Here’s a lick which demonstrates one of my favourite ways of getting from one end of the neck to the other in a very musical way. The lick itself is lots of fun, but you will also want to make sure you understand what’s going on in terms of chord tones and the way the notes relate to chord shapes. That way you’ll be able to improvise similar ideas of your own and should start to find yourself moving around the fretboard in a much more fluid way. This specific idea definitely has a bit of a country flavour but similar ideas and concepts can be applied to almost any style you can think of.
I’ve written the lick out below as well as showing you the E and Eadd9 arpeggio from which it is derived. Technically this is quite challenging, so all the usual stuff applies: start slowly, and pay close attention to both the right hand picking and left hand fingering (finger numbers shown next to the note heads in the standard notation) if you want it to sound really smooth. If you want a printable PDF of the music click here.
At the start of the video I play the lick as written, then shift it up the fretboard so it fits an A chord before playing the original idea once again.
Getting The Sound
The classic country lead guitar sound is a Telecaster into a clean, Fender-y type of amp. I’m using my ’52 reissue Tele and, to save time whilst recording the video, I ran it straight into the computer and an Amplitube simulation of a Fender blackface Deluxe. I think I used a bit of compression too which just adds a bit more pick definition and sustain.