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‘Roll’ Licks in Open A and E Positions
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‘Roll’ Licks in Open A and E Positions

These are unique positions and licks you won’t find anywhere else. And they’re also a great technique builder for the pick and finger hybrid-style of picking. The main difference with these is that they utilize a few more hammer-ons – and even pull-offs – to achieve their unique sound than the normal claw-style runs.

I’ll also illustrate a few variations of these, whereby the root is sometimes changed to the seventh, and where the lick uses even more hammer-ons to achieve the smooth “rolling” feel that we are going for here.

Another critical, yet unique, part of these is that the phrase itself occurs directly on the "DOWN" beat of the measure, as opposed to the “and” beat, which is how this kind of phrase is usually heard. Therefore it has a different phrasing than one would normally associate with these groups of notes.

In fact, as a perfect illustration of what I mean, I will demonstrate in this lesson the two methods of phrasing this lick, so you can see both sides of the coin. Both can certainly work as phrases, it’s just more designed for the “on the beat” approach as opposed to the “off the beat” one I will show you.

Enjoy this new way of playing!—Arlen Roth

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Arlen Roth
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Arlen Roth

Music lesson pioneer Arlen Roth is the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar. Read More...

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