Barred From Sounding Ordinary

Welcome to my sixth column at the world's greatest guitar site, “Chops From Hell”!!!! Watch for my first CFH Advanced Shred Instructional CD-ROM coming out through them, soon!!!!

Today, I would like to discuss a technique that I like to use a lot called “Pentatonic Finger-Barring”. This can be used to add some really unique sounds to your soloing, as well as coordinate your hands beyond the normal scope of playing.

Lick #1 starts out with a cool finger-barring repeating riff, which then heads off into a finger-sliding position shift. This shows you one example of how you could keep going after the repeating lick ends without being stuck in that same box-style position. Keep a close eye on the picking strokes.

Lick #2 takes you through an E-blues style finger-barring lick that shifts positions and covers all six strings low to high. Experiment around with these shapes and also, try descending within the same patterns and moving around in different keys. These licks are used by players in a huge variety of styles.

I have also included an extra MP3 of me messing around freestyle with some of my own finger-barring ideas. Crank it up!!!!

Email me with any questions you have about my playing or any guitar related subjects at all. I love to discuss different techniques.

Andy Garrett (nicknamed “StringMaster” by his friends) has played guitar and bass for 30 years, performed 100's of shows, and has worked professionally testing strings for Dean Markley/American Winding Company. He continues to release his instrumental guitar music independently through his own label “GBM Records” in Ocala, Florida; and is putting the finishing touches on material for his first instructional CD-ROM explaining his advanced shred techniques. You can contact Andy by email at and also download and burn your own CD-R of his free MP3 shred demos at and Also, check out Andy's current official homepage at