guitar lessons | Kevin Estrella, Pyramids On Mars™ | Building Melodic Themes from Arpeggios


Building Melodic Themes from Arpeggios (Spectre of Orion Chorus)

Description (by Kevin Estrella)

We look at the chorus of ‘Spectre of Orion’ by Pyramids on Mars. I show how I take a very dissonant chord progression (tri-tones) and put together a melody using arpeggios. By finding common notes shared among the chords we can put together a melodic sequence that becomes pleasing to the ear. I come across this quite often in the writing process, coming up with a melody when the chord sequence is sometimes not that friendly! It turns into a kind of musical puzzle.This shows how to use arpeggios to piece together common threads.

Lesson here.

Kevin is the guitarist and composer of instrumental rock band Pyramids on Mars™. His music is hard rock, industrial, and metal infused with lead guitar melodies inspired by violin melodies of Baroque classical composers Bach & Vivaldi.

His lessons feature classical style lead techniques with Neo-Classical influences.

Kevin loves Yngwie Malmsteen. He wanted to learn to think like Malmsteen. This meant listening to his influences. Kevin discovered Bach, Vivaldi, and Paganini. Kevin’s goal was to make his guitar sound more like a violin, or harpsichord.

He developed a new style and approach to the instrument.

Lessons taught

  • Violin Melodic Phrasing
  • Pedal Tones
  • Diatonic Extensions
  • Symmetrical Scales (Harmonic Minor, Phrygian, Japanese)
  • Dom 7th and Major 7th arpeggios used by Jason Becker
  • Sweep Picking
  • String Skipping Arpeggios
  • Alternate Picking, Legato (In the Style of Joe Satriani)
  • Neo-Classical and Classical Style melodic phrasing in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen
  • J.S Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Nicolo Paganini, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker.

View lessons and subscribe here

If you like Kevin’s fingerboard art, you can order one here.


Author: Shay

With an entrepreneurial career covering decades, Shay Drinkwalter has worked in media content creation, copywriting, and branding for over 40 years. Shay started at a local outlet now part of Metroland Media Group, covering regional sports, after a political correspondent at the local and national level. For a two-decade span, she was a stockbroker and then executive of a national securities firm, meanwhile providing content for periodicals, newsletters, national corporations, and not-for-profits. She is a founding member of the Canadian Freelance Guild/CWA, a former radio show host, and co-founder/editor of a local digital news platform. Shay is a publicist and curator for a UK indie platform. She covers artists of all genres, from around the globe. She provides popular music content for an NYC content firm. Additionally, she writes for music, literary, and foodie blogs. Shay’s blog, thebuzzr, promotes independent artists. Feedspot recognized the blog in its 2020 Top 20 Music Marketing blogs. When not writing, through The Buzz Roll Media™ she engages in publicity (PR), content creation, and creative media for indie artists, bands & venues. Another project, Buzzr Stagewear, creates stage wear for bands & artists. (a bit busy, yet loves it) For most of her story, she was a big city lady. In contrast, she now writes, podcasts & creates from her home studio situated in rural Ontario.