Monster Licks: E Minor Blues and Diminished 7th Scales

In this lick, I'm using the E pentatonic blues and diminished 7th scales. This is one of my favorite combinations for rock soloing. I'm also using legato, string skipping and tapping.

These are are commonly used with modal playing but less commonly used with the pentatonic and diminished scales, mainly due to the large intervals that are created, as it is quite demanding on your fingers. So if some of the lines in this lick are a little too much for your stretch right now, simply move the idea higher up on the fretboard, and as you become more comfortable move them back into this position.

The Lick:

I start this lick with a legato pattern and then start extending the scale into three notes per string to set up the diminished 7th scale. The thing to watch out for here is when I tap the first note; everything from that point on is either legato or tapping. This is very tricky, as you really have to be conscious of pronouncing the notes very clearly.

My general rule for tapping is that I try and hit the notes as hard as I can so they really jump out. If you are too light with your touch, they will simply get lost. The goal is to have the notes almost sound like they where picked.

There is a lot of information in this one small lick, so even if you are at the early stages of your guitar playing journey, simply dissect a small part of the lick and work on that. It isn't important to be able to play the whole lick or even to be able to play it fast; the idea is that you take some of these ideas and incorporate them into your own playing and style.

(Image credit: Glenn Proudfoot)

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