Watch the Rifi Hendrix: 9 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed
Guitar 3 is definitely more of a third part than a solo, especially in the first time through the chart. A major contributing factor to this approach is due to the arena rock riffing heard in Guitars 1 & 2. To try to muscle a solo over those ten-ton parts is often times pointless. This is a big time "if-you-can’t-beat'em..." moment and an important one for you to learn from.
So, “to join them” the first eight bars sits on the now famous C-F perfect 4th played on the 3rd and 2nd strings with various 16th note scratches played in-between pounding chopped 1/4 notes. By “chopped” I mean you’re playing these 4ths on the downbeats of each pulse but chopping them down to 1/8 notes.
As bars 9-12 roll around it's time for the IV chord change. While Guitar 3 does jump to the 10th position for what seems like textbook D minor pentatonic, the approach is all Mixolydian. To some, no matter what I say they’ll hear it as a Dm thing and that’s OK. That’s what would be called a horizontal approach where the same tonality is played across a set of changes. If you’re in agreement with the original assertion then you’re seeing/hearing it from a vertical standpoint where a new tonality is used for each change.
These first 12 bars are packed with concepts we’ve delved into thus far in Guitar Cubed. The first fours bars are a classic call and response scenario, albeit with varying 16th note scratches; with the chopped 1/4-note 4ths ending on two different slide destinations. Bars 9-12 are of a motivic development ilk where the initial raunchy double stops (no, they’re not bent this time) that link up rhythmically with Guitars 1 & 2 are followed by two different motives. As a side note, you’ll need to pull that final 10th fret F on the 3rd string in bar 12 with your fret hand 1st finger since that is the finger that will be playing it coming out of the lick. The same goes for the final whole step bend in bar 16 at the upbeat of 2 on the 5th fret C. While it’s nice to whole step bend with the 3rd finger sometimes you gotta play the cards your dealt and rock them nonetheless.
The first 16 bars, or rather first chorus, played off a cool idea built on that lone perfect 4th interval. The second time around the theme shifts towards a sexy D minor pentatonic idea. The smart part is it still plays off the downbeat like the first chorus did in the odd-numbered bars with one tasty exception. With so much downbeat playing the upbeat phrasing at beat 1 of bar 19 and 23 and again at bar 31 is a welcome change and breaks things up without losing focus. In the even-numbered bars the lick follows Guitars 1 & 2 (something the first chorus did not so this in itself is a fresh idea), but with phrasing inflections that match the mood being created by this part at this juncture.
The final lick of this 32 bar jam is a classic, no doubt. To keep up with the brisk 120 bpm hybrid picking was called upon. In the Performance segment I used my pick hand 2nd finger to pick the 10th fret A on the 2nd string on the downbeat of beat 2. Not only does that economize motion but it also provides a surprising snappy attack within the line. Another point that hybrid picking could have been used is the rolling 4th from A to D on the 2nd and 1st strings respectively starting on the 2nd 16th of beat 3. There you could use your pick hand 2nd finger for the A and the 3rd finger for the D making for a more hot-country rock style sound.