3 Free Shred Guitar Licks


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Lick 1

This lick utilizes one of my favourite rhythmic patterns – quintuplets

I use a 2 string pattern for this lick which shifts with every repetition. Starting in the 7th fret position, which is Shape 5 of the A Aeolian scale, we play 2 beats worth of quintuplets (counted as UN-I-VERS-I-TY) before position shifting to the A string and Shape 6 of A Aeolian (the same as Shape 1 of the C major scale, read here for a more thorough explanation) and repeating the lick pattern. This idea is simply repeated across each new position shift and then finishes on a high A exit note.

Lick 2

Lick 2 introduces some arpeggio tapping whilst staying with the quintuplet rhythm

Arpeggios and the fretboard tapping technique are made for each other – both offer wonderful wide interval sounds by their very nature. This lick starts with an A Minor 7 arpeggio – A, C, E & G (IntervalsRoot Note, Minor 3rd, Perfect 5th & Minor 7th) which I trigger with a tap (on a conveniently placed Perfect 4th interval at the 17th fret) and then go to a rolling quintuplet pattern skipping strings to G and then high E. The lick then makes a big jump to an F Major 7 arpeggio at the 8th fret and descends to the G then A strings before rolling and changing direction back to high E. Watch out for the final exit on high E which uses a septuplet (7 notes per beat) roll and slides up to a high A at 17th fret.

Lick 3

An expansion on Lick 1, Lick 3 adds some rhythmic variation and a descending pattern

The main thing to watch out for with this lick is the acceleration from 16th notes to quintuplets. Disciplined practice at slow speed is the way to master this. This way a player is able to count the rhythm of the lick, using rhythmic counting language, to clearly understand the push/pull nature of this kind of rhythmic interplay. The descending portion of Lick 3 is all out quintuplets and can be added on to the end of Lick 1 to create a longer quintuplet run if desired.

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 3 free shred guitar licks

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