Biography[ edit ] Richie Kotzen began playing piano at the age of five. At the age of seven, he was inspired to learn the electric guitar by the band Kiss. He created the video Rock Chops for REH video in , highlighting many of his formative techniques, including using wide-intervals and fluid sweeping. One year later, a second solo album called Fever Dream was released, which was the first one to also feature his lead vocals.
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Welcome to this Richie Kotzen tech session. Richie is very skilled in developing lines that are rhythmically and harmonically exciting, over traditional Rock grooves and utilises a series of modern techniques such as legato, hybrid picking, sweep picking and tapping.
It never becomes harmonically complex but the techniques and lines will take some practice, even for more advanced players, so take it slow and remember to have fun. LICK 1 This first line is built from a 5th position Em pentatonic scale with the 9th added in for melodic embellishment. Not too much to watch out for here other than the off beat 16th notes and making sure your intonation is good on those bends.
In bar 7, the 6th or 13th degree of the Em tonality is introduced giving us a brief E Dorian sound typical of more fusionesque material. This is instantly recognisable and is employed heavily by Richie in many of his solos and those of fellow guitarist and friend, Greg Howe. The technique involves a three note, rolling phrase that is sequenced up the neck, again incorporating the 9th degree of the Em pentatonic scale. This is a pretty straightforward lick but watch out for the second bar containing a tricky slide from the 12th to 9th frets on the G-string and a tricky fingering moving down a E major triad in beats 2 and 3.
The final beat is also tricky due to the sudden change of gear from 16th notes to 32nd notes, so make sure you practice slowly to get the fingering down before trying to speed this up at all. LICK 5 Here we have the first of our trademark fast legato lines. Richie is definitely from the modern school of legato playing, where every note is perfectly in time, in this case using 16th note triplets to create a horn like line that snakes around the neck.
Watch the tricky fingering in the 2nd beat where the phrase string skips from the 5th fret on the B-string to the 5th on the D-string. The main things to work on here are the timing and hybrid picking as demonstrated in the video. By using hybrid picking the line becomes more synchronised and in time, allowing for less left hand movement than by using the pick alone.
The slides at the end of the lick should also be performed in time so make sure you practice slowly to develop your rhythmic accuracy. This is followed by a simple melodic phrase but pay particular attention to how I slide in and out of the notes to add a vocal quality to the playing.
The final part of the phrase is an alternate picked Emadd9 arpeggio using an economical fingering in 4th position.
Richie wears many of his influences on his sleeve and so should you. Be proud of where your playing stems from! LICK 8 Here we see some rhythmic creativity again with a simple five note phrase that is made interesting thanks to being displaced by a single 16th note rest.
LICK 9 This phrase returns the solo to legato territory and is simply an Em Blues scale played as a three note per string pattern. There are some wider stretches here but the phrase has a liquidy quality that would be very hard to achieve any other way. As with the previous legato line make sure you concentrate on the timing here and become as accurate as you can. The end of the phrase is a lightning fast Blues run using some arpeggio based descending lines to add intervallic interest.
LICK 10 Here we have a simple melodic phrase utilising screaming bends and wide vibrato to give a vocal quality that wails after the fast runs of the previous line. A rhythmically displaced Blues lick is then used to add a climax to this section before the new riff is introduced.
This phrase may take a bit of practice to achieve thanks to the tricky fingering but persevere and try this kind of rhythmically displaced phrase in your own solos.
I start this pentatonic phrase with an upstroke, playing two notes per string but you could perform the same line starting with a down-stroke if that feels more comfortable for you.
Notice how the phrase accelerates as the scale is ascended, giving a cool effect to the line and increasing tension. Try not to tense up too much as you accelerate through the scale. LICK 12 This final phrase is a direct copy of the riff underneath but moves through three octaves before changing to an octave B phrase and finishing on an E7 9 chord. Nothing tricky here but remember to perform the lick with the correct accents, grouping the phrases as four groups of three and a group of four.
So there we have it! I wish the best of luck and would love to hear your results! Read the full article This article was originally published in issue 14 To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine.
Richie Kotzen Tabs