My Six Friends: The Open Strings

This is a further exploration of the concepts discussed in my Cross Picked Cascades lesson and my Shredding Bach: A Study of Arpeggios. The following is a transcription of "Six Friends" from my "Once More ...With Feeling!!!" CD. This song explores the extended harmonies and disonances that can easily be used to color a chord by adding an open strings amidst a normally closed chord. Like the cross-picking technique, playing a lower note on a higher string and following it with a higher note on a lower string, is a simple way to confuse the listeners ear, capturing his/her attention and captivating their imagination.

This particular piece combines a strong melody based on the arpeggiation of extended chords and disonanaces, with an African rhythm and two ostinato picking patterns , one in 7/8 and one in 4/4. The constant drone of the open strings adds to the exotic sound of this piece.

The closed harmonics in measures 19, 33 and in the coda are played by touching your right index finger 12 frets higher then the Tab note your left hand is fretting while simultaneously picking the string. Thus creating a harmonic which sounds an octave higher than the fretted note.

For the ambitious student: Define the chord names of the arpeggios in this song the same way I did in the Shredding Bach transcription.




Ray DeTone is a professional guitarist featured in Guitar Player magazine (March 1998). Ray is an eclectic player, fusing the elements of rock, blues, progressive, country, metal, alternative and even bluegrass, creating a signature sound that stands out amidst todays' onslaught of redundancy.

His debut instrumental CD is entitled "Once More...With Feeling!!!".

Ray DeTone

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