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Open String Flash Licks Master Class

By Paul Tauterouff
Section I: In this lesson you will learn how to create your own licks using hammers and pulls
combined with open strings. Using this technique during improvisations will help you to create
interesting, fast pedal point licks with wide intervals.
The licks in this lesson are all in the Lydian Mode in E, but you can (and should) use this technique
with any mode or scale including the Pentatonic Scale. So, do not just memorize the licks! This
lesson will be of the greatest benefit to you if you take the concept and use it to generate your own
ideas in different keys and with various scales.
So with that in mind let's get started!
Here is a typical two-octave Lydian Mode (in E) pattern played at the 12th fret.

Lets take a look at the notes of the E Lydian Mode.

They are: E, F#, G#, A#, B, C# and D#
If we analyze these notes we see that E and B are the only two scale tones that are available on
open strings. So let's lay out our E Lydian Mode on the B String.
The frets we will use on the B string will be:
Open (B), 2nd (C#), 4th (D#), 5th (E), 7th (F#), 9th (G#), 11th (A#), 12th (B), and 14th (C#) fret.

Example 1 is the ascending version of the basic idea: you pick the open B string and then hammer
the next two notes. Due to the small amount of picking involved its very easy to play this lick at a
fast speed and achieve a very fluid sound.

If youd a free E Lydian jam track to practice along with, as well as other great free guitar lessons,
visit http://paultauterouff.com/freeguitarlesson.php
Example 2 is the descending version of Example 1. Notice that even though we are working our
way back down the neck of the guitar we are still using ascending hammers.

To recap heres how you would use this in your own improvisation:

Determine what scale or mode you using in your soloing

Figure out what notes in that scale are available as open strings
Lay out your scale on open string(s) as determined above
Mix the open string notes into your solos

This concept may seem a little complicated at first, but if you have good scale knowledge you should
be able to quickly implement this into your playing. Knowledge of scales and modes is essential to
creating great solos, so if you find yourself lacking in this area I recommend you brush up on this.

Section II: In this next section you will learn ways to expand on the concept we discussed in Part I
to create even flashier sounding (yet easy to play) licks. Then I will teach you an additional concept
that you can use to create less predictable sounding licks and runs.
As with Section I, we are using the E Lydian Mode, but you should experiment with using this
concept with other modes as well as the Pentatonic Scale.
You will get the greatest benefit from this (as with all of my lessons) by using the concepts or ideas
discussed to generate your own licks in different keys and with various scales.
Ready? Then let's get ripping!!!

Example 1:
In this example the 3-note pattern from the first section is expanded it into a 4-note lick. This lick is
shown moving down the neck, but you should practice this moving up as well.

Pretty cool stuff right? This is a great sounding lick. It's easy to play it quickly too!!!
Note: If youd like a Free video guitar lesson demonstrating additional free bonus licks visit

The Twisted Rule Of Threes

Here is a fun idea you can apply to this and (of course) other licks you play. I call it "Paul's Twisted
Rule Of Threes." (Note: it's not really a rule, just a silly name I gave it.)
The idea came from the typical 3-note sequences most guitarists play.
This may seem complicated at first, but please bear with me and youll see its easy to understand
A typical 3-note sequence a guitarist might use to play a one octave C Major (or any) Scale would
go like this: "CDE - DEF - EFG - FGA - GAB - ABC"
So in essence what you are doing when playing this 3-note sequence is:
1. Playing three notes in order

2. Moving back one note and playing three notes in order again
3. Repeat as desired
What if we used this same sort of idea to sequence through little sections of the fretboard or
modules rather than just a straight scale?
Right about now you are probably scratching your head and saying "Huh???!!!
The easiest way to help you to understand this concept is to just look at a lick which uses it. Then,
go back and read the above explanation and it should make more sense to you. Trust me, it is worth
taking the time to understand this because it sounds really cool. (Remember when I told you to bear
with me?)

Example 2: This is simply Example 1 with the "Twisted Rule Of Threes" concept applied.

Notice how in measure one we played the first three groupings of the lick, move back one position,
do three groupings from there, and then repeat the process.

Section III: In this final section you will learn additional ways to implement the concepts we
discussed in Part II - the open string hammers and pulls and the "twisted rule of threes" ideas.
The licks we will be examining are excerpts from a guest solo I played on the track "Deceiver" from
my good friend Nick Layton's Storming The Castle CD. Thanks to Nick for permission to use the
audio clip in this lesson.
Lets break down the two licks which utilize the open string hammers and pulls and "threes
The majority of the solo uses notes in the key of G minor.
Lick One: (which occurs at around 00:08 in the audio clip) uses open strings hammered onto two
notes on each string. It's a pretty straightforward lick, and it's fairly easy to play licks like this at
high speed.

Audio Clip
Note: Once again, you can get a Free video guitar lesson demonstrating these two licks and
additional free bonus licks visit http://paultauterouff.com/open_string_lesson.php
Lick Two: (00:09 in the audio clip) uses pulls-offs to open strings and also the "rules of three"
concept from Open String Flash Licks Part II. The notes of the G minor pentatonic scale combined
with the open string notes which imply a G Dorian tonality, but I wasn't thinking about this - I was
just trying to burn!

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I hope you have found this lesson helpful. You will get the greatest benefit from this lesson by using
the concepts or ideas discussed to generate your own licks in different keys and with various scales.
Happy jamming!
Paul Tauterouff

2010 Paul Tauterouff All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.