Polyphoneek Lesson 10 – Hybrid Bluesy Lick

This month we will incorporate some hybrid picking into a pentatonic/blues scale lick based around triplets. I have written this out in triplets in 4/4 as opposed to 12/8 to […]

This month we will incorporate some hybrid picking into a pentatonic/blues scale lick based around triplets. I have written this out in triplets in 4/4 as opposed to 12/8 to make describing the timings easier to you. Hybrid picking involves using your pick as normal but incorporating other fingers on your right hand into your playing. This can used to create different intervals that are available by using strings that are not directly adjacent, as well as to create different rhythms and accentuate notes with the pluck that you fingers give to the strings.

lesson 10 - bluesy hybrid lick - page 1

This lick starts with an anacrusis before the first bar and we being in position one of the E minor pentatonic by playing the open low E with an upstroke on the third triplet of the fourth beat of the first bar. We then play the G at the third fret of the E string with our second finger and hammer on to the G# at the fourth fret before picking the B at the second fret of the A string with an upstroke, which completes out first beat. We then incorporate our third finger on our right hand to pluck the E at the second fret for the first eighth note triplet before killing the note and resting for an eighth note triplet, before playing the open D note. We complete this bar by playing the B at the second fret of the A string with a downstroke, pulling off to the open A and playing a final G at the third fret of the E string. We complete this phrase with some inverted chords using some more hybrid picking. Firstly we slide from the F# to the G# at the fourth and sixth frets of the D string using our third finger on our left hand, and a downstroke on our picking hand, then we let that not ring and pick out the B and E notes at the fourth and fifth frets of the G and B strings using our second and third fingers on our picking hand. This forms an E triad in first inversion, and we then wait an eight note triplet rest before sliding this shape back two frets to create a D major triad that we let ring out for the rest of the bar.

Now we move up to position three of the blues scale with a downstroke on the B flat at the sixth fret of the low E string and hammer on to the B at the seventh fret using out second and third fingers before completing the triplet with a downstroke on the D at the fifth fret of the A string. The next triplet starts with a pull off from the E to D using our third and first fingers at the seventh and fifth frets of the A string, and a final upstroke on the B at the seventh fret of the low E string using an upstroke.  The second half of this bar is also in triplets jumps up an octave into position four with a double stop at the seventh fret on the F# and D notes on the B and G strings using our second and third fingers on our right hand to pluck them, then using a down stroke play the B at the ninth fret of the D string pulling off to the A at the seventh fret using our third and first finger on our left hand to complete the triplet. The last beat of this bar is identical except the double stop is now at the ninth fret and is played with the third finger.

We complete this lick with a pre-bend at the tenth fret of the B string by bending down from the B flat to the B using our third finger and then pulling off to our first finger on the G at the eighth fret, then using the same fingering pull off from the E to the D at the ninth and seventh frets of the G string down to the B at the ninth fret of the D string before sliding from the D to the E back up on the G string with our first finger.

Harry Houghton

About Harry Houghton

Writer and music tutor.