Guitar Strength: A Guide to “Symmetrical” Shredding
I remember someone telling me that George Lynch once said he heard B.B. King say something that instantly improved his guitar style.
It went something like this: “If you play a wrong note, play it again like you mean it and it’ll sound like the best note you played all night.”
The dubious origins of this gem aside, I’ve always found this to be an almost religious concept to strive toward, where any note can work anywhere if it is done with purposeful conviction.
In a guitar-player-friendly form, an easy way to play a lot of these purposefully performed “wrong” notes with conviction is through the use of licks and phrases composed of symmetrical fingerings. The trick with these is that they use the same fingering and fretting on all six strings and don’t adhere to any pure scale continuity, so you need to fit them into a fretboard context that relates to the key or chord (and its associated fingerings) you’re playing in/over.