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Sick Licks: Crazy Transitions in the E Diminished Scale

In this Sick Lick, I'm using the E diminished scale.

This is one of my favorite scales. Not only does it create a powerful sound; it also works very well with the pentatonic scale and can be adapted to anything from jazz to metal.

I incorporate a lot of three- and six-string arpeggios while using the diminished scale. It's a great way to move around the guitar at speed, and it creates a real intensity in your soloing.

There are some crazy transitions in here, first with the long legato line on the high E string, then when I bring my hand over the top for the six-string arpeggio section.

The legato transition is actually a very pretty technique when adapted in a melodic sense and can be used to create some beautiful lines. But in this case, we are using it to SHRED!

You will notice the line before I use my right index finger to fret the guitar is all legato. This is so I can make the transition sound smooth while allowing my picking hand to have the time to fret the notes.

It's best to break these licks apart and practice them in sections, focusing on the parts you find a little tricky and building from there. Also, as I've mentioned in previous lessons, just take from these ideas what you like! It's not important to be able to play this lick from start to finish. The important thing is to take something from it to add to your guitar arsenal!

The over-the-top section is, once again, a very difficult technique to get a handle on; like all techniques, it requires practice.

Your thumb is the key here. You must be applying pressure with your thumb as you would be if you were fretting the guitar normally. Without this, you will never gain the control you need. I just think of this as if I were playing the piano. It's the same kind of technique, using the same muscles.

The transitions are the key to this technique, as mentioned above. I suggest you focus on the lead into the “Over The Top” section (the long legato line) the most, because once you've mastered this, the rest will follow very quickly. The main thing here is to have fun with the idea! It's something new and challenging and a little crazy -- so take from it what ever you like!

Whenever you master new techniques, whether or not you use them in your soloing, you will be a better player for having put the work in! This is why I challenge myself in every area and style of guitar possible.

Rock on!

Check out the Sick Lick video below -- and the transcription right below it. I hope you enjoy it!

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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 is available on iTunes and at Glenn was featured in the October 2010 issue of Guitar World and now creates "Betcha Can’t Play This" segments and lessons for GW. Glenn also has a monthly GW column, "Loud & Proud," which offers insight into his style and approach to the guitar. Glenn is working on a project with Ezekiel Ox (ex Mammal) and Lucius Borich (Cog), which is managed by Ted Gardner, ex-Tool and Jane's Addiction manager. The band has done pre-production on 22 tracks and is set to hit the studio and finish their first studio album. The album is set for release in 2012. Glenn also is working on the followup to his debut album; it, too, will be released in 2012.

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