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Pedal Tones


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What are pedal tones?

No, it has nothing to do with the digital sound your guitar effect pedal re-creates.  In this context A Pedal Tone or Pedal Note is a note that stays the same when all the notes around it are changing.  It's a sustained note that you repeat, either every second note or periodically.  Pedal notes are one of the first and most common techniques we use to turn our predictable scales into interesting licks.

Simply playing a scale up and down, note after note, is good for finger practice, but useless for soloing.  It becomes pretty boring after a while and won't keep anyone interested.  Enter pedal notes:  Pedal Notes are one of the many tools we use to add significance to our licks.  These notes are great little things that break up the monotony of playing the notes of a scale successively.

A Pedal note is not really a technique to master, but more of a model to grasp.  It's a concept to keep in the back of your mind when you start phrasing your solos.  Let's put it in practice. 
I'm going to illustrate the use of pedal notes by with the following lick, so that you can hear what they sound like and their potential.  Here's the Tab:


In Blues guitar, pedal tones is a commonly used technique that uses quick repetition to create a sustained note.
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Watch the video below, to see what this lick should look and sound like:
Pedal Tone lick
First try and copy the lick above, play it exactly like the tab says.  Then start experiment with the lick and with the pedal tone note.  Play around with the different notes, while incorporating a pedal note and see what you come up with.  See if you can come up with a lick that sounds good.


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- Solo's and Transcribing
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