Lead Guitar Lesson – 5 Blues Licks

by LGZ2H on January 11, 2011

Lead Guitar Lesson – 5 Blues Licks To Improve Your Soloing

If you’ve downloaded the blues Guitar Scales PDF then you can put it to some good use by learning these 5 Licks!

The Blues is definitely a guitar oriented genre and it’s a great place to start when learning to play lead guitar.

It’s not that hard to learn blues lead guitar but there are a few very important things you need to learn and always improve on.

• Vibrato
• Bending
• Gaps

Vibrato is absolutely essential in Blues. It is what really distinguishes the amateurs from the advanced players. Even if your technique or knowledge is not very advanced, having a good vibrato, and using it at the right places in your solos, will make everything you play sound great.

Bending is very important. In fact is the only thing Eric Clapton still practices so it makes sense that us mere mortals also work on it right?

The gaps you leave when you solo is also very important. By leaving some gaps, you create ‘breathing’ spaces for the listener and yourself. This makes your playing sound more natural, and also prevents you from running out of licks early. Which is a big bonus! There’s nothing worse than starting this blazing solo only to find you don’t have anymore licks left after the first couple of bars. The trick is to pace yourself…

Anyway, there are mainly two shapes used in blues, the ‘minor pentatonic’, and of course the good ‘ole the ‘Blues’ scale. Both these scale types are covered in my Guitar Scales PDF eBook which you can grab for just $9.95.

Below are 5 licks you can get your teeth stuck into. Please leave some comments and as usual have fun!

Example 1

Click the Image To Enlarge The Tab

This is a very common, yet powerful lick in A minor pentatonic position 1.

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Lead Guitar Lesson - Blues Lick 1

Example 2

Here the lick is in the same position but we focus more on the lower strings, This is a lick that could work well as an answer to the lick in example 1.

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Lead Guitar Lesson - Blues Lick 2

Example 3

This is example uses position 3 of the minor pentatonic. Although the same lick can be played on the higher strings of position 1, the notes have more tone and sustain in this register of the neck.

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Lead Guitar Lesson - Blues Lick

Example 4

This lick makes use of the b5 (flat five).

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Lead Guitar Lesson - Blues Lick 4

Example 5

Repetition for emphasis. A good lick can even be better with the use of some repetition.

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Lead Guitar Lesson - Blues Lick 5

Above we’ve seen a few examples of how to use the pentatonic and blues scale when soloing, however since they are very easy shapes, experiment with them, and you will very quickly find new licks. For further listening, have a listen to the three Kings (Albert, Freddie and B.B) as well as more modern players such as John Mayer.

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