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Diminished Lick #1

by Dan Palladino

You'll notice that the key signature for this lick is labeled as Bb major, but I'm really just trying to let the reader know that the tonal center is Bb. I've set this lick up to resolve like a blues lick. You'll notice that the first note, Db, could be interpreted as the #9 on a Bb7 chord. From there, we are just using diminished chord tones to establish a sound that has a structure (all minor thirds), but at the same time is kind of floating without a key center. Then, at the very end, we establish the bluesy b5, 4, b3, 1 to resolve in a familiar way.

This is a device that will work in a rock or jazz context. In fact, Jimmy Page used this type of idea in some of his solos with Led Zeppelin. Check out the guitar break in "Heartbreaker" and you'll hear him hint at it.

The hammer-on and pull-off markings are included as suggestions only. If these techniques aren't your style, feel free to pick every note. Have fun! --DP

101 Guitar Licks - Diminished Lick #1
Listen to audio of this lick: 80bpm 120bpm 208bpm

*Note: my tab program wasn't cooperating when I prepared this exercise - it refused to insert natural signs for the note E (9th fret, third string). The actual tab is correct. My apologies.

© 2012 Dan Palladino
Reproduction is prohibited without prior written permission.

• Photos in header above by Dan Komoda, except "Blue Guitar Close-up", by Matthew Krautheim

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