#1
I'm getting into improvising and am looking to learn more licks for this purpose. Basically hard rock-focused, with some blues.

Pentatonic licks are pretty easy to wing, and I can make some stuff over other scales, but it would be nice to find a database with multiple licks per scale so I can learn say 5 licks that go well with each mode.

Any such free database out there?

Thanks
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#2
Quote by 21GunSalute
I'm getting into improvising and am looking to learn more licks for this purpose. Basically hard rock-focused, with some blues.

Pentatonic licks are pretty easy to wing, and I can make some stuff over other scales, but it would be nice to find a database with multiple licks per scale so I can learn say 5 licks that go well with each mode.

Any such free database out there?

Thanks


Simply put: bad idea. It's not really beneficial in the long run for your improv skills to learn a bunch of licks and then use the same licks over and over again. If you need some better ideas, here's a few: learn licks from your favourite guitarists. When you listen to a song you like, and hear a lick you like, learn it, and try to understand it. This way you're learning with actual music instead of context-less licks, and you're learning licks you actually like. Bonus points if you learn them by ear because the majority of your improv should come from your ears..

Idea number two, learn the basics of melody composition and phrasing to further your understanding on how to create melodic passages that sound good. It's much better to learn how to write licks yourself, than grab a bunch of existing ones you don't fully understand.

Also, if you're into blues and hard rock, I wouldn't really bother with modes. You definitely do not need to learn 5 different licks to cater towards each mode in these genres and I strongly recommend you just learn how to play properly in major and minor.

Final thought, train your ears. Ear training is absolutely crucial in improvisation.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#4
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I disagree here, Kev. A few licks from Dorian and Mixolydian are a good idea to add to the toolbox. But I agree with rest of your points (and especially handling major and minor).


Sure, but I always like to think about them as borrowing some notes from the relative major/minor instead of using modes. It's just easier to me to use a simple explanation for everything, instead of thinking like "this lick comes from this scale, and this from this mode, and here I use the byzantine b6 scale" etc. But what works for me might not work for others, granted.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#5
It's good to have lots of musical vocabulary, but I think that knowledge is best acquired through learning and making music. It's best to learn things in musical context. Even if it's just noodling around with ideas, it's better than trying to learn licks by rote alone. Memorizing things without a clear idea of how they fit into real music makes it harder to integrate them into your playing.
#6
I've learned basic music theory and know the modes as well as 5 arpeggios for major minor maj7 and can create arpeggios for the others. I understand about chord progressions and target them when soloing, but I have a hard time coming up with interesting phrases during improvisiation, so I think learning some licks which could be injected into my solo alongside arpeggios would be nice
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#7
21GunSalute
In that case, try observing how players and singers you like use rhythm in their phrasing (long, short notes, pauses, what makes something stand out (catches your ear)), and in particular, repetition of rhythmic ideas (especially singers). I'd suggest singers and sax players (neither can breathe and play at same time (ignoring circular breathing), so phrasing is an absolute necessity.

Plus dressing up the start and end of a phrase is important (slides in, out, dives ...).

The big test is playing melodically using longer note values. Avoiding high-speed technique doing this. Using a clean(er) sound. Taking a simple idea and developing it. Really worthwhile improving at this, and then throw back in the high-speed runs.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 7, 2016,
#8
Quote by 21GunSalute
I've learned basic music theory and know the modes as well as 5 arpeggios for major minor maj7 and can create arpeggios for the others. I understand about chord progressions and target them when soloing, but I have a hard time coming up with interesting phrases during improvisiation, so I think learning some licks which could be injected into my solo alongside arpeggios would be nice


So, your problem at the moment is phrasing and coming up with meaningful licks on the fly. I still think that the best way to approach this is to learn guitar solos you like by ear. Try to remember that improvisation is not a thing you learn in a couple of months, you need to spend a lot of time in practice and ear training to get good.

If you're sure you simply want some licks, just google something like "blues rock licks", "hard rock licks" or "clapton licks" etc.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#9
Thanks guys. I'll try playing by ear more as well as doing more to develop on smaller ideas. I do want to try some licks though. I was watching Tom Hess on youtube teaching guitar and one of the things he really emphasized was learning lots of licks, and expanding on them and changing their phrasing. He said if you do that, you will end up having more stuff to draw from when improvising. Seemed good to me
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#10
Just a heads up, Tom Hess is considered a complete hack and a scammer around here. He's a decent guitarist sure, but practically everyone hates his way of teaching.

Licks can be fun, but hey, you can learn licks by simply studying your favourite guitarists, and it'll help you more than just reading some tabs. But it's up to you how you study music in the end.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#11
Tom Hess is permanently banned from the site for various reasons; however, some of his students/disciples still publish stuff here
#12
My advice would be in line with Kev. By all means learn phrases, but learn the concept behind them rather than going down the route of "copy & pasting" licks.

What i did when i started learning jazz (and what i still do to this day) is listening to music that i loved, picked out phrases i loved and learned them by ear, and then analyzed what they were and how they worked. I learned how to play over changes, how to use chromatisicm, how to use upper structure triads etc from learning phrases of records.

That is the (in my opinion) best way to grow your musical vocabulary and creativity. Learn what you like, learn to understand it and learn to hear/sing it. You'll be able to create variations of the phrases and come up with new ones inspired by the concept learned from phrases, and you'll be putting the music first instead of thinking of where to place your licks.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#13
My advice would be to make your own licks instead. I like to listen to 8 to 12 pieces (just 21 or 33 seconds each) and try to write something with the combined feel. This kinda works for me.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#14
RonaldPoe

Interesting. I'll give that a go.

Many people wrote about learning songs, but I have been playing about 20 years now and have learned so many songs or solos from them, but I rarely can use parts from them when improvising. If I am sitting down and writing, it's not a problem, but using them when improvising doesn't seem to work. I guess breaking the solos down into smaller chunks, practicing them in different keys and so on may be good.
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#15
The point is not to learn solos to use parts directly from them. The point is to learn a song specifically by ear, which improves your ability to play those things you hear in your head effortlessly, and it also helps you to understand how licks work in context. So don't just learn songs, learn them by ear and really think and analyze what makes them sound the way they do.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jul 8, 2016,
#16
Yes, the point it not specifically about learning songs. It is about learning to hear better and understanding the concepts of what you are learning. If you learn to break it down to simple concepts it'll be easier to bring into your playing.

For example. A while ago i was listening to a Pat Metheny record and i heard a phrase that really stood out to me. So what i did was that i learned to sing the phrase first, then i figured out what it was and what it was played over. The tune was in G major and the phrase was played over A7 (V/V), he was only playing a E minor 7th arpeggio and ending on a phrase that involved the 13th, 9th and 3rd.

The important thing i learned from this was:

1. To sing it and get it into my head.
2. I learned the concept behind it. To get this sort of sound i will play the arpeggio from the fifth of the chord. So for A7 the fifth is E, i will play an arpeggio from there to get this sort of sound.

I now always know that if i want to bring out that particular sound when playing, i am going to use chord tones from the chord based on the fifth. And the more you do stuff like this the more it becomes natural. For a while i had to think about it, now i have found so many phrases like that and got them into my ear that i just play.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."