Lesson 1 of 5
In Progress


Give a man a blues guitar lick and he will solo for a day. Teach a man how the blues lick works and why it is effective, and he will solo for a lifetime

Ancient Blues Guitar Proverb

Ok, I might have just made that one up…

Hopefully though, the takeaway point is clear.

The importance of learning licks is often overemphasised amongst guitar players. A lot of the instructional content I see online is based around learning licks, often with a focus on quantity:

’50 Blues Licks For Better Blues Guitar Solos’

’20 Blues Licks You Need To Know’

‘100 Killer Licks For Fiery Blues Rock Solos’

And so on…

The problem with this kind of content, is that there is often a disconnect between learning these licks, and actually using them in your playing.

I speak here in part from personal experience.

I spent much of my adolescence learning fast and furious blues licks in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The problem was that I had no mechanism for actually using these licks in my playing. I didn’t know how they worked or why they sounded good, and so I had no idea how to use them when I was improvising.

This meant that the potential benefit of learning each lick was limited to using it in a very specific musical context.

As I have matured as a player however, I have come to realise that learning licks can be a highly useful tool. You just need to dig a little deeper to understand how they are formed, the techniques that appear in them and why they sound good.

This is the approach I take throughout this course. In the coming lessons you will learn 10 different licks/short solos in different styles and based in a variety of different keys.

Throughout the course we will look at:

  • The musical context over which these licks are being played

  • How these licks are formed

  • The techniques used in each lick which makes them effective

  • How you can create similar ideas in your own playing

The benefit of this is that you get a huge amount of mileage out of learning each individual lick. You aren’t stuck repeating the same ideas over and over again and instead you can adapt them and make your own.

Not only this, but because you know how and why these licks work, you can use them in a wide range of musical contexts and keys.

As such, this course is not about learning and repeating the ideas I play in each clip. If you want to learn them, that is brilliant! However it is much more about understanding how these ideas are constructed and how you can use them in your own playing.

So with that in mind and when you are ready to do so, head over to the first lesson and let’s dive in! 😁