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Shred Licks

Hello everyone!

It's great to be back on this awesome site! In this lesson, we are going to learn some shred licks. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the term "Shred".

The licks I'm going to show you will be great for your technique. Remember to alternate-pick these examples. Also, use a metronome or drum machine to keep everything even.

Before we head into it here are the file-downloads for this article:
Powertab file
PDF file (This one also shows the fingerings for the licks)

Shred Lick #1

Our first example is a linear style lick in Em (E, F#, G, A, B, C, D).It's great for your alternate-picking and it's challenging to play in a clean manner.

The lick uses strict 16th note triplets and incorporates a melodic phrase moving through the scale across the neck very quickly. Make sure you follow the fingerings on this one. Begin very slowly and precisely and build up speed without missing notes.

Click HERE to hear a fast version of Lick #1,
or HERE to hear a slow version.

Shred-Lick #2

Another great challenging picking lick with string skipping. This is off my "Total Freedom" CD, from a track called "Freedom", which is full of fast passages like this one. It's in Em, just like Ex.1.

Also, there is a 'classical violin type' phrase moving through the scale in 16th note triplets. For the first bar and a half, we are playing only on the E and B strings, then we jump from the E to the G.

Make sure your left and right hands are in synch or else it will sound sloppy. You should pull out your metronome or drum machine for this one. Try moving this idea along other strings and apply it to other scales.

Click HERE to hear a fast version of Lick #2,
or HERE to hear a slow version.

Shred-Lick #3

This one is an excerpt from a song called "Prelude" from my "Vibe" CD. This example uses the B Harmonic minor scale (B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A#). This lick has a very classical sound to it.

Bar one kicks off with a B minor arpeggio (B,D,F#). I'm using the sweep-picking technique to play this arpeggio. Hammer the first two notes, B and D and rake across the strings using only down strokes, except the high B which is to be played with an upstroke.

Make sure you lift off each finger as you ascend up the arpeggio, and you mustn't let the notes run together like a chord. This lick also incorporates a 4 note scale sequence and pedal points common in classical music.

Remember, don't forget to follow the exact fingerings for this.

Click HERE to hear a fast version of Lick #3,
or HERE to hear a slow version.

Shred-Lick #4

Here we have a crazy string skipping legato lick with some wide left hand stretches. Be careful with your left hand on this one. The phrase consists entirely of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Just pick each string once and let your left hand do all the work.

Basically, it's just 2 arpeggios played together, Em13th without the 9th and the 11th (E, G, B, C#, D) and Fdim7th (F, Ab, B, D).

Experiment with moving this one around the neck.

Click HERE to hear a fast version of Lick #4,
or HERE to hear a slow version.

OK, this wraps up our lesson! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the 'Rate Article' link. Also, be sure to check out my CDs and my instructional video etc. at mikecampese.com :-)

About the Author
GIT-graduate Mike Campese describes himself as an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric, and acoustic. He released three CDs, "Total Freedom", "Full Circle" and "Vibe", played on the "Warmth in The Wilderness" album and released an instructional video for ChopsFromHell. Check out Mike's official website Mikecampese.com. You can listen to soundfiles of Mike's work, including clips of the songs from his newest album "Vibe".

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