Welcome to Pentatonic Licks You Need To Know to be a great lead rock guitarist. In this segment, we’re going to up the ante just a bit!
Let’s dive in with Example 6. Here, we are actually playing only one pitch, E, repeatedly, but we are phrasing it in a way that sounds much more interesting than just 3 E’s in a row. First, we are bending a D note up to an E, followed by two E notes on the 12th fret of the first string. The picking pattern is written, down down up, but since originally writing this idea out several years ago, I have changed (or shall we say, improved) the picking pattern to be much more efficient, thanks to studying Tom Hess’ directional picking approach. Try picking up down up, as this allows you to always pick in the direction of the next string and stay on the inside of the strings. It takes a little getting used to, but it is a far more efficient way to pick!
As with the previous examples, practice Example 6 with overlap and speed bursts. Instead of practicing in 3-note bursts, practice in 4 note bursts. This will get you smoothly connecting the pieces in advance instead of trying to do it later and will save you a lot of practice time.
Example 7 is the first idea I ever played at truly high speeds. It’s a simple pull-off idea that combines two Pentatonic boxes to create a 3-note-per-string idea. As with the previous example, work on overlapping. TIP- Start with all three fingers already in place and release them one by one during the pull off’s. When you place the 17 back down to restart the idea, go ahead and place the 15th fret down at the same time (the index finger will remain on the 12th fret the entire time).
In Example 8, barre the first two strings at the 12th fret with your index finger to play this one. You can move each finger for each note and still achieve high speeds, but you can do it with much more ease with the barre in place.
Example 9 is the easiest one to play of the bunch, and it’s a classic blues lick. Use your 3rd finger to roll back and forth across the 14th fret of the D and G strings before ending with strong vibrato on the 12th fret of the third string.
Finally, Example 10 is an Eddie Van Halen-style tapping lick that requires use of your picking hand’s middle finger to execute the taps. Make sure you hold on to your pick with your thumb and index finger like you normally would. Don’t throw the pick away, put it in your mouth, or do anything else with it like so many amateur guitarists do. Keep it in place! Practice this one by always overlapping and ending on the tapped noted. Avoid ending on the 15th fret to allow for smoother transitions and faster progress.
About the Shredderific Author: Mr. Bourassity himself, Eric THE Bourassa, likes to think of himself more highly than he ought, and is in frequent need of humbling himself. While working on his humility, Eric likes to play and teach guitar from his lessons studio in the Fort Worth, Texas area (also known as The Metroplex).