Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 01-04-2011

Posted by Michael Mueller on January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Happy 2011 GuitarInstructor visitors! I apologize for skipping our lick of the week last week, but I was on holiday—and the 30 inches of snow that dropped on us the day before didn't help matters much, either.

Lead LicksAnyhow, we're back, and this week, we've got a fun, repeating Mixolydian treat from our friend and gristle-crusher supreme, Greg Koch. If you're familiar with Greg's style, you know there's usually a healthy dose of delightfully twisted skullduggery injected into his lines, but this one, taken from Greg's killer Lead Licks book, is a little more straightforward and thus much more utilitarian.

Played over a C7 chord, this repeating pattern draws exclusively from the C Mixolydian mode (C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb). And even though it's not too "out there," Greg makes it unique with the repeated major 3rd to perfect 4th move (E-F). Although it's a consonant sound, it's not nearly as common as the ubiquitous minor 3rd to major 3rd (Eb-E) move typically heard in blues, country, and rockabilly licks.

You'll notice that, even though all the notes fall comfortably into 8th position on the fretboard, I use a first-finger shift between the G and B strings. You could play it in strict position, using your fret hand's middle and ring fingers on the E and F notes, respectively—and that would be a killer exercise—but I think you'll find it much easier to lead with your index finger.

Lick of the Week 1-4-2011

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