Repeat-Licks For Soloing

author: sixstringpoet07 date: 05/16/2007 category: soloing
rating: 8.3 / votes: 100 
This lesson is an introduction to repeat licks. It is geared mostly toward intermediate players who haven't really gotten into soloing yet, or for advanced players who have been living under a rock and may not know these licks yet. Repeat Licks can be added to a solo to spice it up a bit, they are not hard (well, sometimes), but the challenge comes from making them smooth and clean, with a strong focus on precision. Even if you don't solo that much, these licks can be used as finger exercises. Well, enough talk; let's start. The first lick can be most famously heard at the end of the Stairway To Heaven solo:
E--8-5---8-5---8-5---8-5----|
B------5-----5-----5-----5--|
G---------------------------|
D---------------------------|
A---------------------------|
E---------------------------|
These are all triplets. The best application of this lick is just before the end of your solo; it has a senseof finality to it. If you break your solo into measures, do this lick on the second-to-last measure, leaving yourself one measure to conclude your solo on a more finalizing chord-tone. This next repeat lick is a triplet followed by regular 8th or 16th notes, depending on how fast you play it.
     ---3---          ---3---
E---12p10p8------8---12p10p8------8---|
B-----------10---------------10-------| etc..
G-------------------------------------|
D-------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------|
Note that the first figure is a triplet. This lick can be played as 8th notes or as 16th notes, remember that the most important part is accuracy and fluidity. This lick can be thrown in for effect very easily and it fits into most areas of a solo. A good tip to remember: always build up to a repeat lick, don't just start it randomly, they are the climax of many solos. This same lick can be moved up and down the neck with only slight variations of fingering, all staying in the same key. All the examples I give are in A minor.
    --3--         --3--         --3--         ---3-- 
E---5p3p2-----2---7p5p3-----3---8p7p5-----5---10p8p7-----7-|
B---------3-------------5-------------7--------------8-----|
G----------------------------------------------------------|
D----------------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------|

     ---3---          ---3----          ----3---
E---12p10p8------8---13p12p10------10---15p13p12------12---|
B-----------10----------------12-----------------13--------|
G----------------------------------------------------------|
D----------------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------------------------|
Etc... Practice going both up and down the neck. Try playing them in different orders. This gets tricky because you might have to make some big jumps, but always remember, don't get sloppy! Now try this one, similar to the first lick, yet melodically modified:
E---8-5---7-5---8-5---7-5-----|
B-------5-----5-----6-----6---| etc..
G-----------------------------|
D-----------------------------|
A-----------------------------|
E-----------------------------|
These are all triplets. You see that by changing only a few notes, the entire repeat lick has a different tone to it. Knowing this, you can make your repeat lick fit into whatever type of solo you are playing. Next on the list of repeat licks are open strings. Hammering on and pulling off to open strings sounds cool and is impressive. Luckily, it is also very easy. Start with this, all 16th note triplets, each three-note figure is all pull-offs:
E--3-2-0-------------------3-2-0-------------------|
B--------3-2-0-------3-2-0-------3-2-0-------3-2-0-|
G--------------3-2-0-------------------3-2-0-------|
D--------------------------------------------------|
A--------------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------------|

E--3-2-0-------3-2-0-------3-2-0-------------------|
B--------3-2-0-------3-2-0-------3-2-0-------------|
G--------------------------------------3-2-0-------|
D--------------------------------------------3-2-0-|
A--------------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------------|
Easy, huh? This lick isn't perhaps the easiest thing to fit into a solo, but for impressing your friends, it's great! Ok, once you've built up finger-strength enough to rip that out no problem, move on to the next one, it utilizes the same pattern as one of the previous licks I've given, except this time it's all triplets and all on one string, it just gets easier and easier doesn't it? Note: I put an extra "-" in between triplet figures so that each figure is easier to see. It doesnt't count for any extra time, just blast through it.
E--5p3p0--7p3p0--5p3p0--7p3p0--7p5p0--8p5p0--7p5p0--8p5p0-|
B---------------------------------------------------------|
G---------------------------------------------------------|
D---------------------------------------------------------|
A---------------------------------------------------------|
E---------------------------------------------------------|

E--8p7p0--10p7p0--8p7p0--10p7p0--10p8p0--12p8p0--10p8p0--12p8p0--|
B----------------------------------------------------------------|
G----------------------------------------------------------------|
----------------------------------------------------------------|
G----------------------------------------------------------------|
G----------------------------------------------------------------|
And there it is. Make sure that each note is clear and can be heard. It might be a little impractical or boring if you played this entire thing as part of your solo, but taking pieces of it is great fun, try isolating one area of it, say the one in 5th position: E--7-5-0--8-5-0-- and play just that bit one hundred or two hundred times. Then move to a different section. Now I've noticed that almost all these examples have included some kind of triplet, and while it is true that a lot (and I do mean a lot) of repeat licks involve triplets, they don't always, try these licks built around the B-minor Pentatonic scale. They are all straight 16th notes.
 Fig. 1                    Fig. 2
 
E--10-7----7-10-7----7-- --7-10-7----7-10-7----|
B-------10--------10---- ---------10--------10-|
G----------------------- ----------------------|
D----------------------- ----------------------|
A----------------------- ----------------------|
E----------------------- ----------------------|

 Fig. 3
E-------7-10-7-------------7-10-7--------|
B--7-10--------10-7---7-10--------10-7---|
G-------------------9------------------9-|
D----------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------|
E----------------------------------------|
Try making up some of your own too; there are almost of unlimited combination of notes that can be made into a repeat lick. Next we come to a very popular repeat lick nowadays, at least among shredders, fingertapping--specifically Right Hand Fingertapping. Try this lick, as fast as possible. This is the first part of the tapping part of Van Halen's Eruption. The "T" above the TAB means tap that fret with the index finger of your right hand. Or your middle finger, if you're mind is set on always holding your pick.
     T      T       T       T
E--------------------------------|
B--9p2h5--9p2h5--10p2h5--10p2h5--|
G--------------------------------|
D--------------------------------|
A--------------------------------|
E--------------------------------|
You have to "pull" the string a bit with yur finger and hit is sort of hard to get an equal sound from all the notes. Another great way to spice up solos with repititious licks is to add little trill-effects. On this next example (in the key of Am) play the pull-off/hammer-on part as fast as possible (as a "trill").
   (1)(3) (3) (2)
E--8h10p8-----8h10p8-------------------------|
B---------10---------10--8h10p8----8h10p8----|
G-------------------------------9---------9--|
D--------------------------------------------|
A--------------------------------------------|
E--------------------------------------------|
Remember, always make sure each note is clear. In parentheses () I put my suggested fingering (something which I have neglected to do thus far, sorry). And that's it for now, I hope that this little lesson has taught you something, or if nothing else, given you a few ideas about some stuff to play, please rate this lesson nad post feedback comments. Thanks! And if popular demand is high enough, I can post more of this kind of stuff.
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