| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic lick library
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  lick library
George Biner


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 11:25 am    
Reply with quote

Question for experienced players:

How, when you were learning, did you manage your "lick library"? In other words, how did you think about what to play in a song and when -- coming up with something suitable among the perhaps hundreds of licks you know? Do you even view it as a library or is that too mechanical and really you just cosmically flowed with the music and the guitar played itself? Do you take time to mentally catalog the licks you know? Do you go by known scale positions?

I ask because I'm at the point where I am trying to open my hearing and play the "right" licks instead of mechanically playing the licks I know well just because I know them.
_________________
Electrical Engineer / amp tech in West Los Angeles
Mullen Royal Precision SD10 E9 / Spark Amp / Fender Deluxe Reverb / Sarno Freeloader / Goodrich volume pedal
“Now there is a snappy sounding instrument. That f****r really sings.” - Jerry Garcia
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Ken Metcalf


From:
Converse Texas USA
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 11:53 am    
Reply with quote

I had a friend that taught me.
I would ask how a certain kick off would go and he would show me.
Learning the intros gets you on to learning the melody line and a fair guide for a solo.
Learning melody lines helps overall ear training.
No substitute for playing live experience.
_________________
https://sanantoniosteelguitarassoc.com/
https://thetonkers.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Michael Lester

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 3:09 pm    
Reply with quote

I'm not sure that my experience will be useful, but here's how I've learned to address 'licks'.

I play in a house band with four other musicians. Our job is to provide backup for several singers on a given night. The singers are invited by the venue to sing a 20 minute set, maybe 7 - 10 songs. Sometimes we get a list of the songs they'll be doing and the key beforehand - often not. Needless to say, a lot of it is seat-of-the-pants.

But, if I (or another member of the band) knows the song I've found that the last melody line of the song's chorus almost always works as an intro. Having found the melody for that last line makes it reasonably easy to find a turn or break by scrambling many of the same notes / positions / pedals used for the Intro.

As I get more familiar with the tune by listening to what others in the band are playing, I can get a little more free with inversions, positions, pedals and knees.

I admit freely that it's pretty rare that I can play the signature lick from the recorded versions of the songs, but surprisingly, just the basic notes of the melody almost always sounds right - at least to the audience and the singer.

On the plus side, playing in this format really helps me understand the neck and how it's affected by my hands and feet. Hardly perfect, but a lot of fun anyway.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2020 5:00 pm     Playing Licks...
Reply with quote

One of the scenarios I learned, that helped me HEAR, what was going on, was to learn how to play by EAR... . This format is Piano based, but can be done on other Instruments.
A 1,4,5 Chord is the same on all instruments. It's all about about "1 step" at a time.

Go see Karen Ramirez on You Tube, learning to play by Ear
_________________
Steel Guitar players are members of a Special Family
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Bengt Erlandsen

 

From:
Brekstad, NORWAY
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 3:54 am    
Reply with quote

If one wants to re-use a lick one needs to know where it start and where the melody-path is gonna lead you. That means both to be able to know which note it starts on and which note it ends on and also be able to know which harmonic function that first note is for a certain chord.


In the beginning one usually do licks in this order

Locate note
Play note
Listen to the note(dont this listening step and just memorize patterns)

Proper practise will let you do it in the opposite order

Hear the note(in your head)and know which note(root 3rd 5th or some other note) it is.
Know where it is
Play the note

Now you can either apply pre-figured licks that will take you somewhere from that note

or you can try follow whatever your inner ear tells you to play. Much more fun.

Licks can be categorized but you need to find your own way that makes sense to you.

example

Licks that follow scales
Licks that starts on root notes or any other note
Licks that uses triads(one or more triads)
Licks that take you from one chord to another chord
Licks that live within a certain position where pedals/levers make life easy for playing melodies

If you learn some theory it is easier to put words on different licks and what is going on harmonically so you can easier understand em.

Most of the thinking should be done when practising and maybe even prior/after practising so one can be free to just play and focus on the music, audience and the other members in the band.

Imaj7
-----
IIm7
-----
IIIm7
IVmaj7
-----
V7
-----
VIm7
-----
VIIm7b5

Learning this order which a major scale harmonize into 4 voiced chords will make your musical life much easier.

Any two adjacent chords will give you all the notes the scale Rolling Eyes

Know where your chord notes are so you can play from one to the other. Look ahead, look ahead as it will give your melodic ear a pathway how to navigate where you wanna go.

If you just focus on what to play over this and that chord then the next chord is gonna take you by surprise. Unless you did look ahead and played towards the next chord or the chord after that.

If you find some notes that sound good too you, figure why they sound good and make at least 10 variations of that same lick.




B.Erlandsen
Zumsteel S12extE9 7+7
View user's profile Send private message

Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 10:57 am    
Reply with quote

I like what Bengt said in his closing remarks. I don’t think experienced players are just throwing their stock of licks together when they improvise a solo. They are at a point where they know what the harmonic nature of the song is and are more concerned with taking it on an emotional ride. The question is, how did they get to that point, where the science and math of music is second nature, and the art of expressing themselves is the more important factor? Well they worked and studied damn hard at learning harmony, melody, and rhythm, and applying it all to their instrument. And they play a lot, which gives their approach to a song the human element on their music-making machine.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 2:23 pm    
Reply with quote

Wha Bengt and Fred Treece said...
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 / Zumsteel S12 7+6 / Rittenberry SD-12 8+5 / Li'l Izzy / Webb amp / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 2:56 pm    
Reply with quote

IMHO, you really should have 3 components in your playing:

Plenty of "Licks" (signature moves)
The ability to "play it straight"
The ability to improvise and innovate

If you don't have all 3, you're just another steel player.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Denniston


From:
Hahns Peak, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 6:52 am    
Reply with quote

When I started out I got a hold of Jeff Newman's "The Dirty Dozen". That was in about'78. I was told that if I learned these 12 licks they would get me through about any country gig. Low & behold it worked. I was gigging in about 2 more months & didn't really have much more than that (except an extensive guitar background). After a bit I got sick of playing the same licks over and over and started pulling stuff off records. One at a time a repertoire of licks formed. But those 12 licks got me playing without analyzing everything too much. A good foundation to start building on. Small bites. Every journey begins with a few steps. Wink
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Larry Dering

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 8:54 am    
Reply with quote

Scott, right on the money. I no longer think about it and that's due to extended seat time trying to imitate the records. The licks will accumulate with practice and repetition. Add some music theory and scales to that and you're making music. Donny said it as it relates to our ability. If you have guitar experience the formula should come more easily.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Denniston


From:
Hahns Peak, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 10:20 am    
Reply with quote

Yes Larry I think extended seat time is the key. I think it was Howard Roberts that said you don't really own a lick until you've played it right about 10,000 times. He said he wasn't exaggerating. After that it becomes part of your vocabulary and flows out in sentences all mixed around with all the other ones you own. Just like learning to talk--after a while you don't think about it.
It never ends though for me. Now I'm approaching C6 for the hundredth time. I love the Newman courses. He says "There's two ways to do this. There's the hard way and the easy way. We're going to do this the easy way."
Lickwise on the C6 I want to incorporate a lot of jazz stuff I already own on guitar. On E9 I just dug out a book I've had for years and never got around to. It's Catfish John's "Trappin Squirrels". Pretty neat stuff. We've got so much going for us now with BIAB and all to practice with. And nothing better to do these days.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Larry Dering

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 3:04 pm    
Reply with quote

Scott, so true about spare time. I have 2 D10s and still I rarely touch the C6, even though I love jazz and the sound of the back neck. I have the Newman C6 course and some of Herby Wallace materials too. I put the C6 tuning on one of my lap steels to get the hang of it, like the early guys did. I may get the urge again to spend more time on that. I do about 1.5 hours a day on steel.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Denniston


From:
Hahns Peak, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 3:24 pm    
Reply with quote

Not to change the subject from the licks but I just found another course I'd forgotten I have for C6. It's the Buddy Emmons "Basic C6". I think it's the BEST for starters. It actually can take you pretty far. I've decided to revisit that first. See I went 48 state trucking for quite a while and put this stuff aside for later. I've often had a gig or two waiting for me when I get home but kind of dropped my practice continuum.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

John Spaulding


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 8:03 pm    
Reply with quote

Paul Franklin teaches his approach and philosophy to Licks in his E9 Pedal Steel Vocabulary course.

He has a blog post about it here: Vocabulary
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Denniston


From:
Hahns Peak, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 8:17 am    
Reply with quote

I'd really like to take some of Paul's courses. They're not accessible to folks like me though that have terrible internet. I checked a while back and to my understanding they only have streaming but nothing that's just downloadable. We can't do much of that on our mobile hotspot at 8200' in the mountains. They keep threatening to run cable to us someday though.
In Paul's blog he talks about "internalizing" licks. That's the way I've looked at it. At first they may come out as a mechanical collection but when they're internalized the subconscious seems to have a way of playing around with them. It's a natural process. I've awoken in the middle of the night hearing stuff I'd been working over & over but it would be different. Maybe combinations. I think eventually they come out like this when you're playing. But first they have to be thoroughly internalized. Played 10,000 times? I don't know.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

John Spaulding


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 11:13 am    
Reply with quote

Scott - We have several courses that are completely free, like the "Backing A Singer: Shenandoah" course which is full of great licks.

Have you tried watching any of them yet? You can adjust the video quality down to as low as 240p to save bandwidth.

Worth a shot, maybe?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Scott Denniston


From:
Hahns Peak, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 12:47 pm    
Reply with quote

Thanks John. I hadn't really looked past the streaming courses. Yes I do download massive files but have to park outside a store with wifi that's 11 miles down the road. Thanks, I'll sure do that. Sometimes you could about hard boil an egg waiting for a page to load here at the house.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Ron Funk

 

From:
Ballwin, Missouri
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 4:42 pm    
Reply with quote

I've found it useful to establish and maintain 'a hard-copy file,'
periodically review that file to refresh one's memory,
and also try to play/include a few of those licks that you haven't tried before, into your bandstand toolbox.

After all, our head's can only remember so much!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

James Meloan

 

From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 28 Nov 2020 5:28 pm    
Reply with quote

Check out the book "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. he's a jazz pianist who has some cool insights into playing music, especially improvising. A lot of it is learning to get out of your own way. Like after you master riding a bike or driving a car, you aren't constantly thinking and focusing to the point where you're mentally narrating every next little move.
Needless to say, you have to put in a lot of time learning your instrument first, but you can still incorporate a lot of the ideas, and it's generally an easy and encouraging book. A little new age-ish at times, but worth the read.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Click Here to Send a Donation

Email SteelGuitarForum@gmail.com for technical support.


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron