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Learning other players’ licks is a very useful and effective method of introducing new ideas and sounds into your playing. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at selected passages from my CD that I have used to help introduce my students to new concepts. Approach this lesson with the idea of not only learning the licks, but also learning from the licks.

For more variation in your pentatonic playing, experiment with adding extensions to your favorite licks and scale positions. Example 1 adds the b5th
(Ab), 6th (B) and 9th (E) to the D Minor Pentatonic scale. 

Example 1: “The Marionette” opening lick (drop 7th string to A)

Example 2 is a “pivot-point” lick based around the Harmonic Minor scale. This lick is not only an excellent picking exercise, but is also useful for building strength in both hands.

Example 2: "Solacitude" keyboard/guitar unison lick

Example 3 combines the B Mixolydian mode with the B Minor Pentatonic/Blues scale. Like Example 1, extensions are added to the pentatonic scale in measure four to create a more interesting line. 

Example 3: What Goes Around 

If you find yourself playing the same types of riffs over and over, playing in meters other than 4/4 is a great “rut buster”. Example 4 is a heavy groove in 11/8. Be sure to accent the first beat of each measure for the full effect.

Example 4: Spine (drop 7th string to A)

Feel free to contact me with any questions: TomKopyto@aol.com

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