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Signature Licks

Hey there. Welcome to this edition of my column. I decided to scrap the name "Cogs and Chords" because it sounded stupid. So instead I figured I’d take suggestions from anyone who reads the column. I’m a part time lutheir, and full time musician, and part time grave yard sales rep for Musicians friend. I’ve also been a martial arts student/teacher of 15 years. I’ve been a guitarist for a good 6 years now and I’ve got a certain amount of shred in me, I’m not a shredder per se. I’ve just gone out and learned everything I could for the guitar – both theory, and technical. I’ve also gotten into the mechanics of the instrument. I’ve also gotten into the mechanics of amplifiers and effects pedals. There are very few things I can’t do or can’t figure out how to do. In this column I’ll be going over a few signature licks of my own as well as a few licks from some of the more accomplished musicians you’ve probably got cd’s of and what not. Lets jump right into it here and I’ll explain the nuts and bolts of what I’m doing, and how it relates to different chord progressions and how each lick serves a musical function – be it diatonic, chromatic or textural.

****NOTE****
USE THE CLEAN CHANNEL OF YOUR AMP WHEN YOU PRACTICE!!!!!!! THAT WAY EVERY
SINGLE MISTAKE YOU MAKE SOUNDS 5000000 TIMES WORSE! WHEN IT SOUNDS
FLAWLESS THEN MOVE FROM THE BRIDGE PICK UP, TO THE NECK PICK UP WHEN THAT
SOUNDS FLAWLESS – THEN ADD SOME DISTORTION/OVER DRIVE.

BRIDGE FIRST – NECK SECOND. WHEN THAT’S DOWN FLAT – ADD A DELAY PEDAL AND CHORUS/FLANGER – SET IT HOW YOU LIKE IT. BUT MAKE GOD DAMN SURE YOU GET IT DOWN ON YOUR CLEAN CHANNEL FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two rules:

  1. the three C’s

    1. CLEAN
    2. CLEAN
    3. CLEAN
  2. The three P’s

    1. PRACTICE
    2. PATIENCE
    3. PERSEVERANCE

Here’s a lick I wrote about 2 years ago. It’s part of a guitar solo that belongs to a song named "Crunch Time". I wrote crunch time with my old band, Reunion. It was a complete metal band, with lots of good music, but bad habits which led to its desolution. On the other hand it left me with quite an inventory of riffs and licks.


      The Vortex

      e-0-7p0--0-3p0--0-5p0--0-2p0-----------------------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



      e--------------------------------------------------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g-------------5----------------------5-------------
      d--2----------5-----------2----------5-------------
      a--2--------2-3---2-0-----2--------2-3-------------
      E--0----2-3-----------3-2-0----2-3-----------------


	

alright- we’ve got an e5 c5 progression going here. and a lick that oscillates between the two twice per measure although there’s no meter shown here. It’s a similar sounds to "Creeping Death" by metallica. Metallica is infamous for oscillating riffs and licks as a turning point in the music, usually right after a solo, to help your brain digest what just happened and get you ready for the finish of the usual metal riffs that will end a song.

The Wave

Also from he same solo in "crunch time" this lick helps give the rhythm a chance to do a little moving of it’s own and get you ready for the fret tapping hell to come, while allowing the listeners to make some sort adjustment in their groove. It’s a very void sounding lick. It’s like watching someone charge up in a video game as they prepare to shoot of the "Ultramegasuperhypergiga ‘X’" move. and then they just kick ass and take names and that’s the end of that round. That’s what kind of function this lick does.



      e--2h3p2---2h3p2---2h3p2---------------------------
      b-------3p0-----3p0-----3p0------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



      e--------------------------------------------------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g------5------2--4--5-----7~-----------------------
      d--2---5---5--2--4--5-----7~-----------------------
      a--2---3---5--0--2--3-----5~-----------------------
      E--0-------3---------------------------------------


	

Now, about the time you hit the d5 chord yer thinking "hell yeah! this is gonna RULE!" something very odd happens.. The roof of your painting collapses. Al that hard work you spent making a mental image of the spring tower that was to be with this solo has crumbled. The harpies have come and ripped it apart. All to often when you get your ducks in a row for a big finish or a grand start in life something happens at the last minute. With this song being named "Crunch time" as the name implies – something will go unmistakably wrong leaving you – once again in a crunch. Thusly the music reflects the picture. The harpies are coming….

      Harmonic hell AKA "Harpy Strike"


      hm............................ hm................
      e--12----------------------------------------------
      b-----12~?/\///------------/~----5-------------
      g-----------------\--------7-/-~----5-----////
      d------------------\--xx----/------------////
      a-------------------\-xx---/---------------------
      E--------------------\xx 7/-------------\---------
      (fully
      depress trem) (rattle the strings) hm


      e----------------------------12B-------------------
      b-------7b-------------------12B---------19----/---
      g-------7b---------------------------19B-19---/----
      d------------------11B---------------17b-----/-----
      a-------------------------------------------/------
      E---5B-------------------------------------/-------
      (depress
      trem fully so there is no tension on strings)



      e--------------------------------------------------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d---------5-4-5----------5-4--------4--------5-----
      a---------7-7-7----------5-5------2--------3-------
      E-0-0-0-0--------0-0-0-0------0-0------0-0---------



      e--------------------------------------------------
      b-------------------------4----5----6----7~--------
      g-------------------------4----5----6----7~--------
      d---------2---------4-----4----5----6----7~--------
      a---------3---------5-----6----7----8----9~--------
      E--0-0-0-0---0-0-0-0--0-0----0----0----0-----------

	

Well now. That helped. we’ve got the harpies of our backs and now it’s time for the explosion. The rocket is ready to lift off that’s right – fret tapping time. Pull out your middle finger or pick which ever feels best to you and get tapping. *l* I’m not going to post the rhythm part because… I don’t know it. I didn’t write that part. o0 go figure. Now, something I do when I fret tap – I mute the strings I’m not tapping on with my palm/forearm of my tapping hand. The disadvantage to do this is when you shift your fret tapping hand your arm tends to make little percussive noises. This can work for you, since they are in time (if you play in time) they serve as a percussive device that you can claim "you put in the song because you are a musical wizard… and don’t answer to anyone " *l* so don’t worry about the little fret noises. ^_^


      Tap this

      e-12h-14h-15t-19p-15p-14p-12h-14h-15t-19p-15p-14p-12
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


        t         t         t         t         t
      e-15-14-12--15-14-12--15-14-12--15-14-12--15-14-12-
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



        t         t         t         t         t
      e-17-15-12--17-15-12--16-15-12--16-15-12--17-15-12-
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



        t        t        t        t        t
      e-17-12-7--16-12-7--17-12-7--16-12-7--17-12-7------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



        t        t        t       AH
      e-16-12-7--14-11-7--12-7-5------------------/------
      b------------------------------------------/-------
      g---------------------------3\------------/--------
      d-----------------------------\----------/---------
      a------------------------------\--------/----------
      E-------------------------------\------/-----------

      (dive bomb and rewind...)


        t      t      t      t      t      t
      e-7-5-0--7-5-0--7-4-0--7-4-0--7-4-0--7-2-0---------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------




        t      t      t      t      t      t
      e-8-5-0--8-5-0--8-4-0--8-4-0--8-2-0--8-2-0---------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------




              t                  t                t
      e-4-5-7-12-7-5-4~----2-4-5-10-5-4-2~--0-2-3-8-3-2-0
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------



              t                t
      e-2-4-5-10-5-4-2-/-4-5-7-12~~~~~/\////----------
      b--------------------------------------------------
      g--------------------------------------------------
      d--------------------------------------------------
      a--------------------------------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------
      (wiggle finger you used to tap) (to get the vibrato)
   

Well now, that ended on a happy note. Seems our poor subject in the song finally got out of the rough water and into some smooth sailing.
However – that was then… that was long ago, and our hero or stooge is back in a new adventure. In this song called Images of Flight he’s in a sweep picking nightmare.

A moment of your time. Sweep picking is HELLA HARD for most people to learn and to perfect and master with proficiency and confidence it takes a go 2 years for the average shredder – and no shredder is average. So here we come to the admission of guilt and inadequacy. I … Can’t.. sweep pick. I don’t get it – I’ve been practicing for 3 years with my sweeping and I still can’t do it. I’ve gotten to babied on alternate picking, phret taping, and a whole schpeel of other techniques that I never studied or practiced hard enough to make the 3 years of time worth anything. How ever, Simply cause I can’t sweep pick doesn’t mean that you can’t. With that said, for those of you who can sweep pick you’re about to have some fun cause this is an awesome run. Even though I wrote it, I can’t play it… go figure. Now – break out the broom sticks and get sweepin!

you start in A minor – and work your way to E minor and end there – lets see if you can do it.

Sweep this



      e-------------12h17p12-----------------------------
      b-----------13--------13---------------------------
      g---------14------------14-------------------------
      d-------14----------------14-----------------------
      a--12-15--------------------15-12------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


      e--------------10h14p10----------------------------
      b------------12--------12--------------------------
      g----------12------------12------------------------
      d--------12----------------12----------------------
      a--10-14---------------------14-10-----------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


      e------------8h13p8--------------------------------
      b----------10------10------------------------------
      g--------10----------10----------------------------
      d------10--------------10--------------------------
      a--8-13------------------13-8----------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


      e----------7h12p7----------------------------------
      b---------9------9---------------------------------
      g--------9--------9--------------------------------
      d-------9----------9-------------------------------
      a--7-12-------------12-7---------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


      e---------5h10p5-----------------------------------
      b--------7------7----------------------------------
      g-------7--------7---------------------------------
      d------7----------7--------------------------------
      a--5-10------------10-5----------------------------
      E--------------------------------------------------


      e---------3h7p3------------------------------------
      b--------5-----5-----------------------------------
      g-------5-------5----------------------------------
      d------5---------5---------------------------------
      a--3-7------------7-3----2~------------------------
      E----------------------------5~-3~-2~-0/\///-----
	

Well wasn’t that fun. Anyone have bloody fingers? I did during the three years it took me to try that *l* Next week we’ll be doing some work with blending all three techniques we’ve covered today, but in one mind boggling solo. You’ll be in a scalar run when out of no where you’ll be sweeping artificial harmonics out the ying yang and into a fret tap slide – so get ready!!!!!!!!!! Until then, you’ve got plenty of home work – see ya next week.

Tachi

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