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SoundGround >> Doug Aldrich's scales, licks and patterns?


10/29/08 8:41 PM
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jonpall
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 Hi,

Does anyone know which types of scales, licks and patterns Doug Aldrich likes to play? I'm guessing that the minor pentatonic is one of his favorite, but please share what you know, if you know anything about his playing. I just discovered this guy and think he's simply awesome. Look for him on youtube, there's a ton of footage of him playing there.
10/29/08 11:42 PM
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Nostradumbass
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I used to take guitar lessons from Doug about 20 years ago. I was obviously a big fan of his as well. He's an incredibly talented guitarist and an incredibly nice guy to boot- one of the nicest people I'll ever know.

Many times, he'd end up buying me Arby's with some of my guitar lesson money. I should dig up my old lessons that he tabbed out for me- I have them with some music books somewhere. Sometimes, I used to just sit there and watch him play and not learn anything at all- just sit there in amazement and that was good enough for me. I even took friends to my lessons just so they could watch as well- one of my friends went with me almost every week. I'm sure I probably showed up there a few times without a guitar. LOL.

His picking technique is/was flawless and his vibrato was among the best out there. That guy could play practically anything. I used to bring him cassettes of my favorite tunes and he'd always figure them out for me on the spot. Lots of Racer X, Chris Impelliteri and whatever was the popular shredding at the time. I remember turning him onto Living Colour- he thought Vivid was a great album. He was endorsed by Jackson back in the day. He was in a full page Jackon ad in the guitar mags. It was pretty cool showing GFTPM to a friend and saying "that's my teacher". He was also huge in Japan. And he drove a crappy black CRX at the time.

I used to go see him play with Lion and Hurricane (it's funny that he's is Whitesnake now, the singer of Hurricane is with Foreigner and their drummer is now with Asia- the "Fake" Asia, if you will).

I went to one of his shows at the Country Club and he ran up to the stage with a beer wrapped in a towel and handed it to me. For a 15 year old, that was the coolest thing ever...

I remember him being offered the guitar spot in Dio in the late 80s. He turned it down, but ended up in the band anyway about 10 years or so later.

I went and saw him play with Whitesnake about two years ago. I honestly didn't think he was right for the band. John Sykes and, oddly enough, Steve Vai were my favorite Whitesnake guitarists. I think his playing was more suited for Dio, although he really belongs elsewhere anyway.

I'm pretty sure he was influenced a lot by Randy Rhoads and Gary Moore. His playing seems very blues-based these days. He's more of a "feel" player, but that guy can shred with the best of them, for sure. I have one of his imports from Japan around here somewhere that I've never listened to. And I think it's super-rare. I think I'll go dig it up.

Good old memories. I wish I spent more time practicing back then- some of his old students are very amazing guitar players nowadays.

I'm sure that's enough typing for anyone to read. I know- FRAT>
10/30/08 2:02 AM
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Mako_
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Nope not frat.. thanks for the story.
10/30/08 6:04 AM
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jonpall
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Thanks a lot for taking the time to write that! I really appreciate it. That was a fun read. Btw. I also really like Steve Vai and I'm digging Reb Beach these days - I think he has a lot of chops and feel. But do you know some of Doug's scales and patterns?
10/30/08 7:54 PM
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Nostradumbass
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I know what you are referring to. He plays a lot of patterns and scales that he moves around that sound really cool- lots of hammer-ons and pull offs. He has a cool way of doing it. He was always emphasizing learning the modes and the theoretical stuff. Am pentatonic runs were a big one with him. He'd come up with some cool picking patterns. I wasn't disciplined enough to learn all of what he wanted me to know- I was just into playing rock guitar and wanted to up my shredding ability a little more.

I can try to dig out the old lessons he used to put down on the Ernie Ball guitar neck paper. I'll figure out a way to post them if I can find and scan them.

Last night (thanks to your post), I took a little trip down memory lane on youtube. If you search youtube and in your search, type in "doug aldrich -whitesnake", it will yield about 70 or so results. Some of them are instructional Guitar Lessons from him and his "I bet you can't play this" piece for Guitar World. It also showed him demoing the new Randy Rhoads stack at NAMM and there's an excellent interview with him on there as well.

Here, he talks about modes (he shreds a little after the 5 minute mark):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwhzkC1E2U
(the last minute is what you'll probably find most useful with what yuo're asking form above)

Another cool thing about him, besides being as humble as can be was that he used to let me and my friends play all his guitars- even the new ones that Grover had just given him.... Most guitarists have 3 times the ego and not a third of the talent as Doug...
11/5/08 6:50 PM
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jonpall
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Awesome! Thanks again! One of these days I want to put some of my own shredding on youtube ;)

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