A lick a day, series 2, day 6: More string skipping

Todays lick was one of the examples in the last series of licks. It’s based on a D major triad utilizing string-skipping, which I picked up from Paul Gilbert. Check out his guitar-version of Pachelbel’s canon in D Major…he explained that on “Intense Rock 2” and used it in his guitar solo during  one of the first Mr. Big tours.

I liked those arps, but I filled them up diatonically (filling the gaps, for example playing the G in between F# and A and E in between D and F#). So you get something you can either interpret as an arp of an extended chord, or a scalar passage, kind of like a mix between a scale and an arpeggio.

I really like the sound of it, but for this lick, I am applying a typical “2 up, one back down” sequences to it:


Here are the basic notes we are using:


First, play this ascending and descending a couple of times. Then, apply the sequence: You start on D and play the next three notes (F#, G, A). Then, you jump back to F# and play the next three notes from THERE (G, A, skip to D on the E-string) etc. It’s a kind of sequence you surely have heard before.

However, applied to this kind of arp/scale pattern, you get a nice, open, refreshing and melodic sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of practicing chromatic and quasi-chromatic licks and exercises, but these days, I love to find, practice and use licks that are not only cool and fast, but also melodic, and hopefully sound good even if you play them at a slow tempo, which I think this one really does.

You can also try to pick each note, but using a combination of picking and legato, picking only when going from one string to the next, is the most comfortable and creates a nice, fluid sound.

Make up your own versions, try out a minor-version, apply it to different string-sets, make up a little etude, going through different arps etc!

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