Jonathan Orriols

Being Tasteful

Hey it's me again, in this column I'll talk about being tasteful. It's funny that I'm writing about this considering I play in a metalcore band, but there's always room for tastiness. A lot of guitar players can't seem to capture what it is that makes a lick or a simple bend felt. That's what I'll discuss in this one.

For the first lick, I have a lick that's somewhat reminiscent of Allan Holdsworth's Beef Cherokee. The idea is to stay away from the downbeat and generic patterns so much, this keeps a listener interested. Well here it is:

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Next, I've written out a little sample melody. This one covers the concept of grace notes. Grace notes can really make the difference between something sounding bland, and something sounding beautifully dramatic(other than your note choices of course). The idea is to quickly slide from another note into your selected note making the guitar cry a bit hehe. Well here it is

Lastly, I have a run that's not so much focused on being tasteful, but again, keeping the listener interested. You know those muddy build up runs you hear from all your favorite prog bands? Yea, those are pretty cool, but they can sound even cooler/more interesting if you mess with it more. I notice a lot of those guys stay in the same mode throughout the whole thing. In this example, I go across the neck connecting different modes of the same key to spice it up a little bit.

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Check out my band's website at We'll have mp3's and stuff up soon if you like the whole metalcore thing.