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.

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Pre-Bending

Lesson for the advanced string-bend technique or pre-bending, (having a note bent before you play it). This can help you emulate a whammy bar, or develop a Mid or Far Eastern flavour to your playing.

Example 1

Ex1 Tab

Example 2

Ex2 Tab

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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Technique: String Bending

String bending is awesome. I won’t bore you, (rather, myself), with the physics of string bending, but the gist of it is when you make a guitar string tighter the pitch becomes higher, just like when you tune a guitar, or add a tighten-up a new string. This can be useful when you want to reach a note with a bit more ‘oomf’ or ‘p-zazz’ than simply fretting it, as it adds a literal and emotional tension, making it that much more satisfying to hear when done well. Unfortunately, it’s also true that when you screw-up a string bend it sounds totally naff, and you spend the rest of the day wishing you’d just fretted the note like a boring person…

Great players who have really nailed this technique in a rock style would be Doug Aldrich, (Whitesnake, Dio), Joe Satriani, and Slash, (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver). I highly recommend giving them a listen and pay close attention to when, how and where on the neck they bend.

If you’re not into rock, I’d suggest studying BB King and Buddy Guy.