About The Lick
This electric blues lick is heavily inspired by Texas Blues and the guitar solo and licks that Kenny Wayne Shepherd played on his 1998 hit song ‘Blue On Black‘. This lick starts with a pickup of 3 sixteenth notes, the first being a full tone bend on the 12th fret of the G-string. Usually, I play this bend with 3 fingers, but in fast licks like this one, I only use my middle finger. Don’t worry if it’s not a full tone exactly. A 3/4-bend is fine too.
Next, bar the 10th frets of the B and E-string with your index finger. Pick the first one with a downstroke and the second one with an upstroke. This upstroke is essential because it changes your picking direction.
In the next bar, bend the 13th fret of the B-string a full tone up. This is a long note, so you can band and hold the string with three fingers. Pick vigorously with a downstroke. Personally, I like to add the sound of the muted D and G-string for effect.
Next are two groups of sextuplets (my favorite tuplets!). Start with the 10th fret on the E-string with an upstroke, then the 13th fret on the B-string with a downstroke, and lastly, do a pull-off to the 10th fret on the B-string.
The next bend resembles the one we started with, and it boomerangs the lick back up to the 10th fret on the B-string and the E-string. The picking pattern is the same, but the rhythm differs because we’re playing sextuplets. Adding this boomerang technique to your blues and rock guitar licks is a real superpower. Using this concept, you can repeat these licks for as long as you like!
After a similar descent, with a pull-off from the 13th to the 10th fret on the B-string, play the 13th fret on the G-string with a downstroke. This is the blue note.
Next, pick the 12th fret on the G-string with an upstroke and do a pull-off to the 10th fret and a hammer-on (from nowhere) to the 12th fret on the D-string. Pay special attention to the flow of sextuplet rhythm.
Finally, do a hammer-on from the 10th to the 12th fret on the G-string. I like to land on a downstroke here.
Practice this blues lick with a metronome or on the backing track (that is not quantized by the way!). Cheers, Maarten.