Sick Licks: Get Ready for Some B Minor Ballistics

by Glenn Proudfoot
Posted Jan 2, 2013 at 11:30am

In this Sick Lick, I'm using the B diminished/augmented and B minor pentatonic flat 5 (blues) scales.

This lick is based around the wide intervalic shapes that are created when combining the diminished and pentatonic. This style is very heavily influenced by Shawn Lane and his use of wide intervals to create runs.

I particularly love this technique with these two scales as it opens up many new possibilities while remaining in the tonal core of the pentatonic. This is something that is very important for me as I am always very aware of keeping the power and aggression in my rock soloing while not losing the intensity of the the original tonal core.

The possibilities with these scales are tremendous, especially when you start to incorporate string skipping and wide intervalic playing like in this lick. My approach to creating the wide intervals is by using three notes per string (We are traditionally taught these scales two notes per string). This immediately opens up the possibilities and creates the wide intervalic sound.

Many players struggle with this when it comes time to solo. They always find themselves going back to the same couple of runs and licks. With ideas like these, it really will open up a whole new bag of tricks for you! Like all these licks, it's not important to be able to play the whole thing exactly how I have done here; your goal should be to understand and get a grasp of the techniques used, then adapt it to your own style and approach.

I have been heavily influenced by many players throughout my career, and I continue to be, but the thing I've always done is take what I have learned and interpret it in my own unique way. I think this is a key element of creating your own style: Have your influences, but don't set out to copy them note for note. Simply embrace it and nurture it into your own style.

The Lick:

I start this lick on the fifth fret of the low E and start a series of three-string arpeggios with legato. The first arpeggio starts on the low E, moving down to the D string, then the next starts from the A string moving down to the G string. The next starts on the G string moving down to the high E string. You can see the pattern or the principal for this run. I suggest you break down the start of this lick as I've mentioned. This will give you an understanding of how the run is created.

The next section is legato using the diminished/augmented scale. This section is using triplets or groups of six. Although the first note in the legato is marked at the 10th fret on the high E, the pattern rhythmically starts on the 13 fret. From there the pattern is six notes long then starts from a different string.

The remainder of the lick is a combination of legato and arpeggios that is more of a free-flowing shred. Still the principles are the same, utilizing three-string arpeggios and legato. I suggest focusing in on the two above-explained sections as they are the key to nailing the whole lick. Once you have them down, the rest will be a piece of cake!

I hope you enjoy! Please join me on YouTube here.

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Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, Lick Em, in 2010. It is available on iTunes and at glennproudfoot.com. Glenn was featured in the October 2010 issue of Guitar World and now creates "Betcha Can’t Play This" segments and lessons for GW. Glenn also has a monthly GW column, "Loud & Proud," which offers insight into his style and approach to the guitar. Glenn is working on a project with Ezekiel Ox (ex Mammal) and Lucius Borich (Cog), which is managed by Ted Gardner, ex-Tool and Jane's Addiction manager. The band has done pre-production on 22 tracks and is set to hit the studio and finish their first studio album. The album is set for release in 2012. Glenn also is working on the followup to his debut album; it, too, will be released in 2012.