George Lynch – A focus on

Riffs And Licks In The Style Of...

Hello everyone, welcome to the in-depth study of the piece inspired by George Lynch that I wrote and played for you last episode.

We will go through the highlights of the short solo together to assimilate its contents and incorporate them into our licks.

The short song, with a strong 80s sound, is inspired by “Without Warning”, first track of the album “Tooth And Nail” (1984) of the historic band Docks.

Harmonically speaking, it is quite simple; we are in the key of A minor, in a typical Hard Rock progression of the time: I ; VI ; VII ; IV III ;

After four bars of Intro enters in fact a clean guitar with the arpeggio that I report below:

We can see how, while the Synth pad plays the chords, the clean guitar merely moves the bass over an A sus2 triad.

Solistically, George Lynch's style is distinguished by the use of very wide (sometimes horizontal) vibratos and fast slides that often replace bending as expressive overtones. Also typical is the heavy use of artificial harmonics played very aggressively.
At the level of scales, it is not uncommon to be confronted with not only the classic minor pentatonic, but also the use of modal scales such as aeolia or phrygia, as well as the harmonic minor, and a particular use of arpeggios and diminished scales.

Let us go into details, section by section:

The first part of the solo opens with some elements typical of Lynch's style: melodic bending, wide vibratos, fast slides and the use of notes, second and sixth, taken from the Aeolian scale and added to the minor pentatonic box.

In the following section, on the other hand, we find a series of irregular groups of notes, played first vertically with the classic three-note-per-string shape and then moving horizontally until concluding the section with the most classic of its horizontal vibratos, which is nothing more than a series of forward/backward slides around the starting note.

The third section sees in the first bar a series of melodic patterns repeated along the neck and then landing on a typical Lynch lick in which, on the root of the chord (F), he plays with a tritone interval to create a tension resolved then on the fifth of the chord. The last bar consists of a long lick formed by an arpeggio of Dm9/13 played in groups of three notes.

The last section of the solo, after several bars (summarized here in just two) of artificial harmonics on the root note (recorded at three different octaves), concludes with an interesting symmetrical lick formed by the notes of the diminished semitone-to-tone scale of A, built on the Eb chord at tritone distance.

The sound:

After analyzing the solo from a technical and harmonic point of view, let us briefly focus on how to get as close as possible to the sound Lynch used in his career.

In the 1980s, in line with the tradition for many guitarists of that decade, he used Stratoid-shaped guitars with humbuckers at the bridge, usually Charvel or ESP, high-volume hi-gain heads, such as Marshall JCM800 or Super Lead of various vintages (1969, 1973, 1977), but also from different brands such as Soldano (famous his SLO-100 Snakeskin at the turn of the 1980s and early 1990s) and later in the years, Randall.

As for effects, a wide use of Reverb and Delay: always very present in the mix to create a long tail during solos, typical of those years.

With the advent of the 90s, where in the Rock scene the lacking in both virtuosic excess in playing and highly processed sounds, it was not uncommon to come across his tracks where, in a throwback to the 1970s, he inserts Fuzz distortion and various modulation effects such as Vibe, Flanger and Phaser.

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