I tap with my middle finger and begin this lick by flicking the string with the finger to get the sound going, doing a "phantom" pull-off to the A note at the fifth fret. I then play a sequence that goes "hammer, tap, pull" and repeats as I move across the strings, initiating the first note on each lower string with a "hammer-on from nowhere."
I like to play a lot of things legato, using whatever hammer-ons and pull-offs are available in any given position that my fret-hand fingers are in. I’m also inclined to do a lot of hybrid picking [pick and fingers], using picked down-strokes in tandem with upstrokes of the middle finger. This enables me to do a lot of string skipping very efficiently, with much less pick-hand movement and effort than would be required using only the pick.
This is a sweep-picking fiesta that zigzags across the top five strings and up and down the neck. The first six bars consist of a Dm arpeggio (D F A) played in various inversions and positions, with each bar being played in a different position.
In this brand-new edition of Betcha Can't Play This, metal guitarist Ethan Brosh (using a Fender HM Strat) demonstrates a lightning-fast C Lydian lick that sounds a bit like The Simpsons theme song, at least at the very beginning.
I love runs like this, and I play these types of elongated patterns often. Here, I pick the first note on each string and use hammer-ons, pull-offs and legato slides, at times in combination, to give the notes some variation in attack and create smooth phrasing.