Fun Open String Pedal Point Solos You Want to Know From ACDC to Randy Rhoads

Fun Open String Pedal Point Solos You Want to Know From ACDC to Randy Rhoads

Open string pedal point riffs are fun picking exercises.

You can also play all of these legato (series of hammer-ons and pull-offs), which are great exercises to build strength and endurance.

Thunderstruck (AC/DC)

It sounds like Angus does indeed pick all the notes in this well-known guitar part.

The last line is the hardest one to memorize.
Trick: Break it up into smaller units. First think: 12 10 9 10, then when you have that memorize, think 9 7 9 5.

Randy Rhoads’ “Suicide Solution” Solo on the Tribute Ozzy Album

Towards the end of this blazing solo on the Ozzie “Tribute” album, Randy plays this really cool line.
He picks the first note in the triplets followed by 2 pull-offs. You can of course also pick all the notes: a great picking exercise.

Wasted Years (Iron Maiden)

This is an E pedal point.
Notice how the first 4 melody notes are followed by 5 open E’s, and the last 2 melody notes by 3 open E’s
This pattern repeats in bars 3 and 4.

Rush YYZ Solo

“YYZ” is on my favorite Rush album: “Moving Pictures”.
The whole album is a masterpiece. Strongly recommended.

Pedal point open string lines are almost always rhythmically very even: constant 16th notes, constant 8th notes, etc.
Not this one.

Of all the examples here, the YYZ pedal point part at the end of the solo, is rhythmically the most complex one.

If you have a hard time figuring out the rhythmic placement of the notes, listen to the YYZ solo and slow it down if you need to.
You can also just play all notes evenly, and add the rhythmic placement later.

Crossroads movie Steve Vai

Every note is alternate picked. This is a fun picking challenge.
It’s really quite challenging to pick and to move so quickly all across the guitar neck without missing a beat.

The finger pattern itself is easy.
It’s a repetitive 4 note pattern: pinky, pointy finger, middle finger (on B string), open E string.


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That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas, than you can get from a blog.
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Have fun! 🙂

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