Lead Guitar Lick Creativity Lesson - Super Octave Slides
by Tom Hess
Emotion To Any Guitar Lick
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Here is an awesome way to add fire to any lead guitar lick you play.
Play any note …
… then slide up at least an octave (12 frets) up the fretboard (do it quickly)…
… and finish off with a dramatic (wide & fast) guitar vibrato.
(For bonus points: you can also slide back to the note you started.)
What you just played is a lead guitar technique I call:
And you can use this technique in almost any style to easily solo all over the fretboard.
Instead of being stuck in one scale shape.
Emotion To Any Guitar Lick
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Want to see how it's done?
Watch this video where I teach you the lead guitar lick creativity technique of super slides in detail:
Super slides are just one of many high-impact lead guitar lick creativity techniques that can add fire to your playing.
Here are a few more:
Lead Guitar Lick Creativity Technique #1: Backslides
A backslide is closely related to the super slide (and it’s one of my favorite lead guitar ornaments).
Here is how you do it:
Play any note. Slide up to a higher pitch and quickly return back to the original note.Watch this video about playing lead guitar solos to see it in action:
Note: a backslide is lead guitar lick ornament on a single note. It’s NOT 3 separate notes.
It also doesn't really matter how far you slide when you do a backslide. (Nobody can hear where you slide to, because the backslide happens so fast. All people notice is the effect of the technique.)
As an aside: Ornaments like super slides and backslides help you create better lead guitar lick phrasing in solos by giving you more time to think.When you ornament a note you already played with a backslide (or a super slide) – you have a few extra moments to decide what to play next.
Here is how it works:
Ornaments act as buffers. While your fingers are playing a variation of a lead guitar lick you already played, your brain has time to choose the next idea.
Question: “Tom Hess, won’t this make my solos repetitive if I add too many ornaments to the same lead guitar lick? Shouldn’t lead guitar solos need more variety?”
Answer: Yes and no. Too much of any good thing can become a bad thing. (Just think of what happens to your body when you drink too much water.)
Too much variety can be a bad thing … same way as too much staleness can be a bad thing.
Great lead guitar solos have balance between repetition and variety.
Most guitarists already struggle from too much lead guitar lick repetition … Repetition of boring phrasing.
They play different notes with the same (weak) phrasing. Their lead guitar solos are an equivalent of a punctuation-free wall off text… read in a monotone voice.
Sure, the words are different, but they all feel the same.
Here is a lead guitar lick creativity improvement lesson on how to change this forever:
Lead Guitar Lick Creativity Technique #2: Guitar vibrato tapping
What do you get when you combine 2-hand tapping, fretting hand legato and guitar vibrato?
You get a melodic & lyrical lead guitar lick that makes you sound very advanced, even if you can’t play fast yet.
When you make a lead guitar lick like this, you take a technique you’d normally only hear in metal music…
…and make it fit into any style (including emotional ballads, classic rock and even blues).
Yes, you read correctly.
All it takes is a couple of easy tweaks to the way you apply 2-hand tapping to play a cool new guitar lick right now.
Ready to see how it’s done?Use the lead guitar lick improvement tips in video below:
To do guitar vibrato tapping well, practice 2 lead guitar lick creativity techniques separately.
First, let’s cover guitar vibrato technique basics:
1. Keep Your Vibrato ‘In Tune’ At All Times
To do guitar vibrato well, focus on timing and intonation.
While applying vibrato to a note, ALWAYS keep your vibrato ‘in tune’.
This is essential!
If your guitar vibrato is not in tune, it will totally ruin an otherwise killer solo. Keep your vibrato in tune by bending the string all the way up to the target pitch and returning the string back to the original pitch where you began.
Listen to the two examples below to hear the difference between perfect guitar vibrato technique and amateur guitar vibrato technique that is out of tune.
Example 1 - Perfect Guitar Vibrato: Hear It
Example 2 - Out Of Tune Guitar Vibrato: Hear It
2. Make The Depth/Width Of Your Guitar Vibrato Appropriate For The Music You Play
Listen to the examples below to hear the difference between narrow, wide and ‘very wide’ guitar vibrato when applied to the same pitch:
Example 1 - Narrow Vibrato (less than a half step): Hear It
Note: Keep in mind that using narrow guitar vibrato CAN make a lead guitar lick of any kind sound good if the context is right for it - The problem you must avoid is ‘only’ using this type of vibrato because you lack the ability to make wide guitar vibrato sound good/in tune when the context calls for it.
Example 2 - Wide Guitar Vibrato (half step): Hear It
Example 3 - Very Wide Guitar Vibrato (whole step): Hear It
Note: Using whole step guitar vibrato isn't necessarily always better than using vibrato that is a half step wide.
Pay attention to the musical context to decide which type of guitar vibrato technique is most appropriate.
Wide guitar vibrato adds ‘conviction’ in contexts that demand this kind of intensity (something that narrow vibrato cannot achieve).
While a more narrow/subtle guitar vibrato sounds best in less intense musical situations.
Master both narrow and wide guitar vibrato, so you can freely express yourself with the technique in any musical context.
Now, let’s talk about playing a 2-hand tapping lead guitar lick:
Most times, I like to use my middle finger to do tapping. This way, I don’t have to change how I hold the pick.
The main points to remember about tapping are:
- your tapping finger does hammer ons and pull off motions when you play. Pluck the string down (towards the floor) to get loud & articulated tapped notes.
- Mute excess string noise. I do it by resting my picking hand’s thumb on the lower strings, while the middle finger does the tapping.
- pay attention to the rhythm of the tapped notes. Don’t make your tapping faster than the other notes (the ones you play with your fretting hand).
Watch this 2-hand tapping tutorial to see me cover this lead guitar lick creativity technique in more detail:
Delayed resolution not only puts more emotion into any lead guitar lick…
… it nearly guarantees to bring a wandering listener’s attention back onto your playing anytime you want.
(It’s almost like you command your listeners to “obey” the ideas in your lead guitar solos… and they do.)
You don’t have to be an advanced guitar player to use delayed resolution.
You don’t even need to practice it for more than a few minutes.
Just watch this video and try it in your lead guitar solos:
Now you know how to put more fire & emotion into your lead guitar solos.
Want me to help you transform your lead guitar lick creativity? I can do that for you in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Tell me about your musical goals and guitar playing challenges. I’ll create a customized lesson plan to get you playing guitar the way you want. And I’ll hold your hand every step of the way to nearly guarantee your results.
To begin, go to: https://tomhess.net/Guitar
About 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.Looking to learn more ways to improve your lead guitar lick creativity & phrasing skills? Do it with rock & metal guitar teacher online.
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