Cool Lick (Guitar Lesson)

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David MacKenzie

Cool Lick

David MacKenzie teaches several licks based on common arpeggio patterns. This lesson also includes a backing track to jam with.

Taught by David MacKenzie in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 20:40Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:13) Musical Introduction Dave kicks off this lesson with some arpeggio licks diatonic to the B natural minor tonality. The arpeggios outline the chords played by the rhythm guitar in the accompanying backing track. In the scenes that follow, Dave will provide you with the skills necessary to playing these licks.
Chapter 2: (00:36) Lesson Introduction In lesson 18, Dave introduced the first of several lessons pertaining to lead guitar licks. In the current lesson, Dave continues with this topic. You will learn how arpeggio patterns can be used as effective licks.

Note: Dave accidentally refers to the rhythm played throughout each lick as a triplet rhythm. These licks are comprised solely of eighth notes and quarter notes. The eighth notes are simply played in groupings of three.
Chapter 3: (09:54) Playing the Lick All of the arpeggios in this lick are diatonic to the B natural tonality. A list of the diatonic triads in this tonality can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab. The first arpeggio is a Bm triad. As the first section of the lick progresses, the G major and A major chords are outlined with arpeggios as well. The second section begins in the relative major key, D major. Remember that every minor key has a relative major key that shares the same key signature. The lick then returns to the home tonality of B natural minor.

Notice the fingering that Dave uses for each arpeggio. Some of these patterns require some stretches that may be difficult for you. Refer to Dennis' lesson set for some exercises that will improve your reach ability.
If two notes are on different strings, but the same fret, use a bar with the first finger. Play this exercise with either strict alternate picking or economy picking.
Chapter 4: (01:51) Lick Review Dave plays the lick at a much slower tempo to provide you with a closer look at his hands.
Chapter 5: (03:17) Chords in the Backing Track Dave explains the chords that are played over each arpeggio. The backing track is played using simple root / five power chords. However, if you wish to practice the rhythm part, you can play these chords as their appropriate diatonic major and minor triads.

Feel free to be creative when playing over the backing track. In addition to working on your rhythm chops, you can also work on your improvisational skills. Use the B natural minor scale over the first section and D major over the second section.
Chapter 6: (03:44) Jam Time In this scene, Dave provides an example of some of the suggestions he offered in the previous scene. Over the first repetition of the form, he plays through the arpeggio licks taught in this lesson. He improvises a solo using the B natural minor scale during the second repetition of the form.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

todd_pettittodd_pettit replied on October 24th, 2013

David reminds me of a white cheeseburger Eddy.

tdallenbachtdallenbach replied on July 7th, 2013

one of my favorite lessons out of the whole series way to shred. motivation for me to push harder thanks B Mac!!

RegisRegis replied on October 16th, 2012

Nice Lick and as you named it Coooolllll. And it's also a pleasure to improvising on it....... Thank you David

calcarcalcar replied on April 26th, 2011

Dear David, what are the sound effects you use when you use your Flying V in the lessons ?

rishabhcvrishabhcv replied on April 14th, 2011

nice lesson for everyone

overlord1111usoverlord1111us replied on January 25th, 2011

This lesson is awesome! The exercises keep pushing me further and further :) Nice Jam!

raoelraoel replied on April 25th, 2010

I do have 24 frets but what does he mean with 8vb?(at the supplemental content of the arpeggio)

beckyjoleenbeckyjoleen replied on December 30th, 2010

8vb means play the octave down

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on April 26th, 2010

if you go to the 8th measure in supplemental content, the 3 note riff is a substitue for the riff at the 22nd fret. it is just a lower version with the same notes just slightly inverted, or different.

jeroenvanderputjeroenvanderput replied on December 23rd, 2010

This one is really awesome. Man this is great to play and great to practice solo improvising. I'm rocking out on this one! I'll try to improvise in the middle. Once a get good at it, I'll make a video and post a link here. So I can share my progress with you guys. (It's almost 2 minutes to midnight and I'm practicing this lesson out loud. Hope the neighbours won't wake up!!)

jeroenvanderputjeroenvanderput replied on December 27th, 2010

Hey DMac. Great lesson. Please give me feedback and tips to make my version better. See it here:

marshall laneymarshall laney replied on July 29th, 2010

Great one Dave ! loved it mate - just wish you had supplied the full tab of your little session at the end but i'll have fun with this I'm sure - got a new Jackson RR5 to play it too , thanks mate.

madman066madman066 replied on February 22nd, 2010

Thanks for the sequence DMac, good practice and it sounds freaking awesome (which helps). Now all I need is your guitar :D

matzpitmatzpit replied on February 16th, 2010

Hi Dave, this lesson is real good and funny but I don't understand this thing with the key. I jam on the track just with the first and second pattern of the B minor pentatonic and I think it fits... If I try to change for example from B minor pentatonic scale to the G major pentatonic scale it doesn't sounds right. I also do't understand why the B minor pentatonic fits because from the circle of fifths the jam track is in key of G major??? I am a little bit confused... Thanks for helping...

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on February 17th, 2010

thanks for the question! actually your correct using the B minor pentatonic scale with that, as it has nice implications with these chords. the chord sequence of B5, G5, then going to A5 are the parts you have to think a little about. B-minor pentatonic=great!! then when the chord switches to G5, or Gmajor try going into Gmajor pentatonic scale, then when it switches into A5/Amajor, go into Amajor pentatonic scale. these seem to sound the best when i went thru it myself. when the chord goes to D5, go into D major pentatonic and noodle around there too. this will really open up some possibilities in your leads. give it a shot!!! hope that helps!!

axeattack196axeattack196 replied on January 25th, 2010

What an awesome lesson! Thanks Dave, it will keep me busy for some days and nights...

polk_a_dot_vpolk_a_dot_v replied on November 16th, 2009

Great lesson..I'm not having an issue with the stretch so much as getting jammed up at the 19th through 22nd frets. I'm finding myself using my ring finger instead of my pinky...Bad? Also need to go refresh myself on the scale lessons

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on November 16th, 2009

if your comfortable and its working thats fine. :)

jonathon594jonathon594 replied on October 25th, 2009

-.- i only have 21 frets

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on October 25th, 2009

in that case, use this sequence once you get to the appegio you cant reach.......(after the fret 19-e string, fret 14-e string, fret 15-b string appegio) go to fret 17(e), fret 14(e), fret 15 (b)......then downwards to....fret 17(e), fret 12(e), fret 14(b)....then fret 15(e), fret 10(e), fret 12 (b). then to the very beginning 3 note arppegio. let me know if this makes sense. it also creates a harmony with the lick played higher, so thats a cool bonus. note: the (e) or (b) is the string, not the note. hope this helps.

markdejeanmarkdejean replied on April 19th, 2009

Dave, This is my first post. I thought I would wait it out from past lessons and I could figure some things out. I'm still stuck in stouped. Can you explain how the arpeggios coinside with the chords and when to change keys when playing scales with chords. How does this stuff work together? I feel like I mised about a dozen lessions somewere along the line. I have the scales down but don't understand where the changes are made and how you skip to different scale keys while playing the same chord. Sorry, it's hard to explain confusion :) Mark

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on August 16th, 2009

when i came up with this exercise, i had the lead idea in my head, and worked on making the lead as melodic as i could. i think i already had the backing track done and this fit it just right. now...if you notice, each chord in the song is held for a count of 8 beats in 4/4 time signiture. so that is the first thing that you key off of to know when to switch. what you also have to realize is that at least one notes of the lead (3 notes used per sequence) is the same note of the chord sequence. now let me know if that makes sense? so as you change lead sequences, the chords change as well. hope that helps you guys?

pneumapilotpneumapilot replied on August 16th, 2009

And also I suppose you already know lots of cool sounding licks and phrases (like the ones you're teaching us here) that you can mix and match, right? So you add that to your previous knowledge of which chords will be played and for how long plus you figure in your previous melodic idea and you wind up with a good sounding lead?

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on August 16th, 2009

yes, your catching on to the idea now. mix, match, and even if you hear a melody in your head, find those notes to add to your lead techniques. lead stuff is really more about feeling and adding some nice techniques that draw the listener in so that it is interesting.(at least to me anyway,lol).

pneumapilotpneumapilot replied on August 15th, 2009

Yeah, I'm with him. The kinds of things that you teach in the lessons are not too hard to get down. And I know it's cool to watch you (who are so much more experienced) do your awesome thing there, but I get this feeling like you're expecting me to do that too (even though I don't think you are). I just don't understand your thought processes behind where and why you move from one scale/position to another and how you're computing it in your head.

pbrad74pbrad74 replied on August 6th, 2008

Cool lesson Dave! I should do this after I get my beauty sleep from a 24 hr. CQ shift. Ah, you know what I

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on August 6th, 2008

oh man!!! i remember those days!!! haha!! i hated CQ duty!!! um get sleep first then practise okay!!! lol!

tangohuntertangohunter replied on July 18th, 2009

hahhaaa..In 6 years in the military...I've NEVER drawn CQ... and now that I'm an officer (in training!) I doubt I will!

alshyalshy replied on November 30th, 2008

great exercise dmac pinky taking a pounding getting stronger have to rest now and again keep going man!!!

joffajoffa replied on November 8th, 2008

Great lesson DMac! Just what I need.

liamheffernanliamheffernan replied on November 6th, 2008

I really love this so much!!! :)

liamhef2008liamhef2008 replied on October 6th, 2008

I dont have a 22nd fret :(

dash rendardash rendar replied on October 29th, 2008

Yes, tricky on a standard Strat! ;)

unforg1venunforg1ven replied on October 10th, 2008

nice lesson Dmac. That jam at the end was sick!

rockerdonrockerdon replied on August 13th, 2008

Where is the Jamtrack?

jboothjbooth replied on August 13th, 2008

Ok it is fixed.

jboothjbooth replied on August 13th, 2008

Argh, I thought I had it posted. Let me do this again.

rockerdonrockerdon replied on August 14th, 2008

Thanks! Great lesson DMAC!!!! Keep em comin!!!!

caammm4caammm4 replied on August 12th, 2008

the video never plays all the way through.... and i have it on low quality

jboothjbooth replied on August 12th, 2008

I just checked and all the files are there and full length. You may just have a bad connection to the low quality server, you might actually want to try medium and see if it helps.

robearlerobearle replied on August 6th, 2008

This one is gonna keep me busy for a while Dave!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on August 6th, 2008

i live to keep you busy and out of trouble rob!!! hee, hee!!!

niandraniandra replied on August 6th, 2008

...or if your fingers are to short just play the first lick 1st string 14th fret, 2nd 15th, 3rd 16th ;-) - - hey Dave...say the truth you are a Billy idol fan.WHITE WEDDING!!!

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on August 6th, 2008

hahahaha! that is good song!!! "white wedding! aaaaaaooohhh!!!"

matt890camatt890ca replied on August 5th, 2008

Your improvising/jam session was amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed that! Thank you for that one! Great lesson.

Basic Electric Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In his Phase 1 series, David MacKenzie will walk you through the basics of rock guitar.

Lesson 1

About the Guitar

David discusses the parts of the guitar. He also gives you some basic techniques to get you started.

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Power Chords

In this lesson, David introduces basic power chords. Great fun for beginners!

Length: 10:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Basic Chord Progressions

David introduces some basic chords and chord progressions.

Length: 14:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Notes, Chords and Arpeggios

David provides a brief explanation of what notes, chords, power chords, and arpeggios are.

Length: 8:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Speed and Coordination

This lesson is all about increasing your speed and coordination. David demonstrates basic picking exercises.

Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Chord Exercises

David MacKenzie presents a mysterious sounding chord exercise. This exerices is designed to improve right hand technique.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Practice and Discipline

In this short lesson David talks about practice, discipline, and how you should apply yourself when learning and mastering the guitar.

Length: 6:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Double Stops

Double stops can bring new life to your rhythm and lead playing. David provides a short tutorial on what double stops are and how they can be used.

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

The Major Chords

David covers the basic major chord shapes. Every guitarist must learn these basic chords.

Length: 18:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

The Minor Chords

David MacKenzie walks you through the basic minor chords. Expand your knowledge of chords with this fun-filled lesson.

Length: 8:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Major Scales

Major scales are an essential component of all styles of music. They can also be used as a great way to orient yourself with the fretboard.

Length: 32:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Major Scale Jam

David MacKenzie explains how to practice the major scales along with a fun backing track.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

The Minor Scales

David MacKenzie proceeds to an in-depth discussion of the minor scales.

Length: 15:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Minor Scale Jam

David MacKenzie shows you how to play the natural minor scale over a rockin' JamTrack.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

One String Exercise

David demonstrates an excellent one-string exercise in this lesson. This exercise will improve your dexterity and knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 16:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are techniques that enable you to play with a smooth, legato feel.

Length: 8:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Basic Bends

David MacKenzie gives a crash course on bending in this lesson. Bends can add a lot of soul to your playing.

Length: 16:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Cool Rock Licks

David MacKenzie teaches two rock licks inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Hammer-On Exercise

David returns to the world of hammer-ons with a fun new exercise. This lesson includes a JamTrack.

Length: 13:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Return to Pull-Offs

David returns to the world of pull-offs with a new exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Practicing Bends

David MacKenzie returns to bending technique in this lesson. This lesson features a backing track that is designed for bending practice.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Basic Vibrato

Integrating vibrato into your guitar playing is a great way to add emotion and soul. David MacKenzie explains the basics of vibrato in this lesson.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the pentatonic scale.

Length: 5:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie introduces the minor pentatonic scale in this lesson.

Length: 4:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Full Major Scale

David MacKenzie explains a two octave pattern of the major scale.

Length: 11:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Full Minor Scale

David MacKenzie introduces a two octave natural minor scale pattern.

Length: 12:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Full Major Pentatonic Scale

David teaches a two octave pattern of the major pentatonic scale.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Full Minor Pentatonic Scale

David MacKenzie teaches a two octave version of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Cool Lick

David MacKenzie teaches several licks based on common arpeggio patterns. This lesson also includes a backing track to jam with.

Length: 20:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Rhythm Basics

David MacKenzie introduces some important rhythm basics in this lesson. This lesson also includes a backing track exercise.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Power Chord Variations

David MacKenzie explains various power chord voicings. By simply moving a finger or two, new power chords can be formed.

Length: 18:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Cool Lick Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces some new amazing licks.

Length: 29:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Tapping Exercise

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

Length: 22:44 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 34

Tapping Exercise #2

David MacKenzie teaches another amazing tapping exercise.

Length: 13:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Tapping #3: Adding Open Strings

The third tapping lesson elaborates on the previous lesson by adding open strings.

Length: 12:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Tapping #4: Diminished Lick

The fourth lesson in Dave's tapping series deals with a monster diminished lick.

Length: 11:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Tapping #5

In lesson five of his tapping mini-series, DMac provides backing tracks that you can tap over.

Length: 8:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Tremolo Technique

In lesson 38, DMac demonstrates some tremolo techniques to add to your repertoire.

Length: 13:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Tapping #6

DMac returns to his tapping instruction with more advanced techniques.

Length: 19:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Chord Structures

In lesson 40, DMac teaches you how to play various D chords all the way up the neck.

Length: 9:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 41


In lesson 41, David discusses the octave and its uses while playing.

Length: 17:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only

About David MacKenzie View Full Biography Dave MacKenzie has been playing guitar for 30 of his 45 years on this earth. Starting back when he was 14 years old, Dave picked up the guitar and started to learn from his oldest brother, who had played some guitar as well. Dave was hooked, and couldn't learn fast enough! Everything from the Beatles, Chicago, Ted Nugent, The Eagles, you name it, Dave was trying to play it.

Then as with a lot of players out there, Eddie Van Halen came along and changed the way guitar was played! Dave has been influenced by anyone he has heard play guitar, literally! Always keeping an open mind and a humbleness about him has helped him to keep learning new things on, and about the guitar.

Dave has mostly played in top 40 rock, country, and pop bands. He is most recently playing guitar and keyboards in a 80's metal band called Open Fire. They have opened for Warrant, Firehouse, Winger, and LA Guns within the 3 and a half years they have been together, and are now jumping into original music.

Dave believes you should have internal motivation, and passion to play guitar, and most definitely, it should be fun!

As with his playing, Dave will find new ways to show you how to get the most out of your time learning guitar!

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