9 April 2008

Blues Guitar Licks: More Major Pentatonic

This week's lick shows you an example extending the pentatonic major and bar chord position in last week's lick.

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 1 2 & 3

This lick in E major starts with a chord fragment from the A bar chord form. It uses the 3, 1 and 5 notes of the chord on the B, G and D strings respectively. The chord is followed up with a slide up to the E scale's major 3rd at the 13th fret. The phrase comes to a short rest on the E chord's 5th note, use some vibrato on this one and then follow up with another chord fragment.

In the second bar we start off again with the chord fragment. This time we follow up with a slide up from the 4th note (borrowed from the minor pentatonic scale) to the major 5th.

The lick finishes with another E chord fragment from the E bar chord form. This time the notes are the major 3rd on the G string, followed by the 5th on the B string and, finally, the root E note on the e string. Play this fragment by sweeping your pick across the strings a little slowly to let each note sound separately and then blend into the others as they are sounded in turn.

Using chord fragments like this is useful when you're playing on your own or in a band without a second guitar to back up your solos. You can use it to add some harmonic background to your solos, or as an alternative to bar chords to leave more space in an accompaniment.

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