Guitarists who improvise in any style-rock, blues, country, bluegrass, jazz, metal-have to have an arsenal of hot licks to draw upon. Little tricks which, played at just the right moment, can elevate the music to another level and blast an audience right out of their seats. All of my favorite players have their own signature licks that kill me every time I hear them. This is what inspired me to take up the guitar in the first place.
In this lesson, we will go over two unique voicings of tapped arpeggios that, once mastered, will open other creative doorways for you to expand upon this approach and apply it to other avenues of your playing. These arpeggios are demonstrated here in groupings of four. Like most of my licks that require unassisted hammer-ons, a string dampener would be recommended here.
Like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana is one of the most significant players to emerge from the Sixties music scene. By fusing elements of electric blues, rock, jazz and Latin, he created a signature sound that is instantly recognizable and inspirational to guitarists across the spectrum of musical genres.
Using open strings is a great way to add texture and atmosphere to any chord progression. By adding open strings to even the simplest chords, you can create voicings that sound sophisticated, but are really easy (and fun) to play. They're practical, not intimidating, and most certainly don't sound like "jazz chords."
Learning to improvise over jazz tunes in a convincing fashion means learning how to move between creating tension and resolving this tension in your lines and phrases. Though there are a ton of different ways to create tension in your lines, from using exotic scales to advanced chord substitutions, one of the easiest and quickest ways to achieve this sound in your solos is to use chromatic passing chords, especially over ii-V-I progressions.
In this Sick Lick, I'm using a combination of the “Natural E Minor Pentatonic," Flat 5 (blues scale) and Major 3rd Pentatonic. Many players forget there is a difference between these scales, and the “Natural Pentatonic” often gets overlooked and replaced by these other variations. There is a significant difference between them, and they should all be given the same respect and attention.
Over the past three columns we’ve looked at several cool-sounding hexatonic (six-note) scales and learned how to create new ones by combining two triads (three-note chords) that don’t duplicate any notes. Now I’d like to show you an easy way to transpose your favorite hexatonic scales to different keys and get more musical mileage out of them by viewing them from different harmonic perspectives.
This month, we'll look at fast-and-furious repetition licks in the styles of five Eighties rock guitar shred gods. Using these kinds of licks during at least one point in a solo in a cornerstone of rock lead guitar playing and is an effective device for raising energy and intensity.