A Melodic Blues Lick
The Lick explained
This is a fairly long melodic lick in Am. I can't quite remember how or when I came up with it but once it locked itself into the brain cells and finger muscles, I found myself playing it often. I just like the way it sounds and the way it feels under the finger tips. The main thing to take away from this one is the way chord shapes generate interesting sounding lines. Scales are great for those who know how to use them. I never learned myself, it always sounded like I was playing scales. Tracking chords, however, gave me -- and still gives me -- an endless source of lines, riffs, licks and melodies. The best part is, they're always right on the money. You can't really hit any bad notes if the bulk of them are already in the underlying chord. Sure, you can wind up playing a boring line, but it will still be right.
There's no need for written commentary for this one as I explain what's going in the video. Have fun learning this one and make sure you do your exploring. Take these same changes in other positions and come up with similar lines that suit those particular shapes. Or play this same riff in other positions, see how the fingering changes, note how the new shapes either facilitate the line or make it too difficult to bother with. The guitar is weird and wonderful in that way. Because of its irregular tuning and multiple positions for the very same chunks of music, we have multiple ways of playing the very same things. Each position has its pros and cons and exploring them is what has kept me interested over the 54 years I've been playing. I've always liked puzzles and the way music works on a fretboard has to be the greatest puzzle of all time.
I'll try and keep these licks coming more regularly!
PS: As I'm sure you know by now, the 'trick' to being able to see the fretboard as one long, ever-changing chord is the subject of my book/dvd/slide-rule package PlaneTalk. I just thought I'd remind you.
Guitar Lick by Kirk Lorange
As well as putting together these guitar licks and lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.