Some Great Guitar Licks You Can Learn Today

When improvising it’s much easier to use licks that you’ve practiced rather than starting from scratch every time. A great way to add them into your practice routine is to find out which key they’re in, run through a few scale warm-ups, put on your metronome and make a start.

I prefer to write down the licks as I play them, I know I can just print them out from the net and keep them in a folder, but I prefer to increase the chance that I’ll remember them as I’m learning them by using every piece of memory retention available to me, and writing down what you know with a pen on paper is one of the best ways to do that.

So, get out a blank piece of tab sheet music, load up the following licks from the net and write them down as you play them.

For this bunch of licks you’ll need to know how to do Hammer On’s, Pull offs, Bends and Slides. The tempo is left out because licks are there for you to use in your own music and to jam over a variety of backing tracks, you can even transpose them into different keys to use in virtually any piece of music.

Let’s start with 3 licks from MyGuitarSolo (Lick 1, Lick 2, Lick 3 – all open in new windows), the first is in standard 4/4 time and is quite lengthy, I’ve run through it a few times on my acoustic and although the midi file is set to quite a high tempo I actually prefer to use it as more of a warm up at a lower tempo, there’s no distinct feeling to the piece so you have to add your own and break it up so it has room to breathe.

The second lick is in 3/4 time and can be used in a more traditional run leading up to something with a bit more space, the 3rd lick is in 2/4 timing and is a wicked little run all along the high E string… very easy to do and has a great effect!

Now time for a video of famous licks used by Jimi Hendrix, first played at normal speed and then slowed down. Play this video several times and pick out the ones you want to learn, look very carefully at where he’s fretting the strings and write it down on your sheet music. Personally I love the style of Jimi and couldn’t imagine playing guitar without his influence:

And now a more traditional lesson on Blues Guitar Licks from John Tuggle (a Gibson recommended guitar tutor) – This is fast and nasty, real blues like, a great continuation from the Jimi lesson above!

Now back to some tab based licks, these two are collections of small licks from Martin Tallstrom, a guitar player/songwriter based in Sweden, check out Collection 1, and Collection 2.

Hope you get some cool ideas out of this lot! A good mixture of tab and video to keep you entertained and focused.

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