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.
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
Sound Clip 1
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
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.
Strike the note while your second finger is down on the 5th
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
What you're going to do now is play both lick 1 and 2 together to create a
Lyle: Here is lick 3. It combines lick 1 and
Here's a video clip of lick 3
This is how you'll approach all the licks in this lesson.
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.
You can mix them up and play them in different orders too once you've memorized
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.
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
To pick real fast, alternate your pick down and up.
Lyle: Lick 5 is a great follow up to lick
Lyle: It starts where the lick 4 ends and
descends the scale using a series of hammer-ons and
Here's a video clip of lick 5
In all these licks, there are many techniques involved.
Lyle: Practice these until you have them
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.
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
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
Lick 7 is a favorite of mine as far as the VH style goes.
It's simple, yet hard to learn by ear.
Lyle: It's the half step bends that can throw
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
lick 6 and
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
Here's a video clip of licks 7 and 8.
lick 7 and 8
Lick 9 is a lick that you can use to develop your speed
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
Since these are all blues licks, you can use them in many types of jams and in
Lyle: Lick 10 shows the technique of sliding
your right hand finger on the string.
Here's a video clip of lick 10
On lick 10, notice the use of the hammer-ons and pull-offs combined with the
Lyle: That's 3 techniques all in one
Lyle: It's little things like using several
techniques together to give your playing style more feel and
Lyle: It takes a lot of practice but well
worth it in the long run.
Lyle: If you practice enough, you'll get
Lyle: Lick 11 uses the right hand finger
Lyle: EVH almost wrote the book on two-handed
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
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
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
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...!