Lick O’ The Week #14 Essential Classics


LollyPop2The Bend, Reverse-Bend, Pull-Off

I think this is the most used rock, blues and metal lick of all time! It’s kind of like the phrase; “have a nice day”, or if you are a west coast guitar guy like me ” yo 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 being used in context. If this lick is not a part of your vocabulary, take some time and try to include it.

Let me add some extra points. 

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 a finite number of notes and chords! If you write something really original, chance is nobody will like it.

For an example of what I’m talking about, google the Twelve-Tone system, or listen to a Twelve-Tone piece at youtube. Do you like it? I don’t. We all 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 major pentatonic scales, along with a lot of the same licks including this Bend/Reverse Bend/Pull-off lick. The answer is, when you improvise, you spontaneously reorganize your vocabulary, in the way only you can. Why do you know your freind’s voice on the phone? He’s using the same words as everyone else?

I believe we already have our own style! The goal is to become proficient enough in our vocabulary and technique to let it come out!

Rock On! 

Lick #14 TAB: LOW 14 Essential Classics

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