Double your Guitar Licks in 30 Minutes or Less

I’m always amazed at the amount of musical entertainment there is in the world. Its simply astonishing. Its also astonishing how many licks you can derive from a single lick. You can move it around, phrase it differently, elongate it, play it with different dynamics, you can change the rhythm…yet we play the same old licks all the damn time.


We simply don’t spend enough time thinking, we don’t spend enough time with that lick and exploring the possibilities and we don’t know what it is we can do with a single lick.

IN this lesson I will show you what you can do and how you can turn a single lick into a plethora of licks. Its a strategy you can use with any kind of melody, lick, scale run etc…

Lets get started.


Use these Techniques to Double your Amount of Guitar Licks 

Set aside 30 minutes and write an easy lick. Either write one or use whichever lick you like. It can be long or it can be short just try to keep it simple if you’re gonna use a long lick. The issue with long licks is that I usually take apart a long guitar lick and I end up only changing one part of it.

Its hard, its long, it takes time.

Keep it short. Set aside 30 minutes. We are going to work on rhythm, phrasing and different notes. Open up Guitar Pro, buy it here, or get out a sheet of tab or actual sheet music. Sheet music is best and its even better if you have Guitar Pro. They released version 7…Guitar Pro 7. Its really great.

Take your lick and determine the note values.

Are there any quarter notes or larger note values? Are there any 8ths, 16ths, or triplets? Pay attention to the phrasing now. Are there any slides, bends, pinch harmonics? Are there any dynamics you’d like to add. Use your mind to come up with a bunch of ideas and write them down on the left hands side of the sheet you took out.

You took it out right?


Here’s a list of 7 things you can do Immediately:

  1. Double the note values. – This elongates the lick, it makes it longer. You can also refer to this technique as augmentation. Augmentation is used in classical music composition to make a melody longer, to create a variation or to simply create another section with the same melody.
  2. Augment only some of the note values. 
  3. Move the notes up 1 fret to a different key, or move them up or down as you wish, within, the key. 
  4. Change one or more of the notes. 
  5. Change the rhythm.
  6. Play with dynamics, such as crescendo, decrescendo, piano or forte, even con fuoco! (with fire) or furioso (furiously). The other end of that is pianissimo. (very softly and quietly. You can then play the same lick or melody again – once softly and once furiously. Make sure you can actually tell the difference. 
  7. Use phrasing techniques such as legato, pinch harmonics, slides, bends and vibrato. 


So there you have 7 things you can do. Doubling your guitar licks is easy. But…You can actually triple, quadruple or make even more licks by using more than one technique for each lick. Just make sure you take time to practice them. Don’t make licks for the sake of making them, use them and apply them. Make sure the vibrato is good as they say your vibrato differentiates the good player from the great one.


Til next time’