See the lick here? Let's say its in an A blues. Let's say you've got a little gain and sustain. Remember my personal narrative, where I used to play 25 years ago, quit to go into academics, became paralyzed, got better, bought a guitar, started playing blues again. My plan at first was to train my hands to do certain kinds of reflexes that would help me think, feel, and play in a blues kind of way. I avoided things that were not bluesish, as I defined it. Scales were out and some blues-rockisms were out. At some point early on, I hit on the lick shown here. I immediately recognized it from blues-rock days of yore. My first impulse was to think that the only people who would play this were wannabes. Scared wannabes. I was watching on of the first King of the Blues final competitions. Three guys were introduced. Two younger and fresher, and one guy in his 50s, like me, wearing a Hawaiian shirt (not like me). He didn't have a lot of mobility, and, sure enough, here it is, in the first 30 seconds of his solo. That reinforced it for me, that this was a lick to avoid. A little later, I happened across a video clip of Stephen Stills jamming with a stage full of musicians at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. I don't think he was with C,S,&N, but he could have been. When it came his turn to solo, right off the bat, he plays this lick. I immediately think he is nervous. On to me. When I started playing out and in rehearsals, I was sometimes very strongly lured to this lick. When I finally would give in (rarely, I'll have you know), I always played both notes together, and often bent up the higher string as well. I also did a version on strings 2-3. The benefit of this was it served to put a pause or hold into the flow of the solo. Additionally, it was an unusual color, compared to the single-note stuff I was also doing. I liked the effect of holding a high note, while the note a whole-step lower bends up to meet the high note in unison. It is a very nice color. But, music is sometimes about more than changes in color, or interesting acoustical effects. It is also about how the performer is feeling. If I am feeling good, flowing, and creating, making myself happy with what I am hearing, then I have no need to play a lick that I usually use strictly for utilitarian purposes. Since I have associated this lick with fearful, hackneyed playing, there is no way that I am going to lay that out there. Fear and knee-jerk responses to fear are very bad ju-ju for me. When I am afraid, I lock up and hang onto a sound for dear life, practically pinching the neck in half. What a great lifesaver this lick is when my fingers are frozen in fear. Heck, I can even ride this pattern out for a good half of a 12-bar cycle. Or at least play it long enough for me to take a couple of deep breaths, regroup, and settle down, all while gradually peeling each finger away from the fingerboard one by one. Then I'm OK, as I feel like I have established by authority and confidence. But I feel cheap. I still associate it with hack playing, fearful playing, frozen in place playing. Does anyone know the feelings I am describing? Do you see why I can feel something, pre-hear something, but have to deny its right to be heard? Not everything that comes out of our hearts, brains, hands, etc. is equally true and pure. Ask any composer. You write something, accept or reject it, fix it up, etc. but none of that matters if it is coming from a place of insecurity, fear, lack of confidence, wishing you would rather be anywhere than on this stage at this time in your life. You've given yourself an out as far as the audience of Joe Blows might know, but the band will know, other musicians will know. Does anyone know the feeling that I am describing? PS. This lick is used in a different form in the Beatle's "Get Back." They used it beautifully, as one would expect.