Learning Licks

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by James Hall, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. James Hall

    James Hall TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    61
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Pikeville, KY
    Will learning licks help train your ear? Searched and didn't find anything.
     
  2. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    268
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2019
    Location:
    Illinois
    Yes, learning licks, or anything else (by ear) will help train your ear. Even learning them off paper will help since they'll get into your head.
     
  3. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,295
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    I was lost, I had to google the difference between a lick and a riff.
     
    James Hall likes this.
  4. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,692
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    Yes ... copy borrow steal until you develop your own unique voice ....
     
    FenderGuy53, GLee94, teletail and 2 others like this.
  5. James Hall

    James Hall TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    61
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    Pikeville, KY
    Thanks for being helpful!!!
     
  6. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,783
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Location:
    CT
    That's exactly how most people develop their ears.
     
    Sounds Good likes this.
  7. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,585
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    maybe or perhaps... the problem with learning LICKS is not understanding how they came to be, why are they even a lick ? So we learn a "lick" in the key of E, then we go play and all of a sudden the singer says, nope we are playing in "A". now what ?

    Licks are indeed kool if we break them down to see how they are derived, then we can play them in any position. The ear training part is hearing how the ROOT relates to the entire phrase.
     
    P Thought and Toadtele like this.
  8. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Location:
    Canada
    The Lick is Melodic, usually single notes playing a melodic "line". The Riff is rhythmic, usually power chords or multiple notes at once.
     
    JL_LI and Sounds Good like this.
  9. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    830
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Luton UK
    Yes many folk dont know that it causes alot of confusion, maybe learning licks from actual solos is best and of course your favourite songs, i myself i found that more interesting. Except i learnt a few of Shawn Lane licks they sound good even slower, the penatonic crossover one all over the neck come in very useful his lessons are on the net btw.
     
  10. modavis99

    modavis99 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    83
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I load MP3s into Audacity (freeware) and slow down 25% - enables you to slowly hear and practice the lick/passage/solo until you nail the notes, timing and feel.
     
    JL_LI and GLee94 like this.
  11. GLee94

    GLee94 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    25
    Posts:
    53
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Location:
    Erie, PA

    Imitation is the first step in innovation!!!!
     
    teletail likes this.
  12. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,921
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The most important thing that learning to play licks by ear does for you is it trains you to recognize intervals. You’ll learn to play the lick well enough to play it in the song it came from and even to quote from it in other songs. But once you’ve learned to recognize and hear intervals you’ll be able to combine them into original solos. If this makes sense to you, you can get better with intervals and solos by building solos off chords like many country guitarists do. Once you get REALLY good with intervals, you can begin to explore modal scales. Keep at it. No one ever did better knowing less and no one did well at all without practicing what they learned until they know it.
     
    T Prior and Sounds Good like this.
  13. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,523
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    Move 5 frets up the board? :rolleyes:
     
  14. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,306
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You don't know what a lick is? What about THE lick?

     
    McGlamRock likes this.
  15. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,251
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Moon Township, PA
    Depends on your definition of “learning”.
    Developing the ability to play a certain lick or riff without understanding it’s role in a musical context will not improve your ear.
     
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,585
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    And that would be the point, play what we learn in multiple KEYS and fretboard positions !

    If we do that we're not actually playing a "lick" anymore, we are playing the fretboard from a different root position. We are prepared. Hopefully !
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  17. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    1,047
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    If you're going to go to the trouble, learn how to play said lick in various keys, and/or various positions on the fretboard.
    JL LI is right about interval training.
     
  18. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,585
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    Its not actually" going thru the trouble "playing up / down the fretboard in various keys/positions, , it is playing in intervals !
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.