3 Fun & Easy Licks In The Style Of Mike Campbell

In this newest video in this easy lick series from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman, aka Uncle D, goes over three fun and easy licks from Mike Campbell. Mike Campbell is the lead guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as well as many other solo and collaboration projects. So be sure to get the free tabs to go along with the video and you can add these fun licks to your lick portfolio.

mike campbell licks


How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing this video lesson and today I’ve got three fun and easy licks for you in the style of Mike Campbell.

So right now, Guitar Control is giving away this really awesome daily practice routine to improve your lead guitar chops. This was put together by our very own Silvio Gazquez, a two-time Guitar Idle finalist. This routine covers the four main concepts that are necessary for lead guitar; alternate picking, legato, sweep picking and tapping. All the tabs and exercises are all included in this free ebook and there’s a link in the description where you can get yours.

So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at these.

All right, so for any of you that may not be aware of this, Mike Campbell is the lead guitar player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and he’s done solo stuff and other band stuff. He’s an extremely underrated player in my opinion and just does some really neat combinations of stuff that hopefully you’ll get something out of.

Mike Campbell Lick-1 – Stop Dragging My Heart Around

All right, so this first we’re going to look at here is from Stop Dragging My Heart Around… So that’s the first part of it, we’re just in E minor pentatonic. So I’m here on the 15th fret of the B string and I’m going to bend that up a full step with some vibrato on there. Now that rings out uh for six beats, so it’s the whole first measure, and then it’s the first two beats of the second measure; so you have the one, two, three, four, one, two. And then starting on the downbeat of three we’re going to move to the G string. So we’re just moving right down in the same position into the pentatonic scale. So now my first finger is on the 12th fret and my third finger is on the 14th fret and I’m going to do a full step bend and release and then pull-off from 14 to 12. So that’s why we want to have both of these fingers down and you can even take your second finger and put it here on the 13th fret so you get more leverage for the bend. Then we immediately go back to 14 on the G string… and then we go to the 14th fret on the D string and we hit that twice; so that’s and two, three, one, two, three, four. So it’s tied into that next measure and that’s the first part… All right and then from there we’ve got this little, almost a little chord, on the 14th fret of the D string and the 12th fret of the G string and then the 15th fret of the B string. So we hit that and we let that ring out and then it does the same.

I added in one more little thing here, this is a little bit out of context, but this is just a little pull-off lick that he does in E minor pentatonic in the open position. It’s pretty easy to add ideas from this into your own licks. So we’re just going to start here on the third fret of the high E string and we’re going to pick that and pull to the open string and then we’re going to do the same thing on the B string. So now we go to the G string we’re going to move from the third fret down to the second fret and we’re going to do that on the G string, the D string and the A string. So we’ve got… however you want to do it, whichever finger. I seem to favor my middle finger a lot when I’m doing things like that.

Mike Campbell Lick-2 – Boys Of Summer

All right, so the next one here, this is something that I just recently found out. I didn’t know and I can’t believe I’d never heard of this before, but I think it was Don Henley, if I’m wrong let me know in the comments because I’m just brain farting right now, but Henley had a song in the 80s, The Boys of Summer. Well as it turns out Mike Campbell actually wrote that song. He wrote all the music for it and then he ended up recording it and producing it I believe. Anyway, at the end of that song it has this really neat melodic play out at the end of it that I kind of liked and then it turns out that it is Mike Campbell. So for this one here we’re actually going to be using an arpeggio shape that I’ve done a couple of different lessons on. So it’s the shape that looks like a regular D major chord, but we’re not gonna play it like that, we’re going to play the notes separately. So we’re going to come up here to the sixth fret on the high E string with your first finger, then we’re gonna go to the ninth fret on the B string with your fourth finger and then back to six again on the high E string… so that’s the first measure. So then starting on the second measure, with your middle finger we’re going to go to the seventh fret on the B string and then with your first finger to the sixth fret on the G string so we get that major arpeggio shape like we did before… Then after we hit that six on the G string we just go back to the seventh fret on the B string and then that whole sequence repeats three times I believe… All right, so I have to repeat that three times and then it goes into this other… I just think it’s really neat how we kind of mixed these different ideas together. So now we’re going to do is put your first fingers here on the sixth fret of the G string and then you’re going to want to take your middle finger and you’re going to want to put it on the seventh fret of the B string. So we’re going to pick the G string and then you’re going to do a hammer-on with your third finger to the eighth fret and then follow that with that seventh fret on the B string and then that just repeats three times… Okay and then at the end of it’s got this kind of a little climb; so either pick, hammer to the B string… Okay so that’s the first measure of this section. I guess it’s actually the third measure of the sequence here on the on the transcription. So then this last seventh fret here on the B string actually is on the downbeat of one of the fourth measure and then we go back to that eight on the G string, back to seven on the B string and then to nine on the B string and then to six on the high E, back to nine on the B string and back to six and then that that whole thing would repeat…

Mike Campbell Lick-3 – Refugee

All right, then the last one to look at here is this is from the solo for Refugee and he plays this kind of quick, but we’re gonna work on it slower because it’s something you’ll have to kind of work on to build up the speed and what’s just kind of neat about this is it’s just an ascending a sequence, but he’s doing it on a single string. So we’re going to start off, we’ve got this same kind of garden variety bend that we’ve been doing. So now we’re in F sharp minor pentatonic… So I’m on the fourth fret of the G string with my third finger and then I’m going to use my first and second fingers on the second and third frets just so I can get some leverage because we’re going to do a full step bend and down this far on the neck that there’s a lot more tension so it’s a lot harder. So we rest one, two, three, and. So on the and of three we’re going to bend that and then on the downbeat of four we go to the second fret on the B string and then the and of four we go to the fifth fret and we do another full step bend… so that’s like one, two, three and, four and. And then on the downbeat of one on the second measure, we go to the second fret of the high E string, back to that fifth fret of the B string, back to the second fret of the high E string. So this is one and, two, three, and then we start doing this climb. So we hit this on the downbeat of two and it’s tied. So it’s all of beat two and then it’s tied to the downbeat of three and then on the and of three we slide to the fourth fret and then on the downbeat of four we pick that four, we’re on the fourth fret and we pick that and slide to five on the and of four… Now we’re gonna go five to seven, seven to nine, nine to twelve, back and then 12 back to nine… And then finally… you’ll be ending here with your first finger on the ninth fret of the high E and then we’re gonna grab the twelfth fret. Again I’m gonna use my third finger here and my second finger on the 11th fret for leverage and we’re going to do a full step bend with some vibrato…


All right, so there you have it, three fun, not too terribly difficult licks to play in the style of Mike Campbell. So if you like this lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this or other guitar related topics. If you’ve not already done so please subscribe to the channel hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

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