Quick Licks, April 2011

April 22, 2011


Brian Davidson sent in this little morsel. “The pattern is mostly two fretted notes followed by an open string,” he says. “Let the fretted and open notes overlap wherever possible for a harp-like sound. As written, it’s in C major—or F Lydian—so theoretically it works over any chord in the key of C. Change the Fs to F#s to play it over chords in G major. Keep the F#s, change the Cs to C#s, and it works over chords in D major, etc. Once you’re familiar with it, you can start on any note and play it in one-octave sections, G to G. A to A, etc. Also, try building little sequences of notes, as in 123, 234, 345, and so on.”


Laurence Juber was cool enough to show us some DADGAD tricks when he stopped by the office. “One thing that’s interesting about DADGAD is the symmetrical stuff,” he said as he cruised through the first half of this. It’s all about the 4th fret on one string and the 7th fret on the next lowest string, with open strings thrown in for good measure. Let everything ring—don’t bump into any open strings. “You can also move it up here,” he continued, as he executed the second half, a similar move in the ninth position. Chimey!


Josh Zee of the Mother Truckers demoed a bunch of cool country- fried blues licks when his band was last in town, including this chicken-pickin’ party. Flatpick the triplets but keep them mostly muted with either your right or left hand. Snap the high notes with your ring finger and then slide into the next position from below. Keep it super greasy and squawky. The licks will work over the changes as written, or you can play each lick twice for a more traditional turnaround.

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