Welcome to the second part of our David Gilmour course! As we build up to the next solo, we need to cover some new techniques which you may not have used before. Gilmour often uses a combination of scales and arpeggios in his soloing; to understand how you can do the same we first need to learn some three-string arpeggio shapes. As always, take your time and have fun!
Raking and sweeping are two techniques integral to the Gilmour sound. There is a big difference between the two, but in practice they produce a similar effect.
is targeting a note on one of the higher strings and then literally 'raking' your plectrum across the lower strings to get there. The notes are all muted until you hit the target note.
is simply dropping your plectrum through an arpeggio at speed.
In fact, both techniques require an identical movement with your right hand; the difference is in your left - fretting - hand. Sweeping requires you to fret each note as you move the pick, whilst raking requires you to mute each note until you hit the target.
Our arpeggio quest begins by learning the three-string major arpeggios. Major arpeggios are simply the root, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale. We have three shapes to learn, which look like this:
The easiest way to find these shapes in any key is to understand how they relate to the CAGED chord shapes. Below is an example of this relationship in G, then in D. Use the drop down menu to choose between the two keys.
We will now look at three-string minor arpeggios. Minor arpeggios are simply the root, b3rd and 5th of the major scale. We can therefore take our major shapes, flatten the 3rd and we immediately have three minor shapes. The shapes look like this:
The easiest way to find these shapes in any key is to understand how they relate to the CAGED chord shapes. Below is an example of this relationship in G minor, then in D minor. Use the drop down menu to choose between the two keys.
The video above introduces our topic for next two lessons. This is an exercise to get us playing these arpeggios, which we will soon put in a Gilmour style!
In order to get these shapes learnt and understood, we will learn this cool arpeggio tune! This is a challenging part as you are rapidly changing between all the shapes as the chords change. Let's start to break it down by looking at the first half of the piece. The chords are:
Dm /// Bb /// Am /// C /// Dm /// Bb /// Am /// C ///
We could play these arpeggios in any of the positions we have learnt so far, but in this case we have chosen specific shapes for you to play. The arpeggio positions for the first half of the track are as follows:
Below, you will find the full tab for the exercise. Be sure to just practice the first half of the exercise (as shown in the chord chart above). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you perfect the sweep picking.
Now, let's check out the second half of the exercise. The good news is that the chord chart for the second part is almost exactly the same. The only change is that we hang on a Dm at the end:
Dm /// Bb /// Am /// C /// Dm /// Bb /// Am /// C /// Dm /// ////
However, we are now using different arpeggio shapes further up the neck. We also use all three shapes of D minor in the final two bars, which then connect into pentatonic shape 3. The arpeggio shapes are all as shown here:
Below, you will find the full tab for the exercise. Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you perfect the sweep picking.
When you are ready, the backing track and full exercise are here to play along with. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it will be up to you to make it sound awesome!