Marty Friedman Wants You to Articulate Your Melodies Better

I don’t know about you, but we here at Gear Gods have been digging Marty Friedman’s Full Shred video series that Guitar World is producing. It’s refreshing to hear someone speak so candidly – and attack so reasonably – the many traits, habits, and cliches that plague modern metal guitar playing. [And then muck it up by using “gay” in the pejorative… come on Marty, it’s 2014 -Ed]


In this week’s lesson, Friedman talks about phrasing choices, an oft-overlooked and highly under-practiced facet of musicianship among metal guitarists. These choices really come down to questions of minutiae, as Friedman shows in the lesson: should you slide here, hammer-on there, bend over there? Should this lick be stylized? Should that lick be alternate picked, finger picked, struck hard, or lightly plucked? Friedman is talking about the tools of articulation that guitarists have at their disposal – in other words, the string-instrument equivalent of using airflow and breathing techniques when blowing through a wind instrument. These are the steps beyond thinking in the black-and-white categories of downpicking, alternate picking, and sweet picking, the latter of which Friedman has already expressed his views on. In his words,

An essential element of guitar soloing, one that to me separates the grownups from the kids, is the player’s ability to interpret single-note melodies in a musical way, with emotion and expression.

There are countless ways in which one could play a note or series of notes on the guitar, and if you do not focus on being in control of how each note sounds, you’re wasting an opportunity for expression, via articulation, which is the one of the most important tools that is available to you as a soloist.

As Friedman says in the video, this stuff can be pretty boring to practice, but it really is one of the crucial facets of musicianship that distinguishes masters from neophytes. Looking forward to more, Marty.

Source: Guitar World

Written by

Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.

Latest comments
  • “it’s kind of gay at the beginning of the song if you ask me”

    Marty Friedman everyone

  • It’s kind of gay, says man who dresses like middle aged Japanese housewife.

leave a comment