Lick of the Day #4

Lick of the Day #4

It may look like there is a lot going on in this collection of licks, but if you break it down there isn’t much to it. Some slides, some hammers, a rest and some pulls. No big deal.

The trick is to forget about memorization. Focus on the rhythm and the chord progression and the licks will lead into each other. You have probably heard Earl Scruggs and other bluegrass banjo players playing variations on this theme.

This is a bluegrass-inspired exercise, so remember that the distinctive element of bluegrass is a chopped rhythm at puts emphasis on the off-beats: One TWO three FOUR.  For example, in the first three measures the emphasis is not on the slide but the strum.

Don’t play this timidly. You don’t have to play fast, but to make something like this work you do have to play confidently.

It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are cool. When you play something like this fast it feels and sounds so different from plunking it out slowly and quietly one note at a time.

Lick Ingredients

  • Basic frailing strum
  • Slides
  • Hammers
  • Rests
  • Phantom hammers
  • Pulls
  • Double-thumbing