In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E minor pentatonic scale along with the diminished 7 arpeggio. The techniques I'm using here are arpeggio sweeps, legato and tapping.
This lick is my favorite way to create chaos in a solo.
We all know a guitar solo should be driven by melody, but every solo needs some craziness, too. The pentatonic scale is very melodic by nature, so even when playing fast licks or runs with this scale, there's still an underlying beauty to it (while the speed takes care of the extremeness needed to lift your soloing to new heights).
I'm not saying you need to play like this in all of your solos, but if used tastefully, licks like this can really set your playing apart from others.
Using these techniques with the pentatonic scale is not easy; the stretches and fingerings can prove very difficult. But it's well worth the effort. The pentatonic scale is easily the most recognizable scale in music; we use it in nearly every genre. This should be reason enough to want to study it as much as possible.
It was my love of blues guitar that first drove me to this scale. What I found as my understanding grew was that it is adapted into all styles of music/guitar playing. I found that nearly every guitar player I loved based his/her playing around this scale, and this got me tremendously excited.
This lick is an extreme example of a way to combine these techniques with the pentatonic and diminished 7th. For any guitar players out there who might be just beginning their journey as a player, don't be deterred by the complexity of this lick. Just let it inspire you to practice hard, knowing that the possibilities are really endless!
Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, Lick Em, in 2010. It's available on iTunes and at glennproudfoot.com. His brand-new instrumental album — Ineffable — is out now and is available through glennproudfoot.com and iTunes (opens in new tab).