Nerdy Ways To Create Original Guitar Licks

Tommaso Zillio

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musical triad pairs

Sign #213 that a guitar player is a beginner: they play all the notes in the scale.

If you are like me, you’ve been guilty of this too…

Overplaying.

It’s the scourge of every guitar player that is learning to improvise

Just because a scale has 7 notes, does not mean that we have to play all 7 of them.

Just because a triad arpeggio has 3 notes, does not mean we have to play all 3.

You’d think it obvious…

I mean, I can clearly see you from here… you are nodding along…

…and you also thinking that I’m not telling you anything new. After all “less is more” is something that has been repeated so much we are tired of hearing it

(That is to say, the phrase “Less is more” is overplayed too…)

So here’s the new thing:

If we take this idea of ‘not playing all the notes in a scale/chord’ seriously…

… then we can use it to create new phrases for our solos.

"But wait Tommaso… how do you take a piece of negative advice (‘do NOT play all notes’) …

… and make it into a positive one?"

Easy: through the combined powers of logic, literal-mindedness, and shamelessness in following an idea down to the ultimate consequences.

(Or in other words: I’m such a nerd - but I can get things done)

Still not clear? I can show you!

Watch me take the old “less is more” bromide and twist it in my nerdy ways until I take actual musical phrases out of it:

More nerdy ways to get music out of simple ideas are in the two videos below.

Here I show you how to stop playing in a “linear” way"

And here instead we see how we can use ‘spicier’ triads to coax exotic sounds out of your guitar:

These are but a few tricks. If you are interested in the mother lode, the source of all tricks, the theory that keeps on giving… then check out the Complete Chord Mastery guitar course


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