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How to Play Lead Heavy Metal Guitar Melodic Licks

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to play lead guitar melodic licks in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.



I want to talk to you about lead guitar melodic licks. It's a pretty broad term. It can apply to a lot of things, but generally what comes to mind for me is something that doesn't stick with the pentatonic scale. The pentatonic is great for licks. It's great for flash. It's great for certain limited patterns, but it doesn't have that much melody. E-minor pentatonic, for example, would be this. [music]

It's only five notes. Not a lot of melody you can get out of that. To make it more melodic, I would certainly add in the notes of the natural minor scale, which would give you this. [music]

If I'm playing a solo, and I want it to be particularly melodic, I'll definitely emphasize those notes. So what are the minor notes, the modal notes? F-sharp, and C. F-sharp, C. F-sharp, C. Everywhere you have those notes, try to throw those in.

Let me play some licks right now. This is just purely pentatonic. I don't consider this melodic. Not that it's bad, but it's not melodic. [music]

So now I'm going to play a little thing, and I'm going to try to make it more melodic. I'm going to throw in some of those notes from the natural minor scale. [music]

There should be a big difference, in terms of which one's melodic, and which one's not. To be more melodic, play modal notes. That's the point of this lesson on melodic heavy metal licks.

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