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More Blues Licks


In the book/DVD/CD course Flatpicking the Blues Brad Davis provides you with a great number of blues licks. There are licks based on scales, licks based on techniques such as bending and double-stops, and licks that are based on the styles of great blues players such as Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Bill Monroe. On this page we will continue to provide you with more licks from blues players and bluegrass players and also more licks for Brad's extensive repertoire. Stay tuned!

E Minor Pentatonic Blues Scale Licks

In Flatpicking the Blues Brad Davis provides a good number of G, C, and D licks for you to practice and utilize. There are licks in the ear training exercises, licks in the bending section, licks in the various song examples, bass run licks in the rhythm section, and a ton of licks in the improvisation sections. One of your homework assignments (page 85) was to go back to the beginning of the book and repeat all of the improvisation exercises in the key of E. If you play bluegrass and you work with the E minor pentatonic scale at the top of page 84, you may notice that an awful lot of your standard bluegrass licks in the key of G come directly from that Em blues scale, including the most famous bluegrass guitar lick the Lester Flatt "G-run." Below we will provide you with a couple of variations of the G-run and then move on to show a number of other licks in G that are based on the Em blues scale.

Lick #1: This lick is one of the standard "G-run" licks in bluegrass. It is used by bluegrass guitar players as a fill between vocal lines, to act as an the "exclamation point" at the end of a solo, or as a kick of to a solo. It is the most common lick in the bluegass guitar. Variations abound, but this is one of the most common. Compare this G-run lick with the E minor pentatonic blues scale. You will notice that every note of the lick is in that particular scale.

Lick #2: This is another variation of the bluegrass G-run. There are a lot of them!

Lick #3: This is a descending lick that is great to use at the end of a tune. You will notice that every single note of this run comes from the E minor pentatonic blues scale (lick #1). A variation of this would be to add on the G-run (lick#2) to the end of this (don't repeat the final G, just launch off of it and play the rest of the run).