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How to Play the Diagonal Form on Heavy Metal Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to play the diagonal form on guitar in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Let's talk about the diagonal form. When that term comes up, I believe most people are thinking the pentatonic shape that can be moved across the neck in a diagonal fashion. Normally when you learn the pentatonic scale it looks something like this. What is that exactly? It's actually just five notes played in octaves, right? One two three four five, one two three four five. You can do the same thing but diagonally. One two three four five. That's just on two strings. I'm moving up the neck. I do the exact same thing here, 7th fret. Then I can go to the next octave starting on the 10th fret. So, descending.

If I want to go up to the first string of the 5th fret and take advantage of all of the licks like this, then I should do the normal pentatonic shape. That puts me in that position. If I want to get higher on the neck I could do something more like this. It's much better for traveling up and down the neck. I could do the same thing with the major pentatonic scale. Normally, the major pentatonic looks like this. If I play that up and down the neck. I can also play that with a slide.

These are just a few of the things you can do with diagonal forms. I hope you've enjoyed this lesson.

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