hey everybody.
i'd like to know some good ways,or good lessons on how to play those little licks that u hear on so many great songs...mainly in the style of malmsteen,EVH,SRV...
just little licks in between lyrics to spice it up...
i hate when lead players wait,and play between lyrics,or play over the singer.my dad is always bugging me to do that when i play with him,but i hate it...
i looking for good ways to throw in little licks,without losing the rythym,as i am the lone guitarist in my band...help is much appreciated thx
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well, i guess it would just go with the flow of the song..the whole feel of it you know. your dad tells you to play that way because thats how all of the great blues players did it. i guess it just comes with time and practice.

the great thing about fills is that you can find them in nearly every kind of music,
blues, jazz, country//bluegrass, rock, metal etc etc
so you can take your inspiration from all of these ..

now, how to fill..
all thats to it is to replace one of the chords from your progression by a some notes.
(ofcourse you can lengthen the lick into another chord, but let's forget about that for now.
i suggest, especially at first, to derive the notes you choose from the chord you want to replace.

to keep the rhythm of the song, just go for an even timing, all 16ths or all 5-tuplets, whatever you want, but switching between these often throws off the rhythm.. which is at itself not such a bad thing.. but again, thats for later concern

listen to some iron maiden songs, always easy fills there, never loosing the rhythm, and pretty much always in an overused pattern..

now, talking about patterns, they're an easy way to build the fills (dont go modal!)

an overused pattern is just running down the notes of the scale (not too fast) but from every note, go down 4 notes..
so a description would be
6 5 4 3 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 7 |1|

or a little more sophisticated..
7 6 5 4 5 6 |5|

you metioned yngwie malmsteen for example, he likes to use the same pattern during the entire fill, but just moving it up or down in determined intervalls (changing the intervalls within the pattern, as the notes must fit to a scale!)

an example of an overused pattern by malmsteen would be some baroque..

8 7 8 6 8 5 8 4 |5|

and more classical styling.. (also very nice in bluegrass)

1 3 2 1

thats it? yup, it is, its moved up or down in another pattern
(often something like 1 3 2 4 3 5 4 6 5 7 6 8 or 8 6 7 5 6 4 5 3 4 2 3 1)

ofcourse, a pattern doesn't need to be moved, it can be all in 1 place..

for example a 6-note pattern: (do use all 6 notes in 1 beat)
3 1 2 3 2 1 3 1 2 3 2 1 3 1 2 3 2 1 and so on.. (works best in minor keys)

but the easiest fills can be great to use, ever thought of a 1-note-fill? it can sound cool, especially in blues, and its a great exercise..
in a chord, just play 1 note, bend it, vibrate it, whatever you want, just play 1 note, and see how different intervalls work over different chords..

a variation, suitable for 2-or 3-guitar work is to, instead of the chord play different notes from the arpeggio over it, strengthening an interval and a feeling already present, next, work your way up to more of these notes per beat, wit some notes from outside of the arpeggio slipped in etc. its a great way to build up fills and fast second-guitar riffing

try coming up with your own patterns, and try them in different scales, over different chords etc.

also, i dont like starting the fill as soon as the chord thats to be replaced comes up, i like waiting 1 or 2 beats before i hit in.

hope that was of a little help, just try to play a fill as soon as you hear it in a song, or find some sheetmusic.. and work your way up to interesting stuff..
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Last edited by Funkicker at Sep 3, 2007,
maybe some little trills or something? is that what your talking about... possible whammied notes or harmonics
<Raven> I got so baked last night
<Raven> that I WOKE UP high o_o
<Raven> Do you have any idea how euphoric that is?
<Raven> I felt like I was being born.
you'll develop a better sense of timing and rhythm over time and pick it up, listen to some hendrix and SRV and people like that who meld both rhythm and lead kinda together
Others to listen to:

Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, most blues players, David Gilmour uses some really nice fills but as usual sparingly and melodic, A great example is the song "Standing Around Crying" on the Paul Rogers "Muddy Watter Blues" tribute CD. A lot of other great guitar players on that oone, and the entire CD is a great example of well executed fills. Others playing on it - Buddy Guy, Neil Schonn, Jeff Beck, Brian Setzer, Slash, Brian May, Gary Moore, Steve Miller...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...