Let’s face it; everyone likes to show off now and then. Musicians are no different from athletes in the respect that we love to display our hard work and dedication with impressive feats.
So you’ve put in all of the effort and honed your chops, but somehow you just can’t seem to find that one impressive lick to drop your friend’s jaws. Well, I found those licks, and I will give them to you free of charge.
The catch is that these licks are only building blocks. Each one of these guitar licks has been built to be built upon. It may seem like I’m twisting your arm, forcing you to use that crazy little thing called creativity, and I am. The greatest licks are ones you yourself create, and these three licks are only meant to open the floodgates.
Each lick will have a brief explanation, including the techniques used and the key the lick is in. Now enough talking, it’s time for some impressive rock guitar licks!
This lick is fairly basic, using the hammer on (h) and pull off (p) techniques, as well as alternate picking. Hammer ons are notes that you play with packing, hammering your finger onto the note, and pull offs are also notes that are not pick, but instead of hammering your finger onto the note, you pull your finger off of the previous note.
The numbers beneath the lick correspond to the fingering patterns, one being your index, two your middle, three your ring and four your pinky. When playing this lick, as with any other, be sure to mute the unused strings with the flat of your palm.
This second lick uses tapping. The T above the lick lets you know that there will be tapping involved and the T2 below the note means that you tap the twelfth fret with the middle finger of your picking hand. This is a fairly simple lick, but it is very flashy.
This final lick is a bit advanced. You may think there was an error with the two consecutive G#’s (fourth fret, high E string) but it was indeed intentional. This lick implements a technique named sweep picking. Although most sweep picking licks are all swept, this lick is not. To sweep pick, slant your pick in the direction it is going (ascending or descending).
Simply rake the strings with the pick. This concept takes a lot of time to learn. The symbols at the top of the lick (^ for down and for up) correspond to the direction in which you should be sweeping. With a more classical feel, this lick is sure to impress even the most experienced players you know!
Once you have mastered these three rock guitar licks, you will be ready to impress your friends and family alike. As always; start off slow and build up your speed gradually. Have fun, and good luck!
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