Your Attention Please! Part 2!

Welcome to the second part of my series on attention getting licks. In this one we will focus on some other ways to get folks to stop and listen to what you are doing in a guitar solo. Like I mentioned in part one, licks that feature wider intervals tend to do a good job of tickling the ear of the listener, even if they aren't a musician. Small but simple things such a tremolo dives and flutters, as well as slides can also get folks to stop and take notice. Let's see what's on the menu today!

The Obligatory Diminished Lick

That's right friends our good friend the diminished lick is back and this time it is staying on only two strings. Here we are taking advantage of the fact that on the G and B strings we can easily move up and down in minor thirds. The ascending portion of this lick uses a somewhat conventional picking sequence, while the descending part adds both tapping and slides before it crescendos into a whammy dive and harmonic scream. Love the diminished licks, love em'.

MP3 - Diminished Lick


Sweep Arpeggios with Tapping and Slides

In this example we will use a multi octave sweep arpeggio where we will be tapping the root of the arpeggio as we play our way through a progression in the key of A minor. As we play we will be adding tap on slides and double taps before ending with a tapped pedal tone descending run. Because of the speed at which we play through the arpeggios and because of the sliding tapped ideas, this lick has a wild unusual sound. The descending tapped pedal idea wraps it up in a neat bow!

MP3 - Sweep Arpeggios


Eight Finger Tapping Lick

For this lick I want to introduce the eight finger tapping idea to the uninitiated amongst us. We will be using Pentatonic scales for these examples and will be essentially mirroring the left hand up a fifth. This makes the coordination between the two hands easier since they are both doing the same idea. I like to think of my left hand as acting as a remote control for my right hand. Here we are using our good friend the A minor pentatonic scale skipping strings while tapping up a fifth on the ascending part but hammering and pulling on the descending part by grouping the strings in threes. The interval skips on this particular lick are what will draw the listener into what you are playing, before you hit them with the left hook that is the descending tapping part. We will further discuss eight finger tapping in future articles, but this is a good start.

MP3 - Eight Finger Tapping Lick


So there you have it folks, part two of this series. I will be back next time to give you the heads up on some more awesome finger twisters. As always I want to invite you to visit my website, if you would like to hear some more of my music, check out my bio, or see some gear photos. In fact I have recently added some new shots of my live rig from the show we just did with the legendary band Montrose. Have fun and I will see you next time!

Scott Allen is a 1996 graduate of the Musician's Institute, G.I.T. He currently teaches guitar to 65 to 70 students weekly at Northridge Music Center.

His latest CD is entitled "III", featuring his impressively fluid playing, with a style marked by an incendiary sense of phrasing.

Scott Allen