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Fast Legato Guitar Lick

Here’s a fun legato idea for guitar that uses hammer-on’s, pull’off’s, and slides. The concept uses five consecutive notes from the major scale on each string. The lower three notes are played ascending/descending/ascending, followed by a slide with the pinky to the highest note in the sequence and another slide down a diatonic step in the key. 

I like to end the run with a lower mordent, which is just playing the final note with a trill using the note a step below. 

Ex. 1a shows the core idea on String 1. Examples 1b-1f show the idea moved to each of the other strings in the key of G major (or E natural minor). Just take five consecutive notes in the same key anywhere on the fretboard, and you can apply this simple idea to anything you are playing. 

Fast Legato Guitar Lick Example

Example 2 shows an application of this idea applied to a larger context. Here we start with the idea presented from Ex. 1a and descend into box 2 of the G major scale where the first idea is repeated in a lower octave on frets 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12. We then descend horizontally with a Satriani/Hendrix idea that transitions into box 1 of the G major scale of String 3, where we descend vertically across box 1, ending on a low, open E to suggest E natural minor.

Fast Legato Guitar Lick Example 2


About the Author:  Eric Bourassa’s Fort Worth guitar lessons take place at his guitar school in Texas where he and his team teach students to shred and write their own music for guitar. He is also a self-proclaimed rock guitar virtuoso, but this has been debunked by Tom Quayle. 

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