Simple repeating licks for flash & show

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Poppa Stoppa, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    The Alvin Lee/Woodstock thread on the Soundhound Lounge made me wonder if anybody's got any flashy repeating licks they'd care to share. Alvin's bag of tricks seemed to me to contain a large number of 'em.

    There's a couple of guys that show up at my local jam who wheel them out with great impact.

    Here's the kind of thing I had in mind - a bit of economy or sweep picking & a few pull-offs or hammer-ons to produce a lick that can go round and round with metronomic precision and / or dizzying speed:

    In A on the top two strings (picking d=down, u=up, sweep the first two, pull off the others):

    d-d-u---d---d-d-u---d---d-d
    --5-8-5-7-5---5-8-5-7-5---5
    7-----------7------------7--
     
  2. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    I just learned an exciting idea you can use with any repeating four note sequence. The idea is to play this 4 note pattern using TRIPLETS. A four note repeat against the 3-note-per-quarter-note rthmic pattern creates a really really cool syncopated effect. It is very sax-like. I don't think i've heard a guitarist do it.

    This breathes life into these repeating patterns.

    I'm not very good at doing this yet. I was doing it with the metronome, but at this weekend's gigs I wasn't able to execute.

    By the way, the 4 note patterns doesn't need to be repeating. It also works well with 'coils' where you play four descending notes, then jump up three notes and play four descending notes again. Any pattern built of 4 note groupings sounds interesting when played in triplets.
     
  3. gennation

    gennation Member

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  4. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    willhutch thank you, 4 over 3 is a cool idea!

    I like 3 over 4 too - like this:
    --d----u-d----u-d----u
    E------5------5------5--
    A-5~7---5~7---5~7-----

    Like in Free's 'All Right Now'. I sometimes do that for a verse or more and it *almost* creates the kind of tension and audience reaction I'm after. Just needs a bit of twinkling up - which is why I'm asking you guys.

    Gennation thank you also, very nice lessons you have there, the only thing missing from my point of view being the exact picking pattern to get the phrases rolling round & round at high speed!

    Kirk Fletcher does a lick very like one of yours at 4:35 in this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGPhaWCgYY
    The licks he plays at 3:14-3:19, 3:52 and 4:35 are the sort of things I had in mind. The picking pattern is important, I think.
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    A funny thing I find is that you can play damned near ANY repeating pattern over and over, and the typical audience will just go nuts.

    Guitar players might be unimpressed, but the average Joe will go crazy over Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" solo long before they'll get worked up about some incredibly difficult George Benson or Robben Ford run.

    Hey, works for me. LOL!
     
  6. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    What does this tell us? For one thing, you don't need the greatest chops in the world to hit listeners in the heart. Playing simple stuff, - understandable stuff - LIKE YOU MEAN IT, works.

    I get all caught up on being as technically proficient as possible. I often forget that I already have plenty of chops to make great music. The area I need to focus on is well, making great music! It's actually having something to say that counts.

    anyway, let's get some repetitive riffs happening.

    Here's another way to spice up rapid fire repetitive riffs: play the pattern, then raise it up or down a half step for a cycle or two. This poor man's version of going 'outside'.
     
  7. LPSlinger

    LPSlinger Member

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    Derek Trucks does that once in a while. I know he does it a couple of times on the Allman Brothers Beacon Theatre DVD. It does give an outside, jazzy kind of feel.
     
  8. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Take your favorite triplet patterns and double them. 6 notes per beat. Gives you one more gear to shift into.
     
  9. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

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    Yep - but it takes practice. Sextuplets get too fast for me pretty quickly!
     
  10. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Start with a slow tempo, or a Blues backing track. When you can shift from triplets to 6's without losing the beat, you can speed up.... gradually.

    Remember to accent the downbeat. (the 7th note. But don't think about what happens in between. That will slow you down.) Accenting helps you to control the beat divisions. The mechanics are exactly the same.

    This works for 8th's to 16'ths too. Accent the downbeat, feel the beat divisions, and don't think about every note.
     

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