Library of Go-To Rock Licks

Now it's time to look at some rock lead playing. This whole chapter is going to show you a universal approach to developing and using a vocabulary of licks, sounds, and tricks in your soloing. Eventually you can swap out the licks and tricks with other ones you learn or come up with down the road, but if you take this general approach to it all, your playing will always be interesting and creative.

So we're going to approach your soloing like it's a meal you're cooking, where you'll have your meat 'n' potatoes that form the foundation of most of your meals. From there you can throw in different spices, different kinds of gravy, and serve it all in different ways.

In this first tutorial we're going to look at the meat 'n' potatoes, which in non-metaphorical terms will be your basic vocabulary of go-to rock licks. These are the licks that "just work" and that you're so comfortable with that you can use them in almost any situation. So I'll show you a handful of really useful rock licks, and then we're going to mix them up and use them in a bunch of different contexts.

Eventually your go-to licks may be different from these, but throughout the rest of this chapter we'll be drawing from this vocabulary, so make sure to stay with me for the duration. Then once you have the overall method down you can always "make it your own". Let's get started!