MARTY FRIEDMAN Video Masterclass
Guitar Techniques|September 2021
We welcome the rock virtuoso back to share the secrets of his leadership style by taking a solo over Majestical, a new track by Jason Sidwell. Marty plays a superbly melodic solo and then discusses key aspects of it. Jon Bishop is your guide.
Jon Bishop

ABILITY RATING

Info

Key Various

Tempo 110bpm CD

TRACKS 8-13 Info

Advanced

Will improve your…

Switching between non-diatonic chords

Legato and arpeggio soloing

Use of string bends and vibrato

We are delighted to welcome metal virtuoso Marty Friedman back on board (his video performance for Komorebi was in GT301). While Marty is well known for his time in the 90s with Megadeth and Cacophony, alongside Jason Becker, he has had a long solo career since living in Japan. This has resulted in 13 solo albums (his latest is Tokyo Jukebox 3) and numerous unique projects.

This month’s track augments Marty’s ability to play with a metal guitar tone over evolving and emotive chord changes. Within this context, Marty demonstrates his unique articulations and vibrant note choices.

Majestical begins with an intro section in C and Marty uses the power chords of C5 and D5. This intro provides big drama and sets up the transition into the verse. This is in the key of G Minor and uses chords taken from the G Natural Minor scale (Gm-Adim-Bb-Cm-DmEb-F) To strengthen the resolution from Dm to Gm the Dm chord (V chord) is changed to D Major or D7. Marty adds tension to this chord by playing the Eb Diminished arpeggio which implies a cumulative sound of D7b9.

The chorus section modulates to the key of G Major which is very uplifting, but it’s made more melancholic by having the IV chord not C but instead Cm6. The G-Cm6 is a unique, emotion-filled chord change and is typical of artists as broad as The Beatles and the late film composer, John Barry. As Cm6 is not from the key of G Major it requires chord tone treatment that comes from C Dorian (C-D-Eb F-G-A-Bb), which can be considered coming from G Natural Minor. Marty’s use of a memorial motif paired with Cm6 chord tones makes for a very appealing sound.

The middle section moves to the key of Bb Major. There are again a few chords from outside of the key to negotiating. Most notably the Am and Dm. The unexpected Db/E b (E b9sus4) is used to set up a V-I cadence into Ab Major for chorus 2; a semitone up key modulation (a popular device in the pop, soul, and indeed Japanese music). Here Marty goes back to playing his chorus motif, albeit a semitone higher. By repeating the theme the listener is given a sense of structure.

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