Master 6 String Melodic Soloing while developing a Superior Economy Picking Style!!

The Life On 6 Strings Guitar Course

Welcome to the Life On 6 Strings guitar course, the counterpart to my Life On 7 Strings master course. Here you will encounter a complete set of unique building blocks that will have you quickly gaining mastery over the entire fingerboard in a very musical way. It begins with the major scale or Ionian mode. From that we will create 6 more modes. Then from these modes, we will extract chord tones and keep stacking these tones until we have 7 complete arpeggiated modes. Two sides of the same coin that are all in key! From there we'll explore alternate scales and voiceings that are out of key or "accidentals" as they are known as. As your fingers become programmed where to go, eventually your ear will take over and begin rearranging these building blocks into music... your music , or explore the music of others from a knowledgable standpoint. What makes this course unique is that it was inspired by the 7 string guitar which has its own matrix and doesn't conform to standard 6 string approach. BUT... the standard 6 string shapes will eventually reveal themselves, only you will understand "why that Gadd9 chord is a called a Gadd9 chord" apart from just memorizing its shape alone.

Also, if you haven't gone through the Life On 6 Strings Primer course, I recommend doing that either beforehand or in tandem with these modules. Let's get started!

The LO6S 10 Module Bundle
  • The LO6S 10 Module Bundle

The LO6S 10 Module Bundle

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Ready to jump into the deep end? Purchase all 10 Modules listed below all for one price, AND at a 25% discount! That's a total of 30 lessons, PDF, GPX and .MOV video files!

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LO6S Module 1: Setting The Tone
  • LO6S Module 1: Setting The Tone

LO6S Module 1: Setting The Tone

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Metal and Minor tonality go hand in hand. For the 6 string, the key of E minor is a commonly used key and is where our LO6S journey will begin, specifically the E Natural Minor Scale which you will come to know as the E Aeolian mode later on down the road. We'll also examine its 5 tone derivative, the E Minor Pentatonic Scale and finally the E

Metal and Minor tonality go hand in hand. For the 6 string, the key of E minor is a commonly used key and is where our LO6S journey will begin, specifically the E Natural Minor Scale which you will come to know as the E Aeolian mode later on down the road. We'll also examine its 5 tone derivative, the E Minor Pentatonic Scale and finally the E minor triad that comprises the E minor chord. Take note of the single sharp sign in the key signature which is an F# sharp. This indicates with the key of G or E minor (known as the relative minor to G).

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LO6S - Module 2: Majoring In Majors
  • LO6S - Module 2: Majoring In Majors

LO6S - Module 2: Majoring In Majors

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The Major Scale is said to be the foundation of western music and will also serve as the foundation of this course. It's that bright and uplifting scale (Do Re Mi from The Sound Of Music for example) that is seemingly in opposition to the sound of Metal. Surprisingly it's used in a lot of Prog Metal and even in the darkest sounding riffs, a major

The Major Scale is said to be the foundation of western music and will also serve as the foundation of this course. It's that bright and uplifting scale (Do Re Mi from The Sound Of Music for example) that is seemingly in opposition to the sound of Metal. Surprisingly it's used in a lot of Prog Metal and even in the darkest sounding riffs, a major scale is most likely lurking somewhere, often hidden in plain sight. That's because all 7 modes are relative, not just Major and Minor which are the bookends. In this lesson we are shifting to major to lay our foundation, along with G Major Pentatonic and the G major triad which gives us the the G chord.

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LO6S - Module 3: Modal Citizens
  • LO6S - Module 3: Modal Citizens

LO6S - Module 3: Modal Citizens

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A mode is an inverted or displaced scale. When isolated they reveal their specific mood. Once mastered, we can use them to create the emotions that we want to convey in a song. Earlier I stated that Major (or Ionian) was bright, hopeful and uplifting and Minor (Aeolian) was dark or sad. The other modes sit somewhere in between those "bookends"

A mode is an inverted or displaced scale. When isolated they reveal their specific mood. Once mastered, we can use them to create the emotions that we want to convey in a song. Earlier I stated that Major (or Ionian) was bright, hopeful and uplifting and Minor (Aeolian) was dark or sad. The other modes sit somewhere in between those "bookends" somewhere on the spectrum. That's for a future lesson on "Parallel Modes". For now, we'll explore them as "Relative Modes" where they co exist in the same key. Same 7 notes, but different roots. We'll also extract 7 chords from those same notes in the arpeggio (Threes) study. Modes and chords are 2 sides of the same coin. Line them up alphabetically, you get a scale or mode... Play every other note, you get harmony or chords.

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LO6S - Module 4: Diagonally Speaking
  • LO6S - Module 4: Diagonally Speaking

LO6S - Module 4: Diagonally Speaking

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The Box Modes are named as such due to their boxes shape as they would appear on a fretboard diagram. They maintain this shape because, for the most part, we're playing in one position across the strings with very little right or left movement up or down the fretboard. Now we're going to move diagonally across the strings by playing 3 notes per

The Box Modes are named as such due to their boxes shape as they would appear on a fretboard diagram. They maintain this shape because, for the most part, we're playing in one position across the strings with very little right or left movement up or down the fretboard. Now we're going to move diagonally across the strings by playing 3 notes per string. In order to stay in key, the shape of each mode will move slightly diagonally.. Likewise, the arpeggios (arps for short) will move in a similar fashion, but even more expansive giving you a nice little workout. For the "Fives" lesson we'll look at the G Minor Pentatonic Modes. This is where the scale shows its true colors, becomes the antagonist, causing tension as it seeks to do its own thing. Yet it somehow works against the G major chord. How can that be? Those clashing tones are called Blue Notes and it's the stuff Rock, Metal and Blues is made of!

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LO6S - Module 5: Arp Chunking, Blue Notes and Shifting Tetrachords
  • LO6S - Module 5: Arp Chunking, Blue Notes and Shifting Tetrachords

LO6S - Module 5: Arp Chunking, Blue Notes and Shifting Tetrachords

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Alright, time to kick things up a notch. A tetrachord is where a scale is divided into two parts. The first four notes is the lower tetrachord and the last four notes is the upper tetrachord. In this modal study each tetrachord is divided by a shift slide. Four notes, shift, four notes, shift, four notes, shift, four notes, shift, etc. The arp

Alright, time to kick things up a notch. A tetrachord is where a scale is divided into two parts. The first four notes is the lower tetrachord and the last four notes is the upper tetrachord. In this modal study each tetrachord is divided by a shift slide. Four notes, shift, four notes, shift, four notes, shift, four notes, shift, etc. The arp study does something similar, but uses a technique called "chunking". This is where you'll play a triad and then immediately shift you hand position up two frets to play the octave triad and then shift up three more frets to play the remaining octave. For the "Fives" study we'll add a flat 5 to the minor pentatonic which will give us the wonderful Blues Scale. All five modes of it! Enjoy!!

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LO6S - Module 6: Tetrachords The Sequel, Extended Arps and The Minor-Major 6 Pentatonic
  • LO6S - Module 6: Tetrachords The Sequel, Extended Arps and The Minor-Major 6 Pentatonic

LO6S - Module 6: Tetrachords The Sequel, Extended Arps and The Minor-Major 6 Pentatonic

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We're going 4 notes per string on this round of tetrachords, then expanding our triad arps even more and in the "Fives" lesson, replacing the flat 7 with a major 6 tone in the ultra cool sounding Minor - Major 6 Pentatonic Scale. From this point forward we'll begin stacking more tones to our arpeggios so get ready! Reminder: If you're not observing

We're going 4 notes per string on this round of tetrachords, then expanding our triad arps even more and in the "Fives" lesson, replacing the flat 7 with a major 6 tone in the ultra cool sounding Minor - Major 6 Pentatonic Scale. From this point forward we'll begin stacking more tones to our arpeggios so get ready! Reminder: If you're not observing the down / up picking symbols above the Tab staff, as well as the finger numbers on the note staff, you're not getting the full benefit of these lessons.

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LO6S - Module 7: Modal Sequence #1, 7th Arpeggios and the Major 6 Blues Scale
  • LO6S - Module 7: Modal Sequence #1, 7th Arpeggios and the Major 6 Blues Scale

LO6S - Module 7: Modal Sequence #1, 7th Arpeggios and the Major 6 Blues Scale

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For this lesson's "Sevens" Modal Study we're going to play a sequence of 1-3-2-4-3-5-4-6-5-7 up and down the scales to work out a form of economy picking called "Inside Picking" That's where the pick motion is is contained within the inside parameters of two adjacent strings to further develop right hand control. Pay close attention to the pick

For this lesson's "Sevens" Modal Study we're going to play a sequence of 1-3-2-4-3-5-4-6-5-7 up and down the scales to work out a form of economy picking called "Inside Picking" That's where the pick motion is is contained within the inside parameters of two adjacent strings to further develop right hand control. Pay close attention to the pick symbols or it won't work right. In the arp study, we're going to stack the 7 tone on to the triads creation major sevenths, minor sevenths and the minor 7 flat 5. In the "fives" study get ready for the Blues Scale with the 6 tone in place of the 7. This lesson is loaded with guitar playing goodness! Take your time and if you experience any pain take a break! Don't play in pain!!

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LO6S - Module 8: Scale Sequence #2, 9th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 Blues Scale
  • LO6S - Module 8: Scale Sequence #2, 9th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 Blues Scale

LO6S - Module 8: Scale Sequence #2, 9th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 Blues Scale

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Scale Sequence #2 is a workout and will do wonders for developing finger independence. Try to keep your fingers as close to the strings as possible but take it slow at first then gradually increase your speed. The tempo marking at the beginning of all of these studies is the suggested starting point. If you are using Guitar Pro, then you'll be able

Scale Sequence #2 is a workout and will do wonders for developing finger independence. Try to keep your fingers as close to the strings as possible but take it slow at first then gradually increase your speed. The tempo marking at the beginning of all of these studies is the suggested starting point. If you are using Guitar Pro, then you'll be able to adjust the tempo as you progress. The ninth arpeggios have a melodic jazzy flavor and some really cool sweeps in the picking department. If it sounds to jazzy, don't because the flat 5 Blues Scale will yank you back into the Metal pit pronto.

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LO6S - Module 9: Sequence #3, 11th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 - Double Flat 7 Pentatonic
  • LO6S - Module 9: Sequence #3, 11th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 - Double Flat 7 Pentatonic

LO6S - Module 9: Sequence #3, 11th Arpeggios and The Flat 5 - Double Flat 7 Pentatonic

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In case you weren't aware, I've been training you from the very beginning, in a superior of picking called Economy Picking. This form of picking better synchronizes the two hands over the more standard alternate (straight down / up) picking. Since this is considered an advanced form of picking, to have this built into the program from square one is

In case you weren't aware, I've been training you from the very beginning, in a superior of picking called Economy Picking. This form of picking better synchronizes the two hands over the more standard alternate (straight down / up) picking. Since this is considered an advanced form of picking, to have this built into the program from square one is one of the facets that makes this lesson plan unique. Upon completion of this lesson, you will have gained a strong command of this picking technique! All three lessons in this module will see to that. If you find yourself in the weeds with the picking aspect of this lesson, go back through the previous studies and focus on the picking aspect. You'll thank me later as your ability to develop speed and precision hinges on this. All of the previous lessons contain their own set of challenges, so practicing them should be an ongoing thing.

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LO6S - Module 10: Pedal Tone Sequence, The Arpeggiated Modes and The Major Blues Scale
  • LO6S - Module 10: Pedal Tone Sequence, The Arpeggiated Modes and The Major Blues Scale

LO6S - Module 10: Pedal Tone Sequence, The Arpeggiated Modes and The Major Blues Scale

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DISCLAIMER: The Pedal Tone Sequence Etude MUST be played slowly at first or you will run the risk of injuring your left hand. This is a right hand alternate picking exercise that involves wide string skips and for the left hand, involves finger stretching. For this reason we'll start high on the fretboard where the frets are smaller and work down

DISCLAIMER: The Pedal Tone Sequence Etude MUST be played slowly at first or you will run the risk of injuring your left hand. This is a right hand alternate picking exercise that involves wide string skips and for the left hand, involves finger stretching. For this reason we'll start high on the fretboard where the frets are smaller and work down through the modes to the wider frets. The guitar should ideally be positioned on your left leg classical style for optimum hand positioning. By the time you play through this twice your muscles should feel warm and elastic like. The pick symbols indicate straight alternate picking which will lead to an outside picking technique. I challenge you to also apply economy picking which will lead to inside picking and further dial In your right hand control. Keep your muscles loose and don't tense up. If at any point you feel pain anywhere in your arm or hand, STOP and take a break. Over time you'll gradually be able to pick up the pace, but don't rush it. The Arpeggio Mode study is where we have now come full circle and are playing all 7 modes as arps. This is so enjoyable to play through and you should be able to now solo using these chordal structures, The "Fives" study is the G Major Blues Scale and is the easiest of the three lessons as I'm giving you a break after the effort put into the previous two.

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Here is a backing track that you can play most of these modal and arpeggio studies to. The performance notes are:

  1. The arrangement of the chord progressions are Ionian - Dorian - Ionian - Phrygian - Ionian - Lydian - Ionian - Mixolydian - Ionian - Aeolian - Ionian - Locrian - Ionian - Ionian - Ending
  2. Whenever the chord progression reverts back to Ionian, stay in the current mode that you are playing and take note how that mode suddenly takes on the Ionian characteristic.
  3. When playing the mode to it's matching chord progression, take note of the mood that mode creates.
  4. The two repeating Ionian progressions at the end total 8 cycles through the progression. Go through all 7 modes plus the octave Ionian to these 8 cycles (Play up the scales only to fit them all within the progression).
  5. Beginning with the triads, play the arpeggios to the backing track in the same way as the modes. When the music reverts back to the Ionian progression, does the current arpeggio sound unresolved or at rest? Does adding more tones from the other arpeggios help bring any unresolved tones sit better in the Ionian progression?
  6. The timing of each study is there to give each scale / arpeggio symmetry in the transcription and does not always match the metering of the music. Choose your own timing and phrasing when playing to the track. Whenever there are chord frames, try strumming the chords along with track, matching the chord name to its arpeggio. 
  7. The ultimate goal is to improvise your own solos once these studies are firmly under your fingers. That's done simply by re-ordering the note sequences out of the scale patterns into you own melodies, phrases and licks!