Open String Flash Licks Master Class

author: Paul Tauterouff date: 03/20/2009 category: guitar techniques
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Section I

In this lesson I am going to show you how to create your own licks using hammers and pulls combined with open strings. I like to use this technique during improvisations to create interesting, fast pedal point licks with wide intervals.

I am demonstrating this concept using the Lydian Mode in the key of E, but you can use this technique with any mode or scale including the Pentatonic Scale. So, do not just memorize the licks I am demonstrating. This lesson will be of the greatest benefit to you if you take the concept and use it to generate your own ideas in different keys and with various scales.

So with that in mind let's get started!

Here is a typical two-octave Lydian Mode (in E) pattern played at the 12th fret.

Let's take a look at the notes of the E Lydian Mode.

They are: E, F#, G#, A#, B, C# and D#

If we analyze these notes we see that E and B are the only two scale tones that are available on open strings. So let's lay out our E Lydian Mode on the B String.

The frets we will use on the B string will be:

Open (B), 2nd (C#), 4th (D#), 5th (E), 7th (F#), 9th (G#), 11th (A#), 12th (B), and 14th (C#) fret.

Example 1 is the ascending version of the basic idea: you pick the open B string and then hammer the next two notes. Due to the small amount of picking involved it's very easy to play this lick at a fast speed and achieve a very fluid sound.

To receive a free E Lydian jam track to practice along with send an email.

To recap here's how you would use this in your own improvisation:

1. Determine what scale or mode you using in your soloing
2. Figure out what notes in that scale are available as open strings
3. Lay out your scale on open string(s) as determined above
4. Mix the open string notes into your solos

This concept may seem a little complicated at first, but if you have good scale knowledge you should be able to quickly implement this into your playing. Knowledge of scales and modes is essential to creating great solos, so if you find yourself lacking in this area I recommend you brush up on this.

Section II

In this next section we will look at ways to expand on the concept we discussed in Part I to create even flashier sounding (yet easy to play) licks. Then I am going to teach you an additional concept that I use quite often to create less predictable sounding licks and runs.

As with Section I, I am demonstrating this concept using the Lydian Mode in the key of E, but you should experiment with using this concept with other modes as well as the Pentatonic Scale.

You will get the greatest benefit from this (as with all of my lessons) by using the concepts or ideas discussed to generate your own licks in different keys and with various scales.

Ready? Then let's get ripping!

Example 1: here I have taken the 3-note pattern from the first section and expanded it into a 4-note lick. I am demonstrating this lick moving down the neck, but you should practice this moving up as well.

Pretty cool stuff right? I really like the sound of this type of lick. It's easy to play it quickly too!

Note: For a Free video guitar lesson demonstrating additional free bonus licks visit this.

Paul's Twisted Rule Of Threes

Here is a fun idea you can apply to this and (of course) other licks you play. I call it "Paul's Twisted Rule Of Threes." (Note: it's not really a rule, just a silly name I gave it.)

I got the idea from the typical 3-note sequences most guitarists play.

This may seem complicated at first, but please bear with me and I'll help you to understand

A typical 3-note sequence a guitarist might use to play a one octave C Major (or any) Scale would go like this: "CDE - DEF - EFG - FGA - GAB - ABC"

So in essence what you are doing when playing this 3-note sequence is:

1. Playing three notes in order
2. Moving back one note and playing three notes in order again
3. Repeat as desired

I was pondering this one day and thought, "What if I used this same sort of idea to sequence through little sections of the fretboard or modules rather than just a straight scale?"

Now I imagine right about now many of you are scratching your head and saying "Huh???!!!"

The easiest way to help you to understand this concept is to just show you the lick. Then, go back and read the above explanation and it should make more sense to you. Trust me, it is worth taking the time to understand this. Remember when I told you to bear with me???

Example 2: This is simply Example 1 with my "Twisted Rule Of Threes" concept applied.

Notice how in measure one we played the first three groupings of the lick, move back one position, do three groupings from there, and then repeat the process.

Section III

In this final section I am going to show you additional ways in which I implement the concepts we discussed in Part II - the open string hammers and pulls and my "twisted rule of threes" ideas.

The licks we will be examining are excerpts from a guest solo I played on the track "Deceiver" from my good friend Nick Layton's Storming The Castle CD. Thanks to Nick for permission to use the audio clip in this lesson.

I am going to break down the two licks which utilize the open string hammers and pulls and "threes concepts."

For the majority of the solo I am using notes in the key of G minor.

Lick One: (which occurs at around 00:08 in the audio clip) uses open strings hammered onto two notes on each string. It's a pretty straightforward lick, and it's fairly easy to play licks like this at high speed.

Audio Clip

Note: For a Free video guitar lesson demonstrating these two licks and additional free bonus licks visit this.

Lick Two: (00:09 in the audio clip) uses pulls-offs to open strings and also the "rules of three" concept from Open String Flash Licks Part II. I am using the notes of the G minor pentatonic scale with the open string notes, which implies a G Dorian tonality, but I wasn't thinking about this - I was just trying to burn!

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I hope you have found this lesson helpful. You will get the greatest benefit from this lesson by using the concepts or ideas discussed to generate your own licks in different keys and with various scales.

Happy jamming!

Paul Tauterouff

2009 Paul Tauterouff All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
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