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Slash is one of my favorite guitar players and the person who inspired me to pick up the guitar when I was 14 years old. His bluesy hard rock licks accentuated with epic bends have created a rock legend with a style all of his own. So, to massage a line from Dr. Emmett Brown, “If you’re going to connect scale patterns on the guitar, why not do it with some style?”. With that said, here are five Slash licks to connect scale patterns on the guitar.
Lick #1 – Nightrain
The first Slash lick comes from Nightrain. This ascending lick is part of the last guitar solo in the song and comes from the 2nd and 3rd positions of the A natural minor scale. A combination of palm muting and hammer-on/pull-offs help build to the climactic bend at the 13th fret of the 1st string.
You can listen to the lick here: Slash lick #1: Nightrain
Lick #2 – Sweet Child O’ Mine
You couldn’t have a list of Slash licks without including at least one from the iconic song Sweet Child O’ Mine. This lick is the infamous run in the middle of the third solo, climbing up the E harmonic minor scale using positions 4, 5, and 1. He also brings in the ♭7 (15th fret on the 2nd string) from the natural minor scale at the top of the run.
You can listen to the lick here: Slash lick #2: Sweet Child O’ Mine
Lick #4 – Estranged
Estranged may just be my favorite Guns N’ Roses song. This fourth Slash lick is from the beginning of the first guitar solo. This solo is played using C major scale patterns, but you’ll notice the incorporation of B♭ (6th fret of 1st string) when playing over top of an F major chord.
This part of the solo has a nice little groove as it ascends up the fretboard.
You can listen to the lick here: Slash lick #3: Estranged
Lick #4 – Paradise City
The fourth Slash lick comes from Paradise City and is part of the first guitar solo. This style of lick is fairly common for connecting the 1st/5th positions of the minor pentatonic scales. This particular lick uses the A minor blues scale and is very similar to a lick you see by David Gilmour in the second solo of Comfortably Numb.
Listen to the lick: Slash lick #4: Paradise City
Lick #5 – November Rain
The last lick comes from the second solo in November Rain. This lick uses positions 3 and 4 of the C major scale. Of the five Slash licks included in this lesson, this one is a particular favorite due to its simplicity in note selection. It’s a great example of what can be accomplished with so few notes just by incorporating a couple of bends and pull-offs.
Listen to the lick: Slash lick #5: November Rain
So there you have it, five Slash licks that connect scale patterns on guitar. The licks in this lesson range from super simple to more complex. A good place to start when first learning to move between scale positions is the extended pentatonic scale, which provides a nice framework to work with.
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