Using A Drone Note With Fills

This Drone Note lesson is taken from my new book – Beyond Rhythm Guitar

A ‘drone’ is a note that rings continually underneath other notes. The idea in this lesson is to play an open string note and let it ring for as long as possible. The drone acts as a root note for you to base your lead licks around.

In example 9a I have written a multi-octave E Blues scale with a ringing low E string. Let it ring under as much of the scale as possible. You may need to re-pick the low E to keep it sounding as you go through the scale. Listen to the audio track to see how I achieve this.

Drone Note Example one 

Bands like Metallica often use drone notes under power chords to create a powerful effect. Example 9b demonstrates this with an E Blues scale fill.

Drone Note Example two

The E7#9 chord is synonymous with Jimi Hendrix and is often simply called ‘the Hendrix chord’. This Hendrix-style vamp blends drone notes, the Hendrix chord, E Blues scale fills, and two-note power chords.

Drone Note Example three

Example 9d demonstrates the triads (chords with only three notes) of E Minor, D, and C, and fills the gaps with the E Blues scale.

Drone Note Example four

In the next example, I show you how to apply double-stop patterns using the E Blues scale over the low E string drone note.

Drone Note Example five

All the examples featured in this lesson use an open ‘E’ drone note. Moving forward aim to use different open string notes underneath the riffs and licks you are writing. If you want to have an open string note that isn’t EADGBE, try putting a capo on to create the desired note.
For an amazing country rock drone song listen to Farmer Sez by Andy Timmons.

Check out my new book Beyond Rhythm Guitar for Hundreds of ways to improve and excite your rhythm guitar playing