Learn How to Create Interesting Licks & Phrases on Guitar

Learn How to Create Interesting Licks & Phrases on Guitar

Jazz, rock, and blues musicians need to be able to modify any lick or phrase in their vocabulary to fit the groove that they’re playing over in a creative and fresh way. Guitar is especially adept at this – the way the instrument is laid out allows guitarists to reach and find new territory on the instrument fairly easily. This all amounts to an extra wide palette of harmonic and rhythmic options that are available to develop creative phrasing techniques.

In Richard Hallebeek’s TrueFire course, the Creative Lick Phrasing Guidebook, he takes you through several concepts and licks that will help you see the fretboard in new and interesting ways. In these lessons, we’ll get a sample of the concepts from the course as well as a performance study to put it all together.

Rolling Fingers

Using two fingers of the left hand in a pentatonic scale and rolling them gets you some great licks.

Timing Variations

The lines in this course are all mostly notated in 16ths. Use these licks as a source and create your own by making timing variations.

Dominant 7 – Melodic Minor

Download the tab, notation & jam track for this phrasing lesson on TrueFire.

This lick uses the melodic minor scale on top of a dominant 7th chord.

7Alt Pentatonic

Download the tab, notation & jam track for this phrasing lesson on TrueFire.

This is a II-V-I progression and we’re using the minor pentatonic scale exclusively.

Q.E.D. – Performance

Download the tab, notation & jam track for this phrasing lesson on TrueFire.

Here’s a track called “Q.E.D.” We’re going to be playing a few of the major 7th lines I showed you earlier, also using some of our free timing concepts.

Q.E.D. – Breakdown

Here’s a track called “Q.E.D.” We’re going to be playing a few of the major 7th lines I showed you earlier, also using some of our free timing concepts.


Looking for more creative ways to develop your licks and phrasing? Make sure to check out the full course on TrueFire. There are many more licks and concepts to be had, with the included tab, notation, and jam tracks to go along with it. Let’s get creative!