How To Play One Of The Best Shred Guitar Licks

Welcome back! Today I wanna you show what for a long time was the best shredding guitar lick
I had learned.

This lick embodies my John Petrucci influences. John Petrucci is like one the best guitar players
on earth; if you haven’t listened to any of his stuff with Dream Theater or any of his solo music,
then go ahead and listen to it now, you won’t regret it. He is very well known for crazy fast and
clean picking technique, oftentimes using it over very complex time signatures.
But don’t worry, the lick I’m about to show, is fairly easy and as usual, it sounds really good.
So let’s check it out:


This is a pentatonic lick with passing tones. It’s always 2 consecutives notes of the minor
pentatonic scales with a passing tone in between. You can play it at any speed you want, but I
suggest practicing it slow at first. You could use the lick above with an Am or any chords in the
A pentatonic scale. You can of course transpose it. You could also play it backwards like this:


Playing it backwards usually requires more practice and eventually you can combine both
directions. John Petrucci plays a very similar lick on “As I am” by Dream Theater. He’s crazy
though; he does it at like at a very high speed.

I would suggest using alternate picking, which means you change direction with each note. I
would also suggest starting with a downstroke and practicing it for a while and then trying out
starting with upstroke. For some reason us guitar players find it so much easier to start any lick
with a downstroke; it just feels more natural.

Another way you could practice it is by skipping strings. So for instance you could start with the
6th string and move to the 4th string, then from 5th string to the 3rd string and so on. If you
wanna go crazy, you could try string skipping starting out with an upstroke; it’s gonna be really

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this lesson and please remember to check out more lessons at:

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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