Michael Palmisano

Michael Palmisano

From What's Next

Award Winning GIT Grad, Founder of PRS Sponsored Guitargate.com, 70k+ students worldwide, and Lead Guitarist in What's Next - Voted 5x "Best Band" in Baltimore, MD. I have been playing guitar since I was 5, and gigging and teaching professionally for the last 15+ years. I genuinely love to teach, and my goal is to help people learn the "why" behind the notes, bridge the gap between rhythm and lead guitar, and ultimately use these tools to improvise and get the stuff in your... (more)

Michael currently offers 124 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 124 intermediate lessons.

Michael Palmisano's contribution to JamPlay

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Theory and Improvisation

Finding Your Voice: Improvisation

Join GIT graduate and professional guitar player, Michael Palmisano as he explores his personal approach to improvising on guitar. Relying heavily on his loop pedal, Michael walks through the theory and mindset that goes into playing over chord progressions and crafting beautiful melodies and solos. This is a very hands on course! If you have a loop pedal, a recording device, or a friend to play with, that would really help make the most of it.

1

Series Introduction

Michael kicks off his course and explains what to expect from the course, as well as who this course is designed for.

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2

Why Is Improvising So Challenging?

In this lesson, Michael is going to start de-mystifying improvisation. After walking through the plan for the series, he demonstrates how to outline chord movement with your melodies.

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Everything Exists In Context

Whether you are a solo guitarist, playing with a band, loops or a JamTrack, every melody exists in a context of harmony and rhythm. In this lesson, Michael examines what context is on a fundamental level.

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What Chords Are In A Key?

Understanding what chords fit with in a key is a crucial element to crafting new melodies and harmonies while improvising. Join Michael as he breaks down the formula for chord structure in every key.

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The Triad Skeleton

It's all about context! Chords are the harmony context we are constantly playing in as we improvise. In this lesson, Michael breaks down the structure of what makes a major or minor triad.

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CAGED System Overview

Chances are, if you've held a guitar for any length of time, you've heard of the CAGED system. This system is an extremely handy tool for any improviser. Join Michael as he explains the system and how it can be utilized in this context.

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Your First Scale: The Major Pentatonic

The Pentatonic scale is crucial to improvising in just about every genre of modern western music. In this lesson, explore this scale and get a leg up into using it in your own improvising.

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Your First Improvisation: Major Chord Vamp

It's time to start playing some music! Building off of what we've learned so far, we are going to vamp over a single major chord vamp.

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The Minor Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson we're going to look at the two most common positions used to execute the Minor Pentatonic Scale.

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Improvisation #2: Minor Chord Vamp

We're going to take the Minor Pentatonic theory we shoved into your brain in the last lesson and start making some music with it!

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Exhaust Your Options!

The notes that fit in a specific key, scale, or chord are a small, if significant part of any riff or lick. How are those notes being played? In this lesson, Michael does his best to exhaust all the options that you have when playing those notes.

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Emphasizing Chord Tone

Tired of playing around with one chord vamps? It's time to add in some more chords and work on our first progression!

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Multiple Chords = Multiple Options

In this lesson, Michael continues to expand our horizons by addressing various approaches to creating new melodies over chord progressions.

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Playing Over Chord Progressions: Key Centered Approach

This is the most common approach to improvising and works best for pentatonic and full major scales in diatonic progressions. Join Michael as he demonstrates this popular approach.

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Playing Over Chord Progressions: Chord Scale Approach

Switching pentatonic scales to match the corresponding chord change gives you the chord tones from the chord, embellishments, and - put together - the full 7 note scale of the key. Join Michael as he explores this approach to playing over chord progressions.

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The Full 7 Note Major Scale

Now that we’ve combined our pentatonics, it's time to put them together and review our full major scale.

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Chord Tone Approach - Major Keys

Now that we've learned what it means to put together the key center and scale approaches to playing over chord progressions, we're going to start putting it into practice over with a major scale tonality.

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The Full 7-Note Minor Scale

What about minor keys? What does that mean exactly? Is this a mode? Michael will answer all those questions in this lesson, without getting too crazy with theory.

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Chord Tone Approach - Minor Keys

This lesson focuses on the chord tones of the passing chords, but not necessarily switching scales for each chord. It’s a great compromise, and it’s where most players ultimately end up finding their voice!

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Playing Over Quick Chord Changes

Quick-changing tunes lend themselves to a more percussive key-centered approach, where slow tunes provide more opportunity for playing the changes. Join Michael as he discusses and demonstrates varied approaches to playing over quick changes.

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The Art of Chord Pairing

The chords that come before and after have something to say about the current chord! As Michael demonstrates in today's lesson, you can choose to say as much or as little as your want about them.

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Writing and improvising melodies is just like telling a story. Join Michael as he explores his approach to capturing and maintaining the listener's attention with peaks and valleys.

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High vs Low Pitch

Saying what you want to say in different registers has a different effect, and is something you should strive to utilize.

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Slow vs. Fast

Varying your tempo and picking attack speed can be a great way to add drama to your improvisation, and really gets people's attention!

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Intensity - More vs Less Notes

More can be less, but it can also be more... at the right time. A constant fluctuation of intensity is a super effective technique - especially for extra long jams.

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Volume - Soft vs Loud

You can start soft and finish screaming... Or the opposite. Or go back and forth! Take a look at this option for a more varied, interesting sound.

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Melodic vs. Harmonic

Often an overlooked tool amongst guitarists, but commonplace in the improv community is the interplay between the song’s melody variations and lick-based improvisation.

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Telling Your Story

Every tune has a story - even the ones without lyrics. Your goal as an improviser is to tell YOUR version of the song’s story.

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Song Analysis: Nobody Knows You

You like what you like... But WHY? What makes one artist resonate more than others? If you spend time finding out how your favorites tell their story, it will help you become a better storyteller of your own.

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Series Conclusion

We've come a long way in this series! Join Michael as he wraps up the series and gives some closing advice for what's next.

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Rhythm Guitar

Practical Rhythm Guitar

Learn how to be a reliable guitar player with your band mates! Join Michael Palmisano as he walks us through a myriad of genres and practical advice for being a solid band member. From when the rhythmical "hit" is to when to use triads, this course will leave you ready to hit the stage like a rock star!

1

Series Introduction

In this first lesson, Michael gives as an overview of what he will be teaching in, "Practical Rhythm Guitar."

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Feeling The Beat

In this lesson, Michael begins laying the groundwork of his course by teaching you how to feel the beat in a song.

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Feeling the Off Beat

In this lesson, Michael continues laying the groundwork of his course by teaching you how to feel the off beat in a song.

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Feeling the Triplet

In this lesson, Michael continues laying the groundwork of his course by teaching you how to feel the every third, or "Triplet," beat in a song.

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Subdividing in 16th Notes

In this lesson, Michael shows how deep groove comes from accentuating the 16th notes and the triplets, or pieces of each.

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Counting in the Band

In this lesson, Michael explores some of the issues that arise when starting a song, and how hearing the songs melody or chorus and hearing the subdivisions will keep you in time every time.

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Open Chords

In this lesson, Michael outlines the idea of primary chords as the open chords or the starting point of rhythm and harmony.

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Power Chords

In this lesson, Michael talks about the two main kinds of power chords, and how they are meant to be in the front of the mix and the driver of the tune. Often riff based, these power chords are how you must push with the drummer.

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Movable Chord Shapes

In this lesson, Michael explores the most common voicings of barre chords. These include major patterns 1, 2, 3, 4, minor 2, 4, and dominant 1, 2, 4, 5.

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Major Triads

In this lesson, Michael shows how the triad is the key to achieving proper guitar arrangements. In this lesson, he focuses specifically on the major triad.

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Minor Triads

This lesson builds upon the lesson before it. Michael continues to introduce the idea of triads and inversions, state their incredible importance in arrangements, and focus on minors.

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Diminished Triads

In this lesson, Michael continues to introduce the idea of triads and inversions, state their incredible importance in arrangements, and focus on diminished triads.

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Arrangements - Primary Part

In this lesson, Michael expands the concept of multiple instruments and the guitarist's role by practicing alternating strumming in open positions and barre chords.

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Arrangements - Middle Parts

In this lesson, Michael explains the concept of middle parts of a tune, and explain why they're important- triads are the key here.

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Arrangements - Horn Parts

In this lesson, Michael explains the function of horns in a mix, and how it’s very common for guitarists to play these.

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Matching the Bass Line

IN this lesson, Michael demonstrates how sometimes, especially in blues and reggae, it makes sense to have a matching bass part. This is almost never the primary part, but adds to the overall groove thickness.

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The VMP

In this lesson, Michael explains the concept of pedal sounds, and how it can add to the groove and the mood of a song.

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Voice Leading

In this lesson, Michael demonstrates how to connect triads in progressions to match bass lines.

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The Blues

In this lesson, Michael explains common blues forms and chords.

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Blues Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains the difference between clean and dirty blues tones.

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Funk

In this lesson, Michael explains the common feel of funk.

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Funk Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get that funky feeling with your guitar and what artists and songs to listen to for inspiration.

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Country

In this lesson, Michael explains what it takes to get that country feel.

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Country Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get that country feeling with your guitar and what artists and songs to listen to for inspiration.

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Rock

In this lesson, Michael explains common rock chords and sounds.

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Rock Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get that classic rock sound and which artists and songs to listen to for inspiration.

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Reggae

In this lesson, Michael explains the basics of rhythm in reggae music.

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Reggae Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get a reggae tone and which songs and artists to listen to for inspiration in this genre.

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The Ballad

In this lesson, Michael explains common ballad themes.

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The Ballad Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get that classic ballad sound and which artists and songs to listen to for inspiration.

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Jazz

In this lesson, Michael explains common jazz chords and sounds.

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Jazz Tones and Songs

In this lesson, Michael explains how to get that jazz feel with your guitar and what artists and songs to listen to for inspiration.

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Soul

In this lesson, Michael explains the basics of rhythm in soul music.

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Jam Bands

Your Jam Band Toolkit

The Jam Band genre has turned into the center of extended improv and creativity when it comes to guitar playing. From bands like the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, and Phish, we have heard some of the most interesting and amazing long form solos over the course of the last 50 years. You may ask yourself - how do I get my playing to that place? Knowing a bunch of scales and arpeggio exercises doesn't always cut it in this genre. The key to keeping your long solos interesting is learning how to create melodies. Michael Palmisano brings his vast guitar knowledge to the table to teach you subtle yet effective techniques for creating melodies to build your solos around.

1

Series Introduction

Get ready to jam! In this introduction, Michael takes you through some of the key concepts in this series.

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Major Scale Formula

First, let's review some basics. The foundation of everything we'll learn in this course is the major scale. After you memorize this simple formula, you'll be able to play the scale from anywhere on the guitar.

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Chords in the Major Scale

Every note, or degree of the major scale has a chord associated with it. In this lesson, Michael shows us another formula for learning these chords, which will be the building blocks for future chord progressions.

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Essential Major Triads

Now it's time to start distilling our full chord shapes down to smaller chord shapes or triads, which are more manageable, both audibly and physically.

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Essential Minor Triads

We focused on the major triads in the previous lesson, now it's time to look at the minor shaped triads.

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Your First Jam with Connecting Triads

In this lesson, Michael looks at connecting some of the triads we've learned in the previous lessons. You'll see how the root, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion triads are all within easy connection range of each other. All of this takes place over your first jam track in this course!

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Middle String Set Triads

Now let's move these triads off of the high set of strings (E, B and G) and move them to the middle set of strings (B, G and D). Although the shapes will vary a bit from the high set, you'll see the connection points stay the same. Combine these with the high set, and these will make up most of the chord shapes you'll need to know to play this music!

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Middle String Triad Jam

Let's connect the middle set triads in this lesson. Michael leads us over a jam track in which we'll see how to connect the root, 1st and 2nd inversion chord shapes up the neck.

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High String Dyads

Distilling down our chord shapes even more now, we go from triads to dyads. This allows us to outline the chords with just the notes that define the function of the chord, in this case, the root and the third. First we'll take a look at inversions on the high string set.

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Middle Set Dyads

In lesson 10 Michael continues his study on dyads. This time you're looking at them from the middle string set.

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5 and 3 String Set Dyads

We can even use the dyads on lower strings. This can give a rich bassy sound when you want it, and the dyad principle is still the same as in the other lessons!

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Your First Major Melody

This lesson will harken back to our major scale we learned in the first lesson. Believe it or not, you can make memorable melodies using only 5 notes in the major scale. Michael demonstrates how in this lesson.

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Your First Minor Melody

Let's move to our first minor melody. If you know your relative minors from the chord scale we learned earlier (the minor 6 chord), this will be a piece of cake to understand. You will be able to use the same melody and fingering used in the major melody lesson with the proper adjustment.

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Connecting Roots in a Progression

In this lesson, Michael gets you playing over a progression. The concept is simple: look for the root notes around the neck on each chord in the progression. Then, you can start to build other notes off of those root notes. Before you know it, you've got a melody going!

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Connecting Thirds and Roots

Now we're going to move on to the next note that makes up a chord - the third. Michael shows us how to identify all the thirds in a string set, so that we can access them whenever we want to. Then, we'll see how we can easily connect them to our roots!

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Connecting Fifths, Thirds and Roots

While it doesn't define the function of the chord, the fifth is nonetheless a very integral part of how the chord sounds. Now we'll identify those fifths around the neck, and learn to connect them to our roots and our thirds.

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Adding the Missing Note

As you start to see the notes of our chord tones come together on the fretboard, it begs the question, what about the other notes in the major scale? Michael does some detective work in this lesson to learn the identity of our missing note!

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Adding Chromatics

Now we begin to add new notes that are not found in our chord tones. These are called chromatic notes. They are in essence, the notes in between our chord tones, and can be used to connect them. You can hear great examples of this all the time in Jerry Garcia's playing.

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Combining Melodies and Licks

We've taken a look at what will be the building blocks of our solos, chord tones and their functions. We've added chromatics, and have a nice tool kit to draw from. Michael now leads us to one of his favorite techniques, combining melodies we create from the tools in our tool kit, and licks that we already know.

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Pro Tip: Your Six is Your Four

Consider this sort of a guitar hack. The sixth note of the scale you're in implies the 4 chord. How does that work you ask? Michael breaks it all down in this lesson!

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Pro Tip: The Five Chord

The five chord is a chord that demands resolution. That's because it contains a leading tone that wants to go back to the root. In this lesson, Michael analyzes that tension, what the leading tone is, and how it relates to all that we've learned so far.

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Adding Melodies to the Bass

As a rhythm player, mimicking the melody on the bass strings of your guitar can be a very effective technique in the Jam Band genre. Michael gives us some examples of how this concept is executed.

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Adding Melodies to Triads

We've added melodies on the low end of the guitar, now let's look at adding them around the triads that we play on the higher end of the guitar. Michael uses our now familiar chord shapes and explores putting melodies in the spaces around them.

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Adding Melodies to Dyads

Now we are going to add melodies to our dyads. These melodies, when connected to dyads, bring more of a lead guitar sound to your playing. Michael shows us some simple ways to integrate this cool technique into our playing.

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Essential Progressions Part 1

It's time to put the tools in our tool kit to work on some progressions. Michael will play ideas over the track, then you will have a chance to use some of his ideas to create your own solos and rhythms. The first progression is a track in the style of Althea.

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Essential Progressions Part 2

This track contains the classic progression of I-b7-IV. Connecting chord tones and using dyads are just a couple of techniques Michael uses in this lesson.

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Essential Progressions Part 3

Now we move to the Am-D7 progression. Start with big chords, then distill them down to our triads and dyads, then we'll begin to create melodies from our chord tone knowledge.

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Essential Progressions Part 4

Now we look at the classic sounding track that we have used a few times in the course already. The chord progression is simply a B major chord to an A major chord. Be sure to use all the techniques we've covered: full chords, triads, dyads then create melodies.

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Essential Progressions Part 5

This progression is reminiscent of Franklin's Tower. Again, use your full chords then incrementally break them down into triads, dyads, then play melodies that will connect the chord tones. Good luck!

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A Final Challenge

This last progression will present the challenge of throwing in a diminished chord. Michael uses all the techniques we've learned so far, but also specifically shows us how and what to play over the diminished chord when it comes around.

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Jam Bands

30 Essential Jam Band Licks

Delve into 30 of the most influential licks in the Jam Band genre. These licks were inspired by the greatest bands and greatest players. Combine this series with Miachael Palmisano's "Your Jam Band Toolkit" course to complete your jam band learning.

1

Series Introduction

Michael Palmisano gives an overview of the techniques and concepts he will cover in this course.

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Chromatic Hammer-Ons to the Third

This lick features a Jerry Garcia inspired chromatic run, and uses hammer-ons for added effect. Incorporate this upbeat, happy lick into your solos.

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Mixin' it Up

We examine a cool lick that features a B Mixolydian sound, and incorporates smooth slides and soulful vibrato. This lick can easily be moved between different chord positions for added versatility.

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Pushing the Pedals

This B Mixolydian lick has a country flavor inspired by the pedal steel. It doesn't have a flat 7, which helps create a bright, major vibe.

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Arpeggiated Blue Sky

This lick features a fast arpeggiated run that has a strong melodic structure and can easily be used over any Mixolydian progression.

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Moving to the Top

It's time to learn a sequenced three note chromatic line in the style of the legendary Jerry Garcia. This lick is peppy, fast and perfect for playing over any Mixolydian progression.

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Fun Mixolydian Slides

This lick makes use of slick melodic lines that make it one of Michael's favorites. With it's combination of tactful anchors and exuberant slides, it is not only physically fun to play, but also features a bright, energetic sound.

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Walkin' On Down

Licks and melodic runs are great, but to make things truly interesting you need to change things up. This rhythmic piece can act as the perfect counterbalancing force in your playing.

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Connecting Through Confusion

This lick is a beautiful melodic run that combines both technique and feel to create a line that truly speaks.

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Country Style Bending Lick

This quick lick has a distinctly country vibe and features soulful bends and vibrato.

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Ascending Pentatonic Lick

This happy sounding lick ascends the neck using the major pentatonic scale, ultimately concluding with some solid vibrato.

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Chicken Pickin Dyads

This fun country style lick makes liberal use of chicken pickin' and dyads.

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Walk Up the Double Stop

This bright lick ascends the guitar neck using simple, yet effective double stops.

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End of the Line

This bassline run helps to create tension while simultaneously adding meat to the low end of the progression.

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Texture Groove Lick

Add some texture to your chord progressions using this palm-muted rhythmic pattern.

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Dorian Slide

This fun melody based lick makes liberal use of slides and vibrato to convey a deep sense of emotion.

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Sleepwalk From C to E

This mysterious sounding lick slides up the scale, and then back down to the tonic. Afterwards it switches to an accented rhythm section to add variety and soul.

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Soulful Dyads

Join Michael as he explores a lick that makes liberal use of dyads. This added little bit of soul and mystery really sets this lick apart.

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Slow and Simple

This deceivingly simple lick sounds and feels quite complicated, but in reality is only three notes accentuated by big bends and soulful vibrato.

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Saturday Night Streets

This lick starts out with a simple melody and ends by outlining the chords using simple shapes. It's slow, slick and filled with delicious vibrato.

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Distracted Focus

Combining one part melody and one part arpeggio, this lick really showcases the goodness that can happen when you combine the two.

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Funky Things

This fun and funky lick uses elements of the classic blues box pentatonic scale while adding a few extra melodic notes. Add in some quick bends, fast vibrato and you have a recipe for a great sound.

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Forever Ascending

Ascending up the neck is fun, and that's what this lick is all about. This is a great way to learn to move from open position up the neck.

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Chromatic Adventure

This fast chromatic lick moves up the neck and across the fretboard, before ending in a slow, vibrato filled line.

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Pump the Bass

This bassy, double stop infused rhythm lick is perfect for breaking your solos out of the top half of the neck.

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Keepin' it Simple

This slow, simple lick gently ascends the neck with tasteful slides, before descending back down and culminating in calming vibrato.

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Country Road Bends

This country-style lick aims to emulate the pedal steel. It moves up and down the neck, makes use of tight bends, and uses a measured vibrato to round it all out.

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Summer Nights and Fireflies

Using measured timing, slow notes, controlled slides and warm vibrato, this lick will have you dreaming of warm summer nights under the stars.

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Green Grass and Blue Skies

This singing, melodic line doesn't contain all that many notes, but achieves a warm, soulful sound by letting the vibrato speak.

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Home Sweet Home

This lick uses double stops that move up and down the neck to create the sounds of home.

6:55 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

31

Flying High Pentatonic

Played on the upper registers of the guitar, this lick uses the pentatonic scale, vibrato and tasteful hammer-ons and pull-offs to create it's high-flying sound.

4:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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