Skip to main content

Give your fingers a workout with this monster three-notes-per-string lick

In this lick, I'm using the diminished 7th scale and minor pentatonic in the key of E.

What really opened up these scales for me personally was incorporating the three-notes-per-string approach - as soon I did this I was exploding with new ideas.

One of the challenges I had while applying this approach were the wide intervals created by these scales, hence why they are traditionally taught with two-notes-per-string. If you persevere with this however, and get your fingers used to the wide intervals, the possibilities are endless.

The Lick

(Image credit: Glenn Proudfoot)

I start this lick with a three note legato pattern using the diminished scale. This pattern is very straightforward - I’m playing the scale backwards and forwards note by note, so it'll be easy for you to work up speed. Although I'm using the diminished scale here, I'm always thinking about what pentatonic shapes cross these scales. The pentatonic is always my road map to get in and out of this sound.

From there I move into the finger tapping section, which is set up by tapping two notes with my right hand using my second and third fingers. From there I move into two diminished arpeggios, which are both the same pattern just moved down the minor third. 

It is from this point that I transition into the minor pentatonic, once again with legato and three string arpeggios. I then extend this with finger tapping to create a huge, minor-sounding arpeggio. 

This lick can be used in an array of different styles, and doesn't have to be applied in its entirety. It can be broken down into parts, or you can merely take away some of the ideas here and apply them to your own unique sound and style.

With a lick like this, I'm not really concerned with the chordal changes that may be occurring, because I approach it more like a run rather than a melodic series of arpeggios. If you're after a melodic-sounding series of arpeggios though, then you can apply the techniques here and create a gorgeous melodic lick. 

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy! 

Follow Glenn Proudfoot on YouTubeInstagramFacebook or visit his website, glennproudfoot.com.