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Linking Pentatonic Licks

The Justinguitar.com Blues Guitar Lessons

In this lesson we're going to be looking at 5 licks that you can use to link your pentatonic patterns - but more importantly we're going to be looking the CONCEPTS behind the licks so you can adapt and explore the licks many different ways.

This 'concept' idea is a very big deal and something you should try to take on board in many aspects of your playing as you grow and need more food than the licks themselves ;)

Video Lesson

Lick TABs

Lick 1

The concept is this: note - note - slide to next position. Nail it in this lick and them move it to other patterns and see where it takes you. Remember sometimes it'll take you somewhere awkward and sour, but other times it'll take you somewhere awesome... remember the latter!

Lick 2

The concept here is just not being afraid to jump with any finger, in this case it's Finger 1, but it's just something I feel a lot of people are scared of - like they need something fancy to move pattern, but you don't!

Lick 3

Pick, flick, slide. It's just a little pattern you can explore and have some fun with. Experiment. Reverse it? What else could you do to explore the concept? do it!

Lick 4

The rhythmic echo is a great tool for shifting position and you'll find with some practice it makes your playing sound more 'musical too!

Lick 5

This one is another common concept used on strings 1&2 so I thought I'd displace it for you. Play a note on string 3, play the nearest scale note on string 2, back to the first note and then slide to the next patter. Repeat. How else can you do it? other string pairs? do they have to be next to each other? can you do the same but do down the neck? try it!

 

Homework and Practice

Your aim this week is to memorize and work in all 5 of these licks and then explore the concept behind each one. Try and get into the schedule below.

Stage 1 - Learn The Lick - 5 Minutes
Get the lick under you fingers. Make sure the notes are clean, bends are in tune, no open strings ringing out and you can play it rhythmically correctly.

Stage 2 - Use The Lick - 5 Minutes
Jam the lick over a backing track. Start with it 'as written' and then gradually develop it and start exploring other ways you might play it, change the notes.

Stage 3 - Mix The Lick In - 5 Minutes
Another jam session over a backing track but this time you need to work the new lick in with licks you already know. Figure out cool ways of getting in and out of the lick and find licks that it works well with.

Stage 4 - Explore The Concept - 10 Minutes
Spend some time now exploring the concept and see what else you can milk out of the idea. Long to term you need to find the concepts in the licks and riffs you learn and then learn how to exploit them!

Remember to listen out for these licks and concepts whenever you're listening to the blues records you dig.

Additional Resources

Recommended Album
Remember that listening to great Blues is an essential part of the course, so try and check out all my recommended albums, they're the best of the best!

John Lee Hooker: The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948-1954

John Lee Hooker : The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948-1954

John Lee Hooker was the real deal, son a sharecropper, born in 1917 and was a very influential blues cat who was an electric pioneer on the Delta style. These 'modern' recording (it's the label name!) are some of his best and he's playing solo and raw and you'll hear early incarnations of some of his later big hits.

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Lesson ID: BL-611