Brad covers the process of creating your first licks. Then, he demonstrates the importance of hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, slides, bends, and more! If you want to play rocking lead, this lesson is a must for you.
Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 52:02Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
A: This is the root of the chord. Thus, this note is consonant when played against an A7 chord.These theoretical concepts can also be applied to the D7 and E7 chords in the blues. Here are the notes from the scale that can only be played in passing over these chords.
C: Functions as a blues note (b3).
D: The 4th of the chord. The 4th scale degree is a very dissonant interval. It should only be used in passing. Do not linger too long on this note when the rhythm section is playing A7!
Eb: The tritone interval from A. This is an extremely dissonant interval. Use it only in passing.
E: The fifth of the A7 chord. This is a consonant tone.
G: The seventh of the A7 chord. This is a consonant tone.
A curved line connecting a lower pitch to a higher pitch indicates a hammer-on. Frequently, a lowercase “h” is written above the line to abbreviate “hammer-on.” Do not get hammer-ons confused with ties. A tie is a curved line that connects two notes of the same pitch. A tie extends the rhythmic value of the first note by adding the rhythmic value of the second note. The second note is not picked.Why Are Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs Important?
Adding these techniques creates smoother, more legato phrasing of the melody. Hammer-ons and pull-offs enable a guitarist to play melodic lines much faster since each individual note is not picked with the right hand. Brad demonstrates a few exercises in this lesson that will enhance your ability to perform these techniques. Before you dive into these exercises, read over these rules from Steve’s 4th Bluegrass Lesson.Hammer-On Exercise1. Pay VERY close attention to the rhythm in which a hammer on is to be played. Many inexperienced guitarists cut the first note (the picked note) way too short. Consequently, the hammer on note is held for too long. For starters, practice all hammer-ons and pull-offs in an even eighth note rhythm.
2. Performing a hammer-on requires a forceful movement with a left-hand finger. The tone of a hammer-on is much clearer and louder when the hammering finger comes down fast and forcefully. If you bring your finger down to slow, the hammer-on will be weak or inaudible.
3. All rules regarding proper left-hand finger placement in relation to the frets become even more crucial when playing hammer-ons. Hammer the finger down right behind the fret. Hammering on top of a fret or too far from it will result in a poor tone.
4. Use the hard calluses on the tips of the fingers when making contact with the strings. This will help generate a louder tone.
This exercise takes the fifth position minor pentatonic box and adds hammer-ons to the pattern. Within this scale pattern, there are two notes that occur on each string. Pick the first note on each string, then hammer-on to the second note. Ascend this pattern to the high E string. Then, descend the pattern to the low string.Chapter 6: (2:40) Pull-Offs The second form of a slur is called the pull-off. A pull-off is essentially a backward hammer-on. For this reason, a hammer-on is frequently referred to as a forward slur, and a pull-off is referred to as a backward slur. Follow these guidelines whenever you play a pull-off.
Note: Click the “Supplemental Content” tab for tablature to this exercise.
1. The plucked note and the subsequent pull-off must be equal in volume.Pull-Off Exercise
2. Pull the finger straight down towards the floor when playing a pull-off. This will create the best tone.
3. Be careful that you do not pull your finger down too far. This may cause one of the adjacent strings to vibrate.
This exercise bears some similarities to the hammer-on exercise in the previous scene. Instead of playing a hammer-on between the two notes on each string, play a pull-off between them.Chapter 7: (5:23) Slides Similar to hammer-ons and pull-offs, the slide enables guitarists to perform a melody with legato phrasing. There are essentially three different types of slides that carry out a specific function. Note: Open the “Supplemental Content” tab to see how these different slides are notated. Legato Slide
Note: Click the “Supplemental Content” tab for tablature to this exercise.
A diagonal line connecting two pitches always indicates a slide. A slide is commonly abbreviated as “sl.” In addition to the diagonal line, a curved legato line is added to the legato slide.Position Shift Slide
Strike the first note. Then slide up to the second note. The second note is not picked.
This slide occurs when the player shifts from one position to another while playing a melodic line. A simple horizontal line is used to notate the shift slide.Slide From Nowhere
Strike the first note. Then slide to the second note. Strike the second note.
In this type of slide, only one pitch is notated. This indicates that the player should slide into the pitch from a few frets above or below. A forward slash indicates a slide from below. A backslash indicates a slide from above.Watch carefully as Brad demonstrates each type of slide. Chapter 8: (5:25) Fun Licks and the Roll Brad demonstrates three great new licks that work well over the 12 bar blues progression. These licks utilize the techniques he has discussed thus far in the lesson.
This lick features a legato slide followed by some hammer-ons. The lick closes with a technique called the finger roll. When a note is played at the same fret on two adjacent strings, this technique must be applied. Notice how the lick concludes with two notes at the 7th fret. These notes are both played by the third finger. First, fret the note on the G string. After playing this note, “roll” the third finger onto the 7th fret of the D string. Your third finger should not lift from the strings or fretboard during this process. Watch Brad carefully at 2:00 as he demonstrates this technique.Lick #2
This particular lick features a slide from nowhere.Lick #3
This lick contains two position shift slides. Remember to pick both notes involved in a shift slide! The lick concludes with a pull-off.Chapter 9: (3:54) The Trill A trill is essentially a rapid combination of hammer-ons and pull-offs between two notes. The notes involved in a trill are notated with grace notes. These notes are roughly half the size of a normal note. The rhythmic duration is then indicated next to the notes involved.
The way in which your guitar is set up will have a profound impact on string bending. A guitar’s set-up most typically refers to the gauge of strings used, the tuning (standard tuning, down a half step, etc.), and the action height.B. Proper Technique for Bending
Most rock players prefer to play with lighter strings (usually 9 or 10 gauge) because they are easier to bend. The tone of smaller gauge strings is also more appropriate for this style. When it comes to blues and country however, most professionals prefer a heavier gauge set (usually 11’s or higher). Heavier strings are more effective for producing a biting “twangy” sound. The disadvantage to playing with heavy gauge strings is that they are much more difficult to bend. I recommend starting with a lower gauge string and gradually working your way up to a larger set. Also, it should be taken into consideration that some people simply have smaller, weaker hands than others. If bending the strings causes any discomfort or unnecessary fatigue, it’s definitely a good idea to switch to a smaller set. Many players in the 80’s injured their hands as a result of bending large strings. Stevie Ray Vaughn popularized using very large strings (13 gauge) to create his signature tone. What people didn’t realize was that Stevie had absolutely massive hands and tuned his guitar down a half step.
Note: If you decide to change to a new string gauge, a new set-up must be performed. Some intonation, action, and minor truss rod adjustment may be necessary. Have this work done by a reliable professional.
As a rule, it is always important to play with good classical technique. Solid left-hand technique is contingent upon several factors. First, the thumb must be perpendicular to the neck, resting approximately halfway up it. The rest of the left-hand fingers must be perpendicular to the fingerboard. They must be arched and bent at each individual finger joint.C. Pitch Control
Left-hand technique for bending is the only exception to this rule. In the context of the bend, it is highly beneficial to allow the thumb to come up over the neck. This enables you to have better leverage on the string. Using classical technique, you are relying solely on the strength of your fretting fingers to perform the bend. By bringing the thumb over the neck, you are combining its strength with your fretting fingers.
To ensure that your bends are in tune, first play the fretted note of the pitch you are bending up to. For example, if you want to bend the 7th fret of the G string up a whole step, first play the note “E” on the 9th fret. This will give your ears a reference as to what the bend should sound like. Be sure to practice bends of different intervals. Half step and whole step bends are the most common. However, bends of larger intervals such as a step and a half as well as 2 step bends are also common.D. Bending Direction
The direction in which the string should be bent (towards the floor or towards your face) is dependent upon which string you are playing. Generally, the bass strings should be pulled downward, and the treble strings should be pushed upward. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of room on the neck. There are some exceptions to this rule however. Due to the fingering of certain musical lines, there are some instances when it is easiest to pull the G string downwards. You might also find the need to push the D string upwards.E. Types of Bends
There are a few different types of bends to consider.Note: Click on “Bends” under the “Supplemental Content” tab to see how each type of bend is notated. Chapter 11: (5:10) Cool Bend Workout Unison Bend
Pre-bend: The string is bent up to pitch, then the note is plucked.
Bend and Release: The string is plucked and bent simultaneously. Once the specified pitch is reached, the fretting hand returns the string to its normal position.
Gradual Bend: The string is plucked then gradually bent to pitch over a specified note duration.
Bend on the Beat: The string is plucked and bent simultaneously.
Unison bends can be performed between the G and B strings and between the B and E strings. Play a fretted note on the E string with your first finger. Then, bend the note three frets up on the B string. The pitch of the bent string should match the pitch of the fretted note. When applying this technique to the G and B strings, bend the G string note that is two frets higher.This bending exercise takes you through the entire minor pentatonic scale. The scale is played horizontally across two pairs of strings. Each note in the scale is played as a unison bend.
Note: The following information is taken from Steve Eulberg’s fifth Phase 2 Bluegrass lesson.Double Picking Rules
Alternate picking is commonly referred to as “double picking.” This technique enables a guitarist to play much faster. Repetitious picking in which the pick changes direction with each stroke is known as double picking. If you currently use downstrokes exclusively, your right hand is extremely limited in the range of what it can perform. In this lesson, Steve demonstrates some exercises that will get you acquainted with this important technique. You will also learn some very important scale patterns. Knowledge of scales and mastery of double picking are essential skills when playing any form of melodic material.
1. NEVER rest your fingers on the pickguard under any circumstance! Although this may provide you with some stability when you are first learning, this poor technique will severely limit your right hand ability in the long run.Two Methods of Double Picking
2. Rest the palm of your right hand on the bridge when playing a double picked passage. The palm should also rest on the bridge when playing any scalar line.
3. The palm SHOULD NOT rest on the bridge when playing any passage that involves strummed chords or string skipping. Watch Steve carefully as he demonstrates this technique. The right forearm rests on the upper body of the guitar to provide stability. This technique allows the right hand to move more fluidly. If your wrist is anchored to the bridge, the range of motion of the right hand is not large enough to accommodate the aforementioned techniques.
4. Downstrokes and upstrokes must be identical in tone and volume.
5. Your pick strokes need only be large enough to create a solid tone. Remember the economy of motion techniques that Steve explained in his Phase 1 series. Keep the pick as close to the string as possible at all times. This will enable you to double pick much faster.
6. Only the very tip of the pick should make contact with the strings. Do not dig your pick into the strings. This will hinder your ability to move fluidly from one string to the next.
7. The right hand fingers not holding the pick should remain slightly curled into the palm. They should only fan outwards when playing rapid palm muted passages in the rock and metal genres.
There are two ways in which double picking can be performed. Both are equally valid options. Experiment with both options for a significant amount of time. After this initial experimentation period, decide which technique is more comfortable for you.Method 1 - Use the wrist as a pivot to double pick.Pick Slides
Method 2 - This method almost excludes the wrist entirely. The thumb squeezes inwards toward the palm during a downstroke. For an upstroke, the thumb and first finger relax and return to their normal position. Thus, almost all of the picking movement originates from the thumb and first finger. This technique is generally more comfortable for guitarists that have a hitchhiker thumb.
Practice through the blues scale using alternate picking.Turning the pick on its side and sliding it down the length of the strings creates a pick slide.
Frequently, guitarists will use any old foreign object to create off the wall guitar sounds. Van Halen used a beer bottle to create the opening slide sounds on “Women and Children First.” Feel free to experiment with different techniques to achieve the pick slide sounds you hear in your head. Like Brad says, “This is rock and roll. If it sounds good, it is good.” These are valuable words to live by. Also, check out rock players such as Eddie Van Valen and Adam Jones to hear some great examples of how to apply pick slides to your playing.
Brad jams out to a 12 bar blues at the end of the lesson. Notice how he adds pick slides to his improvised lines.
Video Subtitles / Captions
In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.
This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad covers the fourth pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. This lesson includes 2 backing tracks.Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Brad Henecke introduces drop D tuning in this lesson. He explains many advantages of this tuning.Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke teaches the G major pentatonic scale. He demonstrates all 5 patterns and explains how they can be transposed to any key.Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In this lesson Brad Henecke talks about changing the pentatonic/blues scales with each chord in a chord progression.Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Brad will show how to use the Mixolydian scale with a blues chord progression.Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This lesson is all about gear and effects. Brad begins his discussion with power conditioning and removing hiss from your amplifier. He progresses to discuss a plethora of effects pedals. Brad explores...Length: 52:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Brad Henecke introduces the wah pedal and demonstrates its many applications.Length: 15:53 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
About Brad Henecke
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Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.
This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.
From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.
This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).
His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".
Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.
He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).
Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.
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JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.Free LessonSeries Details
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Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.Free LessonSeries Details
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Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.Free LessonSeries Details
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