The Trick BRIAN MAY Uses To Make One Note Sound MASSIVE

The Trick BRIAN MAY Uses To Make One Note Sound MASSIVE

Tommaso Zillio

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pick raking guitar

What do guitar players like Brian May do to make a single note sound massive?

(Aside from that note being amplified by dozens of loudspeakers pushing air throughout a massive stadium with several layers of coordinated delay and controlled feedback, that is)

Well, there is the fact that he’s not using a pick to pick his guitar, but he’s using a coin (a silver sixpence, to be precise)

And of course, you could spend an eternity analyzing all the little details of how he picks (coins?) a note, but there is one technique that he has mastered that has a huge role in how explosive he sounds.

That technique is pick-raking.

(Coin-raking? That sounds like a money-laundering scheme…)

While this may seem like a simple thing, there is actually a lot of technique that goes along with this, and I found out that most guitar players have 1. not idea about these missing pieces and 2. these missing pieces completely ruin the effect!

So in the video below, I want to share with you how you can master this technique to sound just like Brian (minus the custom guitar, the stadium, and dozens of loudspeakers).

For more tricks to become a better lead guitar player and make your guitar playing sound better, check out my free eBook that gives you 18 tips to make the pentatonic scale sound better

Video Transcription

Hello internet so nice to see you! People have asked me how to make your notes explode on the guitar and what they mean after a few back and forth. And what do you mean exactly? Do you mean to use dynamite or stuff like that? No, they mean, how do you do breaking on the guitar writing these this kind of technique when you hit all the lower string of a note, before you hit the note, you want it to look simple. When you see other people doing it looks obvious.

It’s not there are a couple of tricks that make it work. Okay. Now, the master of raking the person who made the whole thing famous is Brian May because he’s not just explode when he plays that thing. Okay. I don’t have the whole MMA gear here. And beside, I’m not proud of me, but I can show you how to do it. And then if you ever get every single brand may have set up just the right way, it will work for you, too. So what are we doing right now? Okay.

Ideally, they the idea behind that it’s really simple is you’re gonna hit all the strings are the lower strings. So if I want to play these note here, which is a C on the fifth fret, third string, okay, I’m gonna hit the sixth string, the fifth, the sixth string, the fifth string and the fourth string. Okay, just before I hit that string, the problem is that I don’t want the strings to ring out. I want this thing to be muted. I want them to make these nice. Okay. And I don’t want to rush to the string, I don’t want to go.

It’s a sound but the sound can better if it goes lower. Again, this kind of hesitation before, before. Before you hit the note you want to hit okay. How do you do that? You have to mute the strings. Okay, with your fretting hand with your sorry, with the building on your right hand.

Okay, and there is more than one way to do it. Most people mute using these part of their hands. So the heel of the hand outs the partner side. Other people prefer to use the inside pipe. Okay, I’m one of the insiders here, I like to use this part of my hand to mute the strings. But in general, any part of your pawn here here here will do the job if it’s comfortable for you.

Okay, and the idea is you want to put that depart any part of your hand, you want to use that Shindo string. So the tricky part that you need to train for, okay, it doesn’t come natural. The tricky part is that you have to mute the lowest string. So in this case, string six, five and four.

So the E, A and D, but you need to leave the G string which which which we’re playing free so that the note can play because you need to have the noise on the first on the string and the note the G string, okay, that’s the first piece but it’s not the only piece, okay? Because if you just do this even if you do it correctly, as if it still doesn’t sound the right way. There are two pieces missing here.

The first piece has still to do with muting. So I’m strumming and raking the strings down until I hit the third string, the moment I hit the third string, my hand and the beat, reversed its motion Thomas back and I’m gonna put my pick in between the third string, the G string and the fourth D. I’m gonna pull up against the string and the D string against the number four holding down the lower three strings so I’m breaking by muting and coming back and grab the strings and pull them back.

Okay, that’s I need that to silence them immediately. If I don’t do that, even if I need them, there’ll be some procedural sound. Here is Frank, forget behind. It doesn’t sound really good. You want to silence immediately. These movement is not natural. This movement needs to be trained and it needs to be trained simply by doing these See just these knees and back, and back, and back, and back.

So you come back and music. It sounds horrible right now because I’m showing it to you slowly. When you play fast it just sounds sounds like there’s a little bit of extra time. And in this little explosion at the beginning the other two points.

The next thing you have to do is that once you play this and make it explode, you’re doing all this movement on your right hand, you cannot leave the note there, you cannot do this. Just hanging the note there and not doing anything, it doesn’t sound good. If you notice, every time great players do this, they always do something extra on the north. And what they do most of the time they play a vibrato or a pitch or some old maybe followed by brother.

Okay, but you and you need to train to get this movement with the right and the vibrato on the left because those things happen so close to each other that it’s impossible to do it naturally or by chance, okay. You need to train these now you may like this vibrato. Now you may well have one not over vibrato, maybe you want to propose light instead, whatever you want, but you cannot just let after you make it explode at the beginning, okay, it doesn’t work.

So far. So good. Everything I’ve shown so far, it’s simple if you turn it slowly visible. And that’s what you see, there is one element that it’s invisible, okay. But it makes the massive difference when you’re raking. And the thing, it’s very easy to explain.

But then when I show you the standard at which it is done, you realize that you are going to require a little bit more training to do it. And the thing is simply said as you have to pick with a lot of energy, every single time we have taught these in person is to quietly when they start, okay, it really requires a lot of energy and strength in that peak emotion. So to give you an idea how much strength you need to do, you are going to do this exercise, they’re gonna grab your guitar.

Okay, these right now have a guitar, you’re gonna get ready for a note. So you just play the note you want, okay? It doesn’t matter if you meet the rest or not, you can, you’re gonna take your right hand picking hand, you’re gonna put your right hand up high here, okay?

Your higher than your eye level. Okay, it could be here to be here, but higher than your eye level. And from here, you’re going to let these handful on the strings. Okay, it doesn’t matter if you make a sound or not just the default. Okay? That you fought. That is right now sounds horrible. I know that once you get this movement, you’re okay.

That’s the energy you need to use. That’s the amount of strength you need to use. So when you play these, you don’t have to come from here every time. This is just to give you an idea on how much strength you need. Okay, so to lose the fear of hitting the strings, you need to hit the instrument, okay? It’s a tool, don’t be afraid of breaking it. It’s pretty robust. It’s a plank of wood.

Okay, so it your strings pretty strong. With all the strings, mute them, come back with the big two hold the string, do a vibrato with the other hand and remember to pick strongly and this gives you the little explosion at the beginning of the note that everybody likes now, I am playing this guitar straight into a boss Katana with no distortion practically means I have a clean sound.

Okay, of course if you put in more distortion and then maybe you put in some delay like via Madaras and especially like brian may does. You raise the volume of the amp and get a lot of feedback between the amp and the guitar and then not explodes even more. Okay, now I’m in a studio I really cannot afford right now to raise the also with a clean sound to get feedback from a solid body. Remember, Brian may be thorough, it’s a hollow guitar.

So it’s feedbacks much, if not more easily, okay? But if you get also the feedback, it explodes even more, but the technique, it’s easy, but it’s made of many small pieces that you need to get right to get the sound. Now I want you guys to go and try on your guitar, okay, every single exercise, every single element when you practice it by itself, sounds bad, but when you put them all together, they sound great.

Okay, so if you go back into this video, and occasionally some of the exercises sound better is because I’m showing you one element at the end though, the whole sounds. It just gives us extra access to the note that you want in your soul. Go and try that. And until next time, enjoy.

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