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Exotic Embellishments In The Style Of Marty Friedman (Guitar Lesson)


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Kris Norris

Exotic Embellishments In The Style Of Marty Friedman

Kris teaches arpeggio examples that use notes outside of a scale. He also demonstrates an example using the Chinese scale. This whole lesson is inspired by Marty Friedman and his unique approach.

Taught by Kris Norris in Kris Norris Artist Series seriesLength: 12:19Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (00:48) Introduction Kris kicks off lesson 15 with some improvised licks that feature several key techniques commonly found in Marty Friedman's playing. Most significant are his use of half step bends from a non-chord tone into a chord tone and his use of exotic scales and arpeggios.

Marty Friedman is widely known for his lead guitar work with Megadeth, which he was a part of from 1990 to 2000. Friedman held this position longer than any other guitarist to date. Prior to Megadeth, he played in Cacophony, an infamous extreme-shred metal band alongside Jason Becker from 1986 to 1989. Throughout his career, Marty has always pushed the lead guitar envelope. In this lesson, Kris demonstrates some ways to emulate his unique playing.
Chapter 2: (02:07) F# Dominant 11th Arpeggio A key aspect of Marty's playing is his reliance on chord tones and arpeggios in place of obvious scales. Despite having released an instructional video about exotic scales (Exotic Metal Guitar, 1990, Hot Licks), Marty has claimed in interviews that he doesn't really know scales or rely on them. Whether this is true or not, it is obvious from studying his playing that he understands note and chord relationships as well as the location of the notes (by name) on the fretboard.

In this scene, Kris introduces a dominant 7th arpeggio with an added 11th (which is the same note name as the 4th). He uses F# as his root; the appropriate root note depends on the chord you're playing over. For example, begin with a D root note when playing over a D7 chord.

Dominant 7 chords are four note chords built on a major 3rd (2 whole steps), a minor 3rd (1 1/2 steps), and another minor 3rd. Starting on F#, our chord is spelled: F#, A#, C#, E. The 11th in this chord is a B. The fingering Kris uses at 00:35 is included in the Supplemental Content.

Kris demonstrates a Friedman-esque idea by playing the first 3 notes of the arpeggio. The arpeggio concludes with a slide into the 3rd of the chord (A#) from a half-step below (A, the 12th fret on the 5th string). At a slow speed, this may sound a little unusual at first. Speed the slide up so it becomes less obvious and sounds more like a grace note. This also gives the lick a little more originality. This rapid sliding technique is common in jazz and blues guitar playing. Marty is also known to bend from one fret below instead of sliding, which produces a sound similar to an ethnic instrument. Kris plays up and down the arpeggio, occasionally employing this half-step bend approach. At 1:50 he emphasizes the higher strings. Fans of Marty's playing should recognize an instantly familiar sound at this point.
Chapter 3: (02:41) Tapping the F# Dominant 11th Arpeggio As Kris states, the F#11 arpeggio demonstrated in this lesson is less of a Marty Friedman style lick, and more of an example of how to use this sound in a new way. In the Supplemental Content, the arpeggio is listed as "Legato Exercise." Kris uses hammer-ons, pull-offs, and string-skipping to create a hypnotic repeating lick. When played this way, the idea loses some of its exoticism and sounds more like a Mixolydian rock lick similar to something Joe Satriani might play.

Kris explains his creative thought process while practicing the arpeggio. He decided to tap the lick to achieve a different articulation and add his own twist to it. This is listed as "Tapping Exercise" in the Supplemental Content. Listen to Kris' full speed example at 1:40. Notice how it sounds different from the example played at 00:18 even though the same notes and patterns are used. The full speed example has more of a technical, computer-esque sound. Also, it looks much crazier. Changing something in this manner has a double benefit: it sounds more unique, and it will freak out other guitar players! Let's not kid ourselves, this is fun to do sometimes!
Chapter 4: (03:55) The Chinese Scale The Chinese Scale is one of many exotic scales that exist outside of traditional diatonic scales and modes. The Japanese Pentatonic Scale (in the JamPlay scale library) is actually the same as the Chinese scale Kris is using here, just starting on a different note. Go to the scale library, and choose "Japanese Pentatonic" under the "exotic" tab. Set the key to B, and you will find the same scale Kris is teaching in this scene expanded to the whole neck!

When guitarists discuss pentatonic scales, it is typically in reference to the minor pentatonic scale. Actually, any 5-note scale is a pentatonic scale. "Penta" means 5, and tonic refers to tone, or note. There are 6 different pentatonic scales to choose from in the "exotic scale" area of the scale library. Explore them all.

The structure for this scale is 1, 3, #4, 5, 7. In relation to C, these notes are C, E, F#, G, and B respectively. These notes can also be analyzed as a Cmaj7(#11) arpeggio. As stated earlier, Marty (seemingly) tends to think in terms of chord tones more than scales. Despite our root note being C, this arpeggio / scale works well over an E minor chord, since all 3 Em chord tones (E, G, B) as well as the 2nd, or 9th if you prefer (F#), and the b6 (C) are present. This scale /arpeggio works well over a diatonic E minor chord progression. The half-steps in the scale (F#-G and B-C) create tension and release, which if used effectively, can create a very compelling solo.

Kris shows how you can use the half-step bend approach to reach scale tones. He starts at 1:43 by bending a D# into an E. Notice how this sounds, and note how the resolution makes you feel as Kris bends from the "wrong" note into the scale tone. At 2:38, he discusses targeting specific chord tones depending on what chord you're playing over. At first, this will take some preparation. With time however, your ears will begin to guide you.
Chapter 5: (02:06) Kris Plays the Chinese Scale Over a Backing Track Kris improvises over the chords he mentioned in the previous scene: C(add9, #11), D, Emi(add9), Gmaj7, and B/F#.
Chapter 6: (00:40) Wrap Up Kris brings things to a close by suggesting an exploration of other exotic scales. The half-step slide/bend approach works exceptionally well within these scales. It also works in a blues or jazz setting. He mentions that it can sound weak over diatonic scales and the modes, which can be true. However, you can work this technique in if you pick your notes carefully. Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold is one example of a rock/metal guitarist who uses this technique often while staying within standard minor and major scales. As with everything else in music, let your ears guide you.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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rucan2rucan2 replied on September 30th, 2012

acts like lydian

akelleyakelley replied on July 28th, 2009

damn this is just too good to be true that of all the guitar players you chose marty.

akelleyakelley replied on July 2nd, 2009

hey kris im not crazy about your band darkest hour even though i really liked your guitar work on the videos iwatched, but thanks for the kick ass lesson.

itsmekeuhitsmekeuh replied on June 21st, 2009

Great lesson Kris ! I just love Friedman, not for his good technique , but more for his melodic way of soloing and I think you are right that he looks at that chinese thing as an arpeggio, I think thats where he gets most of his melodic trickery from, think in therms of chords instead of scale patterns ... oh well whatever... great lesson man

dimedime replied on June 20th, 2009

you are right man thank you and stay metal

dimedime replied on June 20th, 2009

hey kris your lessons are really cool,but there is a problem.I have a six string guitar as most of the members i believe,thus i can't play your exercises when you are using an eight string guitar like this lesson

metalheadmclovinmetalheadmclovin replied on June 20th, 2009

Doesn't matter man, he is only using up to the sixth string. Its all the same until you get to the 7th and 8th, so just act like his 7th and 8th strings don't exist.

Kris Norris Artist Series

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Kris Norris kicks off the JamPlay.com Artist Series with a wide array of ideas and lessons; from changing strings on a floyd rose, to advanced sweeping / legato techniques and soloing applications.



Lesson 1

Changing Strings - Floyd Rose Style

Kris Norris demonstrates how to install new strings on a guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose tremolo system.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Warm-up Exercises with Kris

Kris Norris shows you his favorite warm-up exercises. These exercises will prepare you to play the guitar from a physical and mental standpoint.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Scalar Exercises: Left and Right Hand Synchronization

Kris covers chromatic and scale pattern exercises. Also, he explains some variations on these exercise and provides you with the knowledge to create your own variations. Now you don't have any excuse...

Length: 20:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Scalar Exercises: Legato

Kris shows you the in's and out's of legato playing. These examples will benefit beginners and and advanced players alike. The patterns Kris uses in this lesson are based on the examples shown in "Scalar...

Length: 11:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Chuggin' n Skippin'

Kris covers right hand techniques such as palm muting, tremolo, palm muted string skipping, and upstroke accents.

Length: 13:26 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Advanced Sweep Picking Applications

Kris covers the right and left hand components of sweep picking separately. Then, he shows you how to synchronize the two. Three string arpeggios and five string arpeggios with hammer-ons are both included...

Length: 35:40 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Remaining Foolish: Arpeggios & Scalar Lines

Kris presents excerpts from his song "Remaining Foolish" from Icons of the Illogical. He explains the arpeggio patterns used in various parts of the song and also talks about alternate picked arpeggios....

Length: 17:40 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Sweep Exercises Based on Canon in D

Kris uses Pachelbel's "Canon In D" as a way to practice arpeggio sweeps. He shows how to sweep and alternate pick arpeggios.

Length: 10:08 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Counterpoint: A Shift In Normalcy

This lesson is about the concept of counterpoint and harmony. Kris explores contrapuntal examples from his song "A Shift In Normalcy" off of his solo record Icons of the Illogical.

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 4.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

A Closer Look At Pick Thickness

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the differences in pick thickness.

Length: 32:24 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 11

Satriani Inspired Tapping

Kris Norris explains how to play a Joe Satriani inspired tapping etude.

Length: 11:13 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Extending Your Musical Reach With 8 String Guitars

Kris Norris takes a look at 8 string guitars and their possibilities. He demonstrates the versatility of an 8 string with jazz and metal applications. Kris also performs a short improv jam at the end.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Neoclassical Inspirations

Kris teaches neoclassical examples from three of his favorite guitar players.

Length: 29:17 Difficulty: 5.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rock & Metal Chicken Pickin'

Kris displays some adventurous ways to use chicken pickin' in a rock and metal environment.

Length: 15:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Exotic Embellishments In The Style Of Marty Friedman

Kris teaches arpeggio examples that use notes outside of a scale. He also demonstrates an example using the Chinese scale.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Connecting Scale Patterns

Kris shows you how to connect the patterns of a G major scale together.

Length: 15:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Mastering Modes: Basic Scale Theory Primer

This is the first lesson in the "Mastering Modes" mini series. Here Kris explains the fundamentals of scale basics.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Mastering Modes: Ionian

In this lesson, Kris explains the history behind the modes and then explains the Ionian mode.

Length: 9:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Mastering Modes: Dorian

In this lesson, Kris covers the Dorian mode, which is the second mode of the major scale.

Length: 13:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Mastering Modes: Phrygian

Kris explains the basics of the Phrygian mode, which is a minor sounding mode of the major scale.

Length: 7:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Mastering Modes: Lydian

In this installment of the "Mastering Modes" mini-series, Kris covers the Lydian mode. This is the fourth mode of the major scale.

Length: 9:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Mastering Modes: Mixolydian

Kris explains the basics of the Mixolydian mode, which is a major sounding mode of the major scale.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Mastering Modes: Aeolian

Kris explains Aeolian, which is the 6th mode of the major scale. This is also known as the natural minor scale.

Length: 7:32 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Mastering Modes: Locrian

Kris covers the Locrian mode, which is the 7th mode of the major scale.

Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Song Workshop Experiment

Aaron Miller sits down with Kris in the JamPlay studio to discuss songwriting techniques.

Length: 78:38 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Song Workshop Experiment - Finale

Kris Norris and Aaron Miller are back to finish up what they started. Get ready for more songwriting, playing tips, and inside information. Enjoy

Length: 32:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Picking Practice With Drum Rudiments

Kris shows how some drum rudiments can be used to make exercises for your right hand.

Length: 18:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Sliding Arpeggios

Kris teaches how to use sliding techniques with arpeggios. He uses an example in the Lydian mode and also plays over a backing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Left Hand Finger Independence

Kris teaches exercises focused on getting the left hand fingers to be more independent.

Length: 26:19 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Building Triad Arpeggios

Kris explains root triad arpeggios and their first and second inversions.

Length: 25:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Practicing Triad Arpeggios Chromatically

This lesson focuses on sweep picking major, minor, and diminished triad arpeggios chromatically.

Length: 16:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Re-voicing Progressions with Inversions

Kris shows you how inversions can be used to create smooth voice leading within a progression.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Dual Tonality Pentatonics

Kris shows how to combine pentatonic scales from different keys to form new and interesting sounds.

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Betcha Can't Scale This

Kris shows you how to learn scales vertically and horizontally on the fretboard.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

The Neapolitan Chord

Named after the "Neapolitan School" from the 18th century and not ice cream, this chord is a major chord built on the lowered 2nd scale degree.

Length: 7:13 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Diatonic Chords In G Major

Kris shows the diatonic chords of G Major.

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Diatonic 7th Arpeggios

Kris teaches you how to play diatonic 7th arpeggios and their inversions in the key of G major.

Length: 15:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Tapping 7th Arpeggios

Kris shows you how to play seventh arpeggios with tapping, legato, and string skipping.

Length: 7:45 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Popular Chord Progressions

Kris shows some common major and minor chord progressions.

Length: 27:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Quick Connect EMG Active Pickups

Kris installs these new EMG pickups into his guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Workshop With Chodypth

Kris Norris sat down with Chodypth, aka Cody, and this video is the result of a day of jamming and practicing.

Length: 77:35 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only

About Kris Norris View Full Biography Mr. Kris Norris was born August, 31 1978 in Canton, Ohio. He began playing around the age of 14. Early on the self-taught guitarist took an interest in metal and began playing in a local Virginia metal band. Kris' early influences were rooted in Swedish metal, bands include In Flames, Dark Tranquility, and Edge of Sanity. Norwegian Black metal also played a part in Kris' interest including early Mayhem, Emperor, and Ulver. Kris started Disinterment with future Darkest Hour bandmate Ryan Parrish. Disinterment lasted over 6 years and developed a local following in the Virginia metal by being some of the first players to incorporate Swedish metal and 3 guitar players.

College Days
When Kris was 17 he attended Virgina Commonwealth University School of Music (VCU). He studied Music composition and focused on film with world renowned composer Dika Newlin. Kris also studied classical guitar with John Patykula, prize student of Jesus Silva who was the prize student of Andre Segovia. Kris left the University after 6 years of studies. After college, he began his teaching career instructing private students and giving lessons at Mars Music. Kris' teaching career would eventually be put on hold to join Darkest Hour.

Darkest Hour Days
Kris' first album with Darkest Hour ,Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation, the 2005 release was recorded at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordstrom. Ironically, the same studio facilitated many of Kris' influences 10 years prior.

Darkest Hour's next release, Undoing Ruin allowed Kris to stretch his wings and show what he could truly do on the instrument with the addition of several solos. The record was produced by Canadian metal mastermind Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Steve Vai). Townsend was a big part of pushing Kris to his own musical potential on Undoing Ruin and even more so on the follow up record, Deliver Us.

Deliver Us was released in 2007 and debuted at 110 on the Billboard Chart. This would be the last Darkest Hour record with Kris as a member. The album like its predecessor was also produced by Devin Townsend, who was able to take a bigger hand in its production. Devin pushed Kris to experiment with his own playing and to hone in on his strongest abilities.

Kris' career with Darkest Hour spanned 6 years, 23 countries, 4 continents, countless tours, 3 albums, near 200,000 album sales, and many lifelong friendships made along the way. With the birth of his son in 2008, Kris felt he needed to take his career closer to home while still focusing on music and guitar. In order for Darkest Hour to devote 100% to their music and touring, Kris came to the decision to amicably part ways with the band.

His Future:
As of early 2009, Kris has full sponsorships from ESP, EMG, Peavey, DigiTech, InTune, and Morley. Currently, Kris is producing and mixing aspiring metal acts while also working for Final Symphony Studios out of Charlottesville, Virgina. Kris also edits records for James Murphy (Testament, Obituary, Death) at Safehouse Productions. Kris has released his first solo record through Magna Carta Records, entitled Icons Of The Illogical. His solo effort was recorded at Karma Productions with Cory Smoot (GWAR) and features vocals from Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe.

Kris is excited to be an addition to the JamPlay Instructor Roster. Lending his metal chops and thorough education to his lessons make him a valuable teacher. Kris is excited to be making lessons for JamPlay and just as stoked to learn new things from our other instructors. Check it out and stay Metal.

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