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Minute Licks #7: Advanced Pedal Tone Lick


So What is a pedal tone lick anyway?


Going back to it's origins as an organ technique (see: J.S. Bach), a pedal tone was a static or repeated bass note that remained constant (from the pedals) whilst other more directional melodies or harmony occurred on the rest of the instrument. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor is arguably one of the best known examples of this device. The term's usage widened to include any phrase where a "centre piece" note of a motif or melody is repeated between other notes moving up or down in pitch, a "pivot point" if you will, regardless of the fact that we don't use physical pedals to create the notes.


In guitar circles, thanks to the emergence of guys like Yngwie Malmsteen and Vinnie Moore, Pedal tone or Pedal Point licks became a part many bach-rockers' trick bag with either single or multiple notes provided the pivot point for the motion happening in the rest of the lick. Sometimes the pivot point will be the highest note in the lick (the opposite to the organ pedal scenario), the lowest, or in the case of this new Minute Lick in the style of Vinnie Moore, the pivot notes actually exist in the middle of the lick (the D and C# notes on the second string).


This lick is designed to picked with pure alternate picking and will test both your inside and outside string changes. Try accenting the first note of each beat to really lock in with the metronome.


You'll notice that bar 2 of the lick varies from bar 1 as we don't hop on to the 3rd string, opting to find out "variation" notes on the high E string exclusively until bear 4 of the bar. You can repeat any portion of the lick multiple times to stretch it out, and also try using your own "variation notes" either in composition or improvisation. Good luck!




Comments Section

I learned it as pedal point originally as well but both terms are used.
Very cool exercise Chris, here in Brazil know as Pedal Point, thank you for making some lessons available and sorry if I wrote something wrong because it is not my language Exercício muito legal Chris, aqui no Brasil conhecemos como Pedal Point, muito obrigado por disponibilizar algumas lições e desculpe se escrevi algo errado por que não é meu idioma

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