5 Rock Guitar Licks From The Hirajoshi Scale

by Tom Hess


start building lightning
fast guitar picking speed
How To Build Lightning Fast Guitar Picking Speed e-Book
ENTER YOUR NAME AND
EMAIL TO GET ACCESS
FREE Ebook

By submitting your info, you agree to send it to Tom Hess Music Corporation who will process and use it according to their privacy policy.

 
If you want your rock guitar licks & solos to stand out from other lead guitar players...
 
...you’ve got to know the Hirajoshi scale.

What is the Hirajoshi scale?

The Hirajoshi scale is a 5-note (i.e. pentatonic) scale from Japan.

And just like the standard pentatonic (blues) scale everyone knows, it also has 5 box shapes.

(Shapes anyone can easily learn.)

But unlike guitar licks made from the standard pentatonic scale...

...it gives your guitar licks a unique, exotic sound.

(Unless you are fan of lead guitar players like Marty Friedman.)

And that means...

...when you start using it – you’ll get an avalanche of new ideas to spice up your rock guitar licks and solos.

(Ideas that help you build your own unique musical style.)

To begin, check out the video below to see & hear the Hirajoshi scale shapes in action:
 


Now that you know the basics, here are the best ways to apply the Hirajoshi scale into your guitar playing:
 

Hirajoshi Scale Tip #1: Connect the Shapes


start building lightning
fast guitar picking speed
How To Build Lightning Fast Guitar Picking Speed e-Book
ENTER YOUR NAME AND
EMAIL TO GET ACCESS
FREE Ebook

By submitting your info, you agree to send it to Tom Hess Music Corporation who will process and use it according to their privacy policy.


In the video, I showed you 5 shapes of the Hirajoshi scale. These patterns snap together like puzzle pieces to map out ONE SCALE that covers the entire guitar neck.

Here is your assignment:

Practice the 5 Hirajoshi scale shapes until you can play them one after the other without thinking.

This is key to playing lead guitar solos without getting lost.

Watch this video to get more tips on how to learn the Hirajoshi scale (or any scale) all over the guitar:
 


Hirajoshi Scale Tip #2:Use Rubato

One of my personal lead guitar pet peeves is lack of rhythmic variety.

Meaning: rock guitar licks that only use strict divisions of the beat (8th notes, 16th notes ,or triplets) and never use rubato.

What is rubato?

It means suddenly speeding up (or slowing down) your playing without being in strict time.

Note: there is a BIG difference between playing rubato (deliberately stretching the rhythm) and playing out of time due to lack of skill.

Watch this video to see and hear many rubato examples and start using this technique in your guitar playing (rubato sounds especially great with the Hirajoshi scale and rock guitar licks made from it):
 


Hirajoshi Scale Tip #3: End Your Rock Guitar Licks With Dramatic Vibrato

Vibrato, in my opinion, is the single most important lead guitar technique. It sounds especially cool with the Hirajoshi scale.

I often tell my guitar students: “if you only improve your vibrato, your entire lead guitar playing will sound way better… even if you never play faster or cleaner than you can right now”.

The secret to playing a wide and controlled vibrato is… your fretting hand thumb.

See the photo below:
 

Guitar vibrato technique


After you get your vibrato technique dialed in, keeping it in tune by watching this vibrato lead guitar lesson.


Hirajoshi Scale Tip #4: Master Dramatic String Bends

You can make any lead guitar lick more exotic by milking it using string bends. This applies even if it isn't the Hirajoshi scale.

How do you do that?

The secret is in the release of the bend.

This rock guitar licks video shows how to inject emotion into any lead guitar lick, by releasing basic string bends in dramatic ways:
 


Use these tips as you practice the Hirajoshi scale and you’ll love the rock guitar licks that come out of your amp.

The next step to making your lead guitar solos sound better is to boost your guitar picking speed. I show you how in my free eGuide: “How To Build Lighting Fast Lead Guitar Picking Speed”. Download it today and discover speed picking secrets most guitarists never know.


Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Improve your rock guitar licks with proven electric guitar lessons for rock guitarists.

EmailForward this article to your friends

© 2002-2021 Tom Hess Music Corporation