---------------------------------
e|-------------|------------------|------------------------------------------|
B|-17----------|------------------|------------------------------------------|
G|----16-------|-------12-14-14br-|-12v----11-12-11v-------------------------|
D|-------17----|-12-14------------|------------------------------------------|
A|----------19s|------------------|------------------------------------------|
E|-------------|------------------|------------------------------------------|

Section 4

This four bar section is heavily inspired by Michael Romeo. Make sure to practice the string skipped tapping part slowly. One tip for playing those types of licks, is to try and mute all unused strings, a task that can be accomplished by correctly positioning both hands. My right hand's palm mutes some of the strings, and I make sure to try and carefully let go of the high e note on the high E string when I'm skipping down to the G string, so I don't pull off to an open string, and the main part of my fretting fingers themselves also lay across the high e string when I'm fretting the G string with my fingertips (So much joke potential... Must resist!)
e|------------------------------------------------|--------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------|--------------------------|
G|-14-12-11-12-14-12-11-12-14-12-11-12-14-12-11-12|14-12-11-12-14-12-11-12-14|
D|------------------------------------------------|--------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------|--------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------|--------------------------|
e|-t15p14p12------------------------12h14h15tp14p12--------------------------
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|-----------t16p14p12p11h12h14h16t-----------------t16p14p12p11h12h14h16----
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------
e|-12h14-|-t17p14p12------------------------12h14-17b------------------------|
B|-------|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-------|-----------t16p14p12p11h12h14h16t----------------------------------|
D|-------|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|-------|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|-------|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

Section 5

This is definitely the most challenging and oddly phrased section of the whole piece. Make sure to listen closely to the recording I made, and practice the trickier bits until you can play them cleanly. The string skipped legato 32nd note tapping lick in this section is in my opinion the most challenging lick in any lesson I've ever written, even though it lasts for only 2 beats. Practice that lick by itself first, and then try and play it after the slower melody phrase before it. Putting it all together was a huge challenge for me. But alas, ye too can conquer said lick if thou practiceth most valiantly.
e|-----------|------------------------------------|--------------------------|
B|-s15-------|------------------------------------|--------------------------|
G|----s12-14-|------------------------------12----|-12v----12-14b------------|
D|-----------|-(12)h14p12-------12----12-14----14-|-----14-------------------|
A|-----------|------------12-14----14-------------|--------------------------|
E|-----------|------------------------------------|--------------------------|
e|-------------------|------------|--------------------------12h15h17ht20p17p-
B|-------------------|-15---------|-------------------------------------------
G|-12v----11-12-11v--|----12--14--|-------------12h14h16h19t------------------
D|-------------------|------------|--(12)h14p12-------------------------------
A|-------------------|------------|-------------------------------------------
E|-------------------|------------|-------------------------------------------
e|-15p14p12--------------|-----12----------15-13-12----|-13-12-------12-------
B|-----------------------|-15b----15-13-12----------15-|-------15-13----15-13-
G|----------t19p16p14p12-|-----------------------------|----------------------
D|-----------------------|-----------------------------|----------------------
A|-----------------------|-----------------------------|----------------------
E|-----------------------|-----------------------------|----------------------
e|--------|
B|-12-----|
G|----14v-|
D|--------|
A|--------|
E|--------|

Section 666

Section 666 is the end section of this piece. It's a straight sixteenth note alternate picking lick, that is harmonized the second time through. It makes a great picking exercise, and is reminiscent in my opinion of something Paul Gilbert would do.
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------11----------------11----------------11---------------------------|
D|-10-12-14----14-12-10-12-14----14-12-10-12-14------PLAY THIS TWICE---------|
A|----------------------------------------------------PALM MUTE THIS---------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------WHOLE SECTION---------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-------11-12-11----------11-12-11----------11-12---------------------------|
D|-12-14----------14-12-14----------14-12-14---------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----11-12-14-12-11----12-11-------11---------------------------------------|
D|-14----------------14-------14-12----14-12-10-12---------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------11----------------11----------------11---------------------------|
D|-10-12-14----14-12-10-12-14----14-12-10-12-14------PLAY THIS TWICE---------|
A|----------------------------------------------------PALM MUTE THIS---------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------WHOLE SECTION---------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-------11-12-11----------11-12-11----------11-12---------------------------|
D|-12-14----------14-12-14----------14-12-14---------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----11-12-14-12-11----11-14-12-11-12phvvvv---------------------------------|
D|-14----------------14------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
In conclusion, if ye have conquered this piece in battle, raise a toast to your fellow warriors, reenter the outside world, find an anti aging procedure, and shred some dragon's balls off! If thou were conquered, dine now, and thou shalt meet it on the battlefield again.

All goofiness aside, if this piece has proven to be too hard for you, don't give up. In fact, practice it more! Nothing is impossible, and certainly not this solo (I mean I played it guys, and I'm just your average dude who likes to write guitar lessons for people). The best feeling one can have with guitar, is when you suddenly find yourself able to play something that you couldn't before. So, if this is way too advanced for you at the current moment, bookmark this lesson, print this lesson, do something so you can find it again a few months from now. You may be shocked at how simple it is when you come back. If you guys have any questions, comments, sneers, jeers, tips, food, beer, hot women, or even hotter women for me, comment below. I will try and help anyone who wants it. Also feel free to add me on UG.

Here's a video of me playing the solo:


Find the guitar tab here.

About the Author:
Jake Popowski plays guitar with the bands Doctor Snake Oil, Damned Empire and Xolaria. He is available for private lessons and session work, add him on here or Facebook to discuss details.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    094568029434geo
    you seem to really know what you are doing. If you can give any insight into how the chords of the arrangement resolve with each other or how you targeted the lead solo over the chords would be a great help. There isn't much material focused on phrasing or arranging out there.
    awesomo41894
    Thanks dude! Well, it's quite late where I am as im typing this and I just got back from a night out with friends but I'll try and give you a short answer. The intro chord is a5 (aka powerchord), while the bass spells out Am (a c e) which works cuz all that does is add a c to the five chord the guitar is playing. My intro lick was written before the backing, so I chose the a5 for sake of ease, the bass came last. The end of that section is just f5 e5, and the notes in the lead are just the roots, then the fifths. The next section was another lick I had before the backing. I honestly didnt know what to put under it, so when I recorded the backing, I just chose a cool chord prog I like, a5 c5 b5 d5. It just worked tbh. I knew the d5 would work well with that end lick that helps lead to the e5 of the next section (bar 4 of section 2 is a b minor run, that I chose because b is the 5 of e, and I knew I was leading to an e5, it's a cool trick I like to use, also because it was over D leading to e it added a bunch of tension). For the next part I just had a chord prog, e5 e5 c5,g5 d5. Over the e5s, I do an e rooted melody line, which spans an octave, and end with variations of e minor sweeps. Over the other chords I just jammed. In all honesty the next section just worked, made it up jamming, not sure exactly why it worked. And the 5th section was mostly pentatonic with a tapping lick thrown in, and a Gb. Section 666 I just do an alt pick run, and the underlying chords are just the first note in each bar, or c5 c5 d5 e5. Hope this helps, any more questions let me know
    094568029434geo
    I find power chords ambiguous, Your break down synopsis helps a lot, I wish I had a better aptitude for expressing chord charts using the number system and understanding rules for getting riffs cycles to flow authentically in an arrangement. Please keep up the tutorials.
    Msharky67
    Great video! Where is the backing track taken from? Very Riotish style playing!
    awesomo41894
    Thanks man! I wrote the backing track myself, although it's a bit generic it fit the vibe of what I wanted out of the piece. If you want the backing track I can upload it and put a link in the comments here.
    andy.dertatevas
    Upload the backing track! I wanna conquer this shit!
    awesomo41894
    Here's a link to the backing track. Ill upload a youtube video with it tomorrow, my schedule kept me from doing so today so i just threw the files on dropbox quick! I have a .wav and .mp3 version, in case you dont wanna take up so much room with one file. Enjoy! https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wutnbu5gad2x1...
    awesomo41894
    ALSO, whence you conquer it, make sure to send me a recording! Ill share it around as best I can!
    zordan123
    This is awesome brother ! I've been taking new guitar lessons but even if the teacher is a total beast, he does not break down the ''MOVEMENTS'' of a solo. Chops and figures are more important than theory. (IMO) A considerable amount of theory is -OK- but having a big arsenal of chops and movements is more important. Any chop or figures you can express, requires a minimal amount of theory. Consider it as words and vocabulary...you do not need to have a Master's Degree in english to create intelligent phrases and diffuse a message, however, the understanding of theory can help to decipher and identify the solos of your favorite guitarists and express yourself in a more clever and complex way. Thanks for breaking down those picking exercices, this will definitely spice up my practice routine. *** Please make new soloing exercices for Death-Metal / Melodic Metal and diminished scales ***