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Major Scale Licks over a Static Chord

The first five licks are played over a static E major chord. Let's look at the E major scale we will use for the licks. The intervals of the major scale are R 2 3 4 5 6 7 and for E major this gives us the notes E F# G# A B C# D#.

Below are the five CAGED patterns for E major. The "R" in square represent the locations of the root note, while the grey and black shades identify separate occurrence of what is actually the same major scale repeating in different octaves.

E Major Scales

The licks use notes from within these. In some instances the notes can be redefined depending on the musical ideas used, yet they are still from within these patterns. For example, an A major arpeggio, the notes of which (A C# E) are also within E major E F# G# A B C# D#). In other words they are diatonic to each other.

For each lick, which of the patterns its notes are from are mentioned. You could focus on that at any point you wish, however I would encourage you to study the licks themselves first.

Lick 1

Lick 1 starts with some slides (glissando) that move the hand position up the fret-board. Overall, the fretting finger numbers shown beneath the tab are the best way of playing this lick, with alteration likely to make it less efficient. On the final bar, the rest between the notes, which happen to be the only rest for the entire lick, help emphasize the notes they are between.

The latter slide of bar three and the slide starting on bar four are ornamentals, represented on the notation as a small quaver / eight note with a slash through its stem, while on guitar tab represented with a smaller fret number. In music an ornamental is a musical flourish that embellishes a melody (similar to how an ornament decorates a building but is not essential to the structure).

The particular type of ornamental used here is an acciaccatura, which takes such a small place in time that it doesn't affect the principal note ( the larger note without a strike through its stem). The smaller note is splayed quickly just before the principal note, so for the second slide of bar three the note on the 14th fret barely lasts because as soon as it is played you slide almost immediately up to the 16th fret. This lick uses notes from patterns 4,5 and 1.

Lick 2

Lick 2 starts off with an ascending A major arpeggio. Legato technique are used throughout with the use of hammer-ons, pull-offs and a slide. the last part of the lick (my favorite part) is softly plucked with fingers (m=medio for middle finger, a =anular for the ring finger). You could play this last part softly with the plectrum if desired. The two final notes on the 9th fret G and B string are the Root and 3rd interval of E major. This lick uses notes from E major pattern 3.

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