Lick of the Day: The Jazzy Kraken

Today's free Lick of the Day comes courtesy of Soulfly guitarist Mark Rizzo, who shares a lick that is adapted from the ending of the track "Release the Kraken," from his solo album, Legionnaire. It's a jazzy phrase that implies a Bm7 chord with some precise picking, based on the B blues scale (B D E F F♯ A B), and also shifts chromatically up to Cm7.

With the exception of bar 4, the lick is played entirely in seventh position and utilizes a combination of alternate picking and rigid hammer-ons to create a more solid structure in the usually looser confines of jazz.

The first four notes of the lick make a great little pattern to practice repeatedly with alternate picking to ensure that your left and right hands are in sync. Try to make sure the change from the seventh fret to the ninth is locked exactly to each downstroke. It may seem repetitive, but it's a fantastic accuracy drill!

The Bm7 chord at the end of bars 2, 6 and 8 is most easily fretted by barring your ring finger across the D, G and B strings at the seventh fret, then adding in your middle finger at the seventh fret on the low E and using the fleshy side of that finger to mute the unused A string.

Bar 4 shifts the chord shape up a half step, to Cm7, and is played with the same "grip" as the Bm7 chord, except you add a high D note at the 10th fret of the high E string, which makes it a minor nine chord (Cm9). Try to allow the notes to ring together as much as possible in this bar to provide a contrast to the short, sharp bursts of notes elsewhere in the lick.

Bar 8 ends the lick with a brief whole-tone phrase played in seventh position, stretching up to the 11th fret, and running down to G (B string, eighth fret) before wrapping up with a Cm7 chord left to ring, followed by a return to Bm7 and a descending slide-off.

Be sure to check out Lick of the Day, a free download for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch available at the App Store.

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