3 Guitar LicksMinor scales have a bad rap. No one wants to be seen as a downer or a brooder, and yet the minor scale has gotten both of those labels and more.

The minor scale can be powerful, too. In fact, when used properly, a minor scale can rival the power of any Major scale even on the brightest of days. The key is usage.

Today we will learn some licks that will take the E minor scale from a frail, depressed structure to a powerhouse. In fact, some of these licks might even put major scales to shame.

Before we get into the licks, you may or may not have some work to do. If you have no trouble keeping a steady rhythm in time with tempo and time signature, then you are all set to play. If, however, you have trouble keeping a steady rhythm and frequently find yourself playing past your time signature, it is important that you take some time to play along with a metronome to develop these crucial skills first.

Bad habits learned through practice become bad habits displayed through playing. This means that if you have bad practice habits which affect your timing, your playing will suffer and you may find it difficult to jam with friends.

If you can keep a steady rhythm with or without the help of a metronome, then it’s time for some E minor guitar licks!

E Minor Licks – Example 1:

guitar licks in e minor

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This first example is a slower, basic pattern. Even so, be sure to use a metronome while playing. Start off slower than you feel is necessary. This may sound ridiculous but it will actually allow you to develop muscle memory. This will enable you to play the lick faster easier and more fluidly.

This piece may seem easy, but the two note interval at the end is a bit difficult at first. As stated above, take your time and don’t rush; let your fingers find their groove.

E Minor Licks – Example 2:

licks in e minor

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 This example is for moderate-skill level guitarists. It involves sweep picking and a short leap at the end. The short leap is the hardest part of this entire lick, and once again, it is best you approach it slowly at first until you have the muscle memory down.

Pay attention to the small tap at the end. This is what gives the lick a perfectly fluid style as the octave it strikes brings the lick full circle, ending on a resolution.

E Minor Licks – Example 3:

e minor guitar licks

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If our second example was too easy for you, this lick is sure to keep you on your toes. This lick is an advanced string skipping lick. It is dire that you use a metronome when learning this lick because many guitarists’ rhythm gets funky when they string skip, as it is a hard technique to play fluidly.

This lick is sure to test your finger dexterity. It is important that you start off slowly to avoid the notes blending together.

These licks are only a few samples of how a minor scale on guitar can be just more powerful, if not more so than a Major scale. Once you have mastered these E minor licks, try to create your own. Remember to keep your mind open and experiment with different techniques!

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