Start Creating Cool Guitar Licks By Making These Small & Easy Changes

by Tom Hess

What is the most frequently made mistake that turns potentially cool guitar licks into lifeless, robotic licks that sound like exercises rather than music?


Focusing too much on playing a lot of notes versus creating high-quality musical phrases.

For instance:

Have you ever felt lost while improvising after several minutes and don't know what to play... you just keep searching for new notes you can hang onto that sound pretty good?

This approach generally does not produce guitar licks that sound amazing.

Plus, it makes improvising and creating guitar licks feel frustrating.

Good news:

It’s easier than you think to massively improve the quality and musical expression of your guitar licks.

You don't need to learn a ton of new scales or exercises to do it.

Right now, focus on making the guitar licks you already know sound completely jaw-dropping.


I’ll show you.

Watch this video to see how I helped a guitar student start transforming boring guitar licks into badass guitar licks:

Here is a short and easy exercise to implement the ideas from the video:

  1. Choose any small guitar lick you are able to play consistently well.
  2. Improvise with it for one minute by using vibrato technique in as many ways as you can think of on any combination of notes.
  3. Improvise with it for one minute by using vibrato technique and bending technique.
  4. Improvise with it for one minute by creating as many variations of the lick as possible using legato technique (such as slides, hammer ons or pull offs).
  5. Finally, improvise freely with the lick for a two minutes using any combination of techniques.

This simple practice approach trains you to create more expressive guitar licks that integrate different techniques together for smoother sounding phrases. All this is done through small, easy changes to improve the quality of notes within a phrase.

Focus on making at least one note sound totally amazing each time you improvise until you are able to make entire phrases sound the same way!

Practice this exercise for just 5 or 10 minutes a day and watch as your phrasing skills go through the roof!

There are many other effective ways for making any guitar lick you play sound amazing.

Want to learn more right now, for free? You got it.

Improve your guitar lick creativity now by using the Lydian mode as explained in this article about improving guitar phrasing skills.

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 guitar phrasing skills in no time by taking online rock guitar classes.

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