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February 17, 2013

Alternate Picking – Pedal Point Licks

Pedal Point Licks Page 1_opt   Pedal Point Licks Page 2_opt

After two exhausting lessons full of content, technical concepts and guidelines I decided to share with you a lesson about one of my favorite ways to use alternate picking: pedal point licks!
This time the lesson is easy to swallow but nonetheless practically useful. Right after you study this, you’ll have 10 new cool phrases in your Licktionary!!!
Because the lesson is pretty self explanatory from a technical viewpoint, I will share with you only a little bit of information about each one of the licks.

Lick 1
This lick is based on an idea developed by Vinnie Moore. It is written in the 4th Box of A Natural Minor Scale, but it can also be used over C Major Scale.

Lick 2
This is a phrase heavily influenced by Yngwiee Malmsteen. It’s a beautiful neoclassical lick in A harmonic Minor Scale and I use it (or some variations of it) all the time. It moves between boxes 2 and 3 and it’s great for resolving Harmonic Minor melodies when in a neoclassical context!

Lick 3
Here we have another great neoclassical lick. I think I added that to my Licktionary when studying Tony Macalpine’s soloing. This lick is also located in A harmonic minor, only this time we have a bigger movement along the fret board between Boxes 3, 2 and 1. It’s also interesting because the pedal point pattern here is diatonic. Therefore it is usable all over the fretboard in all scales and all keys.

Lick 4
Another Malmsteen-influenced lick. Yngwiee usually uses these kind of patterns in Harmonic Minor but here the lick is “transposed” into A Natural Minor. This is an evolved pedal point lick because our pedal point is not one but three notes.

Lick 5
This lick is an application of the same logic in a little bit more advanced level. This time we are on the 4th Box of A Natural Minor Scale and pedal point notes are kept in the 2nd (B-) string, while the rest of the notes forming the melody are located in the two above strings (3rd and 4th).

Lick 6
This is based on Vinnie Moore and it’s definitely one of my personal favorite concepts. Located on A Natural Minor and moving through Boxes 1, 2, 3 and finally ending on the high A note (1st string 17th fret). Great for moving horizontally and connecting different parts of the fretboard.

Lick 7
This one is based on Eric Johnson’s pedal points. Johnson is using the same idea with arpeggios, but I simplified it a little bit, just so it is handy to use in more occasions. I use it a lot! You could also use it in combination with hybrid picking, which gives a very keyboard-ish hi-tech sound!

Lick 8
Located on the 4th Box on A minor, this lick is an evolved combination of licks 4, 5 and 1. It is rather advanced because not only it has 4 pedal notes, but those pedal notes are located on two (instead of one) strings. It reminds me of violin a little bit. Because the pedal notes are located on the bass, there’s good unity in melodic line. It sounds awesome and I’d definitely recommend it.

Lick 9
Same rationale as Lick 8 but this time we have the pedal point notes on ‘inside’ strings. This is very rare. We usually see pedal notes located on inside strings in combination with open strings.

Lick 10
This is a very (I mean that!) advanced version of lick #6. This is one of the biggest licks in this lesson. Begins with A on the 6th string (5th fret) and ends F on the first string (13th fret). Here we also have ascending movement in the contour, but we also have string crossing and diagonal movement. Beware of noise production when crossing strings!

I also use it a lot with hybrid picking because (a) it has a sweeter sound and (b) you can avoid a lot of noise using this technique.

Knock yourselves out