Video: Learn How To Play Cool Guitar Licks Using The Tritone Interval
Want to play guitar licks that sound more creative, expressive and badass?
Use the tritone interval with solid guitar phrasing.
Good news is, you don't need to know any music theory to do this, and it's super-fun to learn about.
Learn how to play killer guitar licks using the tritone by watching this video:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Lead Guitar Tip #1: Squeeze More Emotion Out Of Each Note
Playing a lot of notes instead of playing great notes.
If you struggle with playing great guitar licks and solos, try this:
Focus a lot more on adding ornamentations to the pitches you are playing instead of trying to play more notes.
How you play the notes is a lot more important than what notes you are playing.
So challenge yourself to play very short 2-4 note phrases and try to make them sound as amazing as you possibly can (yes, you really can play truly amazing two note phrases with tons of variation on them that are not at all hard).
Work on creating short phrases every day and make lots of variations on each phrase without changing the notes.
Make a list of all the ornamental techniques you can think of and randomly select them to ornament your phrase (there is no right or wrong way to do this).
After doing that with individual phrases in isolation, improvise an entire solo working to integrate these ornamental techniques more naturally into the context of the solo.
Lead Guitar Tip #2: Work With A Guitar Teacher
Learning to play lead gutar can be very frustratring sometimes.
Whether you are having a hard time playing fast, playing specific licks or solos or making your own solos sound more creative...
...a guitar teacher massively speeds up the process for getting to where you want to be as a guitar player.
Taking guitar lessons with a great teacher helps you see weaknessess in your lead guitar technique you never knew existed while giving you new insights to make getting better fun and easy.
I am proud to have helped many guitarists around the world do this. Here are just a few of my top students who can vouch for this process:
“Before I started taking correspondence lessons I was basically stagnant in my playing. I had kind of reached what I thought was a pinnacle and I started looking for what’s next, what’s bigger and better… and I just happened across Tom’s lessons and since then I’ve realized that this plateau that I was feeling was way down here and now he’s helped me tremendously. I know I can do things on the guitar that I could’ve never dreamed of five years ago.”
I chose to take guitar lessons with Tom over anybody else because a) Tom is a professional musician, and I want to learn from people who are making a living as a musician and b) he just had a wealth of knowledge that he freely gives to you to kind of say here, you know here is the golden nugget.
The biggest change in my playing that has happened since I started taking lessons with Tom is playing like a true musician, phrasing like a true musician, and kind of separating myself away from all the wannabes.
So if I were to compare Tom’s correspondence lessons with just taking private lesson in a local market, it’s night and day. For one thing, Tom’s lessons are easy to understand, they’re very in depth and they’re tailored to what you want to learn… versus private lessons, a lot of times the teachers are using their students as guinea pigs to figure out how to teach… and Tom’s not doing that, he’s knows what he’s doing.
Thoughts when I started with Tom were “Is this going to work for me?” because it was definitely not the norm. And my thoughts now are “Hell yes it’s going to work”, because you see results.
Tom’s goal-oriented approach has helped me, I guess break horizons and get results that I could’ve never gotten before. Only because he helped me flesh out how I want to play and how to get there. He gave the goals and the path to get there, and it’s been excellent. Tom is like he says, an ordinary guy, but he’s doing extraordinary things, and I know in my life that’s what I want to do. I just want to be an ordinary guy that is impacting lives, and that’s been huge from Tom.
Ty Morgan, Phoenix, Arizona
“I started lessons when I was a young kid. I was in school. I had a casual teacher, but he only taught us chords, like basic stuff if you want to learn like 3 chord songs. But I wanted more than that, so I went to a local guitar teacher. But he also gave me the same thing. But after like 5 or 6 years of lessons, like I found myself, like if I heard a backing track or something, I couldn’t play with someone. I mean I didn’t feel like a musician, I feel like someone who can just move his fingers from like fret 1 to fret whatever. But with Tom, he’s giving me the tools to become what I want to become, become the musician I want to become. And this is exactly what I want.”
Tom Hess was basically the only guy on the internet with the credentials and the reviews, and basically everyone recommended him. He even had his own students webpage. All his students were like established guitar teachers and professional musicians and they had their own sites and I contacted like 7 of them, and they all recommended Tom Hess, and that’s why I joined him.
I like taking lessons with Tom because he gives me what I want. It’s not like something general for everyone. Like if you want to learn blues, he gives you lessons for blues, but I want to become a metal player and also a neoclassical player, so he’s giving me exactly what I need and what I want. And if I have a problem I just post a thread on the amazing forum, and I get like answers, not just short answers, but really detailed answers. I feel like I am taken care of, I don’t have to worry about anything. If I just follow everything word for word what Tom gives me in all of the lessons, that’s if I have time, because they’re so big, I mean every lesson, people think it’s overpriced, but each lesson, if you want to master it, take everything out of it, is going to take you like 4 weeks of 2 hours of work every day.
Mohamed Karim Koleilat, Beirut, Lebanon
“I started playing guitar maybe about 15 years ago. I had a really crappy teacher. Basically, based on some bad advice I went to learn classical guitar. I mean I wanted to learn electric guitar, but my friends learned classical, then acoustic, then electric. So I foolishly went to the music school and said I want to learn classical guitar, but they never asked me why, what do I want to do, so they said yeah ok, here’s a guitar, let’s go.”
So after about a year of faking trying to learn music notation, I quit. But I really loved, music, the guitar, so, I’m a pretty creative person in general, so I just you know, came up with a whole bunch of stuff on the guitar. I was self-taught for many years, until I came across Tom’s website. And then what happened was… after reading all of his articles, I used his article on how to choose a guitar teacher, and I went around my local city in Kuala Lumpur, trying to find teachers based on that criteria and of course they couldn’t even meet one criterion. And I actually went for a few lessons, and after a while it was like, well, it’s not worth it, I’m just going to go with Tom.
He has a lot of freaking awesome students. I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years, I’ve been a correspondence student for about 5 years or 6 years, everything prior to that was just a waste of time.
The forum is beyond words. I mean, I ask a question and I get 20 responses or 10 responses from very helpful people. Everybody is trying to help there. Nobody is criticizing like anybody. Everybody is just so helpful. It’s like having 20 Tom Hesses. It’s like, you know… 20 mentors, 20 people… more than that actually. So I think the forum is awesome for that. Not only because of the information available there, but just because of the people willing to help.
Vishaal Kapoor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lead Guitar Tip #3: How To Improve Your Guitar Soloing Quality Over Longer Solos
While playing a long improvisation, you need to work very hard to prevent your solo from losing the listener’s interest.
Here are a few simple ways (of many) to do this:
- Make more use of vibrato in appropriate spots and work to develop killer vibrato a little every day
Practice this technique freely and while playing to a metronome. Perform the initial bend of the string on beat 1 and return to the original pitch of the bend on beat 2. Repeat this for several minutes to really lock-in your technique.
- Constantly try to add variety to the phrases you are playing to make them different from the others (make this your goal as a practice approach)
- Master fretboard visualization to make soloing across the neck feel easy
- Pay attention to which chord you are soloing over and solo with intensity to match it. For example: play faster over the V in the key and more relaxed in the i/I)
- Insert some spaces between the lead guitar lines. This gives you more time to think ahead.
Lead Guitar Tip #4: Squeeze More Expression From Notes In Your Guitar Solos
Too many guitar players waste notes while soloing because they just play scale/arpeggio patterns until something sounds good.
Try this instead:
Pick a very short 1-3 note phrase and think of at least 20 different variations to play it.
When you have played your variations for one phrase, think of another small phrase and do the same thing (make a lot more variations).
Do this with or without a backing track.
(Both approaches improve your playing subtle, different ways. Remember to try both in order to keep your guitar playing skills balanced.)
This helps you learn how to be more expressive in your phrasing, plus gives you a lot more creative options to choose from as far as how to play the specific notes of your solos.
This really opens up the door for creative playing and helps you make your fast guitar speed more musical over time!
Lead Guitar Tip #5: How Easily To Increase Your Guitar Speed To Play Faster
To push your guitar speed to a new level take a very small segment of any scale sequence, arpeggio, or exercise and practice it at a much higher tempo than you can play the full sequence at.
For example, if you are playing this sequence at 100 bpm, practice these small fragments at 110-120 bpm.
This will get both your hands and your mind to get used to faster speeds but still keep it easy for you to play (since you are only going to be playing a few notes at a time).
Then gradually extend the fragment until you are playing the full guitar phrase at that higher tempo.
Of course, when doing this don’t allow your 2-hand sync to get sloppy at the higher tempos. Fix this by double picking the notes at a slower tempo.
Use this approach to line your hands back up:
Practice by taking any scale sequence you are practicing and play it by picking each note 2 times ("double picking").
So if you play an A minor scale for example, instead of playing it as A B C D E F G, you will pick twice each note like this: AA BB CC DD EE FF GG.
This challenges your hands’ ability to stay in sync and will make it much easier to keep the 2 hand synchronization tight when you go back to normal playing.
Now you know some cool licks to improve your guitar playing. Your next step? Learn how to improve all areas of your playing. How? By taking electric guitar correspondence lessons.