Hey guys, something a bit heavier than usual for this week! Randy Rhoads was Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist back in the early 80’s before his life was tragically cut short in a plane crash, joining the other greats Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Holly who were also sadly killed in aviation accidents. You could say he was one of the first to meld Metal with Classical music, effortlessly blending British Metal and Classical music, although I’d say Ritchie Blackmore pipped him to the post. Regarding his choice of scales, he would usually use the Pentatonic and the Natural Minor Scale (AKA Aeolian Mode).
Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on:
Riff With Pedal Note
This type of riff contains the simple trademark power chords played over a pedal note, which effectively captures Randy’s heavier side.
Playing each note twice adds rhythmic interest to a relatively simple run. Palm-muting in this way was a big part of Randy’s playing.
Randy’s use of rapid pull-offs played over a classical style chord progression is an example of the Neo-classical style that was to prove so popular in the late 80’s.
The classical technique of employing the ‘outside’ note of the G# creates an interesting Harmonic Minor Scale feel to the key of Am.
Open String Lick
This is another simple classically inspired, yet effective technique, based on the A Harmonic Minor Scale played over a pedal E note.
As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!
Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!