The Missing Link: Try This Eric Johnson-Inspired Monster Lick

by Glenn Proudfoot
Posted Nov 10, 2013 at 1:07pm

In this Monster Lick, I'm using the A minor pentatonic with an added major 3rd (Notes: A, C, D, D#, E, G).

This particular lick, and the style I've developed, is the result of my obsession with Eric Johnson. When I first saw him play, I was so captivated and blown away that I set about learning everything and anything I could of his work.

Until I discovered his playing, my influences where Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. My love of the blues-rock guitar style and tonality is something I can't shake. For me, it's just how a guitar should sound!

It was at this time that I started to experiment with ways to move the pentatonic scale around the fretboard along the lines of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani and their modal playing.

I was finding it very difficult to put the pieces together. That's until I saw Johnson play. As soon as I heard and saw what he was doing, it put the missing pieces of the puzzle together for me. I had finally found a player who took rock and blues to the greatest technical heights while not losing musicality.

Some people might not think this lick and style are influenced by Johnson, but to me it is. All of it was drawn from his unbelievable style. I've simply adapted it to my own unique way of playing, combining sweep picking and arpeggios.

The Lick:

I start this lick in the fifth box of the pentatonic scale and quickly transition into the first box. From here I start using three-string arpeggios to combine two boxes at once.

The thing to focus on here is the pulls. They are the key to setting up the sweep-picking patterns. You will notice that whenever I am changing directions, meaning going from down the strings to up or up to down, I use a pull-off to set up the change.

Although this is sweep picking or economy picking, there are, of course, alternate-picked notes inside the run. But the transitions between strings are swept. This is the key!

If you've never used this picking technique before, it can take a little getting used to. But like all things, once you have a grasp on it, it will change the way you approach guitar for the better!

These transitions are easily identifiable on the transcript; whenever you see the pull-off symbol, this is where the picking transition is happening.

I hope you enjoy this Monster Lick! Please join me on YouTube right here! Or contact me at glennproudfoot.com or my Facebook page.

monster_3.jpg

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.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Hear "Temporal Landrons," Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado's Tribute to Shawn Lane and Eric Johnson — Video (11/4/2015)
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Temporal Landrons," a new song by Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado. The guitar-heavy track, a tribute to groundbreaking guitarists Shawn Lane and Eric Johnson, is from Suhy, Silvergold &a...
Essential Listening: Eric Johnson's 10 Greatest Guitar Songs (4/14/2015)
As much as he might try to deny it, Eric Johnson is a member of that small group of players sometimes referred to as "guitarists' guitarists." Players—like Jeff Beck, for instance—whose skills are (secretly, perhaps) the envy of his peers. John...
Eric Johnson Picking Lesson: Rolling Threes ("Cascade," Chapter 12) — Video (4/1/2015)
Today we bring you the latest lesson video by Troy Grady, the guitarist who brings you those ultra-intriguing "Cracking the Code" lesson videos that appear on GuitarWorld.com. "This is 'Cascade,' a chapter from our latest Masters in Mechanics se...
NAMM 2015: Roland announces the Eric Johnson Blues Cube Tone Capsule (1/23/2015)
Read more about NAMM 2015: Roland announces the Eric Johnson Blues Cube Tone Capsule at MusicRadar.com NAMM 2015: Eric Johnson's complete mastery of tone and taste has made him one of the most influential guitarists in history. Debuting at Winte...
Cracking the Code with Troy Grady: Eric Johnson's Pickslanting Pentatonics (1/15/2015)
The cascading waterfall of sound that is Eric Johnson's lead playing has captivated players and listeners for 30 years. Sonically, it's an almost formless wash of sunshine. In Johnson's ethereal soundscape, all the edges are smoothed away. Ev...
Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown, Round 1: Eric Johnson Fuzz Face Vs. Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face (10/31/2014)
It's time to compare the mettle of Jim Dunlop pedals! In GuitarWorld.com's latest readers poll — the first annual Jim Dunlop Effect Pedal Throwdown — we're pitting Dunlop, MXR and Way Huge pedals against each other in a no-holds-barred shootout....
Betcha Can't Play This: Eric Johnson-Inspired Blues Shred in A Minor by Elliott Klein (10/28/2014)
It's time for another edition of Betcha Can't Play This! Welcome a new Betcha Can't Play This guitarist — Elliott Klein — and his first lick, a bit of Eric Johnson-inspired blues shred in A minor. As with the other new-for-2014 "Betcha Can't Pla...
Eric Johnson and Mike Stern Discuss Their ‘Eclectic’ New Album (9/29/2014)
What do you get when you combine two bona-fide guitar heroes in their respective genres — and then have them go toe-to-toe with each other? You get Eclectic, a new album by blues/jazz/rocker Eric Johnson and jazz master Mike Stern. Recorded at ...
Preview Eric Johnson's New Single, "To Whom It May Concern" (1/16/2014)
In case you missed it over the holidays, guitarist Eric Johnson released a new single, "To Whom It May Concern," December 17 via Vortexan Music. Johnson has posted a 30-second clip of the song to his Soundcloud account, and you can check it out ...
Dear Guitar Hero: Eric Johnson Discusses His “Koto” Technique, Tone, Signature Strat and More (8/18/2013)
He's a perfection-driven, genre-bending ax slinger from Texas with one of the most distinctive electric guitar tones in music. But what Guitar World readers want to know is ... How did you get that fantastic liquid tone on “Cliffs of Dover,” and...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 2 — "Heartbreaker" (Jimmy Page) Vs. "Cliffs of Dover" (Eric Johnson) (7/22/2013)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, sta...
Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 1 — "Cliffs of Dover" (Eric Johnson) Vs. "Sympathy for the Devil" (Keith Richards) (7/10/2013)
A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, sta...
YouTube Fun with Paul Riario: Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth (6/27/2013)
Here are five choice YouTube videos I've been meaning to share ...When I actually liked Steve Vai: Steve looking and getting all Jack Butler with Graham Bonnett. Wicked solo. Pre-Ibanez days, with a Performance guitar, DiMarzio pickups and a rea...
Eric Johnson: the 10 greatest guitar tones of all time (9/9/2012)
"I first became aware of tone probably the first time I heard the electric guitar," says six-string master Eric Johnson. "Nokie Edwards had such a great sound. He didn't really do the distortion thing, but his clean tones were amazing. He was th...
Interview: Eric Johnson Discusses His Dunlop Signature Fuzz Face Pedal (8/23/2012)
Ask any guitarist to describe Eric Johnson in one word, and you'll likely get one response: “Tone." Johnson took the music world by storm with the release of his 1986 album Tones and the subsequent Ah Via Musicom from 1990. Since that time, he's...