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Watch the Open String Licks in G online guitar lesson by Johnny Hiland from Ten Gallon Guitar

G is a really fun key to get into because we have the G scale which is one of the open scales is really open to play right here in the G cowboy chord. The first G scale, plays from a barred position but playing all that open now. On the E string we are playing the 3rd and 2nd fret, releasing to an open, 3rd fret on the B, 1st fret open, 2nd fret of the G string (which is an A note) to an open G and we’re on the 4th fret D, 2nd fret D, open, 3rd fret (which is a C), on the A 2nd fret A, open. Bluegrass pickers really like to use this to come up with cool licks. When you think melody when coming up with a solo, this is a fun scale to use.

The second on in G starts in on the 8th fret B string, go to the 7th fret on the B, follow with an open E and reach up on the G string with the 3rd finger on the 7th fret (which is the D note) play the C note (which is the 5th fret G) followed by an open B, the A note now (which is D string 7th fret) and then we have an open G. What I recommend is to learn that half first. It’s important to play that real slow and get it down first. You want to keep it real open sounding so it just cascades and flows. Try that really slow.

What’s so great about this is once I started practicing the first half, and repeated it over and over again (I know I was driving my wife crazy over that) but you will slowly build up your speed. Be sure to keep the scale clean.

Once you have that half of the scale, we will move on the second half. It’s the same second half as the other G scale. IV and II on the D string, and I pulled that off to an open D. Then III and II on the A, 3rd fret to the 2nd fret, followed by an open A and then a G. That’s the full G scale. Work on the slow and then speed it up. When we get into the D scales, I’ll show how you can connect the G and the D together.

The last one in G is essentially the same as the last one we did in A. That can work over almost any key. If you learned this in A you can do it in G, just carry it down two frets. We start on the low E string and the A string with the 2nd and 1st fingers on the 3rd and 2nd fret. Now, we go back to the pick pick pull pattern. The I III and V together sound so nice in perfect harmony. Now, we slide with the 3rd finger of the 5th fret of the A string, our 1st finger on the D string 3rd fret. Slide with the 2nd finger on the 5th fret D string, 1st finger on the 4th string G with an open string underneath that. We are going to play a full triad in G. Slide to the 4th fret G, play the actual full triad with the 1st finger barring on the B and E string of the 3rd fret in the G position and we are going to reach out with (you can use the 4th finger to be proper) my 3rd finger and grab with a hammer-on with the 3rd finger to the 6th fret B and right under that hit the G note with the 1st finger on the 3rd fret. From that, we reach up with our 3rd finger to the 7th fret high E string and use the 1st and 2nd finger to create the bend. I’ve bent with my 2nd finger (with a little help from the 1st) from the 6th fret we’ve bent that B string up a whole tone. Then you can release that and continue on from there.

There is really cool open G licks – hope you enjoyed those!