LollyPop2Hi Guitarists, 

Here’s the tab from my Lick O’ the Week 14, it’s a classic. Subscribers can view the video at the site.

LOW #14 TAB: LOW 14 Essential Classics

I call it the Bend, Reverse-Bend, Pull-Off and it’s the most used rock, blues and metal lick of all time! It’s kind of like the phrase; “have a nice day”, or or if you’re like me, ”dude.”  This lick is in virtually every solo, from Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Santana and Jeff Beck to Van Halen and on…

It’s very expressive and can be used in almost any situation. In the video and tab I describe nine examples of it in context. If this lick is not a part of your vocabulary, you may want to take some time and try to include it. Here are some extra points on that subject. 

Once in a while I’ll hear a student say, “I want to be more original, and not use all those overused licks.” My response is, nobody, not even the Beatles, created completely original material. They reorganized! That does not lower the genius of the Beatles at all. There are only a finite number of notes and chords! Also, if you write something really original, probably nobody will like it.

For an example of what I’m talking about, google the Twelve-Tone system, or listen to this Twelve-Tone piece: Twelve-Tone Example. Do you like it? I don’t. We like familiar sounding music. Of course we also like unexpected notes and chord changes, but if everything is unexpected, we turn the radio dial, or click the “thumbs down” at Pandora.

Back to lead guitar, why does Clapton sound different than Santana? They both used the blues and pentatonic scales, along with a lot of the same licks including this Bend/Reverse Bend/Pull-off lick. Come to think of it there was a time when they both used SGs and Fender combo amps too, but they never sounded the same!

The answer to why they sound different is, when you improvise, you spontaneously reorganize your vocabulary, in a way only you can do it, with your hands and your brain. Why do you know your freind’s voice on the phone? He’s using the same words as everyone else? We each already have our own style! The goal is to become proficient enough in our vocabulary and technique to let it come out!




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