Style Study - Dave Murray

  • 03/18/2016
  • JamPlay, LLC
Throughout his career, Murray's guitar style has been mainly of the legato based solo variety, and, his sound and style can be distinguished from Janick Gers' and Adrian Smith's style, mostly because of his frequent use of the neck pickup. This makes for a fluid and smooth sound with lots of expression and control. The common misconception about the term "Legato" is that it equates to using hammer-ons and pull-offs, this is not necessarily always the case. Legato, in fact, means "smoothly" so actually, it is possible to play smoothly even with the pick, if we were to control the attack evenly. The knack with achieving a legato sound is to keep all the notes even and in a constant stream, with no notes jumping out in volume. It is important as musicians that we not only practice licks, but that we also practice dynamics, i.e. loud, soft, medium, and that we develop an acute sense of this.

Lick Breakdown

Lick 1
The First lick sees the explicit use of hammer-ons and pull-offs to great musical effect. In using this technique, not only can we achieve great speeds, but also a smooth sound. Be sure to keep the pick notes dynamically even with the slurred ones.

Dave Murray Style Study

Lick 2
The Aeolian mode is used here to create an emotive rock sound. This mode is also referred to as natural minor. In a rock context it is more often seen as an extension to the minor pentatonic scale. It is good to expand your harmonic vocabulary by introducing this mode into your rock playing.

Dave Murray Licks

Lick 3
This example is a good example of how palm muting can be used to create a defined rhythmical backdrop to a melody, in this case it is the low E string that is muted the most, allowing the other notes to stand out more. This gives the riff a strong backbone to bounce off.

Understanding Dave Murray