For the November 2012 edition of Guitar World magazine which features Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong on the front cover, I put together my back cover column “Last Licks” based around the Alternate Picking technique and in the style of some of the great hard-rock players of the 1980’s including Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci and Michael Romeo. This technique has played an important role in defining the sound of modern rock. In contrast to the legato based approaches, alternate picking gives a more aggressive and percussive attack and is useful for raising intensity during solos, as well as providing a default technique for the up-tempo riffs and rhythms of the modern rock style.
For the October 2012 edition of Guitar World magazine which features Dan Auerbach and Billy Gibbons on the front cover, I put together my back cover column “Last Licks” based around 5 classic double stop licks. The double stop vocabulary is often based around two-string intervals, with 3rds, 4ths and 5ths figuring heavily in the rock style, along with the more country influenced 6ths, and has been a well-used feature since the mid 1950’s rock’n’roll era, with players like Chuck Berry famous for his use of double stops to harmonise melodies and fatten up solos and fills. As rock developed throughout the 1960’s, the technique was used to great effect by players such as Jimi Hendrix who was well known for his clean chordal embellishments. From the more aggressive lead work of the 1970’s icons….