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Lyle Ronglien >> Guitarists Who Shaped the 80s >>
teacher - Lyle Ronglien

Lyle: Tonight you'll explore deeper into the style of guitarist Edward Van Halen. In the '80s, he was a guitar player who made his own template for rock guitar licks. He combined hammer-ons, pull-offs, two-handed tapping, and a trunk full of effects and other techniques to create his own style that was mimicked by almost every other guitarist in that decade.

Lyle: Listen to the "intro licks sample". You will hear many trademark licks from EVH. During the lesson, you will learn how to play these licks and put them together in your own style and be able to jam along to the looping jam track.

intro licks sample

Looping Sound Clip 1

Lyle: Your first lick is the background guitar part for the looping jam track. Learning to play this is a great place to start. The chords for the jam track are E and D.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of lick 1

lick 1

Lyle: See if you can play lick 1 right along with the jam track.

Lyle: All the licks today are in the key of E blues. Memorize these and learn to transpose them into other keys by simple moving the position of the lick on the neck.

Lyle: VH used this type of rhythm lick often. Instead of using a power chord (root and 5th), it's using the root and 3rd to give a bit more harmonic expression.

Lyle: Lick 2 is a short pull off lick VH used sometimes to add a little spice to a rhythm lick.



Lyle: Strike the note while your second finger is down on the 5th fret.

Lyle: Pull off to your 1st finger and bend up a half step and release.

Lyle: Then strike the 5th fret again with your second finger. A little tricky at first but keep trying!

Lyle: Here is a close up video clip showing this technique in action.

pull off lick

Lyle: What you're going to do now is play both lick 1 and 2 together to create a bigger lick.

Lyle: Here is lick 3. It combines lick 1 and lick 2.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of lick 3

lick 3

Lyle: This is how you'll approach all the licks in this lesson.

Lyle: You'll keep combining them in the order you learn them to create a long string of licks, just like the "intro licks sample" at the beginning of the lesson.

Lyle: You can mix them up and play them in different orders too once you've memorized them.

Lyle: Here is a scale called the E Mixolydian. This is a typical scale to use over an E7 chord. The Mixolydian scale is a mode. It's just like a major scale but with a flatted 7th.



Lyle: You're learning it on just the E string slowly at first. Once you have learned this scale up the neck, pick each note real fast to get the "Eddie" sound out of it. Listen to the lick 4 sample or watch the video clips.

lick 4 sample

lick 4 sample

lick 4 sample right hand

Lyle: To pick real fast, alternate your pick down and up.

Lyle: Lick 5 is a great follow up to lick 4.

Lyle: It starts where the lick 4 ends and descends the scale using a series of hammer-ons and pull-offs.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of lick 5

lick 5

Lyle: In all these licks, there are many techniques involved.

Lyle: Practice these until you have them down.

Lyle: You'll end up with riffs that will have that EVH sound to them.

Lyle: Lick 6 is a classic minor pentatonic lick. The way you'll play it gives it the EVH sound.



Lyle: As you are coming down the scale, pick each note with a heavy attack. Bend the last note up just a half step.

Lyle: Here's a video clip of lick 6.

lick 6

Lyle: EVH does this lick often as a "fill in" type of phrase.

Lyle: So far you've learned 6 basic licks. If you were to play them all in order, they might sound something like this. Listen to the audio sample.

licks 1 thru 6 sample

Lyle: Lick 7 is a favorite of mine as far as the VH style goes.

Lyle: It's simple, yet hard to learn by ear.

Lyle: It's the half step bends that can throw you off.

Lyle: This lick is built from the E minor pentatonic scale up at the 12th fret.

Lyle: Here's lick 7. Notice how it is played from the high 3 strings of the pentatonic pattern.



Lyle: Check out a video clip of lick 7.

lick 6 and 7

Lyle: Lick 8 is using chromatics, or one fret at a time.

Lyle: Use all 4 fingers when playing this lick, and pick each note hard so each note has a "bite" to it.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of licks 7 and 8.

lick 7 and 8

Lyle: Lick 9 is a lick that you can use to develop your speed with.



Lyle: Practice the first measure of this lick over and over until you can play it faster than you ever thought possible.

Lyle: Watch this video clip of lick 9. I'm playing the first bar repeatedly, and then I finish with the 2nd bar of the lick

lick 9

Lyle: Since these are all blues licks, you can use them in many types of jams and in any keys.

Lyle: Lick 10 shows the technique of sliding your right hand finger on the string.



Lyle: Here's a video clip of lick 10

lick 10

Lyle: On lick 10, notice the use of the hammer-ons and pull-offs combined with the finger slide.

Lyle: That's 3 techniques all in one lick.

Lyle: It's little things like using several techniques together to give your playing style more feel and personality.

Lyle: It takes a lot of practice but well worth it in the long run.

Lyle: If you practice enough, you'll get it.

Lyle: Lick 11 uses the right hand finger tapping technique.

Lyle: EVH almost wrote the book on two-handed tapping.

GFSalles: Very cool!

Lyle: The virtual guitar neck will show a 'T' for the right-hand tapped notes when you play it back.



Lyle: Here's the video clip for lick 11.

lick 11

Lyle: Lick 11 is a prime example of a VH signature lick.

Lyle: You'll be combining the right-hand tapping with the finger slide at the end of thick, just lick in lick 10.

Lyle: Learn each one of these licks just right so you can copy some of VH best trademark licks.

Lyle: Always take your time with learning new licks.

Lyle: You want to make sure you understand what you're playing and how you're playing it.

Lyle: That's all for this lesson. Hope you all had fun! See you next lesson...!

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