Brett ventures into Larry Carlton territory with a tasteful, soul-filled blues solo over Brett Garsed pulls out his most soulful licks this issue. In the first of a three-parter, Dario Cortese meets up with Australian guitar virtuoso Brett Garsed for hybrid picking explanation In March of this year I had to. BRETT GARSED INTERVIEW Ive tried to copy a few of your licks and you have an amazing way of changing directions when your playing legato lines.
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Brett Garsed Masterclass 1 | Dario Cortese
The fingerings at the top of the transcriptions are for the fretting hand. Those at the bottom are for the picking hand: I’ve decided to present some unorthodox pentatonic ideas in this initial lesson.
Being a more modal player, I got into pentatonics very late, so I ended up approaching them much the same way I approach garsrd scales and modes, which is to stretch them along the neck and outside the ‘box’. All these examples are for A minor pentatonic, but, of course, they’ll work in any key, and although I’ve notated my own hybrid picking technique for these ideas, I encourage you to experiment with various other picking approaches and go with what feels natural.
Brett Garsed Masterclass 1
Exercise 1 is an A minor pentatonic played three notes per string. This is a good example of how you can stretch the scale to cover four octaves so it retains the colour of a regular minor pentatonic but increases the range drastically for the guitar. Exercise 2 is based around the same gsrsed notes per string’ approach but with a slight twist. Just a barsed change in the order of notes can present a completely new possibility.
Exercise 3 begins with an Am7 arpeggio, which is perfect to use with pentatonic scales. You may notice that these examples have some rather large intervals, so I’d encourage you to lift each finger after playing the note, as it’ll enable you to prevent from straining too much. I only have one finger on the neck most of the time so it allows me to get these wider intervals. Exercise 4 can be used as a lick, but even just a segment of this idea repeated can sound interesting.
You can get this one up to a pretty blistering speed, but it also has a nice rhythmic syncopation if played slowly. Exercise 5 is a good example of how experimental you can be with various shapes when you combine the min7 arpeggios with regular scale intervals. Once again, all these examples can be alternate-picked, sweep-picked or played legato, so just use what feels the most natural.
You’ll notice some strange fretting-hand fingerings as well, such as the fourth finger interacting with the first, but it’s all to set the hand up to reach the notes. When you see the first or fourth finger listed in succession, it’s meant to be flattened so it covers multiple strings. Most of these ideas are very non-guitar, so they’re challenging to play but definitely worth the effort. I could do 10 articles on this concept and still not cover everything, so I’ll leave the rest up to you.
These ideas can be added right alongside the classic pentatonic licks that have stood the test of time, so you can retain the sound and colour of the minor pentatonic but not become bored or stale. When you start seeing the guitar neck as a collection of melodic notes rather than box patterns, the number of possibilities is limitless, so try to look at the bigger picture and see if it’ll help something familiar sound new again.
Home Lessons Non-pattern Pentatonics.