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February 2013 Quick Licks

January 30, 2014
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THE BARRE-TENDER

“Everyone plays in front of the barre, but here’s a way to get some ‘behind the barre’ action,” says GP Records artist Jimmy Leslie. “Use your pinky to barre the top three or four strings, and stretch your third finger to play the same fret on the bottom string. Now use your first two fingers to work the lower register. I simply ascend and descend chromatically on the ‘Batman’-style lick at the heart of my song, ‘Save Us!’ This makes a cool 12-bar progression if you play the figure for Bm, Em, and F#m, turning the whole thing around with a single bar of F#7 [not shown].”

BECK CYCLING

Jeff Beck has access to notes that simply are not on my guitar, which is why it’s refreshing when I hear a lick of his that I can actually figure out. This Quick Lick approximates the killer line that he plays at 1:45 in his song “Star Cycle” off There and Back. It outlines a G7 arpeggio in a super-slick fashion, with just enough chromaticism and string skipping to keep you, and the listener, on your toes. The bent-G-to-fretted- G madness in the second bar is a fantastic workout in itself.

ENGLAND’S DREAMING

The UK’s Peter Sklaroff kicked down this slinky little number. “I initially wrote this as a Pat Martino-style jazz lick,” he says, “but it seems to have found favour with fusion and rock style players as well. This is a great chromatic-flavoured line for playing over Cm7, although it works over a whole series of other chords too, such as F7, Bbmaj7, Ebmaj7. It can be played either with strict alternate picking or using a more legato technique. The line starts in the tenth position and works its way down to around the fifth position via a series of chromatic and diatonic scale patterns. It uses a mixture of Dorian and melodic minor scales and wraps up with an Ebmaj7#5 arpeggio.”

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