How To Play Killer Guitar Solos By Studying The Vocal Techniques Of King Diamond - Part 2

Jul 15 10:15 2016 Tom Hess Print This Article

Learn how to play creative guitar solos by studying King Diamond.

Studying great vocalists will make your guitar solos sound more emotional.

In the first part of this article,Guest Posting you discovered four ways to use King Diamond’s singing style to improve your guitar playing.

Here are three additional ways:

  1. Play Guitar Harmonies And Solos With Layered Harmony

Using harmony (2 or more notes played together) in a phrase, lick or solo can make it sound very interesting and exciting. Using layered harmonies is a method for making a regular harmony sound even more exciting.

The following music video show how King Diamond uses layered harmonies in his music:

(check out 7:23-8:54)

The following exercise helps you make your own layered harmonies:

Step 1: Set the click of your metronome to a moderate speed. Use recording software (or your phone) to record as you play an “A” on the 14th fret of the G string. Allow this note to ring out for ten beats.

Step 2: Now, record a “C” note on fret thirteen of the B string – only this time, record it starting on the third beat. This creates harmony with the “A” note from the last step. The “A” note rings on its own through the first couple of beats.

Step 3: Last, play and record note “E” on the 17th fret of the B string as soon as beat 5 begins. This will add a 3rd layer to the music.

You have just made a harmony for an A minor chord, but spread the notes over several beats rather than playing them together at once.

This guitar solo video gives you tons of ideas for how to play emotional guitar solos.

  1. Create Interest In Your Lead Guitar Phrasing Using Thicker Texture

King Diamond is known for using tons of variety in the way he delivers his vocals. For example, he might sing cleanly one moment, and use screams or growls another moment. He uses growls as a tool to add to the texture of his vocal lines. When he sings clean high notes, it reduces the texture of his lines/melodies. You can hear how this sounds by checking out 35:11 - 36:01 in the video.

You can also generate the same growling effect King Diamond uses by employing the use of double stops in your guitar licks. Double stops refer to playing two notes at the same time. This will give your guitar phrases added texture and can serve as a great contrast to phrases with a lot of single notes in the melody.

  1. Get Good At Pitch Variation & Guitar Phrasing Fluency

King Diamond seamlessly combines together high falsetto, screams, growls, layered harmonies, delayed vocal vibrato and various additional techniques. This contrast of techniques and styles generate a lot of excitement through musical tension. You can make your guitar playing feel exciting too by mastering guitar phrasing fluency.

Guitar phrasing fluency refers to being able to combine together all the phrasing techniques you know. When you can do this, you create pitch variation and your guitar solos become more creative and exciting to listen to.

This is an exercise that helps you become proficient at creating pitch variation and playing with guitar phrasing fluency:

  1. Create a list of every guitar phrasing technique you already know how to use (These helpful guitar soloing articles will aid you in doing this).
  2. Create/improvise a short guitar lick of no more than 5 notes and play it again and again. While doing this, focus on either the first and last note of the phrase, or whichever note(s) you sustain for the longest period of time.
  3. Whenever you repeat the lick, utilize alternate phrasing ornaments when playing the first and last notes. For instance:

-Play notes in a higher octave at times when it seems unexpected (similar to how King Diamond uses his falsetto). Hint: This is especially effective when you do it on the last note of a phrase.

-Use vibrato in different ways (such as: using delayed vibrato, wide vibrato or narrow vibrato).

-Harmonize some notes in your melody by using double stops.

-Apply vibrato to both the notes in a double stop (this sounds killer!).

-Use a variety of phrasing elements to accentuate a single note. Here is an example: play the last note in the phrase by quickly moving up to a higher octave, use a double stop, then use the tremolo bar to add heavy vibrato to both notes (or you can add it manually if you don’t have a tremolo system).

This pitch variation exercise trains you to improve your fluency with a variety of guitar phrasing techniques.

This lead guitar video gives you a lot more ideas for how to play emotional guitar solos.

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About Article Author

Tom Hess
Tom Hess

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a professional touring musician, composer and successful rock/metal guitar teacher. He helps guitarists around the world learn to play guitar online. On his website, you can find guitar playing tips, free guitar resources and more guitar articles.

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