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Chris Impellitteri: Speed Soloing

With the aid of up-close camera shots and on screen tablature, Chris Impellitteri analyzes and discusses improvisational tools critical for composing contemporary rock leads.

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Needs to Be Remade!

Comments I've been a fan of Chris Impellitteri for a while now. I found his video in a DVD form for $10.00. Unfortunately, after a diligent search, I wasn't able to find an official website for any of the companies that helped make this video. I'm assuming they changed names, the type of business they conduct, or went out of business altogether. I honestly wish I could get the official VHS, but it seems that it's a collector's item that is difficult if not impossible to get.

For starters, if I had to reduce in the essence of the video into simplest terms, it's about speed through economy. This is a topic that he reiterates constantly in all his work. The non-offical DVD version doesn't come with a tab book. The tabs are onscreen. If Chris remade this DVD, he would likely include a diagram for finger positions like he did in his subsequent publications. Until then, you're best bet is to make your own diagram using a notebook, blank tabs, or a sheet of graph paper (personal preference for its versatility). The diagrams that he uses for Young Guitar can be found online, so you can have a reference.

The video is pretty blurry and it was made in the early 90's so be patient with it. Most of the motifs are in Harmonic Minor, which is a minor scale with the seventh degree shifted up by half a step. He mostly focuses on building speed on one string and moving the consistency to the rest of the strings. A huge portion of the video uses that technique for building speed. He follows up with a diminished pattern which eliminates tonal gravity and allows you to change keys or move up and down the neck.

Of course what no shred video can be without, Arpeggios! He teaches 5 and 6 arpeggios and ways to blend with alternate picking sequences and some string skipping. What I like about Impellitteri's approach, is that he doesn't have bland exercises that sound dull in a musical context. Not just repeating sweeps patterns endlessly with very little melodic texture.

One of Chris's trademarks is his use of hybrid picking. Here, he maintains the tonal gravity with the same note on the high E, while he does alternate picking on the lower strings. He moves on to pentatonics, the blues scale, and a little tapping. This is the part where a tab book would be helpful. Before you typecast Chris as a neo-classical shredder, realize that he includes hammer-pull sequences that were very popular in 80s rock acts such as "Guns 'n' Roses".

I've been reading many of the forums regarding this video from fans trying to get a hold of this video to other people bashing it heavily. Most of them are people poking fun at his hair and his tone. Quite often, shredders have problems with single coil pick-ups creating excessive noise, and generally address the problem with a noise reduction pedal. Chis has long since addressed that problem with his new Dean Shred Signature Spider, which has a humbucker and a single coil pickup. However, on videos he's most often seen with the Dead Split Tail Floyd which also really adds to his sound.

I think that Chris should make another video. Not just for Young Guitar Magazine, but a remake of this one. It should include a tab book, his finger diagrams, alternate angles and maybe him talking about his latest album or gear. Not to mention I feel like I'm doing him an injustice by not purchasing an official copy. I would if it was available.

Liked about it +On-screen tab
+Has simple, but effective pointers
+Insight into more interesting melodic phrasing

Didn't like +The official original version is no longer available!?
+No tab book?
+Fuzzy picture

Overall satisfaction:

By psychokannibal
Oct 08, 2011
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