Hi to all, and welcome to my first column. Let's say you and a buddy were jamming in the key of Em. Where would you start to solo at? Most guitarists would probally bolt straight for the 12th fret and that world famous Em pentatonic/blues scale. Nothing wrong with that, but what we're going to be learning are some different starting points so you don't get stuck using the same position for every solo. Some of these stretches will be pretty toughat first, so take your time and make sure you warm up first.
MP3 - Example 1
OK, this lick is based off of the blues scale. We're going to use just two strings (E & B), we're starting at the 5th fret on the B string, and with a little slippin' and slidin' we're going to end up at the 17th fret. The trick to getting these to sound smooth is to take your time learning each separate position on the way up the fretboard.
MP3 - Example 2
We'll start out like Example 1, but now we'll work our way down the fretboard.
MP3 - Example 3
This is one of my favorite licks! It starts with the blues scale, then we shift to a descending Em pentatonic arpeggio. We end it by going back to the blues scale and hitting the tonic, or root note.
MP3 - Example 4
We'll start on E on the 7th fret on the A string and work our way up to the E note by bending the D note on the 10th fret (on the high E string) up to E. Notice with all these licks we didn't once use the basic pentatonic/blues box.
Once you learn these examples, take them and play them in all twelve keys and before you know it you'll have your own little catalog of cool licks! Hope you enjoy these ideas. You can email any comments or suggestions to me, and I would like to thank Dan McAvinchey for giving me the opportunity to write for this wonderful site. See ya next time.