Blues-Rock Lick

Another blues-rock lick for your guitar repertoire.

Below is the tab for this lick, divided into sections. You’ll notice that Fig 1 is repeated in bar 3. I’m playing this at 100bpm, so I’d recommend playing slower than this at first, (it’s fine to play at any speed to begin with, no matter how slow, then work your way up to 100bpm, maybe even up to 130bpm.)

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Here’s a backing track for this exercise, but a bit faster than I’m playing it in the vid.

Intermediate String Bends

This is a staple blues / rock / metal trick that you will have heard at some point as a listener. If you need to, refresh your memory on the Bm scale and the ideas outlined in my first String Bending lesson.

For the first bend you’ll want your first finger fretting the target pitch, which is at the 9th fret of the B string. Your second or third finger will start on the 7th fret of the G string.

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In the example below, notice that the letter “b” is used to indicate a string bend, and the number that appears in brackets next to it is the location of the pitch you’re aiming for. This is what we call a Full-Tone Bend.

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Here you’ll want your first finger fretting the target pitch again, which is the 9th fret of the E string. This time your third or fourth finger will start on the 8th fret of the B string.

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This is the same deal as the previous bend, it’s just taking place on a different fret. You can also apply some vibrato once you’ve hit your target pitch, as indicated by the “v”.

tumblr_mx1q7ykHDY1rvyc2jo3_400 Remember, when you bend a note, usually the listener will hear the target pitch as the one that’s been affected rather than the starting note, which is pretty much the opposite of what we’re experiencing as the performer. It’s important to get around this idea early on as it can hold you back later.

That being the case, you shouldn’t worry too much about the starting pitch of your bend – provided the target pitch is solid and you’ve got good intonation, no one will really mind where the note started.

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Once you’ve got solid intonation and your fingers are getting used to the idea of doing a silly amount of bending work, try playing around with slackening-off the bend here and there, or really slowing it down you to get a very tense pitch raise. Add vibrato here and there as well for a bit more flavour.

The next step would be the advanced bending techniques of Over Bending and Pre-Bending.

Awesome Slide-Legato Lick #1

This is an awesome, visually impressive and cool sounding, lick which relies on solid slide and legato techniques.

Legato phrases, as you should know, rely on fretting hand techniques such as slide, hammer-ons and pull-offs. In this lick we are using a slide technique in-between picking a note’s 5th on the adjacent string. Sound complicated, right? It also looks kickass.

Performance directions available in the video below.

Here’s the warm-up tab, start practising at around 80bpm, with 100bpm as your target.

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Here is the entire lick tab. Again, start slow and work up to 100bpm. Faster is obviously cooler, but only if you’re playing cleanly and clearly.

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Example Song #4: Power Chords & Palm Mutes

             This song is a demonstration of two very common techniques within rock, pop and blues music. Power Chords, as you should already know, are used in place of full Open or Barre chords, in genres where guitars are usually distorted. Palm muting allows you to control the tone and volume of your guitar. If you’re a bit shaky on either concept, you may want to go back and refresh your memory.
Palm mutes are usually indicated by dots under the notes, as you can see below every open E string note.

In the first three bars we have an alternating un-muted / muted pattern. We start off playing the E5 twice un-muted, followed by two muted open E notes, (these are all quaver notes by the way, and should all be played evenly). We then play two un-muted D5’s, followed by the open E string twice again.
We continue to alternate like this until the end of the third bar where we leave off the final pair of open E mutes.
In the fourth bar we hit a pair of C5’s followed by a pair of D5’s. These powerchords are of the larger variety, which include the octave and give it a bigger sound.
Remember the repeat markings at the end. In the video we repeat this once before ending on the E5.

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         Aim to build up to around 110bpm. In the video I start at 100bpm, but there’s no shame in starting at 90 or 80 instead if you need to.