July 2009 \ Premier Clinic \ Rock \ Building Leads with Repeating Licks and Patterns

# Building Leads with Repeating Licks and Patterns

## Learning sequences to create solo licks or warm-up exercises

A sequence is simply any pattern that repeats. Guitar players often use sequences as sources for solo licks and as exercises for warming-up. As you are learning the following figures, pick each note and use strict alternate picking. Once you have them under your fingers, then play them as written (with the hammer-ons and pull-offs).

After you get comfortable with these sequences, apply them to other scale fingerings that you know. If you try them on the hybrid scales, they will yield some pretty unconventional patterns which are hard to play but sound great.

 The sequence in Fig. 1 is based upon a G major scale (G–A–B–C–D–E–F#). To calculate a sequence, we first need to assign a number to each note. Since players typically refer to the notes in a scale by their number, we will use the conventional numbers: G=1, A=2, B=3, etc. A typical number sequence is 1,2,3,4 — 2,3,4,5 — 3,4,5,6 — 4,5,6,7, etc. As notes in a G major scale, this translates to G,A,B,C — A,B,C,D — B,C,D,E — C,D,E,F#, etc. Fig. 1 takes this sequence through a ninth-position G major scale. Figure 1 Listen Another common sequence is 1,3 — 2,4 — 3,5 — 4,6 — etc. In Fig. 2, we play this sequence in a tenth-position C natural minor scale, going from the root to the highest note and then back down to the root. You will likely find going down a little more difficult. Figure 2 Listen Figure 3 uses the sequence from Fig. 1, but this time we use an A minor pentatonic scale (A–C–D–E–G). Figure 3 Listen More Sequences As with Figs. 1–3, play the following figures first by picking every note (use strict alternate picking) and then as written with slurs. Based upon a D natural minor scale (D–E–F–G–A–B) 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2 — 3,4,5,6,7,6,5,4,— 5,6,7,8,9,8,7,6 — etc. Towards the end of the figure, though, we move out of the sequence and into some bends. It’s often a good idea to disrupt the pattern after a couple of repetitions to avoid becoming stale or predictable. Figure 4 Listen
 The sequence in Fig. 5 uses a three-note-per-string D major scale (D–E–F#–G–A–B–C). It’s probably easiest to finger this scale using your first, second, and fourth fingers for the three notes on every string. Figure 5 Listen Figs. 6 and 7 take a slightly looser approach to the idea of sequences. Unlike the other sequences we have looked at, these do not consistently follow the pattern. Both figures also involve a pivot note—a note that the lick constantly returns to. In Fig. 6, the pivot note is always the open first string. In Fig. 7, however, the pivot note changes. In the first measure it is the G note (fifth fret, fourth string). But throughout the rest of the figure, the pivot shifts to other notes in the G minor pentatonic scale (G–Bb–C–D–F) that the sequence is based upon. Figure 6 Listen Figure 7

Try creating your own sequences. At first, it may be a bit difficult. However, you will find that sequences are not only excellent for developing technique (many times they will force you to use all four fingers of your fretting hand), but they may also bring you into previously unexplored realms of the fretboard.

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 Breen on 07/18/2009 Track 4 is Figure 6, track 5 is Figure 7, track 6 is some Vito Bratta thing from somewhere else. James Walsh on 07/09/2009 Yes. Great guitar licks and melodies are so important. They can make a song sound better.If it's a good hook even better. La on 06/20/2009 It's out of order audio to notation