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Blues - Rock Licks I

Licks are small musical vocabularies that function as the basis for your improvisation - we can also call it a 'little idea'. A solo is made up of a combination of many licks, that are rhythmically or melodically adapted to a certain musical context.

It is important to remember that simply learning Licks by heart is not enough. It's more important to understand how they work and where it is appropriate to apply them.

Have a look at the 6 licks below. Learn them, try to use different rhythms, try to transpose them, think about what you like about them - what you don't, and add them to your vocabulary.

Have fun!

Ex.1 : A Blues. Note that 1/4 note bend at the end.

Ex.2 : Another nice Blues lick in the key of E with some open strings incorporated. Again mind that 1/4 bend.

Ex.3 : It's a more Rock orientated kind of lick in the key of E. It starts off with the E minor pentatonic and ends with the major pentatonic.

Ex.4 : Again another Blues-Rock lick, this time in F. It uses the minor pentatonic but incorporates the major 3rd (it creates that "Major sound") of the major pentatonic.

Ex.5: And another idea using the A Blues scale. You can play it over a major or minor chord.

Ex.6: A Rock lick with the G minor pentatonic. Mind that slide from the 3rd into the 5th position and the bends.

Recordings by Gunharth Randolf


About the Author
Born in Offenburg, Germany, Meinrad started out studying Classical guitar at the age of 14. Soon he developed an interest in electric guitar and by playing in different Blues and Rock bands he became an experienced performer. After graduating from the Munich Guitar Institute he went to LA to study at the GIT. Currently, Meinrad is living in the London area where he is a demanded session musician and guitar instructor. Visit Meinrad's website.

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