Joe Satriani Style Legato Lick

This post breaks down a run in the style of a player, whose legato technique I’ve admired for many years – Joe Satriani.

Joe Satriani Style Legato Lick

The video begins with my demonstration of the run at full speed and moves on to the breakdown straight afterwards. This is a 3-note-per string legato run and for those uninitiated here is a primer on the legato technique and 3-note-per string scales. It’s important to have a good understanding of both of those concepts before attempting this run. Once you’re up to speed it’s worth noting the basic left hand position needed for this, which you can see me using in the video – the thumb round the back, wrist arched slightly and plenty of space between hand & guitar neck. This is a must for this style of wide-interval-stretch legato playing – the Hendrix style, thumb over the top ‘baseball bat’ position can only hinder the player when playing this run. Both left hand positions have their place but for this exercise we need the former specifically.

The key we are playing in is the decidedly un-Satch like A Aeolian(Natural Minor) which is the 6th mode of C Major. I could have gone for a mode more obviously associated with Satch but I thought ‘Why not use this as a chance to inject a bit of my own sound?’. Not that I know better than Joe but may as well grease the creative wheels whilst I’m at it. Also the important take away is the technique behind the legato run which can be extrapolated to other modes.

The constituent notes of A Aeolian are – A, B, C, D, E, F & G

This gives us the intervals – Root Note, Major 2nd, Minor 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Minor 6th & Minor 7th – A dark sounding minor mode

If I’ve left anything unexplained then please comment at the bottom of this post or in the comments section of the video on YouTube


Download (PDF, 38KB)

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2 comments on “Joe Satriani Style Legato Lick
  1. Frank says:

    RE: Joe Satriani Style Legato Lick

    This is great, but what I like the most is your awesome rhythm playing. Can you provide a rough chord chart? The power chords shouldn’t be a problem, but the arpeggiated chord is a challenge to hear and sweep just right. Thanks!

    • Greg Barnett says:

      Thanks a lot Frank. I’ve got a few articles on here that may cover your query. If not have a look through my Patreon page. Did you mean specifically Sweep Picking? Thanks. Greg

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