S.A.T.O. Wizardry

 by Steph Lexner

Born 1956 in Santa Monica, Randy Rhoads’ technical wizardry elevated him to the status of Guitar God before he reached the age of twenty. He was the creative force behind Ozzy Osbourne’s first two solo albums, and this week’s lick features a blistering run from the bat eater’s second release “Diary of a Madman”.

Based in the key of D minor blues (oops, remember to tune the guitar down ½ step- it’s really C# minor blues), the lick starts with a classic Chuck Berry-style bend from G to A, followed by the A on the second string, 10th fret. In bar 1, note the chromatic descending run from the b6 (Bb) to the b5 (Ab), then the skip from Ab down to F, that imparts a spooky, diminished arpeggio vibe to the passage. Randy uses the same strategy in bar 2, going from Ab up to the high D, skipping over the perfect 5th (A)- a neat trick that yields an “outside” quality to the phrase. In bar 3, Rhoads plays a descending minor third interval (F-D) then slides it down the neck chromatically, further stressing the overall spookiness of the passage. Finally, note the 1 ½ step bend in bar 4 combined with a seriously wicked pinch harmonic that is held well into the next bar. Add vibrato to taste.

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