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Stop Playing this Guitar Lick! (Do this instead...)

These are the tabs from the beginning of my "Stop Playing this Lick" video, features just a handful of examples of how common it is to bend the 4 to the 5 in a classic rock and blues rock context.

The first example is a longer lick in Bb from Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode. This lick is actually fairly complex in that it combines both major pentatonic and minor pentatonic. However, it still have the classic bend.

The second lick is from BB King's "The Thrill is Gone." This is in the key of Bm but is using just our standard minor pentatonic shape 1 (what I call the easy shape).

The next lick is possibly the most famous of the bunch. This is the first lick from the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven, by of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. This is in A minor pentatonic, but with one "magic note" at the end (an F) to fit the chord at that moment. Still, it has that iconic classic rock bend.

Despite the fact that Pink Floyd's music is so different from the blues-influenced classic rock that we usually find this bend in, David Gilmore uses the same bend a lot. Here it is from Comfortably Numb:

One of my favourite solos of all time is the end solo on Hotel California which was played by both Joe Walsh and Don Felder -- dueling back and forth then coming together in harmony. Here is one of Joe Walsh's licks from the solo that makes great use of this very common bend:

Jumping ahead in the history of classic rock, here is Angus Young who played this bend a lot, possibly in most solos he ever played. Here is a small lick from the solo of Back in Black (AC/DC):

To find out how to change up these very common habits and create new and creative ideas, try out my book "Guitar Soloing Like a Pro" which is available on Amazon.


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