I'm extremely pleased to present Rick Renstrom as a new guest columnist at CFH!

For a long time I used to have tons of lix and riffs to play at any given moment, but there came a time when I tossed that out and just played what I feel. Never really playing any "stock" lix. Just going for it and letting the backround chords be my guide.

Here are a few lix that I sometimes incorporate in my playing...

Notice: the current PowerTab setup is to 1 whole step down. You may want to adjust the guitar tuning to match your own guitar. Press ALT G and select guitar. Adjust the tuning of the PowerTab to your guitar.

A lot of people ask me how I can go from a really high speed at one moment, then go right to a different note speed. I look at in one way...a Ferrari Formula One engine. Starting at a low gear and flying down a straight at 190mph and gearing way down for a turn. Since we have no engine components in us, we must start very slow and build our "engine" up to accomodate various note speeds. First, get your metronome!! If you dont have one, get one today. Start it off very slow...between 80-100bpm. With the PowerTab you can adjust this lick down to quarter notes, then eighth notes, then 16th notes, 16th note triplets, and the elusive 32nd notes. Take the very first can apply the method above to this exact lick. For you players just starting out, it could seem very boring and possibly painful to play that slow. Trust me, it will be worth it. Using alternate strokes (down-up-down-up) and playing at a slow rate will truly strengthen your ability to have full synchronization of your right and left hands. Practice it for a month straight and you'll be amazed at the result of your picking abilities. Practice for at least 1/2 hour per day on this method using this lick and any others you find or can come up with. For the younger players...if you have the time to practice, then go for an hour or two. Honestly, and it has been said by many, the more you practice the better you will get. There was a time when I found a way to practice at least 6-8 hours a day for a few years. If guitar is your passion then you will find the way...

normal 16ths 8ths

Something totally different here. I do know a lot of tapping sequences, but rarely play them or do much tapping in any of my songs, but I came up with this tapped pedal tone sequence. The pedal note is played with the left hand along with the first notes on the high E string. The right hand plays the 2 note pattern throughout. You can also easily expand on this type of lick by playing 2 and maybe even 3 notes with the left hand. Experiment! That's what it is all about.

Finally, here's a shredfest..based on a few of the principles of the column.

pt. 1 pt. 2

I want to thank you for checking some of my "Lix" out. It has been my pleasure to write this column and hope it brings inspiration to you. My newest album "Until The Bitter End" will be released early next year and you will be able to hear plenty more techniques just like these.

Please visit my site at

the following bio material provided by Rick Renstrom

Rick Renstrom is the guitar world's newest hope for a guitar hero. Taking from the old and adding the new, all language of guitar is spoken. Rick's musical influences are Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Al DiMeola, Andy LaRocque, Ronni Le Tekro, Bach and Mozart.

Rick delivers with control, fury, and passionate fire. At the age of fifteen, after seeing Yngwie on a TV special, Rick decided to start playing guitar. By the time he was sixteen, he was attending the University of Akron majoring in music, playing with his band Shattered Innocence 3-4 nights a week, and still in high school. Rick studied classical guitar, jazz guitar, theory, composition and overall musicianship. Rick also played in other bands during this period: China Blue, Bastille, Metal Wolf and Wicked Ways.

Rick's current endeavors include guitar duties for Rob Rockís Rage Of Creation band and a full length solo album accompanied by Robís band and virtuoso keyboardist, Mistheria.

Rick has won the "Best Lead Guitarist" at the 1996 CFMA Awards, in 1998 won the M.A.R.S. Guitar challenge, and in 2001 received "Best Metal Guitarist" at the Orlando Metal Awards.

With the advent of MP3 technology, Rick has converted his music to MP3s and has received huge success on the worldwide Rickís song "Opus Lix" went to #1 on 6/27/2000 and held on to the spot for over 3 weeks, has remained in the top 10 for over 3 months, and "Symphony #40" reached as high as #2. Over 50, 000 downloads and still counting. His other songs were close behind, making Rick one of the premier unsigned guitar players on the Internet.

Rick has also been featured on "The Guitar Odyssey: Tribute to Yngwie Malmsteen" (GNW Records and JVC/Victor), Massacre recording artists Powergod "Bleed For The God's" metal tribute, and Lion Musicís "Warmth in the Wilderness: A Tribute to Jason Becker."