Here’s an interesting descending harmonic minor picking lick that incorporates 3 and 4 notes per string. This one is particularly challenging because the 4 note pattern uses a minor third > half > whole shape which is unconventional for this type of lick.
We’ll be using a 3 and 4nps pattern for most of the lick, finishing up in the Dorian#4 position of the harmonic minor modes. Get warmed up and get your shred on because this Harmonic Minor Picking Lick is a ripper.
Phrygian Dominant – Intro Sweep
We’ll start this lick with a phrygian dominant based 3 string sweep. This sets you up nicely to start this harmonic minor picking lick. If you know this sweep, that’s your starting point, you’ll need to adjust your fingering to accommodate the unusual finger pattern. Start the lick by ascending the sweep from fret 11 on the G string. Because this is a highly unusual shape for an arpeggio, it might be worth checking out this post first on advanced arpeggios before tacking this onto the start of this lick.
Harmonic Minor Modes – Know Your Positions!
It will help you massively to know what modal position you’re in at any given time in the lick because this will help you to transition into your next musical phrase, or even find an escape for your lick. If you need a refresher why not check out this lesson the modes of harmonic minor.
How To Use This Harmonic Minor Picking Lick
For reference you can think of this lick being in the key of C# Phrygian Dominant because it has that type of key centre and uses that type of note pattern. Why not try creating a basic rhythm track that centers around C# Phrygian dominant. If you’re on a 7 string you’ve got even more range than the six stringers. You’ve also got a C# on the low end (at fret number 2) which sounds incredibly heavy when creating riffs in C#.
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Explore what else you can do with this lick. Have you tried ascending it? What about turning this lick into a legato monster lick?
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